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Jacob's Ladder
Jacob's Ladder

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Negative Space (Classic Editing)
Camera: Minolta DiMAGE 7
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Date: Sep 5, 2002
Aperture: f3
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/6 s
Date Uploaded: Sep 15, 2002

I have been rediscovering classic games lately (chess, mancala, Pente, etc.) and suddenly remembered the cat's cradle games I played with my grandmother. I had snapped quite a few when my wife decided to rest her arms by drawing in her elbows. Just like that, I found my shot.

Place: 25 out of 218
Avg (all users): 6.3617
Avg (commenters): 7.5833
Avg (participants): 6.4000
Avg (non-participants): 6.3315
Views since voting: 1686
Votes: 329
Comments: 41
Favorites: 5 (view)

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11/25/2002 04:11:00 PM
This is a great shot....

Composition: I think the composition here is excellent... I like the addition of the 'elbow' to the frame... The balance of this composition is perfect. The contrasts between the hands, string, and the dark background, along with the lines and patternd created here are quite teasing to my eye. I believe that the 'angles' in this shot also strengthen the overall composition. Your choice of angle and including the 'elbows' in this shot seems to have disturbed some of the voters in this challenge... hmm... dunno why to be quite honest. I think the 'strangeness' of the photo angle and the view of the arms creates something special in this image. In short, this is one of those photos that I 'enjoy' looking at. During this particular challenge, I came back to this photo quite a few times.

Technical: I think the exposure here is good. I think it could probably be better. The ISO 400 grain in this shot doesn't really bother me, but i'm wondering subconsciously if the shot could have been even stronger without the grain. Black and white was a good choice on this shot IMO. I believe that any color here would distract from the lines and shapes that dominate this image. Today is the first time I have looked on this image on my laptop at work. I can see your background. This particular aspect seems to bite me quite frequently. Some computers and monitors are cranked up so high on brightness and contrast that this can become a problem. One of the things I do to check this on my own images is to test them by cranking mine all the way up also. I don't do this test in photoshop. I do it in internet explorer. The two programs do not display images the same way. I believe that a slight level adjustment would correct this issue. I did NOT see it on my monitor at home when I originally judged the image. I doubt very seriously that it would have changed my score anyway. In my opinion, 10 means VERY GOOD. The site description of the scoring doesn't say an image has to be perfect to get a 10 :)

Challenge: I think you did a great job accomplishing the challenge topic here. The dark background simply and beautifully isolates your subject. I can't say much more about that at all...

Kudos on a very interesting and entertaining shot... keep up the good work :)

John Setzler
09/23/2002 06:55:00 AM
Thanks, folks, for the great input! :) I can see that many of you wanted the framing to exclude the elbows -- and isn't that funny? One person's trash is another's treasure. The awkwardness introduced by leaving them in is one of my favorite things about this lucky shot. The additional angles give the image a "froggy" appeal that suddenly made the negative space more interesting than my initial attempts, which show the arms coming parallel from the bottom. Thanks to my lovely wife for the patient hands! (She assures me her limbs didn't cramp up, but thanks for the concern *wink*). I may go over this photo again for a non-challenge version to manually darken the background so that I can achieve a stronger tonal range on the skin without getting overly grainy.
09/23/2002 06:14:00 AM
Excellent shot.. this was my favorite in the challenge :)
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/22/2002 11:04:00 PM
the hands and arms really give this an interesting "angle" karmat
09/22/2002 10:54:00 PM
I think this might look better with the elbows cropped out, just another option
09/22/2002 07:34:00 PM
I love the 3-D feeling of this. And the splayed hands and the lines in the arms and string make it all harmonize. A fun composition.
09/22/2002 05:56:00 PM
Nice idea, I probably would have cropped above the elbows because it just lopks painful and takes my attention away from the fingers and string...
09/22/2002 10:56:00 AM
nice composition! I would have cropped the bottom 10%...
09/22/2002 09:42:00 AM
I love this photo, it's so weird! The shapes of the hands and the string are beautiful in their freakiness, and the "vase" type shape the arms create leaps out at me. 10 - lisae
09/21/2002 05:53:00 PM
Goto photo overall. BW best choice for this one, as color would detract from the homogeneity of it. Stop down the lens to get a bit deeper DOF.
09/21/2002 12:30:00 PM
This is a beautiful example of negative space and I like the BW treatment very much. The shapes against the black are great.
8, Kavey
09/21/2002 02:08:00 AM
I remember playing that game. I like the contrast in this one. 6
09/20/2002 04:16:00 PM
I think cropping it a bit more on the bottom would really help bring this out.
09/19/2002 11:59:00 PM
Damnit I've had this idea for the longest time, I just don't have a hand model.
09/19/2002 08:07:00 PM
Would have been excellent with a bit of the bottom croped....elbow.
09/19/2002 06:53:00 PM
Great lighting and a clever idea. Weird, but I like it. :-)
09/19/2002 04:53:00 PM
Has per usual, your wife was right. I deduct 1 point. 9, just-married
09/19/2002 02:47:00 PM
Good connection. Are the hands from differentes persons?
09/19/2002 12:16:00 PM
is it the vase? is it the hands? you have captured one of the classic negative space definitions in this strong composition. were your model's hands killing them during this shot...it is a very strange (painful) pose. cool shot. (9) ~mcmurma
09/19/2002 09:47:00 AM
Nice graphic design - great hand and finger positions!
09/19/2002 09:28:00 AM
Love the composition...awesome use of negative space. Like the touch of graininess...would prefer the background be all 'black' :) Great job! 9 Lisa
09/18/2002 08:19:00 PM
neat. the way the hands are splayed out is very eye catching. somethign is weird about the elbows, though; once I noticed it I found it kind of distracting/detracting.
09/18/2002 05:40:00 PM
great use of BW and NS/ My only complaint is that the shadow areas on the hand are a little grainy.
09/18/2002 08:00:00 AM
Great idea and lovely light/tone Excellent work! 9 - floyd
09/18/2002 01:27:00 AM
Composition: Good I would have cropped the bottom just where the arms bend 7
Lighting: 6 Appeal: 7 Total Rating 7Sulamk
09/17/2002 09:00:00 PM
Nice piciture.... but where is the negative space?
09/17/2002 03:12:00 PM
Best of show... = 10 - jmsetzler
09/17/2002 01:28:00 PM
I really like this. i just wish th background was pitch black. good job.
09/16/2002 11:44:00 PM
wonderful. Very creative. Keep it up. I rated this second highest out of 213 entries.
09/16/2002 08:20:00 PM
Excellent! Beautiful idea and execution of it. (10)
09/16/2002 08:14:00 PM
What a bizarre position for the arms... but it does make it interesting. insect- like to match the "web" of jacob's ladder.
09/16/2002 08:09:00 PM
great b&w shot!
09/16/2002 07:48:00 PM
those arms look broken, nice photo too.
09/16/2002 03:53:00 PM
Creative!!!!!!!!!! Really good work, good luck. Score 7 Justine
09/16/2002 03:49:00 PM
Unique! Black and white works well with this. Good luck in the challenge. Grayce aka Gracious
09/16/2002 02:39:00 PM
The arms just don't look right...caused maybe by distortion?
09/16/2002 12:47:00 PM
Great neg spc; good lighting; would have much preferred to see the arms cropped a little below the wrists. This composition looks odd to me and detracts from the overall shot. lhall-6
09/16/2002 12:18:00 PM
I really think this is a good example of what is expected. Neat subject too.
09/16/2002 11:48:00 AM
Great work (more comments later) 8
09/16/2002 11:23:00 AM
This is wonderful.
09/16/2002 03:58:00 AM
very creative!

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