Friday, September 28, 2007

Two from Three

1. Bath Cresent

2. Shove tuppence

3. Window and Chair

Your thoughts on which are the strongest two for the up-coming 1st print competition would be greatly appreciated. I have a potential two picked, but not sure at this stage.



Gareth said...

Very difficult, because they're all so different!

Composition on the Bath Cresent is lovely, and you've got interesting sky which is good. However, that dark patch of stone at the bottom, about a third of the way across from the right, breaks the sweep for me and keeps dragging my eye down towards it. I find this a hard image to look at because of that. I wonder, however, if that's a problem with the smaller on-screen version which wouldn't be so apparent if it were larger? You obviously like it a lot, Ivan, and you've got a better track record of image selection than me, so take this observation for what it is - completely subjective.

Shove tuppence is a great idea and very nicely executed, technically. Control of depth of field and sharpness is excellent. The hand reflection is also good. I worry a bit that it's a bit unbalanced, though, with the horizon/symmetry line bisecting the image. I wonder if I more letterbox crop might be better - losing the bottom 15% or so to put the tuppence on the bottom left third intersection? Notwithstanding Damian's comments about never following the rules, sometimes if an image feels slightly uneasy (and not in a good way) - then putting stuff on the third can help. Is the judge going to comment that there's nowhere for the coin to be flicked to? Let's face it, the first prize will probably go to yet another predictable picture of a 'kin titwarbler, so perhaps we shouldn't try to second-guess!

I think my favourite is probably the last image, though. It's moody; low-key; producing a hint of intrigue and evoking an emotional response. He'll either love it or hate it - but if he loves it, you're laughing! The only question is whether it's worth opening up the shadows slightly in the bottom-right to give a little more detail in the chair rather than it bleeding completely into the window shadow. A bit of dodging - even at the expense of some noise? Just a thought.

Arm twisted behind my back, I'd go with the second two.

Anonymous said...


As ever, very good, clear, precise and rigourous advice. You should consider being a Judge.

Agree with the observation re image 1. But I think I can do something about that in PS. My thought was that it broke up the sweep, subtly, and provided a brief resting point before the eye slips off the end. But, as I said, I'll have a play.

As for the second image, I wanted to keep the reflection as intact as possible, but maybe that came with a balance trade-off. I'll have a play and see what any alternative crops reveal.

Interesting, as this is my favourite of the three too, and I too wondered if I should open up the shadows a bit. I felt that it hinted enough at the chair to leave be, and if I opened it up more, it would create a lighter lower right that may unbalance the subtle shade of the image. Again, I'll have a play.

I was going to go for Bath and Window, but I may play with Shove too, and would love to enter Shove and Window, since it would be two totally different images, spreading the risk but spreading the chance of appeal too.

Cheers for the very useful comments.


Gareth said...

> You should consider being a Judge.

How dare you, sir! I'm too busy photographing titwarblers.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why we now have German text appearing at various places on the blog, such as this below the comment input box..?

Sie k├Ânnen HTML-Tags verwenden, z. B.

Whose been farting around with the settings (Damian?)...?

Gareth said...

Haha! I thought it was just me! Ve haff vays of making you post!

Critical Light said...

Without looking at the 5 posts above this is how I feel about the three posted.

The best for me is the middle one: the hand and the coin. So simple. So clear. Nice colours. Neice depth of field. A softness. And at the,a subtle reflection.

The second favourite, although somewhat behind, is the first shot. Symmetry. Good black vs white gradient but perhaps a little on the dark side. To me, the upper right corner is very dark and seems quite dominant and creates a darkness over the whole image. Very nice light striking the building however with some wonderful shadows. So, perhaps the sky or the whole image could do with a little more brightness. Of course, this could be my screen.

The last image is the least favourite because it is too dark. The light in the window is excellent and the composition is great but I am screaming for more detail. Not a lot just a tad more. If it was a little brighter then I might favour this one over the first.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for all your suggestions. As ever, no real consensus, but that's what's so great about this whole thing.

I have definitely decided that I'll submit the last image, of the window and the chair; to me, it's the most subtle and the lack of detail creates a mystery and an emotional response, with the light just giving enough of a hint of definition and detail. I think it may do OK (kiss of death...)

For the second image, I MAY go with the hand, as it's so different, and I think there are some technical issues with the other black and white that you have both identified, although separate issues. Very useful feedback.