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The Absolut Dad: Always Fun and Drinks Responsibly
The Absolut Dad: Always Fun and Drinks Responsibly

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Absolut Advertisement II (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Canon EOS-550D Rebel T2i
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Location: My family room
Date: Jun 15, 2011
Aperture: f/4.6
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/64 sec
Galleries: Advertisement
Date Uploaded: Jun 18, 2011

Shot with my 10-22mm super wide angle at a verticle. Processed through Adobe Fireworks to get the file size to under 300kb. Also reduced the image size. Anyone know a better way, please, let me know because I lost alot of detail. Shooting Large format with T2i and the file size is 6 or 7mb. Some saturation work and burning and dodging as well as contrast and sharpening. My first entry! Fooling around one day with the kids and turned a play day into a photo op.

Place: 61 out of 63
Avg (all users): 3.9847
Avg (commenters): 4.6000
Avg (participants): 3.9535
Avg (non-participants): 3.9935
Views since voting: 841
Views during voting: 410
Votes: 196
Comments: 9
Favorites: 0

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07/05/2011 08:21:33 AM
Hi Douglas, welcome to the Critique Zone!

I have a feeling that this might be a long one, so please sit comfortably! Also worth bearing in mind that this is just my opinion and at least one of your other commenters would disagree. To me, this shot looks uncomfortable and a little rushed. There clearly is a story here but I initially thought that it was mostly in the name - it wasn't until I read your extensive comments (thanks for those - really helped me understand what you were going for!) that I 'got' it. Obviously during a challenge, the voters don't have that and will have dismissed this as not meeting the challenge.

Technical: The shot is soft. Likely to be several reasons - your aperture is pretty wide for the Depth of Field that you need, I wouldn't drop below f7.1 for this really. You also mention some resize problems (see below) which can kill sharpness. The lighting is not good - your white balance is off giving this a really amateur 'warm' cast. You could correct this by using custom white balance (see the manual!) or by shooting in RAW and fixing it later, which would be my choice. The Canon DPP conversion tool is really effective, I use that instead of the Photoshop RAW converter so there is no excuse to shoot JPEG really.

Post-Processing: I think that the saturation is over done - this is a really busy shot anyway, and too much colour doesn't help. If you are using photoshop, sharpen using the Unsharp Mask tool at full size, then re-size the image using the image size tool in the 'image' menu (72 dpi and 800px on the long side) and sharpen again, using a smaller radius (0.6px?) and strength (70% or so). Use the 'save for web' command in the file menu and select 'optimise' and set to 300kb. That's how most people do it.

Artistic: The $64billion question... I personally don't like the perspective - it is too commanding and doesn't give the intimate family / drinker feel that I think that this needs. Perhaps making it look as if the viewer (the camera in this case!) is 'at the table' would help? It's also just way too cluttered - without the scattered lego and the tea sets I might have noticed the bottle, but I didn't until after reading your comments. Less is normally more. On the plus side, it does look as if you have a couple of fantastic models who might just help you get some cracking shots in the future!

Hope at least some of this helps.

Happy hunting,

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2011 01:18:59 AM
One more note: I wanted to stand the lego Absolut bottle up but it was in two pieces split down the middle so I would have had to hold it and without someone to press the shutter I had to lay it down because I wanted to hold the lego shot glass and had to hold the camera remote in the other hand.That is why the shot is from a high angle, to show the bottle.
06/29/2011 12:51:55 AM
I can't remember if I used a flash. I don't normally use a flash when I have time to set the camera but because the kids and I were in the shot I set it to auto so the flash may have gone off creating more shadows. The room has what some friends call french fry lights, recessed lighting in the ceiling which caused some shadows too. I have some hot lights but without help I could not set them up. There was alot of light in the picture, the white plates were blown out and so were alot of the tea set objects before editing.
06/29/2011 12:37:34 AM
It is tough working with children, even your own. I had to move fast and didn't have alot of time to set up the camera. I thought it was a great concept that missed in the delivery. I really needed another adult to work the kids. I snapped about 15 shots with a remote in my hand then reframed the shot and snapped 10 more. Only one, the last one, was the remote out of the picture. The kids were done so I had to go with it. I wanted some things you see on a table when people are having a drink together. It's a tea party, so cell phones for everyone, sunglasses, plates with desserts and purses on the bench seat. Each daughter wanted thier own tea set so it is cluttered. The scattered legos in the foreground were to represent a car crash type of link to the bottle for irresponsible drinking. low light on me like a dimly lit bar, I just wish the couch wasn't there but something more of a barlike look to give a transition. Bright and colorful on what is important, my girls. I'm looking at the lego shot glass as a kind of acceptance to the sacrifices that are made for being a responsible parent that can still have fun. Too bad my daughter on the left side looked away at the tv and had a binky in her mouth. I'm traing them to play to the camera so they will get better and so will I. Thanks for all your kind comments.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/26/2011 02:10:02 PM
Well, the idea and sentiment is good.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2011 09:20:49 PM
I really like your concept here. I think it's absolutely adorable. I like the top-down perspective. The psychological connection and presence here really captures me as a viewer. The interaction between the girls and their father is touching. My eyes start at the little girl on the right, follow her gaze to her father, follow his gaze to the playing table and the girl on the left. It's the perfect triangle. I do wish the image was a bit cleaner. I feel there are a lot of unnecessary toys pulling my eyes away from that triangle. The lighting is also very flat and feels very "built-in flash" to me. A natural light and a less cluttered image would have been perfect.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2011 10:00:14 PM
HAHA, very cute!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2011 08:58:33 AM
I love the honesty of this image. It very much feels like 'a real moment'...but without the title, it in no way makes me think of absolute. The lighting feels a bit harsh- lots of shadows on the table- ground etc.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2011 01:49:38 AM
Every kid loves a Vodka party. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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