Psjunkie wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:48 am
If you feel like going into more detail I'd be interested...if you've better things to do I understand. thank you for the time you've already spent with comment.
It seems many here are of the same mindframe. Realize people will 'step lightly' since it is your granddaughter and a personal issue.
The circular field of focus is a particular distraction because there is a quick, unnatural fall off between sharp focus and soft focus from the eye to the rest of the face and head. Humans are more accustomed to the traditional linear plane of focus and my initial viewing of this image there was a certain "expectation of reality" inherent to the scene. Some people may look at this image and not really understand (or be able to vocalize) what is wrong but instead know 'instinctively' that something weird is going on. I understand the psychology behind why you chose to try this approach but at this close scale the effect is too obvious and glaringly "wrong". Wrong in the sense if you were trying to attract attention to the eye in a natural way. If the intent was to use it as an effect, then it's a matter of having people know it is supposed to be an effect and that poses a different set of problems.
The second problem I find is the disconnection between the subject and the viewer. While there is no law that says the subject "must be looking at the camera" there is no denying that by not doing so it creates a psychological chasm that lessens the engagement to the subject. Yes, she's cute but she's preoccupied with something off frame so I won't bother. Sounds silly when said like that but that's how the human mind works. Are there strong images where the subject is not looking at the viewer? Sure there is, but those tend to have a strong subtext to the composition that pulls the viewer in. Perhaps it's the setting, or an action the subject is doing, or a contemplation we are asked to join in. Emotions fall into two categories; those that engage and those that repel. We tend to learn these non verbal cues at an early age (the cold shoulder versus the open smile) so they are very easy to recognize, even in photographs. This child is clearly distracted and as such we, as the interloper into the scene, do not want to intrude.
Last are the unanswered questions left us. If she can't engage with us (the viewer) what is she engaged with? This touches back on subtext and for some the subtext here may read strongly while for other not so much. For me, there is not enough of the scene for me to become vested in to try to decipher any subtext but this is purely subjective. As for the blemish above her eye; this too can be perceived as an unanswered question (is it a birthmark or the effect of an active child?) that is also very subjective. You can chose to leave it or remove it and you'll get the same responses either way.
Interestingly enough, I find the second image you posted of her much more engaging. I can tell she's in some kind of playroom and that justifies her distraction. I can see part of the window and that allows me to appreciate the light hitting the back of her head better. While at times less is more, sometimes more is just right. There is no secret formula for this. The good thing about this exercise is that it allows you to compare and contrast the two images to see what works and what doesn't so I hope you don't look at this attempt as being some kind of failure. It most definitely is not.
Anyway, you asked and I gave my two bits. Hope it makes sense to you.