The cello player

(Alberto) #1

So, ten days have passed since my previous thread, so as promised (or threatened), here’s another one. I don’t do many street portraits, I guess I’m just too shy to approach strangers while holding a camera, but this one is an exception. It was taken a couple of years ago in Trento, Italy. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

(Mica) #2

I would’ve tried a little harder to hold the highlights here. You’re slightly blown on the forehead and top of the cello. I’d also burn down the spot directly above his head, it is really distracting. I don’t know if people pop the flash in street photography or not, but that could’ve helped with the control of the highlights as well.

I do really like the crop, it is very interesting. Also a good choice to go black and white.


I like how you captured him at the “right” moment. I often shoot too soon or too late.


@paperdigits ist right about the highlights, nevertheless it is indeed a wonderful photograph, the man’s age, his beard and so on… is it intended as a portrait? reminds me of leonardos’s very famous drawing and caravaggio
what kind of music did this man play?

(Shreedhar Inamdar) #5

Very nice image. FWIW, here is what I thought.
I would crop out the bright part on top of performer’s head, lighten around his left eye, his wild white hair and the top of the Cello. Get some detail back from forehead and shirt. Something like this

(Alberto) #6

Thanks everybody for the comments! Here’s a (quickly) tweaked version:

Regarding the blown highlights, I left them alone for two reasons:

  • I don’t find them particularly disturbing, I think they work in black and white
  • I don’t have the raw file… this was from a time before I jumped into the rabbit hole of raw editing :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Alberto) #7

Classical… unfortunately I don’t remember more than that :cry:

(Bri) #8

This is a great shot! Beautiful timing too!

And I agree. You can get away with a lot more in b&w. I think it helps emphasize the contrast between ‘spotlight’ and shadows while still allowing you to lift detail out of the darker areas of the cello and his right hand.

I only have one question:
Did you pay him before taking the shot?

(Alberto) #9


I definitely put a few Euros in his basket, though I don’t remember whether this was before or after taking the shot. If I had to bet, I’d say before, but I’m not 100% sure…

(Bri) #10

As long as you did that’s all that matters! <3

(Alberto) #11

Absolutely. I would never “steal” a shot from a street artist :slight_smile: