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Critique This Famous Photo A place to critique famous photos or not-so-famous photos by famous photographers.


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  #1  
Old 11-14-2009, 10:15 PM
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chaud chaud is offline
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Default Martine's Legs

I thought it might be fun and interesting to post a famous photo or a not-so-famous photo by a famous photographer for critique by the members here. We all have received critiques that we find valuable and those that seem contrary to our feelings about the image we have created. Let's see how the famous and critically acclaimed stack up, shall we?

First up, Martine's Legs, circa 1968. By Henri Cartier-Bresson.


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  #2  
Old 11-15-2009, 12:45 AM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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I've never seen just what makes H C-B so famous, and this shot doesn't help. The white area at the bottom is distracting. Perhaps in the original it isn't lacking detail, but here it is. That's often a result of digitalizing: the original may be better. If the object is to glamorize the legs, they could be posed more gracefully. The upper right does work well enough, with more mystery than openness. The hand is positioned better than the legs. I'd also burn down the left a bit. H C-B apparently printed his subjects the way they were more than the way they might better be. Adherence to his successful style might excuse these details.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:23 PM
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For me, I feel I need to consider the context of the image and when it was made. Back in the 1960's, this kind of shot may have been considered 'Avant-garde' and maybe even somewhat Risqué for some.

In today's world, this image wouldn't even rise enough from the ordinary to be even noticed. So, at the time, it was a remarkable image but today...not so much.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:46 PM
bread bread is offline
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Henri--I like what you were going for here. Her 'pose' seems natural--I agree with Jim though that a more graceful positioning of her legs would have been better, but I do appreciate the 'candid' nature of this image. Your focus point seems off--it seems the pattern in the fabric to the left of her legs is sharper than is the subject herself. If your vision is failing, you should consider getting a camera with automatic focus. I would hope there is more detail in the white sheep skin (?) in the original print, but it is hard to tell from this image. This appears to be a poor scan of a print looking at the banding on her legs. One suggestion: you should consider flipping this horizontally, since our eyes naturally move from left to right. I think this would improve the composition considerably. Keep up the good work. With lots of practice I think you will be successful one day.

Barbara
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:51 PM
Suzanne Suzanne is offline
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Oh dear, I wouldn't want to be the model. I find the image down-right awkward. I feel sorry for Martine because if it were me (but I certainly am not nor ever was, glamorous) my right leg and foot would go to sleep. That pose would also do something uncomfortable to the left leg. I hope I have my lefts and rights correct but you get the idea. And I am not fussy about the mixtures of textures and shadows. I guess I just don't like this image even though I appreciate and like H C-B's photography in general.
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