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Regretfully, He'll Never Be Seven Again
Regretfully, He'll Never Be Seven Again

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Candid II (Advanced Editing III)
Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Bellevue Washington USA
Date: Dec 30, 2004
Aperture: F/2.8
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/125
Galleries: Emotive, Candid
Date Uploaded: Dec 30, 2004

Photographer’s Notes
I concluded the only candid shots that make sense are shots of people. Where are people this time of year? The Mall! So I head on down to the large local mall. Set up, shoot a few frames. Set up shoot a few frames. Set up, shoot a few frames. Now it gets interesting … I am confronted by security.

“You can’t take pictures in here,” he says.

“It’s a public place,” says I.

“It’s private property,” he says.

“There can be no expectation of privacy in a mall,” says I.

“You’re bothering the customers,” he says. “And besides, you need permission.”

“May I have permission?” says I.


“Am I free to go?”

“Yes,” he says. And I do.

So I really only have about half a dozen pictures to work with, but I liked the emotion of this one. You can feel this guy is being dragged away, that he is being dragged away from feeling the wonder of a seven year old again! Look at his expression. Look at hers. And as counterpoint to all this, there is the wonder of a few real children to make it all the more poignant.

Post Processing
Select Subject Foreground and Save Selection
Reduce Noise: Neat Image
Blur the Background
Resize Image
Resize Canvas
Clone Out Some Distractions
Sharpen Foreground: Unsharp Mask
Save For Web

Camera Data
Nikon D70
2004/12/30 14:08:15.9
JPEG (8-bit) Fine
Image Size: Large (3008 x 2000)
Lens: VR 70-200mm F/2.8 G
Focal Length: 130mm
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Metering Mode: Center-Weighted
1/125 sec - F/2.8
Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 400
Optimize Image: Vivid
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Color Mode: Mode IIIa (sRGB)
Tone Comp: Auto
Hue Adjustment: 0°
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Auto
Image Comment:
Noise Reduction: OFF

Place: 121 out of 173
Avg (all users): 5.0762
Avg (commenters): 5.2500
Avg (participants): 4.8276
Avg (non-participants): 5.2520
Views since voting: 756
Views during voting: 315
Votes: 210
Comments: 11
Favorites: 0

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01/10/2005 08:56:30 PM
I think this should've scored higher. It's definitely a candid moment that made a lot of sense to me, maybe because I have a daughter and I know how she reacts to displays like that, AND I've known plenty of men to act the same way she does :) I think it's a great capture of the man's expression and you're right, the mother and her kids add to the picture as well. I gave it an 8 and I'm disappointed that so many people gave it 5's.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/10/2005 12:13:26 AM
Thanks to all who commented. Let me clear up a couple of things.

1) There is nothing by accident in this photo; 2) The subject is the couple standing, or rather the man standing in the couple; 3)The mother and kids were there to provide counter point to his emotion ... wonder vs. wistfulness; 4) I did slightly blur the background to force attention on the man. Interestingly, for a picture that didn't score that well I got a lot of comments that varied dramatically in their content. Regretable, even 640 x 640 is too small to really convey all the emotions of all 5 people which is the meta-subject if you will. If you look carefully and and thoughtfully, you can see them all. The mother's emotion is all about her kids. The kids' emotion is all about the wonder of the Christmas village. The man's emotion is about being 7 again but unable to tavel back in time. And woman's emotion is about impatience ... with the man and with time flying ... look closely at her face.

I'm not asking you to change your views about the photo but only to look carefully and thoughtfully at it.

And yes it's flawed in many ways which I'll learn from. Thanks.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/09/2005 04:11:54 PM
looks like he wants a new toy ..I like this !!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2005 09:58:03 AM
<Grin> Very cute!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2005 10:31:10 PM
I love some sharp DOF, but this seems overly sharp to me, and it looks like you manually blurred to make that happen. The people no longer look like they belong on the scene. At least one suggestion to improve this would be to make the ground in focus at people's distance, because it physically doesn't make sense otherwise.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2005 01:35:07 PM
nice job of pulling the main subjects out and blurring the background -- extra effort pays off in a stronger composition
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2005 08:26:06 AM
Maybe he's lusting after the kids. Maybe this should be called 'Thankfully he'll never sleep with a seven year old again after his ten year jail sentence'
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2005 03:09:48 AM
WOW you got like 5 peoples emotions caught here, I like it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2005 11:38:11 PM
Too many competing subjects in this one. The title leads me to the child and the curiosity in the miniature town and the leading lines of the rail show that you worked to find something that added to the family.

Unfortunately, the children and mother are somewhat out of focus and the other couple are so sharp as to almost be 3D. This detracts again from the subject, however cropping the couple out would have been next to impossible withou causing much more distraction. A good start with some very positive points, but too many distractions to reach a high level. Bumping from 4 to 5, because of the insanely 3D effect on the unintended couple and effort taken to find an interesting angle/framing that would add to the composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2005 09:03:09 PM
I found my eyes were directed to the couple holding hands rather than the little boy
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2005 08:14:36 PM
U hem....All men are still seven! Good job of capturing that reality!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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