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For those who served with honor - USAF
For those who served with honor - USAF

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Branch (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Canon EOS-300D Rebel
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Location: Little Arlington Tracy Cementary
Date: Sep 2, 2005
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/160
Galleries: Emotive, Political
Date Uploaded: Sep 3, 2005

This is dedicated to my father who served with great pride in the USAF. My hearts and prayers goes out to all soldiers protecting this great country.

Place: 408 out of 432
Avg (all users): 4.0000
Avg (commenters): 3.9333
Avg (participants): 3.9310
Avg (non-participants): 4.0719
Views since voting: 648
Views during voting: 387
Votes: 284
Comments: 20
Favorites: 0

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10/13/2005 01:45:31 PM
Wonderful emotional shot! Very nice!!!
09/20/2005 08:17:02 PM
Greetings from the Critique Club
by strangeghost

I think this was a great compositional idea that suffered from a few major flaws. First, the placement of the grave marker and the flowers is awkward, the way both are sequestered to their side of the picture. I can't decide if it's a picture of the marker, the grass or the flowers. There is no interaction between the elements to suggest drama, emotion or stories. Much better would have been an arrangement were the flowers are backed by the marker. Your angles and lines are very simple too, leaving little inherent interest in the composition. I visualize a close up shot on a few flowers/stems, from an interesting angle, with the grave marker visible in the background, with a few engraved words visible to set a mood.

The flowers are blown out a bit (whites losing detail due to overexposure) and may also be a little soft. The grave marker is not quite vertical, which also adds a bit of a disconcerting feel to the viewer (feels like something is leaning...). Then there's the image dimensions. You are allowed 640 pixels on the longest dimension, and I can rarely think of a case where you should use every pixel you're given. Your image is just too small. Many voters will penalize this automatically because you're making them work harder to see what you've shot. If your resizing was to keep the file size (kilobytes) down to the 150K limit, read the tutorials on how to accomplish this without compromising your image dimensions. The other technical point I'll make is the lighting. The flowers are a bit overexposed, and the grave marker looks underexposed, as though it's in shadow. Choose your time of day so that you have sunlight over your shoulder, and ideally, hitting your subject obliquely. The deep-cut lettering in a grave marker can look dramatically 3-D with good lighting.

From your photographer's comment, it was clear that this was a shot that was motivated by a strong emotional tie for you. Pay attention to the issues of composition and go shoot this again. Spend some time browsing the challenge archives on this site. I recommend the "cemetery" and "heros" challenges particularly. Look at how others have shot similar scenes to yours and study their composition. Observe how every detail plays a role in creating the final impact and eye-appeal of a photo.

Keep shooting. Keep experimenting, and keep learning!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/13/2005 11:55:35 AM
no comment..
09/13/2005 11:18:44 AM
nice photo. just a little to small.
09/12/2005 08:17:43 PM
too much exposer on the flower
good shot
09/11/2005 08:53:06 PM
This is a creative take on the challenge, haven't seen this one yet. I like the colors that are shown. Nice job.
09/10/2005 11:17:36 PM
The maximum size for one side of your photo is 640px, and yours is 324px... just about 1/2. This looks like a very nice shot, with a different take on the challenge, and covering both a branch of the military and flower stems... at 50% size, however, it is tough to judge quality.
09/10/2005 12:52:25 AM
Spectacular shot.
09/09/2005 08:31:35 PM
I like how you are honoring those who were in Vietnam, and the flower and stuff...but branch?
09/09/2005 06:23:54 AM
Love the offset image. A really nice job.
09/08/2005 09:58:56 PM
This is a wonderful photo just wish it was bigger.
09/08/2005 09:22:30 PM
The way your photo is composed it looks to me like two completely separate photos and they really.."break off" the continuity of the eyes as they look at the photo. (Hope that makes sense, I'm not very good with technical critiques - just say what hits me about a photo) I do like your take on the challenge though.
09/08/2005 09:07:08 PM
This looks like an interesting shot ... and the breaking of the rule of thirds might even work on this, but it is hard to tell as the image is so small. Also, the flowers look a little blown out.
09/08/2005 08:53:52 PM
too small
09/08/2005 04:49:12 PM
What does this have to do with the challenge?
09/08/2005 07:10:53 AM
Unusual cropping turns this into two photos. Perhaps you were going for the dead and the living...but it isn't a satisfying composition. Learn to maximize the 640 pixels per side for challenge photos, this is very small.
09/08/2005 05:40:46 AM
Strong composition and contrasting textures and light.
09/07/2005 08:47:12 PM
I don't see the branches
09/07/2005 01:42:41 PM
A concept of branch I didn't think of, but it looks like two pictures next to each other.
09/07/2005 12:37:18 AM
cool concept, it should have been taken at a different angle...

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