Frank St-Pierre  

Salt of the Earth by Frank St-Pierre

July 2021 - Salt of the Earth

July 2021 - Frank St-Pierre


July 2021 - Frank St-Pierre

Original 2

About the Image(s)

This is a pic of salt harvesting pools in the 500 year old Maras Mines, in the Sacred Valley near Cusco (Peru). Too
small to notice without intently peering, and related to a double meaning of the title, is a lone miner near upper right hand corner, wearing a blue shirt. My questions to the group:

(1) what aspect ratio is the preferred crop. I've provided two crops: the tighter crop emphasizes more detail, while the wider landscape better captures the impact of how many pools there are (I couldn't get any wider angle shot with my
equipment, but the scene warranted wider);

(2) whether darkening the red earth mountainside in the background to black is preferred (to highlight the pools
themselves) over leaving the mountain subdued red? Is black too kitsch?

The intended effect is to make the observer look twice to figure out what they're looking at (which is the impact one
gets from the mountain road above when you first see this mine). Hopefully the observer will be rewarded by spotting the miner, without being prompted.

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

Nicole Asselborn   Nicole Asselborn
I indeed had to look twice ...what an amazing place .I don't personally think you need a tighter crop ...the mountainside in the front distracts because of its color in the last photo so to my eye original 2 feels better .I would decrease the red tinge even more but darken the front and the back mountain...just try and see...   Posted: 07/10/2021 12:01:02
Frank St-Pierre   Frank St-Pierre
Thanks Nicole. I keep waffling between the absolute black, which itself seems to dominate, and the subdued red, and I'm thinking the latter wins.   Posted: 07/19/2021 18:31:14

Walter Swett   Walter Swett
Wow, this is a very amazing scene. If you had not pointed out the person, I never would have seen him. I like the colors, textures and shapes of the ponds. I like your final image with the blackend mountainside. In my opinion, the visible, reddish mountainside distract from the other two images. Did you consider a crop that would take eliminate the mountside "blank spot"? I tried a couple different crops, unfortunately they both take out the individual, so neither of them may convey what you wanted to.   Posted: 07/11/2021 17:55:50
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Frank St-Pierre   Frank St-Pierre
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I know, I tried so many crops. In the end, it seemed some of the mountain in the background was needed to accentuate the randomness and the jagged descending line of the pools in the distance.   Posted: 07/19/2021 18:29:31

Pauline Jaffe   Pauline Jaffe
This is quite an unusual and amazing subject. So very impressive. I never did find Waldo- the miner in the upper right hand corner. I looked at every salt mine and could not find that miner. I love the textures, shapes, and the colors in this image, they play off of each other very well together.
In considering crops, I like what Walter proposed above ^ with regard to cropping out the mountain.

  Posted: 07/11/2021 20:44:26
Frank St-Pierre   Frank St-Pierre
Waldo is very small, inside red circle below. Each family owns one of the salt ponds. There were a few more miners down to the left (out of field of view).   Posted: 07/19/2021 18:23:38
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Kerry McFarlane
This would like great on a huge canvas, its so unusual. I agree with Walters removing the black area.   Posted: 07/23/2021 20:55:08