>>> Semifinal #1 feedback thread

Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in ResidenceRegistered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
edited May 29, 2007 in The Dgrin Challenges
Being a semifinal, and the stakes and expectations are higher, I am going to be a little more critical than usual, and since there are fewer entries, I can spend more time with each one too.

Post# - Photog - Title
2 - Dalantech - Spring
It's pretty, but lacks something unknown for me. I stopped to look at it but in the end decided to keep looking. It also looks as if too much shadow manipulation has taken place, stripping the photo of some visual dynamics. It is close for me, but needs a bit more.

3 - bgaras2001 - Sweeet
This had me stop in my tracks and vote for it. For just a visual display, consider a 10:4 horizontal crop or even a 3:4 vertical crop with the bee centered in the new crop. It would use the space with even more impact I think. And a minor point, the spoon is a bit unattractive. Twisting it so the viewer could see the bowl of the spoon would be more interesting and it would eliminate the reflection of the plate below.

4 - rddphotos - Cruisin the California Coast
A nice photo, I like it. I can't think of anything to say on the plus or minus side however. Maybe too much sky? I don't think a pano crop would fit. This is a tough one for me, it needs something, but I can't pinpoint it.

5 - Greensquared - Froggy Friend
Very cute scene. Consider a horizontal, centered, 3:2 crop. The top of the head is only partially cropped and needs more. The crop would give more prominence to the frog/child relationship too.

6 - seastack - Edge of Tides
Sweet mercy! :bow I am in awe!

7 - kingmamaof2 - In dew time...
The foreground of the rose is too dark and the background is too bright so the combination doesn't work for me. And remember, red is tough to shoot with digital, so make those exposures very carefully.

8 - pemmett - Sacrifice
I like the contrasty feel, but the ground feels overexposed and the markers seem too far away. A closer, on your belly shot would have more visual impact. Your are close to it being just right here, but need to do more

9 - adrian_k - Rgb
This was kind of boring. Nothing stood out other than the tryptic nature, and that alone can't carry a photo. You need to have a visual reason to use the split screens here and I don't think you found one with the marbles that was strong enough. I like the angle of the shadows, but the facing of the marbles feels haphazard

10 - davev - 27
Love the B&W and the focal length, both bold with an interesting subject. Well done. You could even get a little closer I think and add more visual pop.

11 - JimW - When I'm 96
This photo relies too much on the title to tell the story. If it were not for the title, few would want to stop and look at the photo. All I see is a man nearly done with breakfast. And nothing else make me wonder what is going on.

12 - richtersl - Mannequin Warriors
It may be time to diversify! You don't want to get in a rut visually and these mannequins seem like they need a new angle or something fresh to give them the same impact as when we first saw them.

13 - fashiznitsngrins - Allure
Watch the eye of the feather, it make the model look lopsided. Either put it at the eye point or far enough away that it won't be associated with an eye.

14 - vandana - "Soaring high"
Sweet mercy! :bow Wow!

15 - pyroPrints.com - Candid Glimpse
Love it. This could so easily be worked into an ad in a magazine for some kind of cologne or something. Very moody and emotional feeling.

16 - LiquidAir - Pair
Feels too empty for me, a vertical 2:3 crop has more impact for me. Nice play on words in the title! Nice studio feel to it.

17 - Swartzy - Metropolitan Mood
Very cool. Feels a tad too contrasty but good visual pop that stops one to take a look. Concider a 10:4 pano crop on the bridge for an even more dynamic look.

18 - ultravox - Fiat Lux.
Very cool, I love the vintage look of the shot, but something tells me I want to see the candle lit. You could enhance the look if the wick were cut down shorter so the hot spot where the "flame" is supposed to be didn't have the wick visible and was nothing but white.

19 - Nikolai - The Conductor
Could be on a cover of the concerts program!

20 - osoi - Prometheus' Gift
The color looks off in the green direction, the bowl is not visible enough, or if it was intended to be unseen, is too visible, and the expression on the face is blank and without a clue as to the emotion of the shot. Is this a show of power? Something awe inspiring? A threat? Painful? There is no way to tell based on the face.

21 - klphoto - Compassion
Visually it lacks impact. A 2:3 vertical crop would help some. But it feels like you are on the back side of the shot and need to be on the other side.

22 - Tessa HD - Just One More
Beautiful! :lust could probably use just a tad more brightness.

23 - lynnesite - My Mane Muse
This one isn't doing it for me. Not your best and feels more like a grab shot emotionally and compositionally. The face is too far from the viewer to take the main focus and no other details try to gain that attention. The viewer has to then try to see if that marking on the neck is a brand of some kind. Not being able to tell the viewer moves to the next photo.

24 - Robert - sentimental bull
Too much relyance on the title to carry the photo. It looks more like a neck shot. Not a very interesting angle. If the photo had more eye contact, so that the bull was regading the camera then the title might pull more weight. But the bull is totally ignoring it and the viewer.

25 - PaulThomasMcKee - Homeless, Seattle
Too much reliance on the title. It looks like someone simply taking a nap in their backyard. The angle and obstructions don't give any visual context to the contrary.

26 - gefillmore - biker-
Looks like a farmer standing next to his barn. Where is the motorcycle or gear that would give the viewer the context that this was anything but a farmer? So here too, too much reliance on the title.

27 - sunione - Old Fashion Bouquet
A beautiful shot that could be a product shot in a catalog, but perhaps not enough 'tude to sway voters of a contest.

28 - BeachBill - Day's End
Cool time of day to shoot that shot! Looks great.

29 - photogmomma - In her eyes...
Fantastic! Frame this one big!

30 - sherstone - " Rail Meat "
Lean! hahaha I like to laugh and this let me do that :D

31 - JFreeman - Crystal Pier
Love the long exposure and the aspect ratio!

32 - Ann McRae - Pastoral
A 2:3 vertical crop would be more complementary to the tall trees. Could use a bit of sharpening.

33 - annnna8888 - Sunrise colors
Beautiful shot and time of day. But it could use a tad more contrast, specifically a bit more shadow density.

34 - Speck26 - On His Own
A cute photo, but looks like it suffers from camera shake, also consider a 2:3 vertical crop to put more compassion in the shot.

35 - clovisguy - White Sands: photographer @work
Very cool! I love the footsteps, the sun, and the silhouetted figure.

36 - NanaMo - Dos Suertes...
Not doing anything for me and I can't pinpoint anything in particular.

37 - cjkphoto - A bug's life.
Too hot, it makes me want to squint. And the view is too far away. If this is to represent a bugs view, we should see the scene from much closer to the flowers.
Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
"Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie

Comments

  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Registered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    This was sent in by irenelucier:
    "Soaring high"
    Iconographic.The elements work, background doesn't overwhelm action, important for a silhouette style image containing an active subject. The gesture of player's body is balanced by the hoop. Leading lines are dead on, my eye travels repeatedly through the image and never out. Photographer did well to ground the photograph by including, well, the ground.

    Metropolitan Mood
    I find myself enjoying just perambulating through the image and the longer I viewed it the more I appreciated what goes into capturing a night water/landscape image of this quality. The photographer has done an excellent job.

    Sunrise colors
    Don't know if you'll agree, but I was suprised by where this picture took me. Perspective emphasizes separateness within the image, makes each component very strong. Church atop a hill, with a hint of humanity below can be interpreted as a higher state of existence. The strongest 3 foreground elements produce a trinity of symbols church - spirit, well - wisdom, tree = peace.

    Sweeet
    Don't know about you, but I love an image that allows me to imagine the meaning & context. Blue is a mockery of flight (sky) since there's no chance of it. The title makes me think at first that the bee is totally happy with it's find. But the little guy is also totally doomed. The un-obscured reflection on the bottom of the spoon, gives details of how the photographer set up the shot & I don't know why I needed to see that.

    Edge of Tides
    The texture in the foreground rock relieved the trademark softness. Well composed, good colors, otherworldly.

    Just One More
    Children easily photograph beautifully, but this moment is worthwhile for it's honest treatment of a subject so often cliched.

    Candid Glimpse
    The contrasty boldness, compositional darkness gives a modern art feel. She's inscrutable, but even with his face in the shadows he easy to read. Moody. Painterly treatment works for this image, though I wonder if the tonality in the man's shirt and in the highlights on her legs could have been retained.

    Mannequin Warriors
    Lighting intrigues, although it leads me right out of the image at least once. Most mannequins in similar lighting are weirdly sinister. This image conveys something exotic & epic. There is almost a heroic feel to the posing, lots of dramatic potential. Big impact for dummies.

    "Rail Meat "
    This image is charged with a story and I find myself wishing I knew more about it.

    White Sands: photographer @work
    Last thing I'd expect is an apparently nude photographer in tennis! Sun flare leads the eye into the appealingly textured foreground, & I follow the tracks back to the figure. The little bit of details to the right side of the image make me wonder what's over there but that's really a minor distraction.
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • photogmommaphotogmomma Enormous giggles Registered Users Posts: 1,644 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Thank you so much for your kind feedback, Shay! It's always wonderful to have feedback - of any kind.

    I'm still amazed to have qualified. Thank you!:D
  • osoiosoi Playing with Fire Registered Users Posts: 23 Big grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    20 - osoi - Prometheus' Gift
    The color looks off in the green direction, the bowl is not visible enough, or if it was intended to be unseen, is too visible, and the expression on the face is blank and without a clue as to the emotion of the shot. Is this a show of power? Something awe inspiring? A threat? Painful? There is no way to tell based on the face.

    that was my bad... i was focusing on getting that flame and forgot about the other elements... as for being off to the green direction, i cant help that too much, :cry i dont see greens... maybe i should go back to b&w...:D Thanks for you input, ill just have to try harder next time...
  • pemmettpemmett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 507 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Being a semifinal, and the stakes and expectations are higher, I am going to be a little more critical than usual, and since there are fewer entries, I can spend more time with each one too.

    Post# - Photog - Title
    8 - pemmett - Sacrifice
    I like the contrasty feel, but the ground feels overexposed and the markers seem too far away. A closer, on your belly shot would have more visual impact. Your are close to it being just right here, but need to do more

    Shay,

    Awaesome work on the feedback as always. Thanks fo the great feedback, just what I needed to get myself moving again.

    Cheers/Peter
    "Take a moment to capture a memory that will last forever"
    My images | My blog | My free course
  • sherstonesherstone ½ here Vancouver Island, BC., CanadaRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 2,356 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    30 - sherstone - " Rail Meat "
    Lean! hahaha I like to laugh and this let me do that :D

    I'm so glad I could make you laugh...

    Thank you ever so much for the feedback I learn so much from every image that you critique.

    A big thank you to irenelucier, as well for taking the time to write your thoughts. (You can find a little bit more information about the image on my site)
  • RistyzRistyz Horsin' Around Registered Users Posts: 58 Big grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    #3 Sweet - bgaras2001
    This one was close to top ten but I think the crop could have been better and the reflection of the plate bugged me as it attracted too much attention. The bee also looks dead because of how sunk inot the honey it is.

    #5 Froggy Friend - cute but cropped too tight for my taste. Perhaps a bit more of her arms showing would have created better leading lines to the frog and her face instead of her knuckles. I would have liked the background to be more out of focus to hide the detail in the grass. The light is beautifully soft.

    #7 In dew time - kingmommaof2
    I didn't mind the background being desaturated but I wish the baby in the droplet still had color and the shape of the black background the baby is sleeping on make it look cut and pasted into the droplet. I like the rich red of the rose

    #8 Sacrifice - pemmet
    Very neat concept, too 'blown out' for me and the tree foliage looks so overprocessed. I like the use of partial desaturation for the flags. The wide angle lens has also given it the tilted feel of an unlevel horizon. Pickynesses that kept it just barely our of my top ten.

    #9 Rgb - adrian_k
    I like tryptychs and I think you are onto a good concept but the images just didn't do a whole lot for me.

    #11 When I'm 96 - JimW
    beautifully exposed and nice natural light. The background would have been better if it were all curtain or all solid but having both was distracting. Also too much stuff on the table. 1-2 fewer elements would have still told the story

    #12 Manniquin Warriors - richtersl
    This was in my top 15. I like the processing and the partial desaturation. I thought the composistion could be stronger.

    #13 Allure - fashiznitsgrins
    too soft and the skin tones are so oversaturated they are very unnatural and yellow/orange. the model and the set up are beautiful. Getting her off center with a wider crop may have helped some too.

    #15 Candid Glimpse - pyroPrints.com
    the composition is nice and the idea of glimpsing into an unseen moment of everyday life is really fun. The man's face was too dark and the dark area between thier faces is a bit of a black hole

    #16 Pair - LiquidAir
    love the colors and the composition but there is just soemthing missing to give it that something special

    #18 Flat Lux - ultravox
    This image has a cool old feeling to it kinda like stone washed jeans, the image and the treatment of it match. I didn't care for the halo around the bulb & socket and it's just lacks pop.

    #19 The Conductor - Nikolai
    I loved this and it barely didn't make my top 10. If the blur had been more natural or not there at all and the condoctor a bit more off center It would have been there for me for sure.

    #20 Prometheus' Gift
    It's just not sharp, the background is distracting and looks like a sheet tacked up and the skin tones are flat. I like the lighting. If hhis hands were a bit lower the lame would show up aginst his shirt better.

    #21 Compassion - klphoto
    Not a bad image. The lighting is very nice. It's kinda blank on the left side of the image, usless excess that doesn't add to the it. I think a square crop would have made it better.

    #22 Just One More - Tessa HD
    I love backlighting. A little fill flash (real or post processed) on the main subject would have gone a long way and gotten the cyan cast out of hr clothes. The Depth of Field is perfect.

    #24 sentimantal bull - Robert
    Fun play on words in the title. the detail in the beast and the sky is great, a ltttle fill flash and a slightly more angled composition would have improved the image lots. (I know I know, animals dont' always do want the want them too!)

    #25 Homless, Seattle - PaulThomasMckee
    Nice juxtoposition. I was left wanting to see more of her face

    #26 biker - gefillmore
    I like HDR and photos with a photoillustration look but this one was overprocessed for me. The haloing on his arm around the tattoo and next to the shirt kinds kills it. I really really miss the far shoulder the most tho', the current crop is too close to his head on the right, a little more room

    #27 Old Fahoined Boquet - sunione
    It's pretty and the color choices are great. I didn't like the shadows. The 'leading line' shdow is harsh and the lower shadows are distracting from the boquet

    #29 In her eyes... - photogmomma
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the processing very nice tritone. The use of wide angle make her head look to obig for her body and I also would have like to see a bit more of her arm and hand.

    #32 Pastoral - Ann McRae
    the cow is just too out of focus and it shouldn't be since it is on the rule of thirds focal point. needs a bit cropped off the right side too.

    #33 Sunrise Colors - Annnna8888
    this is nice. I love the colors and old world feel. The tree on the left looks like it got left out of the processing. It was in my top 15.

    #On his own - Speck26
    A very nice and crisp image of a black bear. I do like it but it just didn't have that something special to shove it over the edge into great. Very good use of depth of field.

    #35 White Sands: photographer at work - clovisguy
    very good detail but I wanted the footprints to lead to the subject more directly. I'm also an off-center kinda gal and the subject is smack dab in the middle.

    #36 Dos Suertes... - Nanamo
    Nice color and depth of field but the crop could be better. Too close to the lead rider's head and not enough on the right for the horses to 'run into' The lack of detail in the lead horse's chest creates a black hole in the middle of the composition

    #37 A bug's life - cjkphoto
    Where's the bug? Seriously, it was hard to find making this image not really about the bug. Either a closer crop or a different title would help that aspect. This image overall is too busy, a more selective pattern of flowers could have helped, either fewer flowers or placed so that the centers lead you through the image. The highlights being so white is distracting and adds to the clutter.

    That's all of 'em. Those that did not get noted were in my top ten! Had fun, thanks for having me guest judge!

    Cristy
  • pemmettpemmett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 507 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Ristyz wrote:
    #8 Sacrifice - pemmet
    Very neat concept, too 'blown out' for me and the tree foliage looks so overprocessed. I like the use of partial desaturation for the flags. The wide angle lens has also given it the tilted feel of an unlevel horizon. Pickynesses that kept it just barely our of my top ten.

    Cristy

    Cristy,

    Thank you so much for the feedback. Awesome.

    Cheers/peter
    "Take a moment to capture a memory that will last forever"
    My images | My blog | My free course
  • DalantechDalantech No cropping zone... Registered Users Posts: 1,519 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Being a semifinal, and the stakes and expectations are higher, I am going to be a little more critical than usual, and since there are fewer entries, I can spend more time with each one too.

    Post# - Photog - Title
    2 - Dalantech - Spring
    It's pretty, but lacks something unknown for me. I stopped to look at it but in the end decided to keep looking. It also looks as if too much shadow manipulation has taken place, stripping the photo of some visual dynamics. It is close for me, but needs a bit more.

    Thanks for the feedback Shay! The lighting that day was almost perfect for that type of shot -very low contrast light (the sun was filtered through some thin high clouds). But the low contrast can cause the shadows to look "flat" -I probably bumped the shadows no more than 5% in post processing. I guess I should have left it alone.

    I thought of two things that I could have done, but was out of town all weekend so I didn't have time to make the changes. One would be to replace the image completely with another that had more color. The other would be to set up another layer in Photoshop and make the butterfly the only part of the image that's in color. I'll probably do the later for my portfolio...
    My SmugMug Gallery

    Looking for tips on macro photography? Check out my Blog: No Cropping Zone.
  • GreensquaredGreensquared Lost my lens cap Cartersville, GARegistered Users Posts: 2,115 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback!

    Emily
    Emily
    Psalm 62:5-6

  • richterslrichtersl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 3,322 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Thank you, Shay and Cristy! iloveyou.gif
  • photogmommaphotogmomma Enormous giggles Registered Users Posts: 1,644 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Ristyz wrote:
    #29 In her eyes... - photogmomma
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the processing very nice tritone. The use of wide angle make her head look to obig for her body and I also would have like to see a bit more of her arm and hand.

    Thanks so much, Ristyz! I really appreciate your feedback!

    In this shot, I used a 50mm lens on my 5D - what would have been more appropriate? I thought that was the "perfect" portrait lens - or is that only for full body shots? (Not complaining! Want to learn!) Could the crop have created the illusion that her head was too big? (And I completely agree about her arm and hand - big pet peeve in my book.)

    Thanks again! :D
  • NanaMoNanaMo always grinning Registered Users Posts: 189 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Thanks Cristy, for the feedback. I appreciate your comments as I want to make this a learning experience and figure out how to improve for the next round. bowdown.gif As you might guess...the horses were upon me before I knew it and that was the best of the shots I got. bowdown.gifIt was a first time with this type of shot and I thought there was enough room to 'run into' and still show the action of the feet kicking up the dirt.

    Learning, learning! Off to #6!

    Thanks again,
    Maureen rolleyes1.gif
  • lynnesitelynnesite Horses of Courses Registered Users Posts: 747 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Thanks so much for the detailed comments, Shay!
  • Tessa HDTessa HD Major grins Registered Users Posts: 852 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Judges, thank you for the feedback,
    This is such a great benefit to being a part of this forum, what a learning tool!

    I am sooooo excited and feel honored to have made it this far! wings.gif

    I appreciate your time in judging and sharing your critiques as well.

    Sincerely,
    Tessa
    Love to dream, and dream in color.

    www.tessa-hd.smugmug.com
    www.printandportfolio.com
    This summer's wilderness photography project: www.tessa-hd.smugmug.com/gallery/3172341
  • clovisguyclovisguy Big grins Registered Users Posts: 16 Big grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback.
    I'm glad to have made it this far.

    clovisguy
  • Ann McRaeAnn McRae SmugMug BizDev|Educator Registered Users Posts: 4,584 Major grins
    edited May 29, 2007
    Thanks to all for the time and energy. Ironically, the softness of my image was purposeful and done in post. When I shot the scene I was thinking english countryside painting, and the crisp photo didn't convey that for me. So I applied a softening filter and gaussian blur. I really waffeld a lot - but it wasn't until Monday, at work with a different monitor, that I could see it just looked OOF.
    Ah well, ya win some and ya loose some.

    Thanks again

    ann
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