Nobody's Making Honey Here...
by ToltComment by spiritualspatula:
I'm going to separate my comment into two parts- one discussing the idea of DNMC and one about the photo itself, separate of that.
You mentioned that you would like closer guidelines, but the idea of DNMC has nothing to do with guidelines themselves and everything to do with how they are interpreted. It has to do with what voters think of when they consider a subject. Consider the challenge "Coffee." If somebody were to enter a shot of a container of creamer, sure, it's related, but when you first think Coffee, is creamer the summation of the thought? Even if it is, you need to consider what everybody else would conjure up from the prompt, and it's not very likely that the majority of people, when given the prompt "Coffee" would think of creamer. If you extend this to your photo, sure, flowers are necessary to the prompt, but you don't depict things that are integral to the concept in people's minds (namely, honey or bees). I certainly understand where you're going with this, and idea-wise, it's good, but if it weren't for your title, this shot has very limited relation to the subject. A strong piece will speak for itself, it won't need to be explained by your caption. It's like a joke- a good joke shouldn't need to be broken down. But, people thinking things are DNMC is very fickle. Sometimes you'll see obviously DNMC photos take top honors in challenges, so you never really know. Sometimes people ignore DNMC when they feel the photo is THAT good.
As for the actual photo itself-
I like the lighting, and the fashion that it is lighter on one half of the frame and darker on the other, it pulls me to the focal point. But, the photo itself feels sorta static, as I'm pulled into the dead center of the photo visually, and then my eye stays there, and that's it. There isn't much else to draw me, or to add to things. Overall, there isn't a whole lot wrong with this as a photo of a flower beyond the fact that we've all seen lots of photos of flowers and this blends into those and feels unremarkable. Flower shots really have to wow to stand out. Often this is achieved by stunning or strange flowers (like this entry of mine, for instance, which surely scored higher out of peculiarity
). Another way is to portray the subject in a way we haven't seen, giving us something unusual and unique, a refreshing change of pace. For your image, we have have a view of lilacs which we are most all acutely familiar with.
So, it's not so much as what you did wrong, so much as what you didn't do to make this stand out, and particularly coupled with many feeling your entry was DNMC. Keep at things and don't worry about the scores too much. Starting out here can be pretty hard, but once you get a little used to things it's a great place to learn.