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Straight Path to Nowhere
Straight Path to Nowhere

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: A Single Line (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
Location: Living Room
Date: Jun 21, 2008
Aperture: 25
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/100
Galleries: Black and White
Date Uploaded: Jun 22, 2008

No clue how well this will do. Probably my most extensive shot to date, took close to 2 hours to get the shot with a lot of reworking.

When I read the topic of the challenge I instantly pictured a power line, then a fishing line, then... a line of cocaine so I thought it was at least an interesting subject to try.

Model is my mother again, thanks mom! I used instant coffee mixed with a little water to stain her hand to make it look unwashed and grungy.

The power was a mixture of baking soda and corn starch. I am not satisfied with the texture of the powder it was very hard to work with, in hind-sight salt or sugar mixed in might have helped keep it from caking up.

Black sheet was placed over the scene with the flash to the right. I originally wanted to model her actually snorting the powder however I did not think I could do a good job matching the grunge to make her look like a serious junkie, especially making her hair look dirty enough yet still wash out.

Score prediction: 5.9

Well my prediction was a bit high but I am still happy to break out of the 4's. Thanks to everyone who commented and to those who thought this was a worthy entry. :)

Place: 84 out of 142
Avg (all users): 5.3512
Avg (commenters): 5.6364
Avg (participants): 4.9538
Avg (non-participants): 5.6019
Views since voting: 763
Views during voting: 302
Votes: 168
Comments: 14
Favorites: 0

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07/04/2008 05:47:35 PM
Critique Club Review:

Color Saturation and Hue: N/A (image is monochrome)

Brightness and Contrast: Very good. The powder is just starting to lose some detail in the highlight areas. The darks are nice and deep.

Focus and depth of field: Nice sharp focus, though the mirror cheated you a bit by the reflections seeming to be out of focus parts of the lines.

I see where you were going with the makeup. But it came out too shiny. Dirt tends to be duller. This came out looking almost like axle grease.

I like the lighting and I think had you used used your other contemplated image, the strength of the lines may have been diminished.

Overall a very good image.

So why didn't it score higher?

Two reasons come to mind.

1. Disturbing images never do as well as kids and puppies.

2. Though not mentioned in any comments below, you may have been hit with a little political correctness.

Overall, a powerful image with a real message. Nicely done....

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2008 03:40:10 AM
next time the real thing
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/29/2008 10:44:14 AM
Harsh processing and disturbing subject, which I guess was the point. The crop is a little tight at the top.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2008 04:55:47 PM
don't like the shiny hand paint, the mirror has a double image which looks odd
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2008 03:24:04 PM
maybe to a blue ribbon? 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/26/2008 12:05:25 PM
Gritty.....emotive.....scary.....very well done, albeit sobering and an unpleasant dose of reality. Extra point for gutsy. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/25/2008 09:02:22 PM
I did this once (not the coke part, just the picture) and got the same double reflection on the mirror. People said it was out of focus, but it's not.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/25/2008 12:30:17 PM
It's kind of hard to make out the image, but I like it. Let me guess... Drugs are the main subject here. Yeah, I assumed someone would do it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2008 11:23:00 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2008 09:45:00 PM
wow, this is powerful and i imagine it will ribbon
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2008 05:47:10 AM
The idea and setup is powerful, but I don't understand the need for the mess all over the hand. It's a bit over the top, looks contrived, and distracts from the message, IMO.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2008 02:45:44 PM
Good idea... not sure I get the coloring(shine) on the hand
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2008 11:30:03 AM
Good idea for the "line" but I'm not a fan of the metallic look to the hand.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2008 09:49:53 AM
Focus is a little soft.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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