J. Lanning Smith  

Girl on the Street by J. Lanning Smith

October 2019 - Girl on the Street

About the Image(s)

I do mostly street photography and am interested in incorporating elements of fine art photography into my work. Along those lines, Valerie Jardin, in her book Street Photography: Creative Vision Behind the Lens suggests finding an interesting light and waiting for someone interesting to walk through it. Or to ask a subject who is not engaged in conversation or with her phone to pose in the light and to take various positions. That's what I did in this image. This young lady, a former Savannah College of Arts and Design student was walking down the street in Savannah and I asked her if she would mind posing. As a former SCAD student, she seemed to know exactly what to do. This image is pretty much as it came out of the camera.

I shot this image with my Canon EOS 5D and did minor touchup in Lightroom.

7 comments posted

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Jim, I really love your image! This is an excellent display of the use of light and story telling in an image. It also illustrates a talent that photographers really need: Patience! It was so fortunate that the lovely lady came by and knew what to do!
The composition of this image is really nice, in my opinion. I would also have liked to see an image where the lady's body was turned somewhat, to correspond with her line of sight.
There seems to be some type of distortion (color noise?) on her nose and above, along the edge of her profile. It makes it look like there is a pimple at the end of her nose. There is a similar color distortion on her skin and on the wall, with pinkish color mixed in with beige. Did you use a tool or plugin to remove noise? Maybe there really was a mixture of those colors in the light or surface of the photographed objects.
At any rate, this image is powerful and personally, I love it!

  Posted: 10/02/2019 19:21:33
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Thank you Georgianne. I usually use Topaz DeNoise AI on my images, but I don't recall now if I did on this or not.   Posted: 10/03/2019 17:05:59

Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Jim, I do think the light is very interesting, and I agree that good light is something special to look for, especially as it can really add drama to a subject or a story. Unfortunately, in this instance it doesn't work for me, perhaps in part because I feel the photo is neither a portrait nor a street photo, so I find the lighting confusing. The light on her arm and on just one of her boobs draw my eye, but I ask myself why? And why the handbag and newspaper? To improve, I'd consider making this a portrait, with a crop right above her boobs, and then adding some lighting and reddening to her lips.…
  Posted: 10/02/2019 22:23:35
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Thank you Witta. I'm not one to think in terms of classifying a photograph as being in one category or another category. I just think in terms of what appeals to me and what I think might appeal to others. She was carrying the red handbag and the newspaper when I met her. I left them in because I think it gives the viewer a more complete picture of her.

For example, to me, it was intriguing that she was carrying a newspaper in this day and age when nobody I know at least reads paper newspapers anymore. It says something about her. Is she anti-technology? Is she old fashion? It makes me wonder.

And I thought the overall look was good. I also like to include when I can a touch of red in my photographs because I think red draws the viewer into the photograph, and at the same time, I don't find it distracting in this case.

I do appreciate hearing your perspective on this image though; it helps me to understand how others might see my images. Thanks.   Posted: 10/03/2019 17:15:36

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
As I was falling asleep last evening, I kept seeing this image in my mind's eye. I really find it fascinating. That and your mention of "I just think in terms of what appeals to me..." etc., reminded me of one weighty comment about what makes "fine art". It's really what appeals to the viewer enough to hang in their living room (if they could afford to purchase it!).   Posted: 10/09/2019 14:31:17
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Our local club has a Double Vision contest each year where an artist is randomly paired with a photographer. The artist picks out one of the photographer's images to then create her own image, which can be an exact duplicate or the artist can use it as inspiration for something new. We recently had our pairing, and my artist, who is a very experienced artist, chose four of my images to consider. Yesterday, she then told me of the four, she chose this image to do her painting from. I will then show my photograph at the exhibit and she will show her work. I'll be anxious to see what she does. The show will be in February and it generally draws a couple thousand visitors to it.   Posted: 10/09/2019 17:06:20

Mary Hinsen   Mary Hinsen
Thank you for sharing about Valerie Jardin's book. She is right - interesting light can really make an image something special.
I love the angles of the light on the wall, and the girl's shadow falling to the right. I do agree with Witta about toning down the hot spots. I think it would enhance the image. I also would try increasing the red on her lips to complement the wonderful red toning of her bag.   Posted: 10/10/2019 19:45:36


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