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Looking Through the Wet Window
Looking Through the Wet Window

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2012-01 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-500D Rebel T1i
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Location: Home
Date: Jan 26, 2012
Aperture: 6.3
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/80
Galleries: Vintage, Animals
Date Uploaded: Jan 30, 2012

Really simple editing. opened in camera RAW and saved the blown out areas. Made the highlights 'flat' and opened in PS. Librodo Sharpen. dodged and burned the eyes. gradient map with browns and creams. made the layer to soft light and lowered the opacity to 80%. Used the gradient tool and darkened the edges. resized. Unsharpened mask. saved for web.


I honestly dont know how this recieved the the score it did. If someone knows please inform me. I still find this score is ridiculous.

Place: 248 out of 287
Avg (all users): 5.1096
Avg (commenters): 7.5000
Avg (participants): 5.0392
Avg (non-participants): 5.2727
Views since voting: 663
Views during voting: 237
Votes: 146
Comments: 14
Favorites: 0

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05/28/2012 11:26:17 AM
I gave it a five during the challenge, highlights are a little blown. (although I am looking at it on my non calabrated labtop at the moment) Most of the votes are 5 or above (43 6+) not bad really. I've noticed pets don't seem to do well no matter how good the shot is, for what that's worth.

I find for me chosing between giving a 5 or 6 is the hardest decision in voting, often could go either way. I seldom give 9'sor 10's or frankly 1's or 2's

It's a good shot - If YOU like it- that's what counts
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/12/2012 08:35:24 PM
Hey, I'll offer 3 reasons for the score if you ask me, I didn't vote on this one btw -

1) Free Study - tough competition
2) Cat as the subject, people are fed up with them
3) Missed focus on the eyes, which comes to my attention first

Hope that explains :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 05:56:34 PM
Originally posted by aliqui:

2) It's a cat photo. People hate cats...

Above = Boom. But also because snapping your sweet fluffums-booboo's face in the hallway hardly will be voted up next to photography dripping with story, life, technical skill on display, yadda yadda. I learned this lesson with pics of my dog... regardless the make or model of pet we are all guilty of trying :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 12:18:37 PM
Sofia, this simply lacks the type of intention I usually see in your images. And it is not whimsical enough to survive the technicalities pointed out below. One of those sweet images that mean more to the photographer than to the viewer.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 12:04:23 PM
Some of this was already mentioned, but I'll list what I don't think is working even if it overlaps.

1) It's a Freestudy. We all quickly learn that folks are unusually tough when voting in such challenges. I think most people subconsciously compare photos to each other when they vote. Entrants bust out their vacation photos and other killer unique stuff and decent pet photos get brutalized.

2) It's a cat photo. People hate cats (not me!). I think the root of that hate for pet photos in general is abundance because of convenience. It doesn't show much effort usually. People want to know you worked hard. You hiked for 5 hours up the tallest mountain, you got up at 2am to drive to a far away obscure place to watch the sun rise, etc. You see a ton of pet photos, because it's "easy". You've got to stand out somehow, which is tough. Looks like you were standing in your kitchen. Didn't even bother to change out of your pj's and slippers. Maybe even shot one handed while holding a cup of cocoa while your poor kitty was stuck outside. You cruel human! Hm, I've gone too far maybe...

3) The processing isn't natural. The average preference of the masses is a natural look at least when it comes to colors. I learned this personally, because my dad is a purist and typically doesn't really like much of what I do. There's a market for artistic editing, it's just not big at DPC.

As kind of a side note, I've noticed photos that have that color overlay feel or a really obscure subject tend to do better in sets rather than stand-alone. What may not make sense by itself suddenly becomes clear when there's a whole portfolio of that particular style. The photo itself may not make sense, because it's like looking at one piece in an entire puzzle. Is this your particular style or were you just playing? From what I've seen it's not your style. Could it be you entered an experiment into a Freestudy? Think people picked up on that?

4) You knew your highlights were blown. Voters eat that up, especially when the blown areas dead center. You did do a good job of trying to bring those back, but it still became a big chunk (almost half) of your image just filled with detail-less white.

5) I'm a little torn on the distant look and wet window. As a cat owner, I know my cat gets pretty upset with me when he's out too long in the rain. He comes in grumbling (which is hilarious) and doesn't wait for me in the hall on the way to the kitchen like he usually does. He's clearly not amused with me. Anywho... I think that's what I'm seeing in this photo, but I don't think anyone else sees that, because it's not obvious. With the blown highlights maybe the sun came out, you can't see the rain, he doesn't appear wet, etc.

6) If the above isn't the intent of the photo, what is? Why did you shoot through a wet window? Was it for texture? The "texture" really wasn't apparent except the drip running down the left side and the area at the bottom. It could add supporting interest, but in this case the intent isn't clear.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 12:00:11 PM
Hello me duck,I gave this a 6 and think looking at it again today that would still be my score.I like cat images and also like the difference of shooting through the window. The focus and the fact the cat is not looking my way are negative points. In my view it is certainly not up to the standard of the shots I associate with your name,I always consider you as a more of a 7/8 type of shooter.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 10:36:47 AM
I gave it 5 I don't feel this pic is quite interesting as pet/cat portrait, just ordinary snapshot. IMHO, the image is less sharp, over expose at the bottom right.
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Wish you all the best.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 09:49:32 AM
I gave this one 6 on my first pass as it's a good shot. On my second pass I didn't feel it warranted a 7 or beyond as there was nothing that kept me from scrolling to the next image. A nice shot but it lacked the wow factor that I would associate with a 7+ shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 09:19:29 AM
*WARNING* Brutally honest critique following:

The impression I am getting here is disengagement/indifference from the cat, you can see the eyes but it's not looking at you. Only the nose looks in focus, and shooting through a window is always tricky. The crop looks really tight too, I feel constrained. The colours look fairly drab in the first place and the pp honestly doesn't seem to have helped.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2012 08:35:24 AM
Not sure why this did badly, I gave it an 8. It's well lit, gorgeous tones, love the water on the window pane, and the detail in the cats eye. Perhaps because it was a FS, it was voted lower because it isnt a WOW shot like many FS shots tend to be (gorgeous landscapes, action shots of wild landscapes, etc, they're easier to wow people with). In a challenge about pets or cats, this would do very well I assume, but given the competition, I think that would explain why many people (especially people who just see a cat, think cats are boring, and move on) would have voted it lower. Personally, I think it's a great shot
02/11/2012 07:59:13 AM
In response to this Thread.

Hi Sofia,

Here are some of my thoughts:
The shot is taken through a wet window, as says the title, but the wet window does not add anything to it than some irregular spots at the bottom and some spots that look like dirt.
The background has more or less the same color as the cat, which causes the top of the head between the ears to just fade into the background.
The fur to the right as well as some parts of the face are blown out, lacking any detail. However, as they are the brightest parts in the picture, this is were my attention goes, and I have to kind of force myself to look back at the cat again.
I gave it a 4 during voting for the above reasons.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/10/2012 07:16:16 PM
It's a reasonable cat portrait, but there is just nothing about it to make it special. I feel like 99% of the cat pictures I take turn out similar to this. I am not saying that you placed fairly in the rankings, but don't feel like this really deserved a lot more than it got either. With subjects like pets, kids, things we really care about, it's easier to think that the picture we took is better than the photo really is, because we have such an emotional attachment to the subject itself. Perhaps this is the case here. Again, I want to say its a good shot, there is just nothing to make it great.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/07/2012 08:46:50 PM
beautiful cat portrait, tender/fierce
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/01/2012 01:25:55 AM
great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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