I searched the web a while to find out what kind of plant this was. I believe it is Purple Fountain Grass (pennisetum setaceum). This bunch of it is growing in a patch between the sidewalk and the street down the block from where I live. There are several gardens in the neighborhood where this is growing and I've been disappointed with my previous attempts to capture a decent image of it. I spent some serious time shooting all kinds of subjects in B&W this month, and I've really come to like many of the shots, especially this one of the fountain grass.
However, before I knew that this was actually a kind of "grass", I went to the web looking for inspiration in poetry to come up with a decent title for my image. I instantly liked the title, before even reading the poem. Of course, I decided it would be lame of me to not read the poem, so I did. Later, when I found out that what I shot was "grass", I was rather delighted with the additional connection to the poem beyond its title.
This is my first submission to a Free Study. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
** I was going to just include a link to the poem, but the web is polluted with pop-ups, so I've copied the poem here:
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
Place: 151 out of 296 Avg (all users): 5.5969 Avg (commenters): 7.3333 Avg (participants): 5.4896 Avg (non-participants): 5.9091 Views since voting: 538 Views during voting: 217 Votes: 129 Comments: 4 Favorites: 0
Hi again Chris, and welcome back to the Critique Zone!
I really like this shot, but then I am really in a 'BW' place myself at the moment. The contrasts of light and dark sides to the grass heads, and the curves are very appealing.
Technically: I am interested by your use of such a tight aperture - most lenses peak in sharpness at about f8-f11 and by f25 I would expect to see some refraction creeping in on any but the most expensive, which may account for some of the blur. I'm sure that camer shake or movement accounts for some too, at only 1/25. The DOF is nice, but I would have probably tried to get a little more of the foreground grass heads sharp - I guess that might well just be taste. The lighting, as I have said, is excellent. Natural, but excellent.
Artistically: I really don't think that there is anything I would change if it was my photo. The lateral length of the grass means that this simply has to be a landscape shot. The balance of foreground and background is really well done and there is enough going on everywhere without it looking busy. Also, a really top BW conversion!
In summary, this is the sort of shot that I would expect to see for sale in an art gallery. Unfortunately DPC is clearly back in a sunset mood for this challenge, but that shouldn't decrease your pleasure in this shot - it doesn't lessen mine. Incidentally, the structure really reminds me of this one from posthumous