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Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Desolation II (Advanced Editing IV)
Collection: Animals-Wild/Zoo
Camera: Canon EOS-350D Rebel XT
Lens: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 II/III USM
Location: Mill Mountain Zoo, Roanoke, VA
Date: Jun 16, 2006
Aperture: 1:10.0
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/400 sec
Galleries: Landscape, Animals
Date Uploaded: Jun 18, 2006

I hadn't planned to enter this challenge but was at the Mill Mountain Zoo (Roanoke, VA) and spotted this little guy posing for me on the bleached out skull. I couldn't resist. Not sure if it's "desolate" enough, but I'm pleased with how it turned out and the prairie dog was a VERY cooperative model. I got some great close-ups that I will post after the challenge is over.

PP included: crop; selective layers of: curves/levels, burning/dodging, contrast, lighting/exposure, gradient blur, change hue; Mr. Contrast filter, added border, save for Web.

Place: 35 out of 197
Avg (all users): 6.1949
Avg (commenters): 7.8462
Avg (participants): 6.1839
Avg (non-participants): 6.2037
Views since voting: 1153
Views during voting: 296
Votes: 195
Comments: 24
Favorites: 1 (view)

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07/01/2006 09:26:34 PM
Greetings from the critique club,

What a cool shot to get to critique. I love this one and I thought it was well suited for the challenge. My challenge in critiquing it will be to find some constructive things to suggest for you.

I love the tones here and the monochromatic feel. I love how contrasty you made it, too. I think both really enhance the mood of the image. The little prairie dog is perfectly sharp and you got great texture in his fur.

My favorite part of the image is the composition. I really like how you broke the rule of thirds and put him so far over in the frame. I think it is especially appropriate for the 'desolation' theme. It draws attention to all of the empty space in the frame that he is facing. In fact, if you had room, I think you could have made this an even skinnier aspect ratio (like 5x7 maybe?) and had even more space for him to look into.

I can't tell exactly what your aperature was, maybe it was F10? You mention gradient blur in your notes, so I am thinking you used the blur to make it look like shallower DOF than you really had. If this was shot at F10, I would suggest opening up more and letting the DOF fall off more naturally. It seems like there is a kind of abrupt transition where you faded the blur in, right about the middle of the frame if I am looking at it right. Maybe my eyes are playing tricks, but it looks a little off to me.

Zoo shots are tough to get a good angle, I know. In a perfect scenario, I would suggest getting a little bit lower for this shot, but that probably wasn't possible.

Really cool shot. In fact, I am adding it to my favorites. Please feel free to pm me if you have any questions about my comments.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2006 09:29:02 PM
Jimmy, this has excellent texture and a multiplicity of meanings. Sorry it didn't fare better. I rememeber going as a child to Mill Mt. Zoo and waiting FOREVER for one of those guys to come out. You lucky boy! Sis
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2006 09:32:04 AM
I loved this Jimmy, on several levels. It's different, with the guy standing on the old weathered bleached out skull. Sorry it didn't do better for you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2006 08:37:25 AM
Nice shot Jimmy! Love the contrast between life and death and felt the position of the animal really emphasized the desolate aspect...like it realizes where it is and is searching for someplace better to be. Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2006 07:01:58 AM
Great capture Jimmy, perfect for the challenge. Very Underrated
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2006 06:00:40 AM
LOL. Nice one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2006 12:47:11 AM
Awwww. . .this cute little fellow was yours??? I agree! Underrated!

An amazing, perfect capture for Desolate!!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2006 12:32:12 AM
Very underrated, IMO. Great tones and contrasts in a desolate setting. Darn cute little critter, too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/25/2006 05:33:16 PM
Interesting shot. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/25/2006 02:12:19 PM
Cute picture, I think I'd like to see just the skull and surrounding area, not the prairie dog(?). I think just the skull and land would be perfect for this challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2006 01:44:38 PM
like the look of this photo good work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2006 11:04:41 PM
this is such a Georgia O'Keefe picture, with extra fur. The addition of a living creature who seems to be at one with his surroundings the way Georgia wanted to be at one, adds a profound twist. 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2006 06:20:10 PM
Oh this is cute...one heck of an image too. 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2006 07:21:43 PM
great tones, great framing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2006 07:39:15 PM
I like the tones
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2006 02:36:48 AM
great shot, I hope you didn't have to wait too long to get this shot but it was worth it. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2006 07:05:23 PM
Awesome shot... Point taken ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2006 04:58:41 PM
Cool shot, especially if this is in the wild. Impressive.
Think the little guy just needs to be a little sharper.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2006 03:18:41 PM
Terrific! Love those prairie dogs! This gets a 10 from me ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2006 02:10:24 PM
INteresting without doubt. But the position of the protagonist within the frame is a bit odd. I expect you had very valid reasons for it being that way though - perhaps there was a Macdonalds restaurant just to the right ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2006 06:14:18 AM
like this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2006 05:21:57 AM
lol, what a cute capture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2006 01:37:29 AM
What a refreshing change from children at gravesites and heads in hands! I love the horn of the old dried skull pointing right to the prairie dog's hole. Nice off centering. This is really good. Love the title. ;=D
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2006 12:07:21 AM
This is so cool. You must have waited for ever to catch a critter sitting on that skull. Excellent!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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