Bob Monnin  

The Scout by Bob Monnin

October 2021 - The Scout

About the Image(s)

This sculpture is located in Kansas City, MO and is known as the Scout. It’s a famous statue by Cyrus E. Dallin in Kansas City, MO. The statue is more than 10Ft tall and depicts a Sioux Indian on horseback overlooking the landscape. It was conceived by Dallin in 1910 and exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, where it won a gold medal. On its way back East, the statue was installed on a temporary basis in Penn Valley Park. It proved so popular that $15,000 (equivalent to about $384,000 today) was raised to purchase it through a campaign called “The Kids of Kansas City”. The statute was dedicated in 1922 as a permanent memorial to local Indian tribes. It’s located east of Southwest Trafficway in Penn Valley Park, south of downtown Kansas City.

Since moving to the Kansas City Metro, I’ve seen pictures of it and often told my wife that one day I’d try to get a really good picture of it. Well, earlier this year, in April 2021; shortly after purchasing my Sony a7M3 and Sigma 24-70 F/2.8 ART lens I went to Penn Valley point to get the picture. The statue sits on a slight hill making it difficult for one to get a really good composition for framing the picture. My idea was to compose the statue where it appeared to be overlooking the cityscape of Kansas City. However, when I stepped over the retaining wall, I almost fell down trying to get into a position where I could somewhat get the capture I wanted. In the end I took this photo getting the statue and as much of the city as I could.

The Photo was taken with a Sony a7M3, f/7.1, 1/500 sec, ISO100. The Lens used is a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 DG DN ART FE Sony Mount. I used Lightroom to edit and did a quick edit to bring out the blue of the sky and the green of the grass.

8 comments posted

Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Hi Bob, I like your composition and hope you learn to be more careful getting into position. Your image is sharp throughout, color and tone look good to me. The light is still pretty harsh though, so sometimes a look at a B&W will help. A standard lens like the 24-70 keeps everything in proper perspective.
I think the composition needs tightening, as the view to the left adds little. The story between the scout statue and the modern Kansas City is good. The sky doesn't add much either but can be replaced. The bush leads to the scout, and the tree ads a frame. Good travel image possibilities.   Posted: 10/08/2021 18:43:36
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Bob Monnin   Bob Monnin
Thanks Bob,

I haven't thought about B&W before; but I think I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for the comments, it gives me some things to think about when composing future photos.
Bob   Posted: 10/09/2021 08:53:50

Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Bob
Welcome, I am really glad your joining the group! This is a nice image. I quite like the composition of the scout overlooking the city. I like the leading line provided by the rocks around the path so I would not crop the left side off. I do feel it is a little tight above the scouts head and would like more room there. I too would replace the sky. I think this would make a really cool sunrise or sunset photo which would soften the light and you would be less likely to get the harsh shadow at the base of the scout's platform. I'm not sure if this is an area you can get to at those times of day or if it is in a park that closes but I would try if I could. P.S. I love the Sony cameras (have one myself) and it works great!   Posted: 10/08/2021 20:17:21
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Bob Monnin   Bob Monnin
Thanks for the kind comments. I've had several folks mention that I should have composed this shot so that there would have been more sky above the scout. The problem was that I didn't have much room to stand unless I had stayed on the sidewalk path, which in hindsight I guess I could have done. I was trying to set the composition to include the scout as if he were actually overlooking the city and if I had turned towards the right, I would have caught part of a parking lot in the shot, hence, I stayed towards the left. You're correct that this would make a nice sunrise or sunset photo, but I had never considered replacing the sky for that. I guess I rather go early in the morning, or later in the evening and actually capture the real thing.

Bob   Posted: 10/09/2021 08:58:59

Haru Nagasaki   Haru Nagasaki
Hi Bob
I like the structure of this image - leading line by stone path from bottom left to the statue, good eye catching of bush in foreground, and wide space in left, which hint some story. Really simple but it is well-structured.
Like previous 2 comments above, I prefer to have some cloud action in the sky... That's only the point to improve in my view.
That is well done!   Posted: 10/09/2021 00:51:13
Bob Monnin   Bob Monnin
Thanks for the kind comments. Whenever I take a photo I do look for those leading lines that draws the viewer to the subject. This was a hard one to include that, unless you include the walking path; it naturally takes you directly to the scout. As for the sky, like I mentioned in the other two comments, I had never considered replacing the sky. I've always been the type of photographer who keeps everything natural, as taken. But I can see that having some clouds overhead would add so much more to the shot. I'll start looking at doing that in the future. Again, thanks!
Bob   Posted: 10/09/2021 09:02:54

Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Hi Bob - once again, welcome to the Group! I think a lot of my comments probably echo the others above. I like how you've positioned the statue with the story of it looking out over the city. I think with the right lighting - like sunset as others suggested - the shadowed statue might look almost real at first glance.

Given the flat lighting, my instinct was to try B&W, but I made a quick attempt at just doing that and didn't like it. So I decided to try a different look. I did do a sky replacement, went for a threatening, dramatic sky, and "futuristic" LUT, and then desaturated to near black & white, and darkened. I guess it is sort of a story of the "storm ahead", and the past looking upon that with dismay. Clearly a different look, but you provided an image that was fun to play with.   Posted: 10/09/2021 15:59:49
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Bob Monnin   Bob Monnin
Thanks and thank you for the kind comments. I haven't thought about sky replacement before, but the example you provided does look nice.
Bob   Posted: 10/09/2021 16:11:54


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