Mini challenge #256 - Models - Results

puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bumPosts: 1,620Registered Users Major grins

Well, for a start, thanks to all who decided to have a go – I appreciate that models aren’t necessarily everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ .. but then again, many of the topics / challenges set aren’t mine, either – which is one of the reasons I rarely enter these gigs.

One thing I was looking for were pics where the model was ‘centre stage’ – rather than something that happened to be part of an overall scene … where the latter just happened to take someone’s fancy – so they pointed their cam in the general direction and clicked.

So, a pic that does the model justice will get more of my attention – in the same way that a decent person portrait would.
By ‘centre stage’ I obviously don’t necessarily mean slap bang in the middle of frame

Models come in a vast range of shapes / sizes / materials / quality / uses etc etc – but they are either working or not. So, if the pic is of a working model – evidence of that in frame would also count as a plus – as far as I’m concerned.

If static /non –working, then something other than a pure ‘record’ shot would also attract my attention – ie, something better lit / posed etc than my bike model shot – which was only done as a quick ex of getting down to an appropriate level for the subject – without actually getting low.

I’d also suggest that asking the average (if such an animal exists) person in the street about what they’d expect a ‘model’ to be – I’d bet they’d say some sort of smaller than life size replica – or similar wording (once the catwalk variety had been discarded of course) – so if pics of life size models of subjects are present they’ll be viewed / judged in the same as if they were the ‘real thing’

The bottom line is always – as far as I‘m concerned, anyway – is ‘does the pic work / does it deserve to stay on the HD, taking up memory space?’ This is the criteria I use when viewing my own daubs, and I see no reason to change it when viewing others – whoever they might be.

‘Zoomer’s mantra’ is, of course, ever present
Light /background / composition / pose.

Life size models
I liked GrandmaR’s security guard the most – but I’d also suggest there’s a better crop present … portrait, cropping out the zig zaggy bg stuff in frame left. Crop line thru the middle of the vertical white stripe just to left of ‘model’. For a LS shot imo it’d be better with more bg frame right, that model is ‘looking into / towards.

Jeromy’s people shot – can’t help but wonder what this scene would offer from a lower pov (there’s a surprise) - and with the nearest model pointing towards cam, maybe? As is, makes me think that the pov used was to include as much as possible, of the scene / people, rather than a taken for max. impact?

Jorgen’s Hotel scene is way too busy for a ‘model’ shot – they’re just lost in the overall level of detail present for them (the models) to be considered as the primary focal point / centre of attention.
Santa is certainly centre stage – but suffering from ‘outline/silhouette clutter’ – which is generally difficult to deal with in such a shot. The CCTV? Monitor sticking out of his head and the part circular red logo thingy are particular issues.

Ikbart’s bubble bath with Pink Panther was a nice idea – but imo would’ve been better with maybe a bit more attention to background and pov (ie lower) – since this was a setup rather than grab shot, maybe lighting too?

grandmaR’s pencil sharpener is a fun item – but again would’ve benefitted from a lower pov /better bg. Yes, I appreciate that it’s not always possible to achieve this in the real world … but that’s a totally different discussion for another day.

Of the 2 doll’s house pics (grandmaR / JorgenB), both have their merits, but, on balance I preferred gR’s. Whilst I’m not certain of why, exactly, I think the lighting in J’s creates a more sterile feel to the shot, whilst the shadows in gR’s help in providing ‘modelling’ to the model. Whilst Jorgen’s is, of course far better technically, I again think there’s a better crop present – if only to remove the ‘frame touching frame’ top left and the half pic, frame right. gR’s pic would also benefit (considerably) from some cropping, levelling and probably post work too.

As a cyclist (and, I suppose, bike ‘modeller’) I enjoyed looking at pegelli’s model bike pic – well taken from an appropriate pov, but I found the missing bit of bike somewhat annoying – but not quite as much as the dark line at the bottom of the pic – especially as it’s not quite level. On a different, model making note, I wondered if the item is a model of a real bike that has wheels with radial spokes – or is it just the way this model was made?

Re working models, then I suppose there’s only 4 pix (being generous?) the pencil sharpener + bike and Jeromy’s 2 model train pics. Whilst both of these are very good – I prefer the second one. I find the light coloured building something of an unwanted ‘eye pull’ and the lack of smoke / steam more annoying /distracting than the lack of exhaust with the diesel loco model. Again, if mine I’d consider cropping – especially the second – along the bottom, just above the bend, lower left – which would also remove the oof triangular bit lower R corner. A bit lopped off the top to remove the light coloured bit of bg just above the second carriage might help to further improve things too?

I would’ve thought that ‘rat threatening’ rather than ‘striking’ is closer with the pose in ikbart’s pic, but semantics aside, the busy bg, blown (or nearly so) highlights and overall harsh lighting / ‘feel’of the pic didn’t do much for me – sorry.

Unfortunately, I had similar thoughts about pegelli’s ‘country’ model pic – a nicely taken shot, and I’m not even sure that a lower pov would’ve helped with this subject, either. It’s obviously my lack of imagination /too traditional outlook or whatever that’s failing here – probably associated with the elliptical shape of the model – which creates an image that could be all manner of other objects.

Pegelli’s holy family model is a rather different beast, however – clean, well taken /composed etc shot – maybe a bit tight, but still a good shot – albeit - for me – of a somewhat static scene /subject . The only really unwelcome item in frame is the oof circular artefact in the bg that compromises the infant’s head silhouette. It could also be argued that the model itself (as well as the pic) is also a good example of where ‘less’ is better than ‘more’ – re getting a message across.

I think ikbart’s ‘camp tosie ii’ is an interesting idea (I’ve seen some brilliant food scene shots in the past) – but lighting / composition … and especially focus let it down.

That’s it, folks – for better or worse – obviously this lark is a very subjective one, and I’m no different from anyone else with respect to bringing personal baggage to the table – however, I would – and do – critique my own daubs in the same manner as I’ve done here, though.

Jeromy’s second train shot first (so over to him), backup to pegelli for family shot … and second backup to grandmaR for security guard.

Not bothered with pics as all involved know what they are – and data centres are being built at a phenomenal rate and consume vast amounts of resources.


  • CHANDLERJACHANDLERJA Light Seeker Posts: 400Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 22, 2017

    Thanks for selecting my image and for the time you took to discuss all the images.
    I really appreciate the feedback!

    I will post the next challenge shortly. :)

    Light is everything in life and photography.
  • sapphire73sapphire73 Major grins PennsylvaniaPosts: 1,687Registered Users Major grins

    It was fun to see a different kind of challenge here, and I enjoyed seeing what people entered. I didn't have time to shoot fresh photos for the challenge but it did get me thinking about models.... Thank you for running the challenge!

    Congratulations to Chandlerja and the runners up!

  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,690Registered Users Major grins

    Terrific feedback - thank you for that. I substituted the pencil sharpener when I found it at the last minute - it was a photo I took some time ago to practice shallow depth of field and it would absolutely have worked better as a model if I did it as you suggested.

    Point of discussion - the Doll Museum at Broholm Castle (which is not really a dollhouse) was a good photo of dolls, but does not work for me as models because of the inclusion of life sized furniture. In my photo, I was trying to convey the miniaturization of the dollhouse which shows in the slightly out of scale pottery.

    For the purpose of showing modeling, I think that if the Doll Museum had been cropped to just the dolls at the tea table it would have met the purpose better. What do you think?

    “" adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,620Registered Users Major grins

    @grandmaR said:
    For the purpose of showing modeling, I think that if the Doll Museum had been cropped to just the dolls at the tea table it would have met the purpose better. What do you think?

    Without actually trying it, I tend to agree.
    Your comment about the inclusion of life size furniture also resonated ... as I mentioned in my feedback / comments - re 'something being strange / odd' Shooting pics of model boats, I'm fully aware of the mismatch between scaled elements of the scene and those that won't scale - ie water :)


  • JAGJAG Photomaniac Wasilla, AKPosts: 6,720Super Moderators moderator

    Really great challenge @puzzledpaul Paul. I was off on vacation thus I couldn't be around to enter, but I appreciate the way you critiqued and gave good useful information for people. Kudos! Congrats to Jeromy!

  • lkbartlkbart Wandering in left field~ Derby, KansasPosts: 1,590Registered Users Major grins

    Agree with the terrific feedback! Fun challenge & congrats to Jeromy! :)

    A photograph is an artistic expression of life, captured one moment at a time . . .
  • pegellipegelli Major grins BelgiumPosts: 4,739Registered Users Major grins

    Thanks for the feedback, very good and thoughtful. And congrats to Jeromy winning this mini-challenge.

    Pieter, aka pegelli
    My SmugMug
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