J. Lanning Smith  

3 Women Summer 2020 by J. Lanning Smith

October 2020 - 3 Women Summer 2020

About the Image(s)

I took this at a rally in downtown Savannah, and it has become one of my favorite images from the summer. I was pulled in by the focus and concentration of the three women.

I used my Fujifilm XT-3 with my XF56 mm f1.2R prime lens. Shutter speed was 1/1000 of a second at f11, ISO 12800.

11 comments posted

Beverly Caine   Beverly Caine
This is a beautiful image. I'm just wondering if the fine white "framing" line on the face of the middle lady is a result of oversharpening.   Posted: 10/01/2020 11:39:38
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Thanks Beverly. I'll have to see if I can adjust that. Good observation.   Posted: 10/01/2020 12:27:55

Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
It is an interesting image. Clear and nicely balanced, and I like the black-and-white treatment. I keep waiting, though, for the women to interact. It makes me uncomfortable that the middle woman is looking away from the cell phone, which is obviously being used by the first woman to video the rally. However, if you hadn't told me you were at a rally, it could have been anywhere. I thought a library at first! Perhaps a different perspective would have created the framework for this? The only other thing I'll say about positioning: the frame of the last woman's glasses is being spit out of the middle woman's mouth. I may be hyperaware of this due to my own sad picture that showed my family at Christmas and I was positioned in front of a small tree so that the improvised bow on top came out looking like I was wearing a "Christmas Bonnet" as my friend observed!
  Posted: 10/04/2020 17:46:17
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Thank you Carol   Posted: 10/05/2020 18:34:14

Ed Tepper   Ed Tepper
I like the story I think you're trying to tell and the B&W rendering is really nice.

For my taste it is too tightly cropped and I don't get the story just from looking at the photo. I'm wondering what it would look like if you re-cropped it to be a horizontal and showed the environment.   Posted: 10/04/2020 18:49:09
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Thank you Ed   Posted: 10/05/2020 18:34:32

Victor Dallons   Victor Dallons
I think that the strength of this image is that the women's faces line up to form strong implied diagonal lines down toward their phones, giving energy to the story. I like the intense expressions the women's profiles. I think that the back lighting works well in this image.

For me, the image itself does not provide the context given in your explanation; this could have been anywhere.

The far woman's glasses come right out of the middle woman's mouth, they could be toned down a bit to be less of a distraction.

I see that the image was taken at a very high ISO (12800), and guess that you used
Topaz DeNoise AI to deal with the noise. If not, disregard the following comments.) ( The high compression makes the image a little difficult to analyze the technical aspects of the image.). It is my experience with DeNoise AI that it will overly smooth out some portions of an image while dealing with high noise levels. For example, the middle woman's face is very smooth, there is no pour structure there, as there is a lack of detail in parts if the near woman's hands. In my experience, as much as DeNoise AI does a wonderful job on many images, it falls down on some. I have dealt with this problem in some of my work by blending images using different noise reduction applications, using the portions that work best from each. For example, I would blend in a part of an image processed with Topaz DeNoise 6 into the area of the woman's faces and hands that lack detail to provide some texture there. (I see that you use Lightroom to process your images, you may need to jump to Photoshop to blend layers.)   Posted: 10/05/2020 18:00:08
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Thank you Victor. You are correct about my using Topaz DeNoise. I am not comfortable with Photoshop, but it is probably time for me to get comfortable with it.   Posted: 10/05/2020 18:36:10

Karen Johnson-Nieuwendijk   Karen Johnson-Nieuwendijk
The contrast of all the women's faces and their positions are a good story. I wish there was something to indicate what they were so engrossed in though. Also my eye goes immediately to the women's hands as though they were the focus. Their hands are the sharpest part of the image and I would have rather had their faces more the focus to emphasize that they were looking as something of great import.   Posted: 10/10/2020 16:15:41
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Thank you Karen   Posted: 10/10/2020 16:33:59

Bill Foy   Bill Foy
My first thought was that I didn't understand the title - Three Women Summer 2020....??? and what does the image have to do with summer? I agree with most of the other observations already expressed and, along with Ed, wonder if you flipped this to a horizontal view would it tell the story?   Posted: 10/19/2020 13:45:41


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