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The new religion.
The new religion.

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Religion (Advanced Editing V*)
Camera: Fujifilm FinePix F30
Location: my bedroom ('home studio'), Edinburgh
Date: May 28, 2007
Aperture: 2.8
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/20
Galleries: Emotive, Nude
Date Uploaded: May 28, 2007

Ok, so I'm aware that this would probably score better in Science, but I can't resist the temptation to enter it here anyway... 'Is science just another religion really?' is an interesting, loaded question. To which my answer would be - no, not at all, yes they start off from philosophically unjustifiable assumptions (beliefs) just like religion, but from there on the method makes a difference - science makes novel predictions and actively tries to disprove itself. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to get a reaction out of people. Plus it's the best answer I have to the question 'What do you believe?'. Scientific realism.

Philosophy aside: the model is Georgi, and the letters and double helix are being projected onto her (and there's another light source on her left side). It's the first proper nude I've ever shot, and I'm really pleased with how it came out.

Editing: hue/sat, brightness/contrast, selective colour, curves. I had a more saturated level underneath a less saturated level, and I brought out the colours of the double helix using a layer mask. I also used two different layers with different brightness/contrast settings to try and make her hair stand out a bit more (it was extremely low key in the original shot). Other editing: removed a couple of spots using a healing brush, and did a small amount of dodging and burning at a low opacity setting. Oh, and usm and Neat Image.

Place: 62 out of 311
Avg (all users): 5.7807
Avg (commenters): 6.5556
Avg (participants): 5.2222
Avg (non-participants): 6.0645
Views since voting: 4044
Views during voting: 458
Votes: 187
Comments: 21
Favorites: 4 (view)

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05/04/2009 02:40:16 AM
Superb vision in creating this, lighting is excellent. What strikes me is the fact that you can't tell whether the model is a male or female, if intended, then well done. I find the photo does fit the challenge, although science is one part of the dichotomy. Religion and science are not mutually exclusive, both are needed to validate eachother.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2008 05:27:05 PM
yea. great one. the theme of double helix is very interesting as a part of the photo connecting with human body ... nice work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2007 08:18:39 PM
Congratulations! You're the first person to take advantage of my newfound Critique Club status. Hopefully it'll be helpful, and feel free to reply with a critique of my critique!


This is a fairly compelling image; the juxtaposition of images on the human body is a technique that always works in getting an emotional reaction from me, anyway. And I think your choice of image and the layout work well - the centered DNA and the coding. Obviously the voters liked it too, as you scored well above the challenge average of 5.32 and in the 80% percentile.


For me there are three things that stand out: Skin tone, hair tone, and the relationship with the background. Colorwise there's something not quite 'right' with the skin and hair; both seem a little washed out; the hair in particular could use some additional lighting. It sounds like you did what you could with it, given the image you ended up with. And the way the body sits against the background looks almost "cut and paste" to me; I don't think it is, but the edges look off. Unfortunately I lack the expertise to recommend a solution!

The challenge:

This is a toughy, as you acknowledge in your notes. I'll approach the image's relationship to the challenge from three directions:

"How does it sit with me?" - I can tell you that as a scientist and atheist the conflation of science and religeon is a touchy subject, and had I voted on this one I would have been uncomfortable with the subject and title in this challenge (or in the science one! ;) )

"How did it sit with voters?" - clearly some controversy, as this has a pretty high voting spread, and several DNMC comments.

"How did it sit with you?" - this is really what matters, and from your description it sounds like you said what you hoped to say with it - and of this you should be proud!

Congrats on a great image, and thanks for the opportunity to critique it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 01:48:40 PM
wow wow wow. stunning, intersting, challenging. well done indeed!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 08:17:04 AM
I thought this was an excellent shot. You carried it out very well!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 07:26:27 AM
Your ones and twos are from either the "no nudes" crowd, or the "no science in my religion crowd". You done good with this - I'm paricularly impressed with the clarity of the projection onto an uneven surface, and the lighting and exposure is very nice!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 01:43:30 AM
A very original and creative entry.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 01:27:54 AM
I think this is very cool. And I think it fit the challenge perfectly. Well done! I'm guessing that the DNMC crowd wouldn't have been so harsh if the concurrent challenge was something other than science. Folks probably thought you put it in the wrong challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 12:42:00 AM
Beautiful! I love how it actually looks like a snake tattoo - cool duality ;-) And good for you being rebellious!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 12:33:50 AM
Marvelous entry. Very creative and well executed. Should have scored higher. Those 1s, 2s, and 3s hurt the average pretty badly. I wonder if they came from angry fundamentalists? But look at all those high votes. I think it's fun that you chose Religion rather than Science.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/06/2007 12:27:41 AM
This is a great idea, and you made an interesting image out of it. Good job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/05/2007 11:53:49 AM
good idea! but where her head?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/03/2007 10:45:43 AM
interesting take on this. Well taken
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/31/2007 10:13:10 PM
Interesting and penetrating image. Bump.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/31/2007 08:27:29 PM
sorry, but as a photographer your job is to convince me.

photographically, this is a nice picture. However, I am not convinced that this is religious.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/31/2007 03:48:40 AM
The new science? Depends upon your point of view, I suppose. Innovative photo, but seems to fit better in the other challenge IMHO. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/31/2007 12:18:55 AM
one of my favorite
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2007 06:10:57 PM
I think this would have done better in the science challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2007 06:00:40 PM
not sure of the full meaning but i love the artistic veiw
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2007 02:20:24 PM
makes a statement. I can appreciate that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2007 02:51:10 AM
cool! very low key on the head, but i love it. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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