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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> The end is finally over, and I have questions!
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02/11/2009 07:58:25 AM · #1
Hi people!

Two quick questions for you. (this was my shot)

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#1: What could I do differently with the same setting to make the shot more interesting/compelling?

#2: I had a very hard time deciding which shot to enter. I liked this shot better because you could see more of the kite, but it didn't seem to fit the "end" category as well as the other shot. Which would you have entered, and would you have scored this shot any different than the first one?

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Thanks in advance!! I look forward to your feedback!
02/11/2009 08:22:36 AM · #2
Your outtake, IMO, tells more of a story. Seeing both shots side-by-side I can see how you felt the one you entered tells a better "End" story because it illustrates what really was the end of the struggle to free the kite.

For me, the one with more action (outtake) still illustrates "End" well, but is more interesting to look at and relate to (kite being more visible).

Just my two cents - you finished ahead of me, so what do I know? :-D

Couple of additional thoughts...

The tree in the outtake seems more ominous (which is good), and compositionally I think the tree/boy/kite combo work together better (more balanced). In your entry the boy, kite, and tree are more central and less dynamic.

Message edited by author 2009-02-11 08:24:44.
02/11/2009 08:28:45 AM · #3
Now I really liked the concept and for what it's worth I think you chose the correct one to enter in as far as the out take suggests that he might just be able to recover the kite and hence it's not quite the end yet if that makes sense.

I wonder if a close up of just the kite stuck in the tree would have done better

All just my opinion of course

Message edited by author 2009-02-11 08:41:27.
02/11/2009 08:29:45 AM · #4
Hi Wendy!
Let me first say that I like both shots. If I had to choose, I like #1 more. The body language of your son is great...That is your son in the frame, right?

That said, I'm at work so I can't manipulate either of these captures at the moment. And to be honest, I'm not sure how I'd process the shot differently. I'm not sure if it's my monitor or not (the monitors here at work suck anyway), but it looks slightly unsharp. I see your shutter was at 1/30. Did you shoot handheld, or use a tripod? The wind could certainly affect a tripod if it was breezy.

As far as composition goes (and given that I can't see anything outside the frame) If I had it to do differently, I think I'd play with the perspective more due to the large amount of negative space. Maybe a POV from behind the boy looking up at the kite stuck in the tree to fill the frame more and take out the elements that are not integral to the subject, like the horizon.

All minor critiques, and in no way critical. I think they are both great images in their own right. I just like talking composition. It's fun stuff!

Take care.
02/11/2009 08:31:09 AM · #5
I like the outtake better, pretty much for the same reasons already expressed by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' glad2badad.
02/11/2009 08:34:30 AM · #6
Your score wasn't bad. I like the outtake better because there is more 'action' to look at. The plain brown earth hurts the picture. Maybe a shot closer to the boy and looking upward at the boy's face and the kite would have worked better? Good concept overall just not a grabber visually. (I gave it a 6 BTW.)
02/11/2009 08:39:46 AM · #7
I answered you where you posted this in the out takes for end.
02/11/2009 09:29:39 AM · #8
Thanks guys! I liked the shot a lot, and I'm happy at how it placed--but I'm here to improve. My photography seems to be at the "nice shot" stage, and I want to get it to the WOW stage, but I'm sort of stuck in a rut.

I hadn't thought about shooting up. And the comment about the tree looking more ominous in one shot fascinates me--now I'm thinking about how to make things happier or more ominous or more sad. I don't know if I can do it, but I'll be looking for it!

I really appreciate the feedback--this is what I was hoping for when I found the site. (Thanks limerick! I found your comment--I wasn't quite sure where to post this to get responses.)
02/11/2009 09:33:52 AM · #9
The outtake is a MUCH more dynamic image. For the chosen title, the image you entered is superior, but (sad to report) you missed a KILLER title for the outtake: "End of the Line" :-)

R.
02/11/2009 09:41:00 AM · #10
great title! Better than the one I would have used -- "The first stage is denial"
02/11/2009 09:47:04 AM · #11
FWIW, here's a quick edit of the actual entry which may be better. It's probably a little oversaturated, but otherwise it's richer. Keep component of the editing is shadow/highlight, which reduced the light spot lower right in sky and made the tree upper left separate better. Levels also used to add back in contrast, and hue/sat to bump the saturation (maybe a little too much).

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R.
02/11/2009 09:49:23 AM · #12
Originally posted by vawendy:

great title! Better than the one I would have used -- "The first stage is denial"


Come to think of it, "End of the Line" works for either image. I bet it would have added at least a couple 10ths to the score, LOL... But the "line" is more visible in the outtake, so maybe not...

R.
02/11/2009 10:00:01 AM · #13
That was extremely helpful, Bear_Music. I didn't care for the saturation, but I usually go for softer colors. However, the shadows/highlights tip was wonderful! I've played with the shadow/highlight feature quite a bit, but more at the end of the editing to lighten things up, not in the beginning to even things out before the rest of the cleanup. I played around with it on the shot, and it makes a subtle but important difference--it makes the tree pop more. And after all, the tree is the antagonist in the shot.

By the way, I HATE coming up with titles--I'm really lousy at it. There have been so many photographs that I have given significantly higher votes to after reading the title because it adds so much to the picture. I wish I could rent someone to title my photos! :)
02/11/2009 10:27:16 AM · #14
vawendy

Are you upset with the final score or the finishing position?

From a score perspective, only the top 35 pictures were 'above average' (using 5.5 as the cut-off) and the next 111 were below average. The highest score was 6.54 and the lowest was 4, so a spread of only 2.54 seperated 146 pictures.

If you want to score well go for simple 'pretty' shots where voters don't have to put too much thought into into them.

Personally I think both of your stories tell a story but I prefer the outtake for the reasons already discussed
02/11/2009 10:44:25 AM · #15
nonononono! I was happy with the final position! I was in the top 23%, and that was really great in my mind.

Please understand that I'm just asking because I want to get better. I know I can get nice shots, but I see spectacular shots on this site, and I really wnat to know how to change from nice to spectacular. I know I still have a long way to go. I'm just trying to figure out how to start seeing things differently, and was looking for some insight. Please don't think I'm complaining about my finish...
02/11/2009 10:48:20 AM · #16
Originally posted by vawendy:

Please understand that I'm just asking because I want to get better. I know I can get nice shots, but I see spectacular shots on this site, and I really wnat to know how to change from nice to spectacular. I know I still have a long way to go. I'm just trying to figure out how to start seeing things differently, and was looking for some insight. Please don't think I'm complaining about my finish...


I've understood that from the beginning :-) That's why I participate in your threads; you're not grinding axes, you're not defending a position, you're genuinely interested in seeing how others would deal with your particular imaging/post processing issues.

As for the saturation, I only really noticed how much I'd slammed it after I posted it, and then was too lazy to go back and adjust. I'll do that now.

R.

Okay, here we go. Hue/Sat in blue channel reduces sky saturation. Also, just for the heck of it, I increased saturation *and* decreased brightness in both red and yellow channels: voila, a legal way to burn the foreground in!

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Message edited by author 2009-02-11 10:53:32.
02/11/2009 10:50:20 AM · #17
May I join in with the same request on my own entry?

I knew the subject did not pop from the background a huge amount, but I also thought it conveyed a good story. I had anticipated a low 5, but it came in well under that, with few comments. I am curious if it was due to a lack of quickly absorbed visual impact, or if it was something else. Thanks.
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02/11/2009 11:03:40 AM · #18
Originally posted by yospiff:

May I join in with the same request on my own entry?

I knew the subject did not pop from the background a huge amount, but I also thought it conveyed a good story. I had anticipated a low 5, but it came in well under that, with few comments. I am curious if it was due to a lack of quickly absorbed visual impact, or if it was something else. Thanks.
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Couple things strike me here. Most importantly, the image is MUCH more meaningful after I read the photographer's comments. I'll grant that the story is *implied* in the image and the title, but it takes a fair amount of imagination and a little work to extract the scenario without the notes. I *think* if you'd titled it "She doesn't love me anymore!" you might have helped the viewers a bit more and scored a bit better, but I could be wrong.

Secondly, regarding the image itself, I find it to be annoyingly dense almost to the point of opacity, and I think a more washed-out rendition would have better served you on two fronts: it would have made the image itself come across a little less aggressively, and it would have better suited the mood of a washed-out relationship. Something like this maybe:

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R.
02/11/2009 11:04:08 AM · #19
Originally posted by vawendy:

Please don't think I'm complaining about my finish...


Sorry, I didn't mean to imply you were complaining. I was just pointing out that when scores are really low people look for ways to improve more than when scores are high.

Yospiff, for some reason I didn't really connect with your photo. It doesn't give me a feeling of an 'ending' because I can see no 'story' with it, unlike Wendy's. I read that photography is about emotion and I didn't get real emotion from your pic.
02/11/2009 11:19:48 AM · #20
I gave it a 5. The biggest problem that I had with the picture is that it was too busy for me--the flowers had a lot of little details, but so did all the rocks in the foreground and the movement of the water in the background. It was hard to tell, at first glance, what the image was. I understand that you left it how you found it, but I would have liked it much better if you would have just cleared out the rocks in front.

The funny thing is that I never thought about the guy throwing away the flowers. I assumed it was a girl who had dropped them--the type of "too many betrayals, too many apologies--it won't work this time" type of story. Doesn't change anything, because I still got a story out of it--but it's interesting how people's point of view changes the photograph.

I'm finding this all very helpful and interesting!
02/11/2009 11:29:31 AM · #21
Originally posted by yospiff:

May I join in with the same request on my own entry?

I knew the subject did not pop from the background a huge amount, but I also thought it conveyed a good story. I had anticipated a low 5, but it came in well under that, with few comments. I am curious if it was due to a lack of quickly absorbed visual impact, or if it was something else. Thanks.
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Your image does convey a good story. But even after staring at it for a while, I do not feel the story pop out of the picture. I understand the subtleties you wanted to convey here, but I think a lot of that is lost in the business of the composition. I really do like that you found these flowers, but the tight focus really leaves little to the imagination, in my opinion. Okay, I'm not doing a very good job wording my thoughts here... I like your image, but I feel that the whole concept of dropped flowers that were for someone has been done a lot, in which case, the technical aspect of the image needs to be that much tighter. The story is there for sure, but like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Bear_Music said, it still takes a bit of imagination to pull it from beneath the text.
02/11/2009 11:32:32 AM · #22
Thanks for the feedback, it's pretty much what I thought was going on.

Message edited by author 2009-02-11 11:33:45.
02/11/2009 11:35:41 AM · #23
On that note... can I also post mine here for further critique???

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02/11/2009 11:46:19 AM · #24
I liked yours very much. I gave it a 7. I think I would have rated it even higher if you would have taken the two pictures off the wall. With the white mat, they were very distracting.

Silly little thing, but the light swirls on his shirt are also a little distracting--now I'm just nitpicking, but with the light on him and the focus on her, I would have liked a more subtle shirt.

things I like: I like the backlighting on her hair, and I like that the lighting is actually more on him, it kept me looking at different parts of the picture. Normally, I don't like when a picture pulls my focus around, but this is the type of instance where it works. I also like that guy holding his hands a little out, the body language on the guy is good. Many guys are reserved, and this could have been overdone.
02/11/2009 11:56:21 AM · #25
Originally posted by Adamsw216:

On that note... can I also post mine here for further critique???

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Came pretty close to top 20 so that's good :-) I only partly agree with Wendy on the pictures; they add great context to the image (breakup in a gallery?) but I agree the one behind him is overlit, it's hurting that it's so bright. Probably half a point right there in voting. I got no problem whatsoever with his shirt: how each of them is dressed is conveying personal information and I appreciate that. She's perhaps less of a free spirit than he, and perhaps this is at the core of their relationship issues? Who knows?

As Wendy says, the posing is terrific. The guy's clearly reaching out in pain, but it isn't overdone. Her drawn-in, slightly slumped, self-hug speaks volumes. I also appreciate that the top of her head is slightly truncated, I think that's important; it adds urgency and immediacy to the composition.

Mainly, what you need here is a better awareness of what's going on in the background when you set up shots like this; simply choosing a different wall or (if possible) sligthly redirecting the offending spotlight would have done wonders.

R.
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