Oliver Morton  

Vietnam Vet by Oliver Morton

February 2019 - Vietnam Vet

February 2019 - Oliver Morton


About the Image(s)

This image was taken a number of years ago at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. The lighting was very difficult and the bright sun was behind the man. I did extensive processing in Camera Raw in an attempt to brighten the man's face; trying to do it without causing it to appear overly manipulated. The picture data: Canon 5D3 with 70-200mm f/4 lens at 189mm; 1/3200 sec; f/4.0; ISO 400; spot metering.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted

Richard Siersma   Richard Siersma
Oliver, good job on lightening the vet's face. The image is sharp where it needs to be sharp. Perhaps you could tone down the brim of his hat, my eye keeps stopping at the words "FIRST TO FIRE".   Posted: 02/01/2019 16:59:28

Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you, Richard. I will definitely lower the intensity of the "FIRST TO FIRE" slogan. In fact, now that I'm looking at it, I'll try reducing the brightness of all of the sun-struck areas of his cap.   Posted: 02/03/2019 12:29:49

Barbara E Miller   Barbara E Miller
You did a marvellous job on lightening the man's face. You say "extensive processing in camera raw" I assume you mean just adjusting the sliders and I know one tends to forget all the steps taken. I do agree with Rich the about the only change to make is the "FIRST TO FIRE". Good work Pete   Posted: 02/03/2019 13:43:05
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you, Barbara. My initial Camera Raw process was to adjust the global sliders as you assumed. After that I used the adjustment brush (one of my favorite tools) to darken the man's hair which was almost blown out. Following that I use the brush on the background to darken, desaturate and blur it a bit.   Posted: 02/03/2019 14:10:40
Barbara E Miller   Barbara E Miller
Thank for the explanation   Posted: 02/03/2019 14:36:20

Mike Whelan   Mike Whelan
(Group 90)
Oliver this is a well captured photo. It is not done in a studio, it is taken on the hoof which makes it difficult but you have processed it to perfection while dropping down the bright areas in the background which detracted from the photo. The "first to fire" slogan I think draws attention to his eyes and I would not be unduly alarmed by that but I would have liked to see him either head on without sunglasses or if its at an angle then a good reflection in his sunglasses. However this was not a studio sitting and you have a great photo from what was available at the time.   Posted: 02/07/2019 09:17:06
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you, Mike. I definitely agree with the need to have his face or eyes be a stronger focus point.

I love going to the Vietnam Memorial. There are almost always opportunities for emotionally-strong photographs. My first visit there was the most memorable. It had just been constructed. The evening was misty and the lights had not yet been installed so the guards were providing lanterns to the few visitors. The scene with the misty darkness, the lanterns and the visitors with their black umbrellas was magical. Sadly, I didn't have my camera since I had only gone down to scout the area for a later photographing visit.
  Posted: 02/07/2019 16:26:35

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Absolutely no sign of "over-manipulation" of your image. Very well done!
Yes, the Vietnam Memorial is always a place of strong experiences.   Posted: 02/15/2019 10:09:58

Nick Muskovac   Nick Muskovac
Your image is nicely framed and I like the Vet's pose. The red outfit and white beard makes a nice combination of colors. The only improvement, that I might make, is to do a little more burning on the bright areas just to the right of his face and hat.   Posted: 02/23/2019 11:56:59