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Demon Possessed Child
Demon Possessed Child
Penny Lane

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: DPC Cinema (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Canon PowerShot A300
Location: Home
Date: May 6, 2006
Aperture: F3.6
ISO: auto
Shutter: 1/15sec
Galleries: Portraiture
Date Uploaded: May 6, 2006

Used curves and selective desat.
My son enjoying playing the evil child. Red food colouring on the knife (his idea). Not real happy with the title but he insists this is what we should call it.

Place: 100 out of 207
Avg (all users): 5.5450
Avg (commenters): 5.9091
Avg (participants): 5.2581
Avg (non-participants): 5.7944
Views since voting: 2123
Views during voting: 313
Votes: 200
Comments: 13
Favorites: 0

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05/19/2006 06:11:39 AM
(¯`·._.·[Critique Club]·._.·´¯)

I was surprised that this photograph didn't actually get further in the competition. It has the meaning, composition, and settings to be a winning image. I especially like your use of selective desaturation not just to bring alive certain parts of the photograph, but also to 'deaden' a few of the more sinister aspects.

So, I'll work from the top down. The hair on your son's head has been lit and photographed well and is perfect for your use here. It's common to find annoying reflections and shadows on and in the hair in photographs these days and you seem to have captured it without any problems. The slight upward lift of a few stray hairs on the right work both for and against this photo. They can be slightly distracting from the image itself, but once thought about a bit more, depict what the boy may have been through after 'blood-staining' his knife. I think you may have gone too close to the middle though. It may have been better to either have simple and background hair, or to have it really messed up; but none of this is really crucial to your photograph.

As we follow the photo down, we reach those brown eyes that portray most of the meaning in this photo. The selective desat. here proved very effective to bring out the 'possessed' part of the boy by showing how there seems to be a different, colourful person inside the greyer boy. The expression on his face seems fitting for the picture although, again I think it is a case of going in the middle. Perhaps a blanker expression or slightly over the top more manic grin may have proved more effective in lying with the 'demented' portion of your photo. I'd say the same about the blood. I think that the blood being just on the knife and the boy remaining so clean slightly ruins the effect here. A cleaner knife could have created a form of suspense, whereas more of the red food colouring may have created a more credible 'post-killing'.

The position from where you took this photo has worked very well and is certainly one of the winning aspects in this image. There are many different feelings one can create when photographing from different angles, e.g. powerful from below, weak from above. The angle of the camera in this photograph has really brought out the knife as being almost bigger than the boy and so we have to think twice about the subject of this image. The eyes line up well and convey how the boy could be thinking more about the knife that he's holding and what he's just done, instead of just posing for a picture. Interestingly, he is still smiling if he were thinking just thoughts which brings a rather unsettling image to us.

I agree with a few of the comments that were left by other people about how the boy doesn't quite seem capable of killing (although I think posthumous's comment may have been a little over the top). The way he holds the knife seems a little to kind and careful as opposed to demented, and the timidness in the eyes don't make me feel threatened at all. In fact, if one covers up the knife, the title is lost. So I think that perhaps a better use of helping the different elements agree may have improved this photo's rating.

With all that said, however, I think that the photo is effective and well taken. You clearly made a few decisions when taking and editing the image and I think that they all paid off to work together to bring this alive. Photographers all have different strengths when it comes to their particular styles of taking photos. Judging from your past competition entries, I'd say that your strengths would be more of action and motion photographs rather than portraits, but keep taking them and improving them and soon you'll be producing photos easily capable of higher ratings. Well done on a good photo, and good luck with further competitions!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
05/14/2006 11:59:58 PM
creative and well done...... like the post processing
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/14/2006 11:03:06 AM
Very cool, great setup, nice execution (of the photo, not by the boy;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/12/2006 08:37:54 PM
Think you had a great idea and pulled it off very well. The only drawback for me however is the use of the blood on the knife. Think it would have been more dramatic if it didn't look so staged and placed... :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/11/2006 09:07:37 PM
This really bothers me personally but the image has been well taken..... I don't like children portrayed in this way......Sorry about that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/10/2006 04:00:47 PM
He looks very harmless to me exept for the knife.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/10/2006 01:27:53 PM
the kid seems too tentative. maybe you should have had him kill a few more things before taking the shot. Good dramatic angle though, and good composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2006 09:58:12 AM
Great movie poster photo. Great angle and composition. Pretty crazy selective desaturation. Very well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2006 06:19:28 AM
Creepy. Looks like the focus isn't on his face, but on his t-shirt. I like the desaturated colors.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/09/2006 02:52:04 AM
Alright...who gave the kid a knife...nice work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/08/2006 06:38:03 PM
scary! interesting colour maipulation. Nice quality photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/08/2006 04:35:26 AM
what I am looking for in this challenge is for a creative 'wow' shot that would go on a movie poster. I think that's what the challenge is all about...this shot works OK...well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/08/2006 02:13:41 AM
a little less desat on the eyes to pull them out may have helped the possessed look.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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