Packhorse Bridge



Simon Allen

Ann Corbett

Ben Corbett

Guy Davies

David Dennett

John Davies

Phil Kitching

Sue Snape


Ben Corbett


How/Why I Did It: 

This interesting woman was our cook at the Palmyra Hotel in Baalbeck, Lebanon. Her stove was a hot , rounded, stone heated by a gas ring as she squatted on the floor. She was obliging enough to let her photograph be taken but this was indoors with poor electric lighting and without tripod assistance. The result is somewhat "soft" as the shutter speed was 1/3 sec at f3.5 and ISO 200. Afterwards I felt a better choice of camera settings should have been applied as the image does not bear cropping and enlargement. However, I feel she captured the moment of faded prosperity in an old, and once grand, hotel.
Simon Allen
This is a nice restful portrait of a very thoughtful-looking lady, with the somewhat faded background adding to the story. As you say, it is a little soft - but pretty good for 1/3 sec! It certainly benefits from lightening up - using levels and/or curves in Photoshop.
Guy Davies
Very difficult conditions indeed!  Handholding at 1/3 sec is quite challenging, even with today’s stabilisation systems.  It’s always difficult to think quickly and clearly in these situations, but with 20/20 hindsight it would have been better to turn the ISO up to 1600 which would have given you about 1/30 sec for the shutter.  Most modern cameras will give good results at 1600 ISO, and even if there is some digital noise it will just look like grain on a mono image.  Regarding the image, it is a little dull but that can be corrected by a simple Levels adjustment – pull the right hand slider in until it meets the histogram.  A bit of local lightening on the face would also help.  Nevertheless, the image does create that atmosphere of faded prosperity.
David Dennett
I am struggling with this one a little. I like to think if I had taken it I would have gone in much closer on her face and the upper part of her body. I find the lower half the dress and knees distracting. I understand the comment about trying to show the faded elegance though.
Phil Kitching
Nicely composed portrait showing the character of the local people. I would try increasing the contrast in Photoshop as the image is as you said a little flat. Interesting image of local life.
Sue Snape
The old lady certainly has a lot of character in her face and I feel the peeling paint behind her helps to set the scene.  Have you tried increasing contrast and clarity to sharpen the image a little more?  I like the use of black and white.

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Updated: September 25th, 2018