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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Classic Novels (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: People (color)
Camera: Sony Alpha A580
Lens: Konica Minolta 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
Location: Nebraska
Date: Oct 15, 2013
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 500
Shutter: 1/320 sec
Date Uploaded: Oct 15, 2013

[Oct. 22nd, 2013 10:13:26 PM]

The most important thing I want to say is that I have enjoyed and appreciated all of the comments and I thank all of you who participated in the comment challenge for doing so. I want to fill you in a bit on the circumstances surrounding this portrait, especially as they relate to recurring themes in the comments.

First, this entry is a shoehorn. My life right now is crazy and I'm really scrambling to come up with as many viable options as possible during the TPL. In this case, it was shoehorn or no entry; I went with shoehorn and am quite satisfied with the final score which I am hoping will put me at or just above the 50% mark and the balance of the comments.

Second, it's a candid shot. This man was playing on a stage in a bluegrass group at an outdoor festival. I had to use my 70-300 to get anywhere close enough for a portrait; this shot was at 200 mm. The trickiest part was isolating the players' faces from one another and from their instruments. You see bits of both in the admittedly regrettable background. I got some with the full hat but this one had by far the best expression IMO and the top is not cropped. Therefore I chose to crop quite close on the left in an attempt to balance the shot and make the cut-off top less noticeable. I also colored several parts of the background blue - why I left the green on the right, I don't know. And why I didn't try black and white, I don't know either - it works much better.
Is this guy Mennonite or Amish? Almost surely not Amish but I can't really say. I just thought he looked "period" and had something of the angst or at least distraction one might associate with an artist, so I went with the title.
That's all I can think of for now - but again a most heartfelt thank you to all who commented. I sincerely appreciate your giving of yourselves and your time.

Place: 41 out of 86
Avg (all users): 5.8155
Avg (commenters): 5.8095
Avg (participants): 5.7436
Avg (non-participants): 5.8594
Views since voting: 300
Views during voting: 228
Votes: 103
Comments: 24
Favorites: 0

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 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/22/2013 06:23:33 PM
(Know that I only vote in even numbers.)

A four for you. I don't mind candid portraits, but your subject looks distracted, or just bored. Technically, it's very good.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/22/2013 04:56:05 PM
It is a wonderful portrait. More Mennonite than Joycean artist. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/22/2013 10:59:31 AM
love the expression here.
a 6 from me
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/22/2013 12:38:02 AM
A marvelous portrait, though I feel it could use a bit more light
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/21/2013 11:04:39 PM
I had to come back to this one. There is something not working well here. The background (the right side) but at the same time his head angle and the look are together closing a nice circle. He seems concentrated yet void. bump to 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/21/2013 10:29:20 PM
Comment Challenge: This is a great picture. I love the worried look between his eyebrows, the contrast of the background and the man, and that he is not looking directly at the camera. To me, this speaks of an artists' uncertainty of whether his art will be accepted and appreciated.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/21/2013 06:58:32 PM
Well. He looks way more Amish than Irish.

But it's a reasonable portrait, and kinda fits the book. No real story here to compel me, but it's not bad.

With that being said? It's not a great portrait. I'll give a 6, but it's really more of a 5.5 for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/21/2013 03:34:48 PM
4...seems more mennonite than James Joyce. Or maybe he's just a hipster. The crop is strange to me, too tight perhaps? I keep wanting to see the whole hat.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/20/2013 07:57:33 PM
Not having read this book I did a quick Google search and found a few images representing this novel. You have captured the general composition here too so there should be little risk of DNMC voting. I'm not sure how much control you had over the background but I wish the nice blues extended beyond the right hand side of the image. The details captured are very good and I quite like his expression. 6.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/20/2013 12:29:17 AM
Good enough as a serious young portrait, but there's nothing to hint at his artistic side. Photographically, although the skin tones work well enough, the background colors are muddy the forms have no clear compositional purpose and therefore become distracting. I think black & white treatment could have been much stronger and eliminated the color issues. 5
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2013 05:45:31 PM
Frankly I'm surprised this wasn't done more. I for the most part want more ties to the story, but this is a little different. It still loosely reflects the story, but is a play on the art commonly associated with this book. For that I can forgive the beard, but the round glasses are a crucial part of that art. 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2013 04:25:07 PM
What's nice about this, is that it actually feels like it's a reasonable period piece, faithful to the time in which Joyce wrote the book. The eyes are terrific, the ears weighted down by the hat, the upthrust chin: there's a bit of bewildered, a bit of apprehension, a bit of resistance all speaking here.

The eyes aren't quite as sharp as the nose and lips, and I'd like them to be tack sharp. The skin color seems a little cool to me. But allin all, a very nice entry. 7 from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2013 07:24:01 AM
I an one of a few that have taken on the” Comment on every vote challenge”. I will post the score I gave you then try to explain my reasons for said vote. Hopefully nothing below will be taken personally, and maybe we can both learn from it..
Although a fine portrait, there is little that ties this to the 19th century, although the hat helps a bit. I am hung between quality of image and believability of challenge topic. I will place this in the middle and give a point for the hat…6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/18/2013 11:22:21 AM
Wonderful portrait. I am not familiar with the novel, but it doesn't matter. I like the soft natural light, but a little more contrast may have added some points.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/18/2013 01:04:30 AM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/17/2013 08:56:36 PM
I like the shot. I particularly like the expression on his face...almost a look of destitution. I am not getting Irish as much as I am getting Amish. I know Amish isn't a nationality, and I guess you could have Amish Irishmen.

I give it a 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/17/2013 06:37:47 PM
You found a good enough hat and a young, slender man, and the title goes well with the portrait only that it does not go too well with Joyce. It is a good shot but I am not capable to really like it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/17/2013 10:03:07 AM
This shot feels like it needs something.
More sharpness in the eyes, more clarity/detail in the beard... the skin to be "glowing" a little.
It's got potential...
Gave it a 4
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/17/2013 04:52:56 AM
He looks a bit disturbed, as artists should ;) A nice tight crop, probably could have come in a tad more on the right side. Fits the theme, he looks like a musician. Doesn't go any further than the look though.5.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/16/2013 08:36:54 PM
Very elegant, accomplished portrait. Love the contemplative expression on his face!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/16/2013 05:24:44 PM
In general, I'm not a big fan of portraits that are cropped this close. It's too hard to get a sense of a person this way. Sometimes it's pulled off, but not in this case. The background elements are distracting. 4
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/16/2013 04:01:22 PM
Beautiful portrait, it can do well IMO.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/16/2013 12:25:00 PM
Looks really good and accurate, nicely lit and composed.8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/16/2013 09:55:19 AM
You captured the essence... wonderful entry!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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