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The Boy in the Cellar.
The Boy in the Cellar.

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: In The Style Of: bspurgeon (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D
Location: usk castle, wales
Date: Jul 9, 2011
Aperture: f/2
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1.5sec
Galleries: Portraiture, Children
Date Uploaded: Jul 9, 2011

10x ND filter.

Great challenge. Ben is one of my favourite photographers and influences on DPC and the main reason i got myself the 10x ND. I was pleased with the results of using it on this image... ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1371/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948798.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1371/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948798.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ... and i've done something similar here although it was less needed due to the lesser light. But i like using it anyway as it certainly adds something to an image rather than using a much smaller aperture.

I think some people may see the colour as being non-typical of Ben's work (although he's not always B/W of course) but i'm not after a complete imitation of his great images but rather add my own take to his influence. Likewise i think this may be a bit too dark and contrived for him as he is often more spontaneous and more upbeat but i like a bit of grubby and spooky theatricality.

Very little post processing done on this really. A very slight crop and i had to lighten the shadows to stop the blacks clipping so much. Then some dodging on the boy and steps and that was it.

Oh, and it's not a cellar. It's the wooden steps down into part of the ruined Usk castle.. Only a few miles from me it's one of my favourite castles in Wales, mainly because it is not CADW (the official body looking after built heritage in Wales) and is privately owned which means it's beautifully overgrown and wild and has chickens and other animals roaming about in it. Not that i'm knocking CADW- It's just that they landscape the hell out of these lovely castles when i like a bit more wildness really. Also, their health and safety would have done for these rickety wooden steps and they probably would have sealed this particular tower off as not fit for visitors.

Place: 5 out of 156
Avg (all users): 6.6460
Avg (commenters): 8.3333
Avg (participants): 6.7342
Avg (non-participants): 6.4412
Views since voting: 2555
Views during voting: 246
Votes: 113
Comments: 31
Favorites: 8 (view)

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01/31/2016 05:48:12 PM
Wow. Great great image!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/24/2011 09:38:37 AM
I love this Clive...for me this told a story, your colors and slight movement just drew me in...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/23/2011 12:46:17 PM
terrific image with your own take on Ben's oeuvre. great finish, too. congrats, Clive!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2011 12:55:42 AM
Beautifully done and such a treat to see color in the top ten .. it fills my mind with so many possibilities as to why that little child is sitting on the stairs .. thank you .. and congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2011 12:50:13 AM
Clive = FABULOUS! Congrats on top 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2011 12:43:48 AM
How did I miss this even in my incomplete voting and commenting? You do with colour what Ben does in black and white, similarities to cited Benphoto notwithstanding. There is a thrilling vibration of a strange archetype. Wonderful to see this on the front page.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2011 12:27:48 AM
Congrats, Clive!! Killer image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2011 12:18:43 AM
the color threw me off a little. Glad to see this finish so well though - excellent image (the way Ben likes 'em)!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2011 12:14:10 AM
Awesome Clive. Thrilled to see this near the top.

ETA: Great comment from Brain ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' bvy. Congrats on his 10,000...he is a bit promiscuous, yeah?

Message edited by author 2011-07-22 00:24:21.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2011 12:05:55 AM
Really great work, Clive. 'Grats on the Sturgeon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/21/2011 11:22:10 PM
This is a splendid photograph. We tend to forget how small we felt when reprimanded. My wife had a more painful and horror filled interpretation. Proof that color can be emotionally exploited.

I thank you with a Sterling Sturgeon

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/54645/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_963227.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/54645/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_963227.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 10:08:21 PM
suitable creepy. intriguing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 09:47:19 PM
Moody.. the Spurgeon way.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 09:47:08 PM
This in a POWERFUL image. Very powerful. I only gave it a 6 in my voting phase, but as I go through commenting on some of the entries, I feel I was too harsh on this and feel an 8 is more appropriate for this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 09:05:37 PM
Amazingly dreamy watery painting, perfectly composed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 06:03:29 PM
This would be a beautiful canvas. Nice!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 05:32:47 PM
At first glance, an abstraction of terror. Subsequent glances are more disturbing. It's a metaphor many of us can relate to, even if we'd rather not. It's much easier, after all, to just look away...

We can't see the child's face. The face could be yours or mine and the cellar some dark part of our past we'd rather not explore or revisit. We do our best to endure it (as shown here by the child's mannerly posture) but it never really leaves us. It sits alongside us. Dark against light. Color against pallor.

This one registers with the psyche.

I'd be remiss if I closed my commentary without relating this in some way to our Man of the Week. Ben's images are efficient like this in their ability to stir the imagination. His imagination is fertile. That's why I enjoy his work, and it's why I enjoy this. This one is my pick of the challenge, and I suspect it will be high on his list as well.

(And thank you for reading my ten thousandth instance of dilettante drivel here...)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 08:44:04 AM
excellent painting. just a thought regarding the title: i would let the viewers guess where this is happening. they might come up with their own ideas. (not voting)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 08:35:48 AM
A bit creepy. Looks pretty much like a poster of some horror movie. I hope I'm not offending you with this - because I like this very much.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/21/2011 07:42:20 AM
Very nice work Clive. This one grabbed me right off the bat. In my top three for the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/20/2011 12:12:57 PM
Marvelous image. Very powerful and rich. Can't say it's particularly Bennish, but it is excellent. Killer light, and just enough texture and detail in the negative space to make me be afraid. Be very afraid.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/20/2011 01:43:00 AM
Wonderful earthy tones. Some people might prefer B&W for this challenge, but I think the color makes it stand out among the rest.

A beautiful nightmare! 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/19/2011 11:03:53 PM
Very moody
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/17/2011 03:06:14 PM
Captures a certain sadness.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2011 10:27:16 PM
Excellent work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2011 09:36:26 PM
This is one of those shots than is kind of creepy, yet wonderful. Upon 3rd review, I'm upping the score. It'd make a killer book jacket for a mystery about a lost kid. You even have the title. Good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2011 08:31:37 PM
Lovely creepy feeling from this shot. I love the sharpness of this blur (?!)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2011 05:03:38 PM
A very powerful picture of all the fear of childhood. But I feel that it was too much worked on and it lost the candid quality, that all the trebling was not there and just added - I think that I do not make myself too clear. But I like this shot a lot though and for the boy's little sweaty hands I keep it for a long time in front of me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2011 02:44:57 PM
Back to comment... So thought provoking. Sad, scary, terrifying even. I could probably write you a book of a comment about this, but won't simply because it makes me sad. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2011 07:22:52 AM
Gripping stuff.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/15/2011 11:59:52 AM
WOW! I thought I had picked my winner for the challenge until this shot came along. Love the colors, framing and emotion. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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