W. Neil Jones  

CANDLE HAT by W. Neil Jones

March 2020 - CANDLE HAT

About the Image(s)

This image of a young girl with a candle hat was taken at a Day of the Dead event in New Mexico. She was standing in a park next to a food truck eating ice cream when she agreed to let me take a quick portrait. The portrait was taken in open shade with the food truck in the background.

1/640 sec, f/ 2.8, ISO 400, 50mm lens

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

Emily Kawasaki
The image highlights an important cultural and historical artifact (Day of the Dead) and shows how the tradition is being passed on to the next generation. The focus on the foreground draws attention to her costume and expression of serious bemusement. The out-of-focus background of the brightly-colored food truck gives the photo a nice depth.   Posted: 03/08/2020 19:11:48
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
You had a really great model and handled the shot quite well. The food truck was an inspirational background! I'm surprised that you got such good DOF with an f2.8 but it worked really well.

It is your photo, and so you are right but I would like to ask why you cut the flames on several of the candles? As was noted it might take attention away from the eyes if they were all present. However I would like your opinion, please share... Thanks   Posted: 03/15/2020 18:08:56
W. Neil Jones   W. Neil Jones

Thank you for you comments. My idea was to primarily focus on the girl's eyes and the facial expression. The original image (attached) seemed to focus more of my attention to the hat not the face, so I cropped the image in a bit which in turn cut the tops of come of the candles. This was an intentional trade off. I also considered cropping in the image even closer to focus only on the face, which would have been a very nice portrait, but decided to leave the hat in the because I thought it add an important context to the image.
  Posted: 03/16/2020 13:21:30
Comment Image
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
Your rationale makes perfect sense. As I see the expanded version I agree that the flames add too much at the top and does reduce the focus on the eyes. You made the right choice. As for the portrait format that would really be dramatic and powerful because those eye are so piercing.

You did quite well with this image. At our Day of the Dead celebration many of the participants ask to have their photo taken. Did you select her on your own? If so you really picked the right girl!   Posted: 03/16/2020 15:02:22

Beverly Caine   Beverly Caine
I love this. I attended my first Day of the Dead in Fort Lauderdale this year and was fascinated by the lengths they go to to dress up and the ingenuity of their costumes.

This image is very well done and the bright color of the truck in the background is a real plus.   Posted: 03/10/2020 13:42:09
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
You were at the day of the dead in Ft.Laud! So was I. It is a lot of fun.   Posted: 03/15/2020 18:01:36

Margaret Sprott   Margaret Sprott
I love her expression and eyes. I think I would have liked a little more to be sharp, like the candles, but if that would detract from her face, it may not be a good idea. I am amazed at how you can get someone to pose for you - I would never have the nerve to ask.   Posted: 03/11/2020 22:09:27
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
Many of the folks at the Day of the Dead spend a fortune on their attire and the WANT to to photograph them. Many will even ask to be photographed.   Posted: 03/15/2020 18:03:00
Margaret Sprott   Margaret Sprott
OK - maybe I'll have to go someday - but not until coronavirus is controlled.   Posted: 03/15/2020 21:32:08