A55 + Tamron 18-270PZD + Sony 70-400G + Sony 50 F1.8 + Tamron 90 macro
Frederik Paul: So what? Pretty straightforward...
Photographers of all levels use this site, from complete beginners to professionals. Judging by your comment you seem to think that this article is somehow a waste of time (maybe you feel your skills are a level above so this sort of exercise is of no value to you whatsoever), but for many (myself included) it is really informative and gives some good insight into both the technique and philosophy behind this very striking picture. So that's "what"
carlislenow: The photos in this article are nice, but not convincing as examples of the virtues of "planning" in landscape photography.
In addition to the fact that none of the images is that incredible, the first "unplanned" image seems to be at least as good, if not better then, the last one. If you are going to show a three-day process with lots of "planning", shouldn't the final painstakingly planned image be amazingly better than the first, unplanned, image?
You thought Day 2 was too "cold".Couldn't you have altered the color balance of the Day 2 image in PS and saved a day. That wouldn't be as radical as the HDR blending you actually did for the Day 3 image. If blending images is in-bounds, why not just skip the planning and walk around taking snapshots of different skies, trees, with no planning, and blend them all together in Photoshop?
There are certainly cases where planning and preparation pay off, but these images don't seem to be all that good as examples of it.
Fair point, however I think that the article is more focused on describing the process used, rather than giving an example of an optimum end result. By the author's own admission he is not satisfied with his final image and so intends to return again in the future, thereby continuing the process he has described.
Michel Bricteux: Would love to hear from the voter who gave me a 0.5. ;-)
My guess - a fellow entrant to this challenge ;)
DMillier: Of the first three places, this shot is the one that is genuine photographic art. Congratulations for such a great shot. The first and second placed shots, were clearly the most popular choices, and great examples of technical photography, I preferred this one by a mile.
It's interesting how competitions reveal public taste. My Office ran a voted photographic competition recently and I did an analysis of voting patterns. People certainly appreciate composed and well worked photographic art, but it doesn't win. Instead, pictures of fluffy animals win.
The art shots (the type of superbly visualised, composed and lit shot that most photographers dream of shooting) will receive a pat on the back but will be well down the pecking order.
The public at large seem to be particularly cool on subjects that have no living subjects. Animals seem first choice, people next best and clever graphic compositions rather distant also-rans.
I think that in these sort of contests it is often about that initial "wow" factor - i.e. what is striking / engaging straight away. I agree that this is a wonderfully composed image, but it's the sort of image that doesn't have that doesn't have the same initial impact to most of the general public as something like the winning kingfisher image. But I think that sometimes the "obvious" high impact shots can lose their interest the more you look at them, whereas shots like this one stay interesting for longer. Having said that I still give full props to the winning pic - it is an amazing moment that has been captured with great skill.
Carmel: Sorry to spoil the party but this picture reflects a bad taste to say the least. Are we just technical photographers? Right, it is very original, the colors are natural and the details are great. But what about the message? I see here none. No love nor mercy, no dignity, no sentiment at all. Oh well, this is just a fish.
Carmel, I must say that I'm somewhat confused by your comment. How is this picture bad taste? This is (for want of a better term) a nature/wildlife photo, and it is showing a natural occurence. How is that bad taste? With regard to your comment about it being a "technical" photo, again I don't understand the issue. Yes this was obviously a technically-challenging image to capture, but how is this a problem, and how does this make it somehow less worthy of winning the challenge?
I get the various aspects of the argument being thrown around about whether or not this challenge is appropriate (artistic expression vs cultural sensitivity vs forum rules etc. etc.). It's an interesting debate but the reality is that it is certainly not going to be settled here. At the end of the day it will be up to DPReview management as to whether this challenge goes or stays, so let's wait and see (I personally have no problem if it stays, but that's just me...others have every right to a differing opinion).
One thing I do feel very strongly about though is that if you're offended by nudity, and you see a challenge entitled "clothing optional", then simply don't click the link. If you choose to click on the link and look at the pictures then don't blame anyone but yourself if you get offended. Honestly!