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The Last Goodbye
3rd PlaceThe Last Goodbye
cutlassdude70


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Silhouettes III (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Location: Beaumont, CA
Date: Aug 27, 2006
Aperture: f/5.0
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/250 sec
Galleries: Emotive, Military
Date Uploaded: Aug 27, 2006

* Edit: Holy crap! Ribbons two weeks in a row?! I could get used to this. ;) Thanks to everyone for the awesome comments. :D

Knowing a Marine that may be pulled back into active duty in Iraq soon, this was an emotional challenge for me to shoot. I thought it would make a great silhouette though and convey the true pain that comes with war. No matter what your political stance is, troops are dying and that is a national tragedy...

I took this photo in the hills of Beaumont, CA in a large area of land set aside for housing development. The "soldier" is my roommate, Tom. We created the cross from two pieces of spare board and got the props from a local miltary supply store. I had to pick the angle of the shot VERY carefully, as the surrounding hills had several power lines and were very distracting. Also, there were numerous weeds along the entire top of the hill. We spent a good hour shoveling and clearing away brush. I also had to up my ISO and aperture for a faster shutter speed to deal with the fact that the wind was blowing around the dog tags.

This was taken near sunset as the sun had almost disappeared behind the hills. Security for the housing developer came by and told us we were trespassing and he would call the police if we weren't gone in half an hour. Light in the sky wasn't right yet half an hour later... So we stayed longer anyway as security returned and watched us. Finished the shot up before the police arrived. It's truly astounding how the power-trip, security type don't understand the need for perfect twilight colors... You know, sometimes you just NEED that shot. May all the troops return home safely to their families...

Statistics
Place: 3 out of 352
Avg (all users): 7.1524
Avg (commenters): 8.3667
Avg (participants): 6.9333
Avg (non-participants): 7.2927
Views since voting: 11464
Views during voting: 424
Votes: 269
Comments: 77
Favorites: 52 (view)


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AuthorThread
08/21/2018 03:14:15 PM
I still come back to this....

Thank you, Sean.
05/17/2007 10:32:23 AM
would still like to see a bit of info on any possible followthrough for this one... especially any possible reaction from your local authorities if you had a word with them about the situation... might pave the road a bit for the next time you have an issue... might even net a business card too... There's nothing like having a cop's business card in your wallet when buddy security guard starts pestering you about your artistic photography.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/28/2007 11:41:22 PM
This is an incredible shot. Congrats on getting it just as you wanted it. Oh, and on the ribbon, too, but really mostly for the powerful shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2007 11:30:55 PM
Originally posted by Sapper13:

We don't burry our dead like this?????


well aren't you observent...

this is an amazing shot. i can't pick out anything wrong with it.
it reminds me of some words said by Lao Tzu in his book "Tao Te Ching" which holds teachings of Taoism written in poems and phrases
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/02/2006 10:39:34 AM
We don't burry our dead like this?????
09/12/2006 11:35:02 AM
Hey dude... as one who as been serving for 18 years, your photo hit me pretty hard. It's not often I get a twinge of emotion from a photo here, but you did me in!! Good job and safe travels to your roommate.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 02:27:11 AM
Critique Club Review:

Two ribbons in two weeks, and I'm supposed to critique this? Talk about intimidating.....

Technically this picture is about flawless. Focus is razor sharp, contrast is great, color, saturation and hue work well to lend the right mood to the piece. Artistically, this picture has real punch and you have taken a sihouette and told quite a story.

Is there anything that could be improved here? If there was anything at all, and this would be the absolutely smallest of things, perhaps the border. And even then I'm not sure what I would want to see different. I've noticed on several of the silhoutte shots, the border seems to run into the silhouette. This border is thinner, so the effect is just about un-noticeable.

So, what would it take to make this picture #1? Perhaps better relations between the USA and the rest of the world. People from all different countries vote in these challenges, so anything that is political, or patriotic, runs the risk of getting some lower votes from people who aren't quite so impressed with the good old US of A.

Congratulations on taking a risky subject, making a statement, and turning it into an amazing photo and a ribbon winner. No small feat indeed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2006 04:07:51 PM
This should have won first to me, congrats on the ribbon this is truely an awesome photo. At first I thought it was a monument you shot. The gold colored background is really makes the image pop. The way he is postioned with the shovel, helmet and dog tags is what makes the image a winner to me.

I just love thise Silhouettes..

Awesome work!!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 02:56:36 PM
this is so emotional. u definitely deserved that ribbon. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 12:27:06 PM
this is nice indeed. good story too. nothing to improve, which is really always my goal.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 12:21:09 PM
Excellent question, Christopher. I'm not actually 100% sure whether security finally called the police or not. However, I do know that they watched us for awhile and then sped away in a big huff after realizing that we weren't in a hurry to finish up the shoot. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether they actually made good on their threat to call the cops or not... :)
09/08/2006 11:11:11 AM
Amazing shot Sean. Congratulations on your ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 10:40:53 AM
Excellent shot. I also thoroughly enjoyed the story behind it - you're absolutely right though, this would not have had nearly the same impact without that sky behind it. Now, did the security guard actually call the police or was he just looming over you two while you were waiting for the perfect lighting?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 10:23:18 AM
Excellent interpretation and shot. Van
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2006 06:35:08 PM
This is stunningly poignant and a strong message!! No offense to the other winners but this was my choice for 1st place. Excellent work!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2006 05:34:39 PM
Congrats on your ribbon, excellent shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2006 04:36:49 PM
really powerful work! congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2006 04:28:34 PM
absolutely amazing shot. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2006 12:45:02 PM
I cannot believe that some people gave you 2s 3s and 4s. I mean even if they did not like it because of the political/religous (the cross) it does not deserve that low of a score.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2006 09:48:00 AM
Congrats. Love your story behind this shot. Inspiring!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2006 01:57:28 AM
How the hell didnt this picture take first?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 09:28:06 PM
Very well done, congrats to you!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 07:54:52 PM
Very poignant (spelling??) shot - :O_O:
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 04:40:36 PM
Congratulations on a well deserved Ribbon with this beautifully emotive image. Very well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 01:28:13 PM
Super work and effort to get this idea into place, well deserved ribbon and wonder.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 10:47:40 AM
awesome awesome shot! Congrats! IMO it should of been a blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 10:27:28 AM
Yeah...even if the cops came it'd be likely you'd be asked to go and nothing more. And they'd likely look down at the security guy with an attitude of "You bothered us about this? These guys are shooting a artistic tribute photo to our soldiers!"

Cops tend to be very supportive of such things, perhaps because in their own way, the good cops tend to be a bit of local soldier. And also because so many cops tend to be Veterans who made it back with their bodies and minds somewhat intact. And many have friends lying beneath such crosses and many more have friends who's minds did not come back so intact.

You should make a print of this...

- Saj
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 09:06:00 AM
Congrats on a very touching photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 08:32:53 AM
Congrats on the ribbon. Well done. Beautiful and touching.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 08:15:44 AM
Really well done. Congrats on the ribbon! Enjoyed your "photographer's comments", too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 07:10:29 AM
It's good to see that DPC isn't just an escape from reality but an analysis and reflection of humanity ... you've help stir some emotions with this excellent image. Nicely done and Congrats on the 2 yellahs!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 03:55:35 AM
congrats! great tones, emotive. gave this a 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 03:26:37 AM
I think this deserved first.

Good job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 01:31:46 AM
I'm not much for the war, but this is one hell of a shot.

I like so many things about it. The subtle blades of grass, the rhythm of the shadows being carefully balanced, the placement of each specific identifiable element, the pose of the 'digger', the small imperfection in the base of the cross, the smoothness of the colors and gradients.

Very, VERY nice.

VERY slightly oversharpened, but I think it works. It's easily possible that this is a result of being resized.

I think you should print this shot in 8x10 and take it down to the security office to show them what you did with it. Thank them for allowing you to take a picture even though they were uncomfortable about the circumstances. Of course, I wouldn't leave the print with them, but you could maybe bring a few business cards instead and let them know how much you would sell them a print for. ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 01:26:16 AM
very powerful image! my cousin is a Marine and he's been informed that he may have to go back to Iraq, too. very sad. :(

congrats on a wonderful photo and a well deserved ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 01:16:53 AM
One of the most serious and moving silhoutte study. Wow! Congratulations on your Yellow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 12:41:29 AM
Nicely done. Strong clean shapes and dramatic. Congrats on the Yellow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 12:28:30 AM
Congratulations Sean!! Glad to see this do so well and get you a ribbon for all your efforts.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 12:27:53 AM
This is such a beautiful, emotive photo! You did a great job, and I'm glad you got the honor this photo deserves.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 12:24:33 AM
As a mother of a Marine I totally relate to your image and the need to create it. You spent alot of time setting this up and it paid off.
Just beautiful. Congrats on the ribbon. Well earned.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 12:21:11 AM
Great shot and congrats on the ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 12:20:51 AM
Wow...two weeks in a row...keep it coming!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 12:18:54 AM
congrats on 3rd!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 12:16:01 AM
wow...that's just impacting...adding to faves!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/05/2006 04:43:04 PM
I really like the idea, and the execution. The one thing that spoils the picture is the model's pose - it looks very contrived. The model seems more intent on separating the tags from his body than on conveying the despair of burying a friend. That kills what could have been a 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2006 07:28:15 AM
As a man who grew up in the Vietnam era with a father and grandfather who fought in both World Wars, this photo moved me like very few ever have.

What an absolutely spectacular shot!

Hey.....just came back to make this one of my favorites and correct all the typos.

Got my fingers crossed for a ribbon for ya!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2006 02:55:36 AM
Wonderful picture.There is no flaw, I could find.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2006 03:10:24 PM
A greaty story in this photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2006 10:41:11 AM
very strong and emotive image - 10!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2006 08:57:37 AM
This is in the top 5 for sure. Great colour. The detail that is maintained while still achieving a perfect silhouette is great. I like the fact that you can clearly see the dog tags and even the strap on the helmet. It is these details that made this photo stand out. Great work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2006 11:59:40 PM
Amazing shot! ...there is not much more I can think of to say about this. Adding to my favorites.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2006 11:02:05 PM
Strong photo. Great color. Tells a story. 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2006 08:43:32 AM
I like it, but I fear the negativity may decrease your final score (as I have found recently)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2006 01:46:36 AM
this is a great image. emotional and thought provoking.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 12:28:05 PM
Very nice I love the colors and the feeling it has.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 09:10:12 AM
Captures a lot of emotion
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 10:57:03 PM
Very moving. Nice job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 03:29:49 PM
Very nice composition. This makes a strong statement. Good job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 02:15:48 PM
Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 10:16:31 AM
Emotive. Colors. Crisp. Well executed photograph. 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 09:25:50 AM
6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 07:23:52 AM
Breathtaking........
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 03:58:36 AM
This wonderfully captures the emotion of the shot. Nice colors as well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 11:44:36 PM
Wow, such a strong image, and distinct within this challenge. I hope it does as well as I think it should.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 09:14:55 PM
Strong emotive shot. Excellent work. Perfect tones in the sky to accent the very sharp silhouettes. Beautiful job. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 08:37:23 PM
Very powerful and moving. Nice shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 06:04:55 PM
This has so much drama! Great.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 04:46:12 PM
Great shot, full of emotion. Colors work really well. - 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 04:07:46 PM
Very well done and emotional photograph. That sky color is awesome!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 12:19:33 PM
Wow...I'm only about half way through, but it looks like I'll keep voting to find the red & yellow ribbons! Nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 11:25:46 AM
PERFECT IN MY BOOK! WONDERFUL JOB!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 10:45:56 AM
excellent silouhette
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 10:14:33 AM
What makes this are the dog tags and the helmet. Interesting and thought provoking.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 10:06:48 AM
Strong composition. Very emotive. Well done. Bumping up to an 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 05:00:44 AM
much too pathetic for my taste; technically ok - 5
08/30/2006 04:35:32 AM
Nice idea, well directed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 03:52:05 AM
There is a middle ground that this picture is not reaching but goes to extremes. Like it does not seem authentic, or it seems too romanticized


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