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If Looks Could Kill
3rd PlaceIf Looks Could Kill
scalvert


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Hate (Basic Editing)
Collection: Favorites - Ribbons
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Location: Easton, CT
Date: Feb 20, 2007
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/80
Galleries: Humorous, Studio
Date Uploaded: Feb 20, 2007

OK, this was a tough shot! I've tried this one three times, and finally got close enough to be worth submitting. HERE'S one of my earlier attempts.

The arm with the knife is a shape cut out of posterboard and taped to the back of her shirt (sticking straight out behind her). It looks ridiculous, but the shadow works. What makes it so difficult is that as the arm gets closer to the wall, the shadow gets sharper and smaller. Not much I can do about sharpness in Basic, but I tapered the cutout to deal with the size (the hand is about twice life-sized).

I was going to use a co-worker as my model, but she quit unexpectedly the same day the challenge was announced. The only thing I can really count on with these setups is my little actress. What a trooper!

The lighting consisted of a strong monolight with an aluminum foil snoot on the right side, and a reflector on the left for a little fill. A bare wall outside in sunlight would have made the shadows MUCH easier to deal with, but it was too darn cold to bother. The outlet was unvoidable (it's the same one I used for Emotional Outlet), but it offers a visual cue that the shadow is on a real wall. ;-)

Processing: Convert from RAW (a little light on the shadows and contrast), Shadow/Highlight, Channel Mixer conversion to grayscale, colorize with Hue/Saturation for a slight sepia tint, and USM.

Statistics
Place: 3 out of 132
Avg (all users): 6.8803
Avg (commenters): 7.6000
Avg (participants): 6.5918
Avg (non-participants): 6.9568
Views since voting: 10599
Views during voting: 505
Votes: 234
Comments: 79
Favorites: 15 (view)


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AuthorThread
05/18/2007 11:17:44 PM
oh absolutely amazing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/08/2007 02:49:56 AM
awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/06/2007 10:48:18 PM
What a great imagination you have, another great shot, congratulations on your ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2007 02:06:11 AM
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Greetmir:

... cropping the waist up image out of that photo would make a super shot IMO!


A cropped version would NOT have worked IMO. It's important to see the continuity of the shadow from the feet up or there is no trick. If you separate the shadow from the body by cropping, then the viewer may assume it's a painted or printed shadow on the wall, a backlit scrim, or coming from another model outside the frame. The full shadow is a tougher visual puzzle, and I'm sure a cropped version would not have made the top 20.


I did not mean for this challenge ... I only meant that I liked the light and expression so much in this image that a waist up crop of your daughter alone would make a good portrait shot IMO ... like so ... 478394.jpg ... except not cropped so much from a low res image ...

Message edited by author 2007-03-03 02:31:13.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2007 11:46:50 PM
You are an inspiration Shannon!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2007 04:19:45 PM
Thanks for explaining how you got the shadow. I was wondering! Great shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2007 12:36:23 PM
Great job, again!! I love the sepia tones and the overall clarity and idea for this photo is just off the hook!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2007 10:09:41 AM
Originally posted by Greetmir:

... cropping the waist up image out of that photo would make a super shot IMO!


A cropped version would NOT have worked IMO. It's important to see the continuity of the shadow from the feet up or there is no trick. If you separate the shadow from the body by cropping, then the viewer may assume it's a painted or printed shadow on the wall, a backlit scrim, or coming from another model outside the frame. The full shadow is a tougher visual puzzle, and I'm sure a cropped version would not have made the top 20.
03/02/2007 09:57:29 AM
Originally posted by Greetmir:

I would guess that if you did it again you would cock the elbow tighter to the shoulder or head to help with perspective...


Yes, and I'd try to find a wall without an outlet, too. I was planning to shoot this in front of a particular wall at my office, but my model bailed out on me and I had to improvise at home a few hours before the deadline. There isn't much room to the right or left of her, and there was no way to hide that outlet in Basic. If I shot from the opposite side, I couldn't get the light far enough back to produce a good shadow. The cardboard cutout could certainly be better, but I wasn't going to keep my daughter up past her bedtime while I made another one.

As I said in the notes, though, I was satisfied enough with this one to enter it (with obviously good results). DPCers are generally more sophisticated than they get credit for, and if the concept is good enough, the voters overlook a couple of flaws.

P.S.- no apology necessary. Constructive criticism is a rare gift on this site. ;-)

Message edited by author 2007-03-02 10:15:40.
03/02/2007 09:35:03 AM
Yeah well ... so shoot me ... because I love MOST of what you have EVER produced ... but this one left me HUGELY flat. While the technicals are awesome as usual ... the cardboard cutout looks just like what it is and WAY out of perspective. WAY WAY out.

A more tightly bent "elbow" that brought the hand (and knife) in the shadow closer to the shoulder or head for an apparent downward thrust would have made this image deserve the third place it garnered.

I also think that the electrical outlet parked in the anal canal of the shadow of the child is not up to your usual standards any more than the shadow of the cutout can have satisfied you. I cannot believe you saw this and did not reshoot.

IMO ... only mine ... Lighting super. PP super ... cutout ghastly bad in perspective, wall plug ... gimme a break ... unless you were trying to make a statement with this electrical outlet, could you not have moved her down the wall a tad or even covered it with a post-it note? Your son in the outake doesn't have this outlet there.

(OK ... I just read your entire photographer's comments and see you said it was unavoidable ... but I think this should have taken this image out of the running for a ribbon ... but obviously that is not the majority opinion)

Only you will know if you are happy with this shot but I would guess that if you did it again you would cock the elbow tighter to the shoulder or head to help with perspective AND (a little bit) with the sharpness problem.

Sorry, Shannon ... this is the only one of your ribbons that I do not think you deserved to get and I hope you agree with me that it did not.

Having said all that ... cropping the waist up image out of that photo would make a super shot IMO! ... fantastic lighting and expression.

Oh dayam ... having read that again ... I just KNOW I am gonna be tarred and feathered as a rude, inconsiderate, jealous, and rotten Scalvert basher ... but that is really my opinion on this ONE image. Forgive me. I really do love your work.

Message edited by author 2007-03-02 09:49:34.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2007 11:01:23 PM
My shadow tried to do that to me just the other day! Amazing creativity and just an incredible work of photographic art Shannon. I will now get to work building an altar in my living room where I will worship you daily. Halla halla halla...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2007 08:14:55 PM
What an idea. I adore this. And looks really do kill...especially from the little ones.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2007 06:43:10 PM
Shannon, you do amaze me! Congratulations on another Ribbon and a very well planned and executed realization of yet another brilliant idea!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2007 06:07:28 PM
LOL. Shannon, how many ribbon "assists" does your family possess now?? This is excellent. I could shoot this, I just can't come up with your ideas!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2007 04:27:04 PM
Very creative! Congrats on your ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2007 07:49:48 AM
The image is quite sharp with the shadowy emotion looming. The bare, inside wall works to place the subject in "the corner" - and a kind of dramatic response to the force. Good work. Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 11:38:36 PM
Groovy!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 11:14:03 PM
You sir are a genuine genious! You portfolio is awesome and your work is a true inspiration to us 5.3ers (and I'm sure everyone else). You Rock!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 11:01:06 PM
Go figure!!!! We all might as well just not even enter these challenges and just start handing you ribbons for every challenge, hahha.

Good Job, I really like this shot and I just knew it was you that took it. Congrats for yet another ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 09:28:27 PM
Great job, Shannon! I really think you were creative with this one!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 07:56:45 PM
Every mother knows this look and too bad it doesn't stop at this age! EXCELLENTT! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 03:32:24 PM
I just called you 'freekin amazing' to my friend. enough said. I can't wait til my daughter gets old enough to stand still ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 02:27:49 PM
The good thing about this photo is that there is no manipulation... in fact I thought the hand and knife was a photoshop thing... Very good idea very well photographed... well done !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 02:26:09 PM
Congrats Shannon, I am soo excited you finally figured out how to set up this shot! :P, jk. You have a uniquely creative vision that makes your entries standouts.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:47:11 PM
One thing I like about you Shannon is that you're always generous in sharing the shot trade secrets of how you set it up. I think this is one of your better ones because it is less gauche than usual. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 09:24:25 AM
excellent, congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 08:37:42 AM
STOP IT! STOP BEING SO DAMNED CREATIVE ALL THE TIME! aaaaauuuuuugggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 07:35:02 AM
absolute genius

great job, bud. very nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 07:18:59 AM
Wonderful shot, congrats on your ribbon.

Jack
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 03:01:01 AM
Excellent shot, very creative again. Congrats on a very well deserved ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 02:36:18 AM
Please stop entering challenges and give other people a chance...
Is there no limit to your creativity ?
Congrats on your well deserved yellow ribbon !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 01:50:10 AM
That girl can't possibly be wearing her own shoes can she? If so she's gonna be a tall one!

Congrats on (another) ribbon ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 01:38:06 AM
Great shot! Again, great creativity. Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 01:35:02 AM
hey mate ... this is a great idea ... well done. i think you're being overly critical though, it's the imperfections that make the shot believable!!!

except for the electrical socket!! but i know you couldn't clone it out.

great idea mate!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:47:53 AM
nice technical setup and execution, congrats on the ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:45:06 AM
Great idea and amazing creativity. Congrats on the yellow, Shannon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:30:03 AM
AWESOME SHOT!!! Love it!! very good, what a great idea.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:27:44 AM
I was thinking this was a double exposure or fake wall where someone is behind it and backlit. I never would have guessed this setup. Congrats on the "dreaded" yellow ribbon. :P

Message edited by author 2007-02-28 00:28:16.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:20:12 AM
wow, nice creativity to get the shot you wanted! Props!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:15:23 AM
Originally posted by noisemaker:

why doyou win so much?!


....because he has talent & creativity....and he is not of this world:)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:14:13 AM
Great shot, Shannon. You're just too clever and uhmmm you suck! ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:12:55 AM
Congrats Shannon, I had a feeling this was yours. Took me a while to figure out how you did it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:12:44 AM
Shannon, you are the king my friend. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:09:38 AM
Yay Shannon! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2007 12:09:16 AM
why doyou win so much?!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/27/2007 11:52:46 AM
How did you do that with basic editing? nice idea and excellent execution. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2007 06:52:36 PM
Great image. I just wish you'd moved away from that plug.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2007 12:03:53 PM
Nice shot, great idea and lighting!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2007 11:31:10 AM
Nice blending in the shadow, i like how the knife is sharp while the girl's shadow is blurry, creative!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2007 11:55:55 PM
wow...perfectly executed...creative...this is one of the best in the challenge...my only 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2007 06:20:57 PM
I wonder how you did this within the basic editing constrains... Good job anyway!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2007 02:09:21 PM
realy
02/24/2007 10:54:33 PM
howd you do that? great picture. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/24/2007 03:12:33 AM
Clever. The arm would be better if it was a little larger to match the rest of the shadow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/24/2007 01:19:06 AM
wow! great idea; great editing. deserves a high rating from all!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2007 06:44:04 PM
Great idea, great execution. I'll be interested to see how this was done (and how it does).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2007 01:34:32 PM
cool. love to find out how you managed this in basic editing. - 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2007 10:28:31 PM
Nice job... always wanted to try one of these. One of my favoirtes in this challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2007 06:41:08 PM
I love this pic..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2007 02:51:12 PM
Scary imagery. Well taken and a great idea for this challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2007 01:31:44 PM
Very good...9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2007 11:45:33 AM
This photo is intense. I love the creativity with the shadow. The range of blacks and whites are also very good.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2007 06:31:23 AM
Great shot great idea - Shame it's a basic edit challenge as I am sur you would have removed that plug which spoils it a little - Very nice. Maybe a straight black and white would have added more impact rather than the browny/red colour you have here?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 04:12:41 PM
Hmm, is this a double exposure?? whatever you did it worked out very nicely. the only thing that i would change is use a wall without an outlet
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 03:53:09 PM
Ah, great shot, and good idea, too. The only unfortunate thing is the light plug on the wall! :( Everthing else is wonderful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 02:47:24 PM
Nice trick.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 02:44:42 PM
Wow, that shadow has an amazing effect
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 01:33:01 PM
good job good job
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 01:29:43 PM
ooooh, i like it!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 01:25:48 PM
This one really bugged me at first. First off, it's a brilliant photo. It's gonna place high in the challenge, it was a great idea, and you deserve the very high placement you are going to get. I'm guessing you'll grab a ribbon off it. But what bugged me was how you did it. I'm thinking that the girl has a fake arm attached to her back with a knife. Maybe??
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 12:23:38 PM
that pretty creepy
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 12:15:14 PM
Very interesting. The lighting is good. Great Job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 11:35:04 AM
sweet 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 11:24:27 AM
this is outstanding! it shows that women really are born evil! strong work!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 11:02:22 AM
Nicely done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 09:57:45 AM
I'd love to know how you did that trick with the shadow. bit more contrast would've been nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 05:46:49 AM
Great image
How have you done this?
Is it multipple exposure?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 12:16:32 AM
Great concept, the best I've seen so far. That electrical outlet distracts though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2007 12:14:52 AM
Nice Idea and works well, for me the power point is a distraction, and perhaps the 'fake arm' is a bit too skinny, cant inagine this would have been easy thou. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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