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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Still Life (Classic Editing)
Camera: Sony DSC-F707
Location: Huntington Beach, Ca
Date: Oct 30, 2003
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/125
Galleries: Still Life, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Nov 3, 2003

Took this at a pumpkin patch by my house. Thought it would be perfect for this challenge.

Place: 21 out of 326
Avg (all users): 6.2107
Avg (commenters): 7.3125
Avg (participants): 6.2429
Avg (non-participants): 6.1667
Views since voting: 1019
Votes: 242
Comments: 18
Favorites: 2 (view)

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11/19/2003 04:06:45 AM
Critique Club

This is a good selection of subjects for your still life submission. One of the most noticible things about the photo is your choice for a black & white medium. This approach takes advantage of the linear elements throughout the composition. From the basically vertical lines of the corn stalks and husks in the upper righthand corner through the rounded, horizontal lines of the milk urn and down to the oblong curves angled in all directions on the pumpkins at the bottom of the photo you have selected subjects that invite the viewers eyes to wander through your photo. Your decision in regards to cropping the photo is a good one, too, as it is generally vertical which underscores the height of the milk jug in contrast to both the squat nature of the pumpkins and the much taller height of the truncated cornstalks. You helped your presentation by choosing a fairly wide crop to compliment all the elements within the photo, though, and keep from overemphasizing the vertical aspect. I think your presentation shows a very good balance in both the dimensions you selected and where you chose to apply the crop. Whether by design or just artful luck I find your presentation well suited to your subjects and the goal of the challenge.

Since you selected a B&W color scheme this area turns more to tonal quality and definition. Here the photo might benefit from slightly less exposure or from a little touch up in the photo application of your choice (I'll refer to PhotoShop/PS). It seems that your exposure metered for the center as the elements found therein seem to have the best tonal range and have the most definition. Some of the elements in both the upper lefthand and lower lefthand corners range from totally blown out details to slightly overexposed. Another solution using the photo you have might be that before you convert this to B&W (if done via software) you duplicated the blue channel and overlay it as a layer and blend it back onto the photo using Multiply or Darken with a gradient that is slanted to the left side to provide more color detail on that side of the photo. The majority of the tones are strong and solidly defined but you might just want to try something like that last method to see if you can get a slightly more balanced tone in the lefthand corners.

It looks like this was shot in natural sunlight but with no direct light on it. The two larger pumpkins towards the bottom righthand side seem to have a few highlights that may have been introduced by a flash but either way they provide catchlight to help define angles and textures. This is a good use of lighting in most of the photo although I'll refer back to the Color section on the lefthand corners.

The focus throughout the composition looks good. I'd be interested in seeing a similar shot with a more shallow depth of field.

This composition is a pleasing, artistic expression of still life that, while having a few minor technical points that could be worked on, succeeds in promising an interesting photo and delivering many points of interest to its viewers. Its major strengths are the subtle use of lines and arcs, the crop applied and the depth of tonal range. The photographer's choice to use a double border was not to my liking but that is a personal preference. As an artistic enterprise, this photo is a valuable it presents many elements well and seems cohesive in its message as a Still Life entry.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/11/2003 01:09:15 PM
Kudos for using black and white...it so classicly captures this picture; it gives it it's own story. This picture is very good, but it could stand to gain from changes in contrast. All the objects (and there's a lot of them) have very similar color patterns, except for this urn. Exploit that. Make the blacks blacker and the greys lighter, without washing out the whole picture. You'd get more gnarly pumpkins, more delicate cornstalks, and a more weathered urn.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/09/2003 08:28:44 PM
I think black and white is a good choice here; color would have been striking, but then the nice assortment of textures here wouldn't be so apparent. A simple border would have been more effective.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2003 10:56:00 PM
This is nice in a classic way... would love to see the colour version, but the tomes really work here.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2003 03:56:46 AM
wow - another winner! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2003 05:59:50 PM
This is a good shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2003 05:15:29 PM
This is really nice. Shades, sharpness and subject. great shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2003 05:15:14 PM
I really like this image. I might even like it more if there was a pinch more contrast and I would possibly like to see it with some toneing. But other than that I feel the composition is great and so is the light. Good subjects for the time of year as well. One of my favorites for the challeng.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2003 03:40:04 PM
May have been more effective in color.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2003 03:06:27 PM
B&W works well in this shot. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2003 01:18:09 AM
nice idea. looks a little overcrowded at the bottom. Maybe lesser pumpkins might have better effect
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2003 11:00:49 PM
This is nice but I think I would have prefered color. Or maybe more contrast on the pumpkins. They don't have much texture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2003 04:29:01 PM
I am really wonering why this is black and white. Would have thought it would have been so much better in color.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2003 02:59:16 PM
Seems a little flat. More contrast would help.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2003 12:22:28 PM
Wonderful still life. Perfect time of year for this photo. I love the use of b/w tone with this. I think you've nailed the DOF and composition. Beautiful !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2003 11:47:48 AM
ok... now you can brag. crap... how come I cain't git this good.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2003 03:51:17 AM
Very emotive photo. The B & W really are very great. The corn leaves and watering can give you that old down home country feel, as do the punkins.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2003 02:53:54 AM
This is simple and good.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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