Carol Sheppard  

Did you say Fish by Carol Sheppard

November 2020 - Did you say Fish

About the Image(s)

Its a tradition at the Pike Place Market in Seattle that when someone orders fish for purchase, the fish gets thrown, to the rapture of the onlookers! I did very little to this after capturing it.

It was taken with my Canon 50d back in 2012, when I first arrived in Seattle. The settings were handheld at ISO1600, 32mm, f4, 1/400 sec. The area is in shadow, even though its close to the front so pulls some natural light in. No flash on my camera that day.

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

Victor Dallons   Victor Dallons
Pike Place Market is a wonderful place for street photographers, so many interesting characters and action going on there. Some of my favorites images are from there.

For me, the essence of this image is the salmon being thrown and the interaction between the fish mongers. I am pulled in by the expression on the fishmongers face. Perfect timing on the capture.

The engaging story is here, the challenge is to make it clear and simplify the image to the main idea. For me, the flying fish and the fishmongers wonderful expression and gesture are the main ideas, the rest of the image is context. I would consider a major crop removing much of the clutter on the right. I think there are some implied leading lines that you could take advantage of such as the dark fish (black cod) in the center of the image (more to the right after a crop) the row of fish heads and rows of condiments that lead to the fishmonger's face. The fishmonger tossing the fish remains a dominate idea because of how much space he takes up in the image.

In my opinion, the fish in front are a bit bright, pulling my eye away from the fishmonger; decreasing the brightness and increasing the contrast of the fish would help (be careful here, increasing contrast and darkening in photoshop can cause color shifts, be sure to set you blend mode for the adjustment layer to "Luminosity."). It would be nice if the bright lights could be darkened some, but that is difficult to do without them turning grey, which just looks wrong. I could do a little of that using the selective color adjustment layer, working on the whites to darken and add a little orange to make it look more natural. For me, an improvement that could make the flying salmon stand out better would be to darken the green in the banner behind the fish. Lastly, a little edge control, darkening the outside edge of the green column on the left side of the image would keep my eye from drifting out of the image there. There are a few artifacts along the left of the image that you could clean up or crop out.
  Posted: 11/10/2020 22:01:29
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Beverly Caine   Beverly Caine
Brings me back to our visit to the Pike Street Market before our cruise to Alaska. I very much agree with Victor's crop. That was my first instinct before I read further. A bit too much as it is and a bit too confusing.   Posted: 11/11/2020 13:12:20

Ed Tepper   Ed Tepper
I like Victor's comments and suggestions.

His suggested crop really focuses the story in my mind.   Posted: 11/14/2020 22:32:06

Karen Johnson-Nieuwendijk   Karen Johnson-Nieuwendijk
I really loved this place when I lived there and this photo brings back so many good memories. As much as I love the entire scene, I do agree with Victor's crop as it really focuses the eye to the man throwing the fish, which is the story in the photo. That focus tends to get missed unless you are really looking for it in the original.   Posted: 11/15/2020 10:44:46

Bill Foy   Bill Foy
I went to the Pike Place Market at least twice in the week I spent in Seattle after an Alaskan Cruise. The second time was to get a better image in this place - I'm not convinced that happened.
I like most of what Victor is recommending. The one exception is the crop. I think the "100% sustainable" sign needs to be included.   Posted: 11/17/2020 13:34:05
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J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Having lived in Washington State for 10 years from 2001 to 2011, this image brings back many fond memories. I think it's well done, although I do agree with Victor about the fish on display being too bright. So, I would take his suggestions on that.

I'm torn on the cropping though. I like both of the crops suggested by Victor and by Bill, but I also really like the full scene as you show it. That's probably because having lived there, I don't find the throwing of the fish to be so unusual anymore. So, I enjoy seeing the market as opposed to focusing all of my attention on the the throwing of the fish. And I think this is a good view of the market. But on the other hand, cropping in as Bill and Victor suggest does put more of the focus on the man behind the counter and makes it a strong image that way.

I like the way you positioned yourself for taking this image also. I think you are positioned perfectly for getting the right angle on the shot. Well done Carol!   Posted: 11/17/2020 14:24:28
Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
Thank you so much; I ran around a bit to find the perfect vantage point, LOL. But I think your input captures my intent--the market, including but not limited to the fish throwers. It's a lovely, chaotic, energetic spot, with multiple activities and multiple stories going on simultaneously. And perhaps I should narrow it down to what draws that particular crowd, but it is about Pike Place Market, not the individual catching the fish. I'm glad you were able to pick that out from my kluge!   Posted: 11/19/2020 11:14:44

Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
Hmmm, interesting feedback. I agree that cropping puts the emphasis strongly on the fish-catcher. I am torn by wanting this to be about the Fish Market and its overall crazy activity rather than the fish-throwing alone. It is vintage Seattle/Pacific Northwest. Signs and kitsch included. Taking all of this into account, I think it behooves me to take the original scene but apply all of Victor's excellent suggestions. I think there is a compromise here to be had.   Posted: 11/19/2020 11:12:03

J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Hi Carol, Today's the last day to comment on our November photographs, and I noticed that I hadn't gotten any comments from you. I thought at first maybe you didn't like my image, but then I checked and found you hadn't commented on anybody's image. So at least I don't feel like my image is unloved anymore. LOL! But if you get the chance today to critique our November images, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on my image. Thanks.   Posted: 11/30/2020 12:35:00