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Tyger Tyger, burning bright
Tyger Tyger, burning bright

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: High-Key Blur (Basic Editing)
Collection: Cats & Dogs
Camera: Canon EOS-350D Rebel XT
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Location: Maianbar, Australia
Date: Jul 29, 2012
Aperture: 1.4
ISO: 200
Shutter: 0.3
Date Uploaded: Jul 30, 2012

The poem is ĎThe Tygerí (no, not a typo but the way it is spelt in my book) by William Blake.

I really suck at high key (and low key) as I donít really know what Iím doing. I feel I need some filters to try and help me with this. Some filters for soft focusing would be nice too. In stead I covered my lens with three layers of clear plastic cling wrap (Glad Wrap). My cat was asleep on a white sheet with a bright door in the background but I had little room to position myself well. Overall I think this shot has failed but because I tried to achieve a couple of photographic styles out of my comfort zone I have still entered it with the hope of getting some valuable criticisms.

Thank you ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' JamesDowning for the great critique. Some wonderful insight, intelligent suggestions and appreciated praise. The considerable effort you have taken to critique this image for me is greatly appreciated.

Place: 49 out of 57
Avg (all users): 4.7595
Avg (commenters): 7.0000
Avg (participants): 5.1724
Avg (non-participants): 4.5200
Views since voting: 291
Views during voting: 170
Votes: 79
Comments: 10
Favorites: 0

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08/16/2012 10:01:53 PM
Greetings from the Critique Club!

I think you did a great job with a difficult challenge topic. I, too, am not greatly familiar with high-key photography. In fact, I ended up skipping this challenge. I now wish I hadn't, but I didn't have much time. Anyways, I certainly appreciate your sense of photographic adventure here, so I'll try to learn something too right along with you through my critique.

High key by definition is "a photograph ... featur[ing] a diminished tonal range of primarily whites and light grays." So right off the bat, you may have turned away some voters by retaining some deeper greys and even (it seems) some black in the cat's coat. I personally don't think it's a big issue though. With high key photos, a few very small areas of black can really bring interest and drama to the photo. However, is drama what you wanted to introduce here? Your cat is shown in her/his comfy zone. So drama might not need to be included here. More than anything, I think you're showing her in "heavenly comfort". You're putting emphasis on the cat's ability to be 100% comfortable when sleeping on any surface. So I wonder what the effect of further lightening up the cat would be (bringing up the black limit to grey)? It might create more of the picture of heavenly comfort that you wish to convey.

The other half of the challenge was blur, or soft focus. The cling wrap did seem to provide an interesting effect. By the comments below from the more artistic side of the community, it must have been successful in their eyes. But they tend to really appreciate the "different". I imagine you could have gotten a similar effect by just focusing past the cat, but it might not have provided the same 'halo' effect that your glad wrap did. I applaud your attempts at something different, and I think it was appropriate for this different challenge.

I think I understand why you chose the title you did, but it did seem to turn some off, based on the comments below. I see it as literally communicating the high key photo as "burning bright". Is there something deeper? I'm not sure. Honestly I'm not much of a literary buff, and always had a hard time reading past the literal meaning of the words. So I'm admittedly not much use there.

The last critique I would suggest is trying something with the crop. The negative space is welcome on this challenge, but the bokeh'd section of the body isn't really necessary nor communicated. Visually I tried a nearly square crop using my hands, taking off an inch or so of the cat body and a bit off the far side of the frame. It put the my focus more on the cat's nose, buried in the sheets. It still communicated everything the current picture does, but put special focus on the cat's contentedness.

Food for thought!

James Downing
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
08/09/2012 10:50:57 PM
in the forests of the night. What immortal hand or eye forged they fearful symmetry?

I'm hanging this in my fantasy gallery

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  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/09/2012 10:43:20 PM
from William Blake's poem "...frame thy fearful symmetry". Hmm.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/09/2012 09:42:18 PM
Love this poem. I'll have you know that I did very well in romantic and Victorian english literature.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/09/2012 07:20:13 PM
burning?hope not 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/09/2012 12:46:27 PM
what immortal hand or eye - William Blake - ha! didn't have to look this up. The image holds up nicely!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/04/2012 10:09:03 AM
William Blake. I have always liked that poem, even though I don't understand it, & I like this portrait of your little tyger even more.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/04/2012 01:08:32 AM
Tyger, Tyger by William Blake.

I haven't come across many poems yet, so nice change of pace. My father used to recite this to me when I was young.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/03/2012 09:05:56 PM
There is simply no way to take a bad picture of a cat.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/03/2012 12:25:03 AM
The Tyger William Blake..Very intimately related to this author as I had to write a paper on him for my final last semester in comp 2. Nice shot. like the negative space.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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