Lee Gardner  

GUGU Drummer by Lee Gardner

March 2023 - GUGU Drummer

About the Image(s)

This image was taken at Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, Louisiana in April 2017. We have this festival every year the last weekend of April. They bring in not only Cajun an local bands and musicians but also many from around the world to perform. This Festival is always free to enter but the food an drinks are not free but their is food from around the world along with booths that sell art to clothes an jewelry from around the world.
In this image this is one of the many male and female drummers from the GuGu Drum Group out of Shanghai, China. I have submitted this image into my camera clubs monthly image competitions mainly into the photojournalism category. It has always scored low and the critiques I have gotten say that it isn't a photojournalism image since their needs to be more of the scene in the image to tell a story. I'm curious what are y'all thoughts since Im thinking of resubmitting the image into pictorial category which is the general photo category we have every month. I'm not sure if their is impact in this image or not. I just love how I captured his hands especially one that shows how fast his hands were going with the way he is making a interesting face. For me that tells me he is being very serious an is in the spirit of drumming on the drum in front of him. I just did basic editing an also one curve adjustment layer to make the color pop more.
The lens I used for this image was a 55-200mm Nikon lens at the 200mm side. Also for this image I used center weighted metering. The last 3 years I switched to spot metering. I'm curious what everyone else uses for metering mode when taking images of people to flowers and still life images.
I used a f5.6 1/200 shutter speed and ISO 1600 since this image was taken at night.

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

Zina Mirsky   Zina Mirsky
Thank you for all the background info about what you're looking for in our responses. In my Club, I've seen images like this mostly in Pictorial competitions, with titles that are more impact-aiming than educational. Such as "Intensity!". Or "Vibrating!" In Journalism, in my experience, there would need to be a short story in the title, such as "Drummer at GUGU Festival captures the intensity of international music at the XYZ Festival, date".
I think there is an impact for Pictorial for sure. I usually use spot metering for almost anything. Habit, most likely, and I like that you've been experimenting with doing something different to see differing outcomes.   Posted: 03/11/2023 12:26:18
Lee Gardner   Lee Gardner
Thanks Zina. I always love going to festivals locally and also events that involve the community too. So I wonder if your camera club allows street photography images in photojournalism category. Im still not sure of what is allowed in PJ category. The members in my club have always told members anything that is news worthy can go into PJ category for competitions so wondering if you or others could explain what is not allowed in PJ an what is allowed. Im curious if their is anything wrong with the image above of the drummer i would need to fix in Photoshop which I only use that program to edit.   Posted: 03/23/2023 21:33:38

Zina Mirsky   Zina Mirsky
I can only speak to the one Club I'm in, and how it connects to 15 other Clubs in the Northern California area - our Clubs all adhere loosely to the same guidelines. The biggest one is the limitation on post-processing; dodging/burning and cropping, and some attention to contrast are all permitted but there is to be no cloning or healing. A "natural" scene is required. From there, it seems that there are as many approaches as there are pictures to shoot! There is a gamut of 'newsworthy' crashes, accidents, famous local people doing something, artists at work, musicians in concert, families finding new activities in local venues, human interest/pet interest stories to be seen in every competition. I love it! Each judge has a different approach so sometimes titles are most critiqued and sometimes it's the subject matter. I hope this is of a little help.   Posted: 03/23/2023 21:52:49

Alec Chester   Alec Chester
Very interesting comments on photojournalism. I like the expression on the drummer but with that the face was more visible. I'll try to lighten it for your interest.   Posted: 03/24/2023 13:31:48
Comment Image

Rick Taft   Rick Taft
I like this shot and agree with Alec the most compelling part is the intense expression on the drummer's face.

To the Photojournalism issue, I'm the PSA Rep for my camera club in CT, so I help pick images from club competitions to submit for the PSA Interclub competitions. The two competitions are a bit different. At the club level, titles are often read out as the judges look at the image to score it, so they can be helpful. At the Interclub level the images are shown with no titles, so they have no effect on scores. I think the two aspects to the PJ category that limit how well a shot like this will do: (1) Your shot is really more a portrait than a PJ shot...when your judges say there is not enough story it is because there is no interaction. In this context, any story would come from some sort of interaction or impact of the subject on or with surroundings (including but not limited to other people). Granted, he is "interacting" with his drum, but that is too limited. (2) Post processing. I agree with what Zina said that the shot has to be realistic and manipulations like she mentioned are not allowed. That said, I can't quickly see any obvious manipulations in your shot that would cause a problem.

In my club we have had a couple of similar submissions of very intense drummers and they have done well in the general photo category (at the club level we don't have a specific PJ category), but when I tried submitting them as PJ at the Interclub level they have never done well...I think because of lack of story due to focus on a single person as subject.

My two cents: it should do considerably better in a general photo category...it is a nice shot.
  Posted: 03/30/2023 16:00:24

Matt Moses   Matt Moses
" I'm not sure if their is impact in this image or not"

The photo definitely has impact. As many suggested it might be better in a general photo category. I find that PJ category can be tough. When a judge is looking at this vs a traditional pictorial entry, it is hard to say how it will do, really depends on the judge. I see people photos like this rated lower compared to general landscape photos.   Posted: 03/30/2023 16:59:47