James M Hughes

James M Hughes

Lives in United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
Works as a Writer/Photographer
Joined on Jan 9, 2008

Comments

Total: 6, showing: 1 – 6
On Static Wheel in the Portrait of a Bicycle challenge (20 comments in total)

> Would a challenge entitled 'portrait of a person' necessitate a photo of the entire body? Even the entire face?

If you focused on part of the face you might get away with it, but could an image of a person's hand/arm be considered a 'Portrait'? I don't think so!

Actually, if this Challenge has demonstrated anything, it's that bicycles as a subject are not especially photogenic or interesting. It isn't until you get to the image placed 20th that you have a straight direct unadorned picture of a bike. The next 'straight direct' bike picture is the one placed 46th.
With nearly all the other images, the emphasis is on the background and/or lighting/colours - this is what 'makes' the shot interesting or eye-catching; the bicycle itself is largely incidental.
The winning shot is in a different category, showing virtually nothing of the bicycle but concentrating heavily on the atmosphere of the surroundings. It's an effective image, but 'Portrait of a Bicycle' it isn't!
If the Challenge had been Portrait of a Person, and (instead of the wheel) you had a shot like this showing someone's left leg, would that /really/ be a true Portrait of a person? And would it have won? Answers on a postcard... :)

J M Hughes

Direct link | Posted on Feb 17, 2010 at 23:06 UTC as 4th comment
On Static Wheel in the Portrait of a Bicycle challenge (20 comments in total)

> Yes there is a bicycle there in ths shot

I cannot see a bicycle in this picture, David. This is 'faces in the fire' stuff. Sure, the wheel /implies/ bicycle, but the shadows are so totally blocked-up you can't actually see anything. Leastways I can't.
Clearly your eyes are much better than mine - can you tell me something about the bicycle? For starters, has it definitely got two wheels? Could it be a tandem? And is it for a male or female rider? No guessing here!

J M Hughes

Direct link | Posted on Feb 16, 2010 at 20:05 UTC as 8th comment
On Static Wheel in the Portrait of a Bicycle challenge (20 comments in total)

I just checked the image in Photoshop. The image is under-exposed by about a stop and the left side of the histogram shows noticeable shadow clipping. The shot was taken on a compact camera with limited DR, incidentally - not a DSLR.
If you think you 'see' a bicycle, you're imagining it - almost the entire shadow area on the left side of the frame is completely blocked up! Even the best monitor in the world won't show detail where there isn't any.
At best, all you can see is the outline of the handlebars at one or two points. Check the histogram in Levels - even moving the midtone slider over to the left to lighten the image, you still see nothing - the detail is simply not there.
I never criticised the picture for its artistic content. I simply said that it does not 'portray' a bicycle as such. To win a competition entitled Portrait of a Bicycle, I would've hoped for a bit more than a shot showing two thirds of a wheel at a distance, and /nowt else/.
Even the title of the winning picture - Static Wheel - endorses the point I'm making.

J M Hughes

Direct link | Posted on Feb 16, 2010 at 11:09 UTC as 11th comment
On Static Wheel in the Portrait of a Bicycle challenge (20 comments in total)

And ...the winner of the /'Portrait of a Bicycle'/ Challenge is (drum roll)... er, a stunning portrait of a wheel! Well, actually, /two thirds/ of a wheel - and not a bicycle in sight!

Who votes for this stuff? Does anyone bother to try and discover the subject of the category they're voting in /before/ they vote?

J M Hughes

Direct link | Posted on Feb 16, 2010 at 00:57 UTC as 18th comment
On Canon 40D in the Gear challenge (2 comments in total)

I'm surprised this didn't do a lot better than 38th - it's easily one of the best pictures in the Challenge.

J M Hughes

Direct link | Posted on Feb 12, 2010 at 00:16 UTC as 2nd comment
On Twight Serenade in the Dramatic Light: Green Filtered B&W Male Portrait challenge (3 comments in total)

Not only is this one of the most /arresting/ images of the whole group in terms of subject and composition, it also completely fulfils the stated criteria of the challenge.

It perfectly demonstrates the way strong filtration highlights skin texture and facial detail, adding interest by enhancing the character of the subject.

A worthy winner!

Direct link | Posted on Jan 23, 2010 at 21:02 UTC as 2nd comment
Total: 6, showing: 1 – 6