This is one of the better images I've seen on this website, both visually and in terms of its message/emotion. I can't tell what photography was involved, but a great deal of artistry was certainly involved.
Thanks for sharing,jbf
This is a photo that I like that finished low in the /Moving Human Sihoulette- taken at Night/ challenge. I can understand why it didn't do well in the challenge. The subject is small, not moving, and partially obscured. I just thought I'd give props to the photographer for creating a moody and eye catching image. I'm thinking it may be better cropped, but I can see it either way. Here's the crop I'm talking about:
I doubt if anyone else ever looked at those phones and thought, "I wonder what a yellow wall would do for this view".
This one didn't finish very high in the dream challenge, but I like it. It's creative and artistically designed. The reds and magentas are oversaturated, but that's an easy fix. Overlaying images is a good way to replicate what it's like to dream imo, probably better than blur. It needs something coherent in the center, not as an abstract image where it works well the way it is, only if it's meant to be an accurate representation of a dream.
You took a moment that was memorable for you and made it memorable for everyone who sees the photo, even if they don't know you or the subject. There are a lot of great photos in this challenge. Congratulations on finishing at the top,jbf
I'm very impressed by the Falling Rain challenge. There are great photos all the way down the rankings. Here's one I really like at #85. Who thinks about trying to photograph the edge of a storm? Brilliant! Also of note is the great sense of depth due to lines that converge in the distance as well as the general composition which is nicely divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically.
Great story and great photograph. I was just reading a thread on another photography website, the subject of which was Walker Evans and his attitude toward photography. One quote from that thread was, "...true lyricism enters spontaneously without notice, almost never when called - and is often discovered after the fact, as an unexpected but welcome guest." I'm still trying to digest that whole discussion, but I'm guessing this photo is a good example of what they were talking about. I noticed you added a note: "Made it back alive ...barely." I can't help but think, "Made it back alive ...barely _from her home_."
I've never been a fan of HDR, but this challenge has increased my interest. Unlike most HDR I've seen that creates artificial looking light and colors in landscape photos, about a dozen images in the challenge made use of HDR, often in non-typical HDR scenes, to reveal a lot more detail than would normally be seen in the conditions under which they were shot. I don't want to make it out to be an all or nothing situation. It's certainly possible to blend a dark sky exposure and a light foreground exposure well. The key thing I learned from the challenge is that HDR can be used effectively to do things like seeing into the shadowed nooks and crannies between buildings, adding detail and depth to an image. This image which finished 16th in the challenge is a great example of that type of HDR. Some of the other images I like are finishers 33, 60, and 112. They are not what I think about when I think of HDR, but I like the way they make use of the technique.
I'm curious if anyone has similar thoughts, disagrees, or has other ideas on how to use HDR.
jkats wrote: > Hello,> First of all thank you for taking the time to reply and view my other photos. I appreciate this and your very helpful comments. I like being told what i am doing wrong since i'm new to dslrs (bought my nikon on Jan 18th) and noone is teaching me. I just read and read and keep shooting trying to use my imagination.>
I've gotten a lot of help from these forums just by asking what I could have done differently or by asking more specific questions when possible. Sometimes I receive unconstructive comments that I try to ignore, and sometimes nobody comments, but most of the time people are willing to share their knowledge.
> I don't seem to do any good in challenges here. Although, when i vote for the challenges i don't participate, the images that i give high scores turn out to be the ones placed high indeed, it seems that i don't have the same sense for my own images. I know they are not stunning and not really post processed to make the most out of them but in many cases i don't expect such low ranking.>
Being able to see other people's photos with a keener eye than your own photos is not unusual. At least I hope it's not, because I have the same problem. I keep learning things over time that help. When someone starts out taking photos, they tend to ignore things in the frame besides the main subject, they don't pay nearly enough attention to the light, etc. It's a gradual process. Also, there are tricks people use to create popular photos. Popular photos aren't necessarily the best photos, so don't worry too much if you're happy with a photo and other people don't like it.
> About this image my intention was to capture the full length of the airplane's line vanishing into those clouds. The clouds looked so nice that sunny day. However i couldn't find any interesting way to frame both the clouds and the line. If i excluded the mast out of the frame i'd lose those interesting clouds. If i kept the frame straight i'd get a different angle of the airplane line. So i captured it as you see it with the mast and ropes in the frame. I thought it was interesting as i could see a rectangle created by the mast, the airplane line and the ground.> > Reading your comments i understand the mast is too much distracting and i shouldn't have it in the frame. It makes sense what you wrote. I somehow still like this picture though. The sky just looks very relaxing to me.>
Typically it helps to have an object in the foreground when taking photos of wide open areas. There are exceptions to every rule, but I think that you need to include the mast or another nearby object in this photo. However, I wouldn't have included just a small part of it sticking out of the side of the frame unless I had a good reason to do that.
Since you said you were motivated to take the photo when you saw the contrail heading up into the clouds, maybe you could go a little deeper next time and think about what specifically you are feeling. For instance, consider the relationship between flying through the clouds in an endless sky and sailing through the waves on an endless sea. There's a sense of freedom and exploration in both modes of transportation that would make a good subject for a photo. So how do you best capture that? I'm not sure. It might be possible in a situation like this to include the wake behind your boat or another boat along with the trail in the sky. Compose the photo in such a way to make the relationship between the two trails obvious so that the relationship that you are feeling between the two modes of transportation comes across. That's just the first idea that came to mind.
It looks like you tried to use the mast to provide a sense of scale and point to the sky. If more of it was included, that concept would have come across more clearly. Of course there are other things you could do that are less literal, like using the contrail, mast and clouds more as abstract lines, shapes, and colors, if that's the way you see them.
Hopefully other people will offer different ideas.
> Well i hope one day i can come up with pictures as stunning as the ones some other people in here post... :)>
I look forward to seeing them. You already have some excellent photos like the one of the windmills in your collection.
> Best regards,> John
jkats wrote: > wow, 4 votes at 0.5 starts. I must be out of subject with a bad image too.> > It seems that the only time i didn't want to follow any rules i somehow failed to do so. I must be a natural. I can't brake the rules not even when i want to..> > But really what rules did voters see in this image? Anyone can tell?
I didn't vote in the challenge, but I'll offer my thoughts. First, don't worry about the votes of 0.5. The only qualification for voting is that you need a site login. The challenge admins can post voting guidelines, but there's no guarantee that anyone will even read them much less follow them. Also, I can't imagine that very many people spend more than a few seconds looking at a single image when voting, and they may never look at the full size view. Almost all of the highest ranked photos have their share of low votes.
Now, about this photo. You definitely broke the rules- tilted horizon, lines leading the eye out of the frame, etc. However, the challenge was to create a great image while breaking the rules. So the question is, did breaking the rules work to the advantage of the image? It's a matter of opinion. My opinion is that breaking the rules hurt this image.
When I look at it, I ignore the stuff at the bottom because it's tilted, it's cut off on the sides, and the objects are distant and small. That leaves the sky, the contrail, and the mast with ropes. The sky is decent except for the part that is overexposed on the upper right. The contrail should be the main subject given its size and position in the frame. It's a straight line that isn't used in a particularly interesting way. It does parallel one of the ropes which gives it some geometry, but it doesn't do much to capture my interest. It's also white which causes it to blend with the clouds even though it doesn't interact with them in an interesting way (i.e. weaving in and out of the clouds or joining with them to form a shape). The mast and ropes draw almost all of the attention because they are black against a bright scene. They pull the eye right out of the frame and there is nothing to draw attention back in. Just looking at the overall image and trying to get a general mood, I can imagine laying on a boat, rocking with the tide, and looking up at the sky. It's a nice concept for an image if that was the goal, but it could be communicated better and in a much more visually compelling way.
So yes, this photo breaks the rules, but not in a good way. It's certainly possible that I'm missing something. Why do you like to look at this image?
P.S. I looked at the other pictures you've submitted to challenges. My favorite is the windmill picture entered into the Minimalism challenge. That challenge is loaded with good shots so it will be difficult to finish high, but it's very good.
The picture that won the Anthropomorphism challenge deserves to be #1. This image is a very different interpretation of anthropomorphism than that one, but I would put it second. There is more human emotion depicted in this image than any photo of people I can think of. It has humor too. Oh by the way, it's also excellent visually- simple color pallete, curves leading the eye to the action, no distractions.
The 3 votes of 0.5 is a real head-scratcher given the impact of the photo, but who knows, maybe those voters owned pet wildabeests when they were kids. It would be interesting to know what they were thinking. The photo was taken in the dark and there is some sensor noise, so maybe that turned them off. The voting is pretty random, but one of the things I enjoy about the challenges is finding gems like this one that didn't make the top 10. It finished 14th, so I don't want to make it sound like it got totally disrespected.
onlooker wrote: > Excellent shot. It has drama, tension, is unconventional, grabs attention... yet it got 3 0.5 stars votes. Mind boggles.> > To me it's a winner.
I really like this image. It grabs your attention as you look at some serious attention grabbing going on within the image.
The "Art: Abstract Photography" challenge was a very good challenge. This photo stands out from the group for two reasons. First, you could walk by the place where this was taken a thousand times and never see anything close to this composition. Secondly, it takes some effort to see the image as a non-abstract (as real objects) even with the help of the description.
There are many interesting macro shots in the challenge, and some good ones that made use of blur and reflections. The success of this picture is due to knowing how the camera sees things and making exceptionally creative use of that knowledge.
This would be funnier if the photographer was able to capture people running away from the bird, but unfortunately that didn't exist. It's still worth a smile and is a much better photograph than the ranking indicates in my opinion. The conversion to black & white (which was very well done) and the chaotic scene make it look like something out of a bad horror movie. This image stands out from the majority of other entries in that it isn't an obviously funny subject. The photographer made it funny. The balloon is a little funny on its own, but the photographer had the eye to see the overall scene and manufacture a funny story with the camera.
One suggestion I just thought of would be to crop it so that everything is at an angle if possible. It might add to the feeling of chaos.
TMalford wrote: > My image placed 90th and this one blows it away.>
> A victim of thumbnail voting I surmise.
The thumbnail looks great too. Don't know.
This one stands out to me, both the statue and the photograph. It's the coming together of two excellent artists which I'm sure was the intent of the challenge. Here's why I like it. The tree fills the background perfectly with what resembles paint-spattered texture. Compositionally, the rule of thirds is used to great effect both vertically and horizontally. I don't mind that the figure is looking out of the frame. The photo is titled "Waiting for Eternity", so if having the subject looking off into the unknown wasn't a conscious decision, it involved good instincts. A lot of the photos in this challenge and other challenges are more contrasty and naturally attract the eye. This image is more subtle and gets better the longer you look at it. The soft, hazy light is more appropriate for the solemn context of this scene than high contrast processing would be. I don't know who the sculptor is, but wow, the statue is simple yet powerful.
One thing I've learned from this challenge is that subways are a great place to capture interesting pictures. This one has the elements that many of the others share- long curves, moody lighting, various kinds of contrast, etc. This one is exceptional in several ways. The most obvious is the slow shutter speed. Other photographs make use of a slow shutter, but the movement blur is used to tremedous effect in this image because it is all in a thin line curving through the long dimension of the frame. That area also stands out due to the mix of bright colors surrounded by dark greys. I like the bright area at the top showing the world above through the bars. Finishing the image perfectly is the motionless conductor, framed in the window of the train, leaning his head on this hand as people swarm in and out of his dark, subterranean world.
I'm not sure how this got messed up. The preview looked okay.
I saw that this picture finished low in the Reportage 2 challenge. It struck me as a picture that had a lot of potential. Even though it's a beautiful landscape, it works well as a vertical crop too. There are a number of layers that become apparent in a vertical crop and the picture isn't so centered. It also gets you closer to the main subjects. You do lose some of the mountains, so it's a tradeoff.
I did a Levels adjustment to add a little more contrast as well.
Very nice photograph,jbf