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Photogs / Photo Exhibits This is the place to discuss a particular Photographer (work, style, life, whatever), as well as to post Gallery and Museum Photo Exhibitions and your own impressions of them. As we march on in this new digital world, it is often too easy to forget about the visual importance of the photographic print, as well as their financial importance to the photographer. It is also interesting to remember that some guy named Gene Smith shot with lenses that many lens test reading "never had a picture published in their life" amateurs would turn up their their noses at, as being "unacceptable."

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critique wanted - Cuban transportation story
Old 01-28-2020   #1
Bob Michaels
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critique wanted - Cuban transportation story

Looking for honest critique and your opinion re: specific topics

http://bobmichaels.org/transportation/

Specifically:

A-1) did you click on the first thumbnail and then move directly to the second photo full screen using the arrows?
A-2) or, did you only select certain thumbnails to view full screen?
A-3) what you would think if I did this as an automated slide show so you had no choice but to see each image full screen for a few seconds or so?
A-4) are these 28 images just too many or should it be condensed more?

B-1) did you learn something that made your viewing time worthwhile?
B-2) did you have any interest in this topic before or was it just something that you viewed because I suggested it?

C) would this presentation be helped by captions for the photos? Or, were the images self explanatory?

D-1) is your primary interest in looking at photos the subject matter? or,
D-2) is your primary interest the technical aspects of the image?

Please feel free to respond to any or all of my questions. Please respond honestly as I have thick skin and not seeking accolades. Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2020   #2
segedi
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Hi Bob,
A-1) I clicked on the first image and then kept clicking the images to move to the next. I didn't use the arrows. I did use the thumbnails icon to move back to the that view when I hit the end.

A-3) Personally, I don't like automated slideshows. I want to control how long I look at a photo.

A-4) Felt like some curation would benefit the series (thought it was twice as many photos as necessary)

B-1) I learned that I liked some of the photos. The first one is nice - I like how the woman appears to be pointing to the man walking in the background. Nice visual device to get the eyeballs moving around the photo. My second choice is the line of taxis below the overpass. Nicely dynamic.

B-2) It's essentially street photography grouped into the Transportation theme, but I also found it showcased peoples' dependence on others.

C) Captions not necessary. If they are all in the same city, a title would have been nice.

D-1) The subject matter, technically perfect photos of something dull aren't very inspiring, are they?

E) The photos are too small; They deserve to be shown at least twice as large.

F) The aspect ratios aren't consistent and I feel that in a series presented in this manner that could be of benefit.

That is all.
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Old 01-28-2020   #3
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1. No
2. Yes
3. I would not like a slideshow someimes I hover on an image for longer than the slideshow. Annoys me.
4. I do t think it's too much.

B. I have to go back and pay more attention. Look through them a few times. I'll give a more honest opinion on e they've sunken in.

C. I don't like Captons personally. Even if the images are not self explanatory. I still don't like them. I guess I tend to make my own, I don't like to argue with captions if we disagree..

Not sure if this helps any. Just my 2cents.
D. I do look at subject matter over technicals.
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Old 01-28-2020   #4
nickthetasmaniac
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A-1) did you click on the first thumbnail and then move directly to the second photo full screen using the arrows?

- No, I right-clicked and open the thumbnails I found interesting in a new tab. I rarely, if ever, click through galleries using the arrows.

A-2) or, did you only select certain thumbnails to view full screen?

- As above.

A-3) what you would think if I did this as an automated slide show so you had no choice but to see each image full screen for a few seconds or so?

- I'm not a fan of automated slide-shows. If I like the image, I want to look it for as long as I please, and if I don't like the image, I want to skip past.

A-4) are these 28 images just too many or should it be condensed more?

- I'm happy with the 28 you have chosen. Almost all of them are distinct in terms of the subject matter.

B-1) did you learn something that made your viewing time worthwhile?

- Yep, interesting subject.

B-2) did you have any interest in this topic before or was it just something that you viewed because I suggested it?

- It's in my general (very broad) area of interest.

C) would this presentation be helped by captions for the photos? Or, were the images self explanatory?

- I think informative captions would help. I see the images as interesting snapshots, rather than photographic masterpieces. The point of interest is the content, so if a caption helps interpret the content then I would add it in.

D-1) is your primary interest in looking at photos the subject matter? or,
D-2) is your primary interest the technical aspects of the image?


- As above. The photos are decent quality snapshots of an interesting subject, and it's the subject that grabbed my interest. Technically the photos are 'meh'.
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Old 01-29-2020   #5
retinax
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A1
A3: no, please let me decide on timing, I probably wouldn't have sat through a slide show.
A4: not too many per se. But I don't really see the connection between the locals' transport and the tourist transport, maybe they could be separate shows or, if your aim is to contrast them, pair pictures of each.
B1: Yes.
B2: Interest before.
C: I'd appreciate captions or even some more text. For instance I was wondering if the ladies are hitch-hiking or waiting for a taxi, if when hitch-hiking expectation is for a free lift, or paid for, as I've seen in some countries where gas money is a relatively more significant expense. Seems like one of the ladies is waving money. Also if women feel safe doing it, what alternatives there are etc.
D1. Potentially also interested in the aesthetic aspects, not the technical, but not super impressed in that way with most of them.
Pictures could be larger.
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Old 01-29-2020   #6
bullterrier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post

A-1) did you click on the first thumbnail and then move directly to the second photo full screen using the arrows?
No

Quote:
A-2) or, did you only select certain thumbnails to view full screen?
Yes

Quote:
A-3) what you would think if I did this as an automated slide show so you had no choice but to see each image full screen for a few seconds or so
I dont know

Quote:
A-4) are these 28 images just too many or should it be condensed more?
too many

Quote:
B-1) did you learn something that made your viewing time worthwhile?
Yes sir

Quote:
B-2) did you have any interest in this topic before or was it just something that you viewed because I suggested it?
Well yes sort of and yes

Quote:
C) would this presentation be helped by captions for the photos? Or, were the images self explanatory?
No the images work together

Quote:
D-1) is your primary interest in looking at photos the subject matter? or,
I take stand from objective photojournalisme,Its subjective what I have witnessed

Quote:
D-2) is your primary interest the technical aspects of the image?
IT depends
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Old 01-29-2020   #7
seagrove
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I have a question back to you: what is the purpose of the presentation? Are you looking, as an end product, to do an exhibition or are you shooting for publication? If it is the latter, I think a tighter edit is needed. If it is the former, I feel a rearrangement of the images would help. I clicked on the first image (which I found eye-catching and a good start to the series) and then just clicked through the images. I believe captions would only be needed if you are shooting for publication (print or online) and then it might only be to show where the images were taken.
The other questions you asked:
I used automated slide shows on my old website but got away from them in a revision and just let the viewer select images for full screen. And by full screen I wished the images had been larger.
My interest in Cuban transportation is more on the vehicular side, i.e., the old American automobiles that are still in use there.
My $0.02 worth. And any comments are just my thoughts. Hopefully, they give you some pause to evaluate.
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Last edited by seagrove : 01-29-2020 at 05:15. Reason: additional info.
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Old 01-29-2020   #8
Ko.Fe.
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I think it is done well. No words needed.
After watching I don't miss the same state of transportation history in USSR. Once it was abolished, transport went to normal.
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Old 01-29-2020   #9
icebear
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Hi Bob,
I only clicked on the link because you asked. Any maybe I didn't click on the very first shot because I already started reading your questions before. I clicked on the 2nd one because I wanted to read the sign in the background.
I think more editing is needed. Quite a few shots wouldn't have made my cut for "publishing"/ showing. To me the images seem like grab shots, point and shoot and lack an intersting composition in most cases. What is special about Cuba (I have never been there, just guessing here...) is it's people. The shots document some mode of transportation bike, horse, ox cart, truck etc but they seem to lack to transport (no pun intended) any kind of connection to the people, no matter the mode of presentation, caption or not. The images don't go to full screen when you click on them. Possibly that's why the smiling faces still aren't large enough to make the connection ... you were not close enough? Maybe it's helpful.
Just my 2 cents, you asked for it.


PS:
I moved away from documentary photography and have a strong preference for b&w. So you'll have a hard time to convince me with these kind of images anyway.
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Old 01-29-2020   #10
Bob Michaels
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Thanks to everyone for their responses. Be assured that I carefully considered every comment. I have made some changes based on some of them.

The purpose of this photo story was to inform viewers of the total spectrum of the various modes of transportation used by Cuban people and the differing modes used by most tourists. It is contemplated to be viewed as a total informative story and not a collection of greatest hits around a central theme. That is the need for the number of photos to cover everything. Certainly there are very few, if any, individual photos that I would use on a stand alone basis. That is why I try to present the package so viewers will look from beginning to end and not just at selected photos.

The story has been updated to include captions. I still have no firm convictions about the need for captions. Many of the photos seem self explanatory but I must consider I live there part time and use Cuban people's transportation most of the time. What is obvious to me may not be to others.

I have many photo stories, one of which is about the International Film Festival in Gibara, Cuba. It is on my website with captions It is currently being exhibited at it's second art gallery in Cuba. When my wife, who is a Cuban poet and writer, was translating the captions to Spanish for the exhibits, she suggested just not using them at all as everything in the captions was already known by any Cuban.

The inclusion of captions and some comments thanks to you have caused me to delete a few photos and include a few new ones. Revised version is at the same link: http://bobmichaels.org/transportation

Interesting commentary about "old American cars" which everyone tends to believe are more of a major part of Cuban transportation than they really are. And, few realize they now are little more than a functional assortment of various pieces and parts from different manufacturers to keep something working for so long with no available replacement parts.

FWIW, I will choose a 70's era Russian Lada over an old American car any day as they are more comfortable and reliable. Plus I remember back in '61 when I graduated from high school that some girls would not go out with me because all I had to offer for transportation was something like that but 60 years newer.

Thanks again for the comments.
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Old 01-29-2020   #11
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I like the photo of the man transporting the pig. For me, I prefer street photos that capture fleeting moments.
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Old 01-29-2020   #12
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Did you have to get official permission to shoot on public conveyances?
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Old 01-29-2020   #13
Bob Michaels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f.hayek View Post
Did you have to get official permission to shoot on public conveyances?
bottom line: all Cuban laws, rules, and regulations are vague and subject to broad interpretation by the lowest street policemen or military people. There is no recourse to them.

I have been told that I cannot photograph in the most public places. I have 3 occasions where I have been forced to plead guilty at Cuban Immigration to violating the terms of my visa because of my photography. All occasions that I would deem b.s. because of what I was photographing.

Yet, I have had no problems photographing in places that I would have thought were politically sensitive.

I have been told that I was not allowed to photograph a passing train. Yet, no problems with me riding along in the cab of a freight train to photograph the engineer running the train. I have been told that I could not photograph a public monument honoring the 27 local residents of the local community who died fighting for the Revolucíon. Yet, I had no problems photographing at Fidel's 90th birthday celebration even when meeting the Immigration officer who previously demanded my guilty plea. Or, at the anniversary celebration of the major battle of Cueto honoring 3 men who were combatants there. BTW, 2 of them are personal friends. I have been summoned to Immigration for photographing a non working sugar mill building because it was "industrial". But no problem photographing workers rolling cigars inside a cigar factory. That list of inconsistencies can go on and on.

So there is no answer to your simple question other than "maybe" or "maybe not"
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Old 01-29-2020   #14
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Quote:
I remember back in '61 when I graduated from high school that some girls would not go out with me
All together now one, two, three.....

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Old 01-29-2020   #15
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All photos look good to me. I wish they were larger though. I clicked on the arrows to move forward.
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Old 01-29-2020   #16
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A-1) Yes
A-2) See A-1
A-3) I would hate that!
A-4) Seems just right

B-1) YES!
B-2) Some pre-existing curiosity

C) I think the captions are important if education is your desire. Personally, I would have preferred larger images with captions in a smaller font.

D-1) Yes
D-2) No
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