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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Critique -- 18 September 2002
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09/18/2002 11:14:03 AM · #1
Talk about your likes, dislikes, technical flaws -- but try to be specific -- "I don't care for this because..." or "The grain in this photo really works for me because..." Let's try to turn this into (keep this) an educational process for everybody and hope it bleeds over into the comments/critiques on the challenges.

(I know this image is small -- sorry, you'll have to deal with it.)

Title: Childhood Memories
09/18/2002 11:17:18 AM · #2
Love colours. Love DOF. Love foreground background relationship. Love muted colours and lines of water and sand.
Want child in background to be distinct from rope rather than obscured by it, ie move viewpoint taking it to left or right to have them under or over the rope.
09/18/2002 11:18:35 AM · #3
awesome color & contrast...love the blow out...the only thing that bothers me a little is that the rope blocks the view of the child a bit...but i like how it ties one part of the image to the other at the same time. :)
09/18/2002 11:20:06 AM · #4
For me the colour match between boat paint and kid clothing ties them in so could move the kid and still have a good link.

:)
09/18/2002 11:29:02 AM · #5
I like the color in this photo... the contrast is excellent... I think the child would probably have more impact for me if he was placed above the rope line.

This photo indicates a specific childhood memory of my own. I used to spend a week each summer on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina with my Grandfather for the purpose of fishing all day every day. This was the first thing I looked forward to during my summer vacation from school. There were no children in the neighborhood where he lived but there were always plenty at the marina where he put his boat in the water. As an outsider, I can vision myself peering around the front of the boat at the other children in the area, and wishing to be a part of whatever they were doing at the time.

The rope in this photo may conceptualize my own barrier to those other children. Being an outsider to the area, I was not really given an opportunity to integrate into that society for more than one week per summer.

09/18/2002 11:57:31 AM · #6
Just to say that I really like that shot a lot. I have nothing to say except the same child/rope comment. I like the blow out a lot as well.
Thanks for having done a blue/white/red picture (french flad .. just kiiding).
That's VERY NICE and I would have like having done that one
Hey Jeff .. you did not submit recently ... I like several of your shots ... "Sun, Moon, Star" was at the top of the top .

Lionel
09/18/2002 12:28:15 PM · #7
I'm not partial to the blowout. At first I didn't like the rope obscuring the kid. Now I do cuz it represents to me the difficulty I have recalling clearly my good times from childhood. It also represents to me the sadly distinct separation between my life as a child and my life as an adult. I do like the colors.

sjgleah
09/18/2002 05:51:38 PM · #8
bump
09/18/2002 06:03:14 PM · #9
I don't care that much for the blown-out part at the top, but I think that's made worse by the low-resolution nature of posted pictures. It might also be funny to try and blow out the water and beach too, and leave the kid looking like a "charm" hanging from that rope.
Of course, that may run entirely counter to your intended message...

* This message has been edited by the author on 9/18/2002 6:03:39 PM.
09/19/2002 10:23:35 AM · #10
Hoping to stir up some more conversation, I offer my own observations and a very little background to the photo...

First, and for what it's worth, this was one of 4 photos (of many) that were chosen to represent this artist in an article in an e-zine. Someone (artist or editor) obviously thought it was some of the best/most interesting work of an artist worthy of being spotlighted. Just a little tidbit to chew over. (It makes me think about the photo in different terms anyway...)

Second, I find the color matching between the child and boat to be too coincidental. I suppose it's possible that someone just happened to be nearby that matched the colors, but I think it far more likely that the shot was planned and the child dressed accordingly. If this is the case, and the shot isn't just a "lucky" catch, then the artist could have easily placed the child elsewhere in the frame but apparently chose not to. Why not? I think some of the other people who have posted have offered up some interesting possibilities, I'd like to hear some others.
09/19/2002 11:12:17 AM · #11
well, that helps Petella. I am now seeing this symbolically. Campare the sharpness of the two objects and their relative sizes. It says I remember objects and colors clearly but myself hardly at all. IMHO
09/19/2002 11:14:22 AM · #12
The only other real problem with this photo is that there is no apple in it... ;)
09/19/2002 11:50:20 AM · #13
I do like the color, and I dont really mind the blowout, but the leading lines irritate me a great deal.

All the lines in the photo lead me "out" and not in. I think this is due to the downward nature of these lines...the curve of the boat and the sag of the rope, both lead me straight out of the frame on opposite sides.

Also, from a compositional standpoint the bow of the boat is very strong. And I don't like the way the very top of the bow (I'm no boater, so I dont know the technical term for this extension) is excluded from the frame...its extending too far up to just get cut out...its jarring visually for me. Conversely, if the crop had been lower on the bow, just to the point of excluding this protrusion, but still including the knot, I find the image much more appealing.

The lines of the bow then lead me in on the left... the rope carries me through to the child... then out on the right.

09/19/2002 11:54:17 AM · #14
Originally posted by Patella:
Hoping to stir up some more conversation, I offer my own observations and a very little background to the photo...

First, and for what it's worth, this was one of 4 photos (of many) that were chosen to represent this artist in an article in an e-zine. Someone (artist or editor) obviously thought it was some of the best/most interesting work of an artist worthy of being spotlighted. Just a little tidbit to chew over. (It makes me think about the photo in different terms anyway...)

Second, I find the color matching between the child and boat to be too coincidental. I suppose it's possible that someone just happened to be nearby that matched the colors, but I think it far more likely that the shot was planned and the child dressed accordingly. If this is the case, and the shot isn't just a "lucky" catch, then the artist could have easily placed the child elsewhere in the frame but apparently chose not to. Why not? I think some of the other people who have posted have offered up some interesting possibilities, I'd like to hear some others.


To me, I start looking at this in the left side, the bright, 'in your face'
side of the boat being where I first look at the picture - then I work
up to the knot of the rope, follow it down the diagonal and then
'jump off' on to the kid and shadow, where my eye seems to come to a
rest - so you have the big red impact, and then the smaller, more
interesting resting point to give longer term value.


09/19/2002 01:48:25 PM · #15
Well, I might be in the minority, here, but I actually don't like it. The rope blocking the view of the child is my main beef: it might look better just hanging straight down. I also think this might have looked better in 1.5:1 aspect ratio (640x427) or failing that, a little less of the boat, and more empty space. I DO like the deep, dark colors of the boat, and on the child's clothing. The last thing, and this is somewhat hard for me to explain, is that this photo doesnt really convey a "memory" to me. I guess what I mean is, looking at this picture, it seems to me that it's happening *NOW*, not in a memory. I tend to think of pictures portraying memory in black and white, or totally unrealistic colors.

But then again, that's just me. What do I know about anything ;)

09/19/2002 02:31:05 PM · #16
My two cents.... I don't care for it as an image either. I find the balance within the image disturbs me, and I certainly don't care for the placement of the person with the rope (no matter how symbolic it may be to the artist him/herself).

I am also very put off by what appears to be a smiley face (I know it is not) at the bow.

09/20/2002 05:30:54 PM · #17
OK, here's my critique although I don't have all that much more to add.

Placement of the child in the frame and the fact that the bow has been cut off both bother me. Those are the only two things I have issues with, but they're large enough to not put this in my "Love It" category. There may or may not be anything to do about the bow -- since I haven't seen the boat, I can't say whether or not it would be possible to shoot this differently to either include it completely, or maybe crop it in a different way. I'd prefer to have the child right on the water/beach edge (further up in the frame) and further to the right centered between rope and edge of frame.

As I said before, I can't believe that the artist didn't have opportunity to pose the child given the coincidental nature of the matching colors in the shot. So, I'm guessing there may be a reason that the rope does cover the child. I don't have anything new to say that others haven't already said.

As for the blown out nature of the sky and water, I think that's very supportive to the idea of memories. As I think back to moments from my past, I can remember some details with a complete clarity, but other details from the same moment in time, things I should be able to recall, escape me utterly. The fact that major elements, though not massively important ones, of the "memory" are missing from the shot, gives it that kind of feel for me. The DOF in this shot also supports that same theme in my eyes.

This shot was originally located at the Women in Photography International website. "Childhood Memories" was taken by Joanne Chilton whose profile article at WIPI is here and whose own website is here.
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