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Author Topic: Having trouble - Is it good?  (Read 3642 times)
Kagetsu
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« on: November 06, 2007, 01:37:11 AM »
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Last night I captured the first series of images for a competition I'm entering.

This is the images I've come up with, that I feel will most likely be the final product.



For the life of me, I can't decide if it's good or bad... but more to the point, I fear I might be second guessing myself. When I look at it, I feel as though I'm looking at a good image, but am stuck in a frame of mind that's too critical. I haven't decided on a name yet, but will have a prologue to go with it along the lines of, deflated hopes (even though the balloon isn't deflated).

I'd really appreciate some input from anybody here, what they feel is wrong with it, what they feel could improve the image a little more If the crop is too tight, if something is detracting. Aside from the work in B&W, the image is cropped from this one.

I really wanted the little girl in the image, but personally felt it didn't work as well, and she was more distracting.
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GerardK
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2007, 02:19:08 AM »
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My first reaction was, stop trying to guess what judges or anybody else might say or think about your images - have some faith in yourself, go by your instincts and send in whatever image works best for you. If it wins the contest, congratulations, if it doesn't try again in another contest but please follow your instincts. Feel, don't think.

Having said that, I prefer the one with the girl included. To me it tells a funny, sad and poignant story about a clown who feels he failed in entertaining a spoiled rich little brat. If you crop out the girl, it's just a picture of a sad clown - there's no story. But that's just my interpretation. Good luck with the competition!

Gerard Kingma
www.kingma.nu
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 02:33:04 AM »
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I agree.  I like the balance of the full frame image.  As far as photo contests go, I gave up on them years ago because I found that I often had a different view than the judges over what constituted a good photograph.  Some of the winners would have ended up in my 'rejects' pile.  Still to each his or her own...

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


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david o
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 02:37:38 AM »
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go with the full version way more interesting...
as said a sad clown is sad... with the girl on the side that another story... a story.
let us know about the contest results.
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spidermike
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 06:18:55 AM »
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I agree with all of the above. The picture with the girl tells a story and has a better balance. If the balloon was deflated it would look as though the sadness was due to that - with the balloon inflated it is up to the viewer to make the story.

Commercial competitions often have a specific intention usually geared to the tastes and/or commercial interests of the competition sponsor (e.g. how does the picure relate to their product/s). In which case you need to do a large amount of research to find out what makes them tick.
If it is simply a competition about the 'best' photograph then it is all about one person's preferences versus another - if the judges are known in advance, you can often do some research on that as well.
So I would give up second guessing on the subject, do what you enjoy and I hope we can help with advice on your chosen picture. feedback.

Good luck and I hope you get constructive from the judges!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 06:32:45 AM by spidermike » Logged
Kagetsu
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2007, 06:47:19 AM »
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Thanks for the comments everybody.
Incidentally, the competition is being run by Canon Australia (Canon Photo5 competition currently on their Au front page) which has 5 objects. This is for my balloon entry.

I'll work on different version of the image and submit it, but follows the lines of the girl. Initially my intention was to have the girl holding a helium filled balloon, unfortunately the helium escaped from all my balloons I'd purchased, and none floated... Bit of a fizzle one might say.

Thanks again, I really appreciate the input from everybody.


This would be the new version
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 07:00:30 AM by Kagetsu » Logged
GerardK
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2007, 07:53:11 AM »
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I like the wider crop on your latest version, less cramped, but I prefer the first version because the girl looks down at her hands instead of at the photographer. This supports the 'story', she looks slightly bored, waiting for something more interesting to happen. Having the girl look at the photographer introduces the photographer as a player in this story, which makes no sense to me. So may I suggest the first version, but uncropped as in the second version?

Otherwise, I agree with the above comments on contests. Do your own thing. May I humbly point out that I am one of the winners of the Travel Photographer of the Year 2005 competition, which won me a 7-day trip for two to the Bahamas plus Adobe Creative Suit CS2. I still do my own thing.


Gerard Kingma
www.kingma.nu
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blansky
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2007, 10:30:32 AM »
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I think I like the clown alone but both are interesting.

I would however try ot remove the mortar that is tramping all over your picture or at least darken it down a bit.

Michael
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 10:31:15 AM by blansky » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007, 12:02:10 PM »
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I like the very first shot the best; the girl doesn´t strike me as either ´spoilt little rich kid´ as somebody implied, nor in any way else. Added baggage.

The tight crop reduces (in its positive sense) the pic to a single, basic motif, and since when has simplicity been less than strong?

Stay with what you did - screw any judges; what do they know, anyway? What does ANYONE know, for that matter, about what you felt when you shot the thing? Enough that it moved you to action.

Rob C
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jule
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2007, 03:25:02 PM »
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Thanks for posting your image and this opportunity.

I would like to see the clown and balloon without the little girl, but cropped less tightly, so there is a bit more of an 'isolation feeling' to the image.

I tried with one of the images, but there wasn't one to work with that had the extra dark wall bit beside the post.

Any chance of you showing us how that would work from one of your originals?

...and I agree...don't second guess yourself or the judges. Just do work that you like and makes you feel something. Stuff the rest !..and that includes all our opinions as well!  

[attachment=3716:attachment]

Julie
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russell a
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 03:34:04 PM »
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OK  My two cents (before inflation).  Use the wider crop, girl looking down, see if you can't burn the background, especially that mortar pattern behind and to the left of the balloon.  It almost becomes another "presence" in the image.  Nice shot.  Please yourself before all else.  Second-guessing judges is futile.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2007, 10:01:16 PM »
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I actually kinda like a crop (squarish) of the girl and the ballon.

Edit:  "without the clown" should be added to that sentence.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 10:02:05 PM by DarkPenguin » Logged
Kagetsu
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2007, 04:57:35 PM »
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Hi everybody. I'll upload a few different trials tonight(Aus time). I'm actually quite fond of the subject to be honest, and I'll definantly approach the style again. I'll also try with just the girl and the balloon.

I'll upload a few of the other shots that are unusable in the competition, but on their own they appear to be quite nice.
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meyerweb
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2007, 08:32:56 PM »
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Quote
Hi everybody. I'll upload a few different trials tonight(Aus time). I'm actually quite fond of the subject to be honest, and I'll definantly approach the style again. I'll also try with just the girl and the balloon.

I'll upload a few of the other shots that are unusable in the competition, but on their own they appear to be quite nice.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151597\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

First off, go with the one your gut tells you is best, not what me or anyone else tells you.

That said, I actually like the one without the girl. It's enigmatic. The fact that the story isn't spelled out for us makes it more interesting, at least to me. It makes me think about the image, and what it means, and that means I spend more time looking at it. The full shot is, to me, oh look, a girl and an unhappy clown. Next photo, please.

Someone suggested a crop of the girl and balloon, without the clown. It doesn't work for me, but looking at the image cropped that way makes me realize another reason I like the clown alone better:  the expression on the girls face is weak, especially compared to the clown in make-up. It's hard for me to tell what's going on with her.

Take the next with a grain of salt, because at the moment I'm on a laptop with a crappy screen, but if you choose to use the girl I think the image needs more light on her face. It's too deep in shadow, and makes it hard for me to really see what's going on there.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 08:44:52 PM by meyerweb » Logged
Kagetsu
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 11:50:58 PM »
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It's very hard to bring her out due to her natural skin colour (quite dark)... I'm personally very much fond of the clown on his own... to me it seems to speak a story, and as you said, she just doesn't have enough presence.

In any case, I've been suggested to open it up a little more on the left however which I'll also try.

I've actually come back in line a little more too, and really feel strongly for the clown on his own.
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Kagetsu
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2007, 11:29:29 PM »
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for those interested... I've finished another two images. I've decided to go with the cropped to the Clown only, but I did darken the mortar and brick wall a little in the lighter areas. It's brought the subject more into focus, where as before the mortar was too distracting.

I did a little Lightroom gallery for those who are interested.

(the last three images are just trials that didn't work out, but thought I'd put them up).
http://www.ecande.com.au/camgear/
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