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The mechanics of creating life...a machine-like process.
The mechanics of creating life...a machine-like process.

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Mechanical (Advanced Editing III*)
Camera: Kodak DX3600
Location: Bedroom
Date: Dec 28, 2004
Galleries: Black and White, Nude
Date Uploaded: Dec 28, 2004

The basis for our existence...No matter how different we are when it comes to our personality, body shapes, interests, etc., the one "mechanical" process that amazes all of us is the creation of life. Once started, the female body goes on auto-pilot for 40 weeks and "assembles" another life in a machine-like manor.

I know that my score will be lower than I'm expecting as people will not see the connection, however, when I read this challenge last Wednesday morning, this was my first thought. Stretching the boundaries and thinking outside the box...

Hopefully some of you will see the connection.

Thanks to my wife who was willing to support my idea (and seeing the connection), as well as pose for this entry.

It was a boy...10lbs 2.6oz born February 21, 2005 ;o)

Place: 173 out of 243
Avg (all users): 4.7384
Avg (commenters): 5.5000
Avg (participants): 4.5130
Avg (non-participants): 4.8963
Views since voting: 2107
Views during voting: 484
Votes: 279
Comments: 26
Favorites: 1 (view)

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01/11/2005 08:36:24 PM
Critique Club
I like to see people think outside of the box and this is a fine example. You are right in the fact that people voted this down because it wasn't what *they* thought mechanical should be. I am glad that you realize what you are doing is thinking outside of the box, and I think that you know not to take the score as a judgement of the photograph's quality, but as just people's narrow-minded interpretation.

In a Free Study, I think that this would score fairly well as it is technically pretty solid. I think that there could have been more light on the subject to have a little bit more detail than what is presented. This would happen by playing with your available light and bracketing until you get the correct exposure and light combination. Of course, your subject is very good, and very symbolically strong which pulls the whole piece together.

Overall, I think that it is good to explore other parts of photography that the general audience here at DPC may not like so much. Don't feel constrained to what the voters and what the mass appeal is --- do what you want with your own art. Thanks for sharing.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to PM me.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2005 12:05:25 AM
Please see this thread for a more detailed explanation of why I entered this image:

It's a boy :)

Message edited by author 2005-01-05 00:06:21.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/04/2005 11:13:53 PM
Looks like she's carrying a girl :)
01/03/2005 11:31:31 PM
Nice idea. Very creative intrepretation of the challenge, and fits well IMO. Very strong, bold statement. Nice tasteful composition. I really like your lighting, very dramatic and places emphasis on your main point. Nice job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2005 02:37:23 AM
good picture, but does not meet challenge. relies on the title to make relation with challenge, which doesn't even establish a connection in my opinion. i also think the thickness of the inside grey border detracts from the photo. It is a good photo though, I don't think there's anything to change to make it better.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2005 10:28:10 PM
Oh please, don't reduce magic to mechanics... The photo is nice, but definitely off-topic.
01/02/2005 04:15:35 PM
3, mainly because it seems off topic
12/31/2004 08:45:29 PM
interesting pic
12/31/2004 06:42:30 PM
I love pregnant women - what a sweet, intimate shot. However, if you are in the labor room when that swelling goes down, I assure you it is NOT a machine-like process. It's more a glimpse of God's glory.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2004 04:43:53 AM
Missed the theme.
12/30/2004 06:45:14 PM
Lovely photo, but using the word "mechanical" in the title does not make it meet the challenege sorry. "Mechanical" has a fairly clear meaning, and this isn't it. Shame, as in another challenge this would have scored well I think.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2004 02:14:33 PM
Beautiful picture, but childbearing is more beautiful than machine like. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2004 11:36:17 AM
I am sure there are going to be howls that there is nothing "mechanical" about this image. I am sure the photographer has reasoned backwards and decided that the entire process of creating life is fundamentally mechanical; that's what his title implies. It's an interesting position to take, although I'd argue that "biological processes" may result in "mechanical" objects, but the process is still biological. Regardless, I appreciate the out-of-the-bix thinking here; sheer chutzpah.

As for the image itself? It's nice, but nothing special, pretty standard backlit-pregnant-woman shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 11:29:46 PM
Very different intepretation of the category....but you're right on! I like the limited lighting and your use of shadows. You aren't showing too much but you are showing quite a bit about the human machine.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 11:05:58 PM
It's a reach, but I really love it. 8
12/29/2004 10:43:01 PM
Nice shot but you do an injustice in comparing this to a machine, in my humble opinion.
12/29/2004 09:36:55 PM
I think that's really stretching the whole "Mechanical" idea...
12/29/2004 09:36:08 PM
Personally, I thik of it as more biological than mechanical. Lighting is well done but to me it doesn't fit the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 07:36:41 PM
Composition: 3, Technical: 3, Appeal: 2, Challenge: 1, Overall Calculated Average Score: 2
12/29/2004 06:22:51 PM
Well this is a nice image...I really like the dark lighting here. On the other hand, even with the title, there is no way this fits the challenge - it's just too much of a stretch. I cannot see how the fusing of human cells equates with any kind of mechanical process.

Anyway, with respect to the photo itself, I also think that the border is a little much.

With the above in mind I've given this a 3.

Best of luck with future challenges, but I suspect that many will feel the same as me with respect to this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 02:25:50 PM
Very creative! You wont see this kind of submission twice!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 11:12:09 AM
A great shot... cool lighting... a little bit of a stretch for the challenge, though. - 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 09:51:57 AM
Sorry, I don't think this can be shoehorned into "mechanical" by any clever title. A nice photo though, the lighting gives it a gentle and reflective mood.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 06:29:28 AM
waaay out of the box... even for me is too much
12/29/2004 02:02:23 AM
I'd have to disagree here. It's more of a chemical process, which fuels a charge potential to drive energy related reactions that 'drives' the process of life.

The birthing process on the other hand is a mechanical process in a loose sense (i.e. the fetus is propelled through the birth canal by rhythmic contractions). I'll assume this is what you were referring to.

Your border is nice, but I suspect some will disagree here...probably could have played it safer and used a more conventional one. The desaturation works well given the backlighting. I think this is straight B&W and while it is perfectly effective, I recommend toning with your choice of color...say steel blue or sepia, to give the image more character.

The ring is a nice touch and the gradient backdrop adds subtle, pleasing contrast to the figure.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2004 12:34:45 AM
I like the photo, but I think it is a stretch (no pun intended) to put it in the Mechanical category.

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