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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Decisions (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Panasonic DMC-FZ20
Location: Lawrenceburg, In home
Date: May 26, 2005
Aperture: 8
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/20
Galleries: Black and White, Nude
Date Uploaded: May 26, 2005


Place: 183 out of 275
Avg (all users): 4.6526
Avg (commenters): 5.1667
Avg (participants): 4.0935
Avg (non-participants): 4.9502
Views since voting: 9945
Views during voting: 1058
Votes: 308
Comments: 28
Favorites: 3 (view)

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06/23/2005 11:53:37 PM
Registered here well after challenge, so no vote avail from me. I did want to comment on the focus decision. Having the focus on teh razor indicates the act that is the theme, yes? Having the subject/her eyes slightly out of focus, I think kind of fits the theme as well. If she's truly checked out (gone or going), most likely her vision is out of focus or fixed (read dead). Since there is no way to convey what she is seeing (or not as the case may be), the only way to describe such is to have her slightly out of focus... to convey that she's already gone.

just my $.02
Great shot IMHO.
I would have to agree with you & others on the blood being a little too neat & tidy.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2005 04:40:06 PM
* Greetings from the Critique Club *

First of all, I remember this entry from the Decisions Challenge vividly. That should validate any concerns you may have about it evoking an emotion - because it certainly did with me instantly.

This may sound a bit odd, but I found the model's completely non-plussed expression to be wonderful, but it was juxtaposed to her obviously excited breast. The nudity didn't bother me at all - I found it to be both tastefully done and appropriate, given the subject matter. I think that the image might have been even more powerful without showing the erect nipple. (That may be getting a bit too graphic for the Critique Club, but I'm just going with my basic impressions...)

I really like the blood pooled by the razorblade - that was a nice and realistically validating element to the shot. I did notice however, that it was very neat. I wouldn't think this is actually the case in an actual suicide attempt (and I've seen a few - they're quite messy usually). It did make the artistic statement of blood and gore quite nicely though, without being overly grotesque.

The focus and lighting were my main issues with the shot. The composition was superb and it definitely met the challenge completely. There is a certain degree of graininess to the model's appearance that is a little distracting (however, I understand that that may have been an artistic choice - it just didn't work for me). IMHO, I thought the shot was exceptionally well-thought-out and composed. I think you could have cut down on some of the glare from the lighting (however, again, I think this may have been a conscious choice to create a "harsh" scene - it just didn't work for me).

You did a beautiful job of creating an atmosphere and an obvious decision - however untenable some viewers might find the image. Personally, I thought that it perfectly met the challenge and was a very artistic rendition of a very real scenario. There is absolutely no remorse in the model's eyes (which I found to be both intriguing and disturbing).

Well I hope you've found my comments useful. I think you made a very strong entry for the challenge and an uninhibited statement on its own. Very nice work (IMHO).

Just my 2 cents...


  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2005 11:36:36 PM
I did argue with myself about which photo to use. Focus on the blade or her eyes. I always seem to chose the wrong focus. I do realize that I recieved more constructive comments but the negative comments were just negative. No feedback on the anything but content and some were just beyond the line to me. I definately think the blood was messed up. I do agree that it was too staged looking. Regarding the expression and nudity. She is in a bathtub. She should be nude. I didn't purposely add her breast. It just fell that way when I put the other elements where I wanted them. The expression I was going for was something along the lines of indifference. I wanted it to appear that she had just done it. Thanks and I hope no one is too upset.....Dave

Message edited by author 2005-06-08 23:37:21.
06/08/2005 04:12:13 PM
I also came to look at your photo because of the thread. I would like to comment on the way the image looks, not the subject. The image doesnt "feel right" in black and white. What is on the blade? blood is red and should be red in the image to give it more of a suicide feel. Without the red it looks like a razor blade on the side of the tub that is in the way of a nude photograph. Also, I realize that nudity works in most images, but in this image I just feel like the nudity was there for shock value and not an important part of the image. The focus on the image is also bad. You should be able to see the eyes, especially in an image where the eyes are looking at the blade, the eyes tell a story. I think you had a great idea, a great model, etc... didnt vote in this challenge, but I would have given it a 5.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2005 01:26:23 PM
Great photo but terribly depressing... Nice job though. I thought this should have gotten better scores as well. The 1s are only from people who disagree with the subject.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2005 12:54:51 PM
I came to your photo because I began reading your thread about the negative comments you received, but it seems to me you received many more constructive comments than ones that criticized you for depicting suicide. Anyhow, I would have to agree with many of the comments made. The expression on her face as well as the strategic placement of blood on the razor blade makes the photo seem too posed. Also, her breast showing seems gratuitous and detracts from the emotion of the photo. You should realize that emotions have a great effect on how people vote. It's my opinion that just as many people probably voted you high for portraying a controversial topic as people who voted you low for portraying a negative topic. I didn't vote this challenge, but I probably would have given you a pretty average score.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2005 12:27:58 PM
32 ones ! 19 twos 35 threes !!!
Horrbile voting. People are soooo strange. Who gave this a 1 ? I would like this person to justify why why why? I think it's good because it shows the whole thing in a subtle way. Do you people think that if you put a 1 here you are a better person because you "did something " to stop it?

Cheers Infuriated insane.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2005 02:00:56 AM
Wow....im disapointed in your placing here and all the comments about it being too evil or horrible. I thought this was a great piece. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/07/2005 11:43:51 PM
Too pretty. All we need here is a quick change of mind to make it all right. Bump.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/07/2005 09:25:54 PM
Controversial shot of a very difficult subject. You have to expect a general audience like DPC will have strong feelings about this image both ways and your final vote distribution will show it.

Smartly you resisted the urge to desat all but red. Your lighting is excellent with just slight but undesirable overexposure between the eyes and around the nose. Technically this is very well done.

The only real fault is it has a staged look to it. The victims eyes, if indeed she is dead, would probably be closed and the blade with the blood is much too neatly placed to be realistic. Suicide with a razor is a messy business.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/07/2005 03:32:13 AM
Feels a little gratuitous. And what is that next/underneath the razor blade?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2005 12:58:30 PM
Is it really a decision... sad picture, I think it could have more impact with a strong focus on the eye and the razor out of focus...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2005 05:02:36 AM
Good shot. I'm sure it will get a lot of people upset, but overall good shot. Meets the challenge criteria well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/05/2005 02:58:23 PM
I think we have enought evil in the world without people taking pictures of it, or even suggesting something so horrible.
06/05/2005 01:23:32 AM
I don't know what expression I'd expect to see, actually, but somehow hers seems incongruous with the title. It's not convincing, and so the photo falls a little flat. Interesting idea, though, and meets the challenge well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/04/2005 02:33:01 PM
Bad Taste I think...
06/03/2005 07:32:38 PM
not into suicide.
06/02/2005 11:38:49 PM
The blood cheapens the effect of "her last thought"...face is blurry also.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/02/2005 10:37:57 PM
It is obvious a lot of thought went into this entry. I believe the emotional impact could have been accomplished without nudity. It seems gratuitous here. The focal point appears to be the razor, yet it takes up a very small percentage of the frame. Most of the frame is in very soft focus, which conflicts with what I perceive to be the intended message. Suicide is not a soft decision, but a hard one and the technical tools should be consistent. Additionally, the razor appears to have blood on it which leads the viewer to believe the act has already taken place, yet the facial expression is more contemplative. Since the razor is bloody, I'd expect to see the model with closed eyes. Overall, this is a good effort.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/02/2005 05:14:25 PM
I don't feel that the image conveys instantly recognizable decision. Suicide seems liek a way out, otherwise a decent photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/02/2005 12:38:40 PM
ouch thats a sad descition. but its a great picture!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/02/2005 05:08:31 AM
maybe this image is a bit of a worry to some but it is underplayed and gets its message across 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/01/2005 09:37:31 PM
Too bad how that wall beside her head seems to be somewhat blown out.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/01/2005 03:51:11 PM
Shocking and disturbing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/01/2005 03:32:20 PM
blade is a bit dark to draw attention well. "blood" could have used a stronger highlight. her nipple attracts too much attention... if it were below the waterline so it wasn't against the near-white background, this would not be a problem. (normally it's fine with me for nipples to attract all the attention in the world... but in this case i don't think it helps the picture.) depiction of decision to commit suicide is not as strong as it could be, but this does meet the challenge... if she were reaching toward the blade or holding it, the link would be much better. nonetheless, it's clear from the image alone what's going on... the title helps but does not define the meaning of the image. good work (7)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/01/2005 10:58:28 AM
Anoither one??????
06/01/2005 08:16:48 AM
I love this! I'm sure some people will comment on the darkness of it's subject matter, but I think it's beautiful. The womens expression seems so perfect, indifference and fear. The only thing is that I don't think there would be such a neat blob of blood on the end of the razor.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/01/2005 12:34:39 AM
Umm, very dark. But I think it catches a theme that many face in life. The water having a hint of red running through it, in a black an white sense would make this a truly over the top powerful photo. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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