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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Collection: portraits
Camera: Canon EOS-40D
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Date: Jun 28, 2010
Date Uploaded: Jun 28, 2010

Viewed: 337
Comments: 4
Favorites: 0

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07/18/2011 08:16:30 AM
Great shot; depth, classic feel, wonderful contrast and gray-scale. and the border is perfect.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/17/2010 09:51:06 PM
It is a beautiful photo, Maggie. What is the story behind it. It looks like there is snow, so she must have been freeeeeeeezing! But she did such a good job of not looking like she is cold. She looks so comfortable.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2010 11:45:20 PM
Critique by Ursula

It actually is a beautiful image, and both the member opinion and the crew vote/opinion were quite divided on it. I think, with a little bit of polish, that image could be just beautiful. It is beautiful now. The light/treatment feels slightly to the harsh side, as if the contrast is just a notch beyond where it needs to be, as is both the smoothness of the skin (face) and the sharpening. Just my opinion, but toning it down just a notch would give it that extra "mystery" that the high contrast, lack of detail areas, smoothness, and sharpness takes away. I'd be tempted to try and get a bit, just a little, more detail in the body/dress. The lacy dress lying on the water is just beautiful! But the top left edge of it has lost all detail at the tip, as has the edge on the far side of her back. The part of her dress in front out of the water could use a bit more definition. I think I would experiment with burning the bright rock behind her (at photo left) so it doesn't catch so much attention. I think I would also experiment with trimming the right side hand side of the image, about 12%, so that she still has good space to look/float into, but not too much - right now she has a bunch of extra space there, in my view. I think I would also experiment with trying to bring out the sky reflection in front of her just a touch, and also her reflected arm/face. Last, I think I would experiment with making her dress not so different outside of the water compared to where it is above the water, just a little more even overall.

06/28/2010 01:47:07 PM
I guess my first reaction was, "I don't know what this is supposed to be." This means to me that there is no immediately obvious message conveyed. This is either good or bad -- good because there is no identifiable cliche, bad because ultimately I (and probably others) haven't been able to connect with this image at all. For me, my interaction with a photo is dependent on both technicals and story, with story generally trumping any issues of poor execution so long as they aren't amateur.

On further viewing, I notice elements that don't have anything to do with me interacting with the story conveyed. The fall of the garment is slightly titillating, lending an uncomfortable eroticism (uncomfortable because she doesn't look so comfortable). There's foam in the water that reminds me of the stuff small creeks and streams get from rapids that are exposed to pollutants, making me fear for this woman even more. The rocks overpower the model, and make me want to know more about them (see below).

Technically, the black and white is pleasing and well done in relation to the strong contrasts. The rocks are too strong and highlighted an element for me, and I would have preferred them less exposed and certainly less in the field of focus. As they are, they seem more engaging an element, and I wonder if a more successful photo might not have made us potently aware of them, while leaving the model an unfocused afterthought somewhere in the frame. There's a tack-sharpness and a smoothness that makes us want to find no fault with the technicals, but if we want a gritty, or "unpretty" image, as I think you've suggested, those kinds of technicals fail a photograph.

In short, to answer the question, "Does this have impact" directly, for me, no, mostly because I don't have any idea what it's saying. Is there a story here? I can't tell. I believe one can usually tell that a photographer is attempting to relay a story, even if it's a poor one, or an obfuscated or allegorical or bad one. Even such a photo means something, somewhere. What does this mean? Why is this an example of a photo with impact for you? Is your technical ability sublimated to the need to address an important feeling you have? Answer those questions to gain some kind of insight into successful, meaningful photos with deep impact.

For a good example of story-telling that is less concerned with precision and technical details, consider these. They are successful photos with a soul.

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  Photographer found comment helpful.

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