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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Did I got it all wrong?
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06/20/2007 10:20:01 AM · #1
On my last three entries I don't understand anything anymore.

Why
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/691/thumb/528781.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/691/thumb/528781.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Candid IV
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/693/thumb/532445.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/693/thumb/532445.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Pure...
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/695/thumb/533526.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/695/thumb/533526.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I'll start by explaining the pictures.

On the first one I partially desaturated the subject to give it a sad feeling. I used the title Why? whitout anything else to represent the feeling you have when you can't say anything above this word. I know the picture itself is not perfect and I didn't really expected a high score with that one but two of the three comments says that the picture lack of color saturation or that I should have used another title because it doesn't meet the challenge.

The second one is a snapshot on the street. A basic hip shot randomly taken whitout any meaning deeper then a guy watching a show on the street. People liked it except the piece of trash on the bottom left but this is a street shot so who expect a perfectly clean street?

I got the last one at a jazz concert. The guy (Jules Deelder) is a passionate of jazz and was playing old and really good jazz. He was so passionate that I felt the passion in his eyes and his pose were sufficient for the pure challenge. If you actually do some web search you can find that Jules Deelder is a DJ at the radio on the tuesday night (if my memory serves me well enough) in Rotterdam, he is also the "mayor of the night" of Rotterdam so he is quite well known over there. I used a picture with the long play in the bottom of the picture but still not in perfect focus to even emphatize on the jazzy aspect of the picture. But then again I get comments exactly the opposite of what I expected. The guy have black hairs and people want those to stand ot of the black background... One found the picture too busy??? And another one didn't like the fact that the long play was in front of the picture... Every little meaningfull hints were just thrown away.

Now I come to the main point. What I don't get is why a picture whitout any meaning scored way better then two pictures that carried out a meaning. And even, why my last picture which was the most meaningfull had been so much blasted with a 4,68 score???

I'm ready to take critique but did I got everything wrong? I know my pictures aren't perfect (the first one was cropped too tight on the camera, the face of the guy is a bit too dard on the second one and the lighting need some toutch-up in the third one) but beside that I would like constructive comments.

Thanks and sorry for this rant, I just needed to vent up a bit.
06/20/2007 10:27:15 AM · #2
Left some comments.
06/20/2007 10:29:19 AM · #3
you don't really expect people to do research on the internet before voting on your image, do you? I would think that very few people would go down this road ... as the photographer, it's your job to get the whole point across with your image ... not the voters job to spend time on the internet trying to figure out what you want us to understand ...

06/20/2007 10:39:13 AM · #4
You should not explain pictures. Pictures should explain themselves.

Nick
06/20/2007 10:49:29 AM · #5
Left a comment
06/20/2007 11:10:21 AM · #6
I was going to suggest that you NOT try to do something as silly as expect there to be any logic to the voting here, but it looks like you are getting some constructive comments on your 3 photos, so I won't make that suggestion.
06/20/2007 11:31:30 AM · #7
I recently learned the same lesson you are learning now: All people see is what is in the photo and they can't necessarily tie the same meanings you do to your own photos because they weren't there when you took it. (if that makes sense?) For example, your third shot which you claim is the most meaningful is just a guy in a white suit with a weird look on his face. But I didn't see him play any music. You are bringing your experiences into your "meaning" of the photo, without actually bringing them into the photo. If you had a shot of him playing, his pure passion for jazz would be more apparent.

The example I recently had was with this photo: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/645/thumb/489327.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/645/thumb/489327.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' I think it is a technically good photo, but everyone thought it was set-up and that the child was probably some middle class kid from the suburbs that I told to pout a little for the camera. I called it the "Face of Poverty" (lame, I know), but that's is EXACTLY what it was. He owned no shoes, lived in a dirt floor, palm leaf roof hut with no running water. However, in the photo you can't see his feet or his home or the rest of the village. You can see, however, his school uniform (which wasn't as nice as it looks), his short hair which was either oily or wet (I can't remember) which kinda looks like hair gel instead, and his perfect skin.

The moral of the story is: if you are trying to convey some sort of meaning/emotion in your photo, you need to look at the photo as if you don't know the story behind it, then ask yourself if you still see the meaning.
06/20/2007 12:04:28 PM · #8
Thanks for all the comments.
06/20/2007 12:17:40 PM · #9
David,

This is a tough site to compete in, and here are couple things I see that I personally
feel would have made a big difference in the outcome on the first two images:
(open each in a new window and switch between them to easily see the changes)

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/691/thumb/528781.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/691/thumb/528781.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' - compared to -> ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/540309.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/540309.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Your post-processing left a lot to be desired in that it lacks definition particularly in the shadows and also seems out of focus. I also feel that in order to convey a strong emotion, images most often do better in black & white due to our brains not having to process the info and decipher all the different colors. Color make an image busy in our brains. By stripping it, the image speaks on a different level. The eidting I did was real quick and basic editing, mostly with shadow/highlight and some sharpening. In regards to the title, well, it says nothing really. Maye if you supplemented the story with something like "Why did he leave me", or "Why am I so depressed", something that punches the emotional factor here, be it real or not. I see a woman that looks sad and/or depressed. Run with it, feel it, let the image speak to you, but if it can't stand alone, which not all images can as so many will tell you that it has to, then supplement it with a title. Often the title will make or break an image. It can be one of the most important factors in art as well as challenge images.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/693/thumb/532445.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/693/thumb/532445.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' - compare to -> ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/540307.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/540307.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

This edit was a little easier, as it was an advanced challenge. In yours, the key element in it was lost - his expression. By working with the exposure and levels in different layers, I was able to separate him from the background better to show the human emotion that is the strongest part of it. Some burning here & there, along with what will seems wrong, but a slight off-horizontal angle and re-crop. By being a little off, it dramatically changed the body language displayed. Some sharpening and cloning out the wadded-up paper in the lower left that was a big distraction, and I think the image stands far stronger than it did, and could have gone a step farther in adding some grain/noise to the background to further strengthen the main focal point and put distance between foreground and background. Title seems fine, we could come up with 20 different ways to say the same thing. We can all say after the fact that the lady's dress is a distraction, and it is, but such is the world of candids and their imperfect nature.

The last shot - eh - hardly says pure and far too much to try and understand to connect it to the challenge in my opinion.

Hope you don't take offense to my re-edits of your images David, and hope they can show you a different outlook on them, and you and others can learn from them in turn. I'm not an expert, but think I am pretty close on all this.

Message edited by author 2007-06-20 12:22:23.
06/20/2007 12:24:44 PM · #10
In agree with Brad... (can you believe it?)
06/20/2007 01:11:08 PM · #11
Originally posted by neophyte:

In agree with Brad... (can you believe it?)

And I thought you were a
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/496/thumb/336212.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/496/thumb/336212.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
merely a Skeptic.
06/20/2007 02:01:08 PM · #12
I don't take any offence don't worry. Would you be kind enough to give more info on what you did exactly on the first picture? As my profile says my photoshop skills are close to none and Lightroom don't allow the kind of latitude needed to make these modifications.

On the other hand I find the effect on the second picture a bit drastic but it sure does helps it a bit.

Thanks I really appreciate those comments.
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