PEOPLE 120 – RING (MONO)

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My daughter’s hands, with her wedding ring; 1 June 2013.

Strange thing to say maybe, but I feel it a privilege to be able to make such an intimate portrait of another person.

And rings, especially gold ones, always bring the writings of Tolkien to my mind – and it was my daughter who accompanied me to the cinema to see the first instalment of Lord of the Rings.  Having read the book – and The Hobbit too – many times, I was unsure whether the film version would do the story justice.  But I need not have worried.  Five minutes into the vast opening battle scene, I was entranced!

Nikon D800 with 105mm Micro Nikkor; 1600 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, jumping in at the Film Noir 3 preset.

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Soon after posting this image this morning, my colleague in arms Helen Cherry commented that the fingernail highlight at top left is a distraction and I think she’s absolutely right – so below is a second version, which I think a distinct improvement >>> what do you think?  Thanks, Helen!

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

15 Responses to PEOPLE 120 – RING (MONO)

  1. LensScaper says:

    It’s a great shot. I think the reason the top left highlight is ‘debated’ is because it is a highlight without a noticeable nail. I think lightening the nail attached to the highlight to make it more visible and a little more in tune with the other finger nails would help to make that highlight serve a purpose and then I think it would work. Taking it out completely, as in the second shot, works nicely. I love the contrast.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hello, Andy, thanks for these kind and useful thoughts. That’s a good point about lightening the nail – lightening it just a little I think. Many thanks! Adrian

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  2. I might have tried to darken the very whiteness of the nail a little, if I even knew how. (Haha) but I like them both. If I HAD to choose, I’d pick door number 1. This coming from the cameraphobe! (Which by the way I’ve broken out of mothballs, bought two extra batteries, and am on my way to total frustration! But thank you, dear sir. Your encouragement has gotten me off my duff! ) 😉

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hi Gemma! Yes, you might be right re just darkening the whiteness of the nail – something to think about – thanks!

      And if my encouragement has helped you face your camera again (oh, so its going to be self-portraits then, is it? 🙂 ), then I’m very happy. Have a go with it – leave it on auto for now – fire off a few frames, get the feel of it.

      Two things to mention.

      Remember that we are all different, all individuals – and this applies to what we appreciate visually as much as to anything else. Maybe you recall what I said elsewhere recently and you commented on – its YOUR visual tastes that matter here. If you can achieve something in the visual line you think not half bad, you’re on your way. On the other hand, if you achieve something awful, just exactly what makes it awful in your eyes? Can you avoid such awfulness in the future?

      And second, leading on from this, you are looking to start finding out WHO YOU ARE AS A PHOTOGRAPHER. What sorts of images do you like? Are there types of images you aspire to making? The visual world is your oyster – you can photograph anything and everything.

      Mess around! Apart from the electricity, digital is free! I wish you luck – and any input needed from me will certainly be forthcoming – we can talk on email if that’s better. Adrian

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      • Thank you a million times over. As always the Photography World According to Adrian contains many words of wisdom. ;-). I am happy to have such a knowledgeable source. I will take you up on the email ( you should have never said that! ) Soon…
        Be well. Gem

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  3. Meanderer says:

    Either version works for me. My eyes were immediately drawn to the ring and the thumbnail on the same axis.

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  4. bananabatman says:

    I don’t feel strongly about this. I understand Helen’s point, but don’t think that there is a lot in it. Either one is a lovely image.

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  5. Helen Cherry says:

    Beautiful Adrian. I would have taken out that top right highlight I find it too distracting.. maybe you left it in to make the numbers of fingers right but I don’t think it was needed. I too was a big fan of LOTR but have refused to pay to go and see The Hobbit because I am annoyed they are trying to milk the public by making 3 films from a tiny ( and much loved book !)

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