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Hostage
Hostage
Beagleboy


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Color Studio Portrait (Advanced Editing II)
Camera: Canon EOS-300D Rebel
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Location: York Redoubt Powder Room, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Date: Jun 22, 2004
Aperture: f 5.6
ISO: 100
Shutter: 0.4 sec
Galleries: Emotive, Political
Date Uploaded: Jun 26, 2004

I knowÖ a controversial image for our times.

This image is a neutral depiction of a horrendous situation that I would not wish on anyone and is in no way meant to support or decry what is currently happening in Iraq or the greater Middle East. Itís simply an artistís attempt of conveying a situation or a mood to viewers.

I decided to shoot this image since the idea for it hit me like a sledgehammer when I visited the site. Itís an underground ammunitions room / powder room of an old battery fort that overlooks Halifax Harbour. Itís no longer in use and feels somewhat like a dungeon nowadays. I returned home and debated taking the shot. The next morning I grabbed an old chair we have and I returned to the site and did my shoot. I am the model, using the timer on my camera to take the pre-focused shot.

The light source comes from a fixture in the ceiling. Instead of a standard bulb, they installed a spotlight bulb, which creates the lighting effect seen. No burning of the surrounding room to darken it.

Editing done:
- Adjusted levels to darken the image just a tad
- Colour corrected slightly using Color balance
- Slightly burned the top of my jeans and parts of my shirt showing in the light that were too bright.
- Tweaked brightness and contrast just a bit
- Dodged the face to better see the blindfold
- Resized for submission
- Sharpened with USM
- Adjusted levels to reduce brightening caused by sharpening.

Statistics
Place: 19 out of 92
Avg (all users): 6.3169
Avg (commenters): 7.2083
Avg (participants): 6.2308
Avg (non-participants): 6.3483
Views since voting: 2138
Views during voting: 508
Votes: 243
Comments: 65
Favorites: 19 (view)


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AuthorThread
03/23/2006 10:10:00 AM
The subject, focus, lighting, sense of depth, and perspective (both figurative & literal) all combine beautifully to create an extremely powerful image. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2006 12:58:17 AM
Great use of negative space. Lighting is wonderful. Very moody as well. Good job :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/14/2004 06:44:05 AM
Indeed.. a very nice photo especially for me, which i see in it a hostage of darkness ..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/10/2004 09:53:53 PM
Very, Very nice, great use of the lighting. 2 thumbs up
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/09/2004 05:11:29 AM
Excellent image and great CC critique from graphicfunk - spot on!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2004 09:02:56 PM
It is a great image, I hope your day at work gets better soon. (You can always look at the image and think how much worse it could be :-) )
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2004 08:07:53 PM
From the Critique Club:
This is a very strong image and presented with sheer depthness. The composition is classical, the lighting is classical and the subject is not as controversial as it may first appear, because the concept is universal. The topic if hostages runs throughout history and glorified in King Kong. It is a timeless image and would have come out with a ribbon if entered in the waiting, newspaper or open challenges such as the June.
The fact that it finished so high in the portrait challenge speaks of its superior strength. It is a photograph of strong visual impact and most important it moves the emotions despite out self control.
To have placed it in the portrait was to give away the ribbon. Yes, it can pass as a faceless portrait, but the point would have gone over the heads of many and the viewer expected a character study with a visible or discernable face.
I have nothing but praise for your image. There is always something that we wish to change in photos we see. This is perhaps the most complete image I have seen in DPC. I have not seen a ten, but I feel comfortable in placing this image at the top of the heap of DPC.
However, do not feel bad you lost out on this ribbon. You are certainly a force to be reckoned and your talent is certain to show up in future entries, over and over again. Congratulations.

Message edited by author 2004-07-08 20:06:19.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2004 07:24:34 PM
please see above.

Message edited by author 2004-07-08 20:09:12.
07/06/2004 10:01:00 PM
I loved this one the first time I saw it. I didn't get the oppertunity to comment or vote in the challenge. It fits the challenge, and is a very, very powerful image that tells a story. Excellent shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/05/2004 05:09:37 PM
Missed the voting on this challenge, but post-browsing through the entries your image really stands out and I'm pretty confident that you would have gotten my single 10 vote for this round. It wouldn't have made much of a difference for you in the end, but you deserve the recognition now that I found it.

Very nice with ppl who dare interpret the challenges a bit different without getting astray from the subject too much. I agree with those who deem it fit.

Amazing use of the light!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/05/2004 09:27:00 AM
Don't kick yourself for putting this in the portrait challenge. I saw the huge number of "this is not a portrait" comments and I disagree with every one of them. This is the #1 best done picture in this challenge. Technically this is very good... I was totally and completely rooting for you on this one. It's the picture with the most feeling, the best sense of atmosphere... and it being controversial makes people uncomfortable and makes them question its integrity as a portrait. If you had that person sitting there pondering and looking away from the camera rather than being tied up, people would have understood it a bit better as a "portrait". I personally like it exactly the way it is. Wouldn't change a thing. Good for you for being brave and submitting it anyway.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/05/2004 07:14:27 AM
Thanks for all the comments on this image. This image has netted me the highest number of comments for any of my prior images before contest end.

I knew as soon as the contest started that I had made an error on submitting this for a portrait challenge. I should have kept it for the June Free Study. Oh well, I can't complain since it finished approximately where I had guessed it would score-wise.

I am also not surprised by the 1's, 2's and 3's considering the subject matter and the loose interpretation of the challenge description. No "Why didn't this do better?" post from me. Can't please everyone. This image also has the strangest voter breakdown of any of my prior submitted shots.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/04/2004 10:19:40 PM
First I like this photo, added to my favorites, but just not as a portrait.

Lighting: The most expressive part of the person is the face, and it is hidden in shadows.
Pose: Not really very expressive of the person.
Background: works well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/04/2004 09:06:32 PM
Wow, what a great shot! The use of light in this one is probably the most interesting in this challenge. Really excellent job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/04/2004 02:34:18 PM
Not what I would normally consider a portrait, but what I'm hoping was done in a studio and not for real. Nice lighitng, interesting composition and use of negative space make this a nice image to look at!
TC
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/04/2004 10:19:45 AM
Powerful image, excellent use of light and shadow to tell your story. One of my ribbon picks.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2004 09:36:47 PM
Incredible. Great concept, great lighting. 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2004 09:29:39 PM
Very good picture, nice lighting and mood. The problem is that it doesn´t exactly meet the challenge as a portrait.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2004 12:41:54 PM
Lighting and composition well-suited to and reinforce your unusual interpretation. Good job avoiding haloing and artifacts under those lighting conditions.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2004 09:41:06 AM
Great lighting and very threatrical and I love the negative space, but not sure I would call this a portrait. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2004 02:05:00 AM
Timely, thought this was the portrait contest...not the Newspaper. Nice shot. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2004 12:37:01 PM
Great use of light,10 !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2004 08:39:35 AM
Very cool idea. Love the uniqueness of the image. Good thinking.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2004 09:04:52 PM
I really enjoy this photo! The lighting is unique and well done. If I was to change one thing I may have zoomed in a bit tighter. Great job, I think this photo deserves a ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2004 05:27:22 PM
An unusual subject for this challenge. The lighting is dramatic and the color very strong. Like the use of negative space.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2004 02:15:47 PM
Excellent concept. Good lighting. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 11:59:16 PM
What an unusual portraiture. Very effective use of lighting for the pose. Certainly draws an emotive response. :o)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 11:05:16 PM
This shot stands out to me. It isn't a normal portrait. But it is definatly in color, and looks like it is in a studio. The light on the wall distracts me. I want to see more of it or not see it at all. I like the composition, off center works well. Good story shot. Spotlight is good. Nice job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 10:01:10 PM
Great mood, interesting composition and lighting. Is it a portrait though?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 06:47:09 PM
Obviously a strong image and a well taken shot. Composition suits the theme well with good environment. Should do well - probably in the ribbons. Hostage is quite well dressed though, so a bit more dishevellment would be a nice touch.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 05:33:26 PM
I don't know if this qualifies as a portrait but I like this one very much. Very dramatic lighting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 02:06:40 PM
it's creative ... no doubt about it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 06:23:59 AM
I gave this a ten because the subject was so strong emotionally right now, and the lighting is nearly perfect. The pose and setting are also great for the subject matter. This is my top pick of the challenge.

In terms of making it slightly stronger, I might have cropped a little tighter, as the negative space helps, but you have to tradeoff close up of facial expression to get the space, and I think you could give back a little space, maintain the great effect you achieved, and still get a little larger facial area. Just a thought.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 03:43:55 AM
The lighting here is absolutely perfect and gives a really gritty feeling of a hostage awaiting his fate. Love it, in the running for a ribbon here I hope. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2004 02:47:50 AM
Definitely a cool and original idea with great execution. The negative space and composition emphasizes the feeling of fear and desparity you are trying to convey. The lighting (or lack there of) works well to emphasize the model and theme...... Nice job, I give a 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 10:49:49 PM
WOW! Absolutely stunning and realistic. Harsh directional lighting and negative space exceptionally well done. The hint of detail on the back wall of your "studio" is an added wow! I really hope voters recognize your talent and don't vote on the nature of your subject.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 09:21:48 PM
I totally and completely love this picture.. unfortunately for you I am not a member so I can only comment.. I would be giving this a 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 06:28:42 PM
dunno if it comes under portrait, but i like it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 05:40:04 PM
Nice composition although I don't think i'd wanna have a studio portrait like that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 02:59:28 PM
My Favourite. Great use of lighting & black space. Very atmospheric. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 01:47:40 PM
I'm not entirely sure if this counts as a portrait... but what do I know. I'm not counting off for that. I like this photo a lot. Powerful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 01:05:38 PM
I like the lighting and creativity of this image, the floor was well thought out. This shot gets a 10 from me, but I think others may not find it meets the challenge. Good luck
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 12:53:04 PM
cool picture... not exactly a "portrait", well maybe, I don't know -- I think of a portrait as showing someones personality and image
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 10:31:55 AM
I like this style of photograph.
Good luck
A bit of a chilling image but not much of a portrait shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 07:16:40 AM
Great lightplay here and a clever idea.
All in all.. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 02:11:59 AM
Pretty cool -- original, I dig the outside-the-box factor
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 01:06:47 AM
Interesting choice, especially considering current news headlines. Not sure I would have done it. However you did it very well. I love the simple one light approch, and the backlighting. Placement is very nice as well. I hope it does well! 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2004 12:45:58 AM
Fits a theme, but not this one.
Good image, though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 09:33:28 PM
Very strange. Was not expecting this, Great job. Great photo. Did a great job setting it up. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 09:28:36 PM
i love the lighting
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 08:22:49 PM
interesting photo. I'm not sure I would classify it as a portrait, but I think it's great!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 05:07:58 PM
Nice attempt at creativity, I'm not sure it's so appropriate here as this is supposed to be a formal studio portrait
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 04:45:30 PM
Not what I would consider a formal studio portrait, but you have defininately made your point well. The lighting is nice (for what you're trying to achieve) but I find the light area in the upper right corner distracting from the rest of the photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 04:35:16 PM
interesting shot but it gives me the creeps. somehow I have this standard opinion that a portrait should bring out the person at its best, and this picture tells nothing about the person. So for a portrait i don't really like it. As a picture it is very powerfull, but scary.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 02:34:34 PM
Powerful image, well executed but I'm not sure this would qualify as a portrait. 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 01:25:05 PM
Great lighting man I love this one :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 11:49:44 AM
This is a great shot, 10. (adding to favs too)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 10:57:07 AM
9 Very nice. Love the added mystery/kidnapped/hostage look. Great light.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 10:49:27 AM
More that a portrait here, a statement ! a7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 06:52:34 AM
This is not a studio portrait
06/28/2004 02:47:32 AM
this is great!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 02:18:31 AM
Love it, great picture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 01:43:20 AM
I don't think this qualifies as a portrait. but nice picture nevertheless
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 12:53:51 AM
There are easier ways to find subjects. ...cool lighting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2004 12:28:28 AM
This made me a little uncomfortable. Reminded me of recent headlines and the animals loose in the world.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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