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Comments Made by David.C
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Image Comment
Wildswan
01/06/2006 02:58:01 AM
Wildswan
by AlexSaberi

Comment:
Congrats on a new personal best with this 7+ top-5 finish.

What first draws my attention in this image is the tonality -- this is true of any well done *-toned image, and this one does it well. From the textures of the white feathers, to the rippling of the water and OOF distant shore; the tonalities bring out the textures and make this image stand out.

The exposure, as I said is perhaps a bit high, losing a small amount of detail on the back and doesn't seem to have a true black. A quick look at a histogram confirms this, so a bit more dynamic range was available to you; a touch more contrast to make the subtle details pop.

The composition is perfect -- I have nothing to add to what has already been said other than to mention again how well the full reflection balances the peacefulness of the scene. A peacefulness that is disturbed only by the extra negative space to the left and the slight rustling of the wings that give the image motion into it. These are the one signes of wildness, and subtle signs they are, that are present in the image.

With such a well executed image I was willing to take for granted the swan is wild -- so this subtlety is a bonus. Although it could be said, hiting the viewer with a more obvious showing of a wild streak would have been better received by the voters, I don't think it would have added to the scene any. Swans depict a soothing calmness that is evident in the carefree way they float on the water -- sublety fits them far better, IMO.

Considering the competition, I believe this images placement in the top-5 is exactly where it should be. With this entry and the additional top-5 image I see you have already added to this one, I expect to see you on the front page in the very near future. Good luck on future challenges.

David
Critique Club
puzzled
01/05/2006 05:52:38 AM
puzzled
by nlghttrain

Comment:
Congrats on a new personal best -- which I see you have already surpassed. :D

The lighting on the ceiling provides an uneven background that works very well with this image. With it the puzzle pieces do indeed seem to be floating at different depths.

The main drawback I see is the lack of anything that can be considered the center of attention. The random placement of the pieces may have won you points with the abstract lovers, but at the cost of a subject for the rest of us.

David
Critique Club
Photographer found comment helpful.
dogAngel
01/05/2006 04:11:39 AM
dogAngel
by kiwinick

Comment:
What a wonderful pose and expression. She does indeed look as if she has wings instead of ears.

The negatives have been covered in the comments already recieved, but I will reiterate from my own perspective.

The size is probably the one thing that caused your score to drop. The image should always be at (or very near) 640 pixels on the largest side. Anything less and your competing at a severe handicap. This image, with 400 pixels on the largest size is less than 2/3rds the size it could have been. The small size does more than just give the viewer something larger to look at, it also gives more pixels to display the details with.

The overall contrast of this image is low. The black background works well, but it should have been tacked down to an actual black instead of a very dark grey. Once the blacks are nailed down, stretch tonal range to make the whites completely white. Once again, this is a matter of using all that is available to you when displaying the image. An image that doesn't go from complete black to total white is losing some of the tonal range it could be using. If your unfamiliar with adjusting the tones of the image, read the tutorials, ask in the forums or even PM me -- it is super simple and really makes this image pop.

I'm going to go against the crowd in the commenters below and say that I like the softness of the image. Sharpening is an option, if you like; but I like the dreamy look the soft focus gives it. I think it matches the username better this way.

Again, don't take any of this too hard -- it really is a great photo, that's why you got so many comments. We just have to see a photo this good not living up to its full potential.

Good luck in the future challenges.

David
Critique Club
"Jay Bird" the Blue Jay
01/05/2006 03:36:31 AM
"Jay Bird" the Blue Jay
by Drake

Comment:
First, congrats on your top 20 finish with this wonderfully composed candid.

This is truly a wonderful capture, from the sweeping lines of the branches to the pose of the bird. The fore-branch cutting the bird provides a sense of motion, while the back-branch provides a much needed feeling of depth.

As for negatives -- aside from the nitpicking of an OOF tail feather and the general softness of the image (personal preferrence applies, of course), the only real negative is the under-exposure of the little guys face. I find it a real shame he wasn't facing the other direction to take better advantage of available light -- but failing that, judicious adjustment of the tonal values would have brought the face back into parity with the bird's tail end.

Congrats again on a great capture.

David
Critique Club
Photographer found comment helpful.
vulturebabe...dressed to kill
01/04/2006 06:37:29 AM
vulturebabe...dressed to kill
by sajin

Comment:
Congrata on capturing such a regal pose -- it is certainly worthy of the top-10 finish it received. I do indeed feel a chill while looking at it -- but that may be from the ice-cream I'm eating. ;) But, is certainly helped by those blood-red eyes and a beak that leads my eyes down to the sharp tip of the beak. As was said, that is one model you don't want to get mad at you.

From the pose, to the expression, to the wonderful exposure that brought out the tonality perfectly -- this is a portrait any young lady should be proud of.

There are just a few nit-picks that normally I would not mention, but since this is a critique perhaps they will help see why this shot didn't finish with a ribbon.

The first is the shallow DOF; her back feathers fade out of focus, even though the angle of view makes them look to be about the same distance from the viewer. This is a bit disconcerting and minorly distracting -- pulling my attention away from the face.

The second is the 'hair'. While I disagree that it is so bright it lost all detail, as the detail is there to notice, it is pushing the edge of brightness sufficiently to be undecernalbe on some monitors.

The third is the background. This was the first thing I noticed about the shot after the eyes. While the subject is crisply detailed and quite clean of noise, the background appears to have a great deal. This in itself would not be so bad, but the banding, particularly near the face stands out in stark comparison to the detail in the face.

Of the three, only the last I would consider major -- but since it wasn't mentioned by the voters, I'll label it minor and chalk it up to just me. :D In any event, as I said they are minor and hardly worth mentioning.

Truly an outstanding portrait of the lovely young lady. :0

David
Critique Club
Photographer found comment helpful.
oneword
01/04/2006 05:32:47 AM
oneword
by GinaRothfels

Comment:
One word it is, and one we see all too often. ;)

The sky is lovely. Unfortunately, it grabs most of my attention, so little is left for the one word. Cropping the sky out would certainly bring the focus back to your subject, but would lose the asset of the sky.

A better approach I feel would be to lighten the forground. I have to agree with the commenters that it is a bit too dark because of the backlighting creating a near silhouette of the foreground. The haloing mentioned is the natural side effect of the backlighting.

As far as choice of perspective, the road creates a leading line, accented by the white line, but it does little for the image. A car parked on the word, or just before it would have implied action better. But the one thing that keeps nagging in the back of my mind is that I wish you had gotten higher -- but that may not have been possible.

David
Critique Club
Photographer found comment helpful.
Snowflam3 (The snow flamethrower!)
01/04/2006 04:46:32 AM
Snowflam3 (The snow flamethrower!)
by permapier

Comment:
It would be wonderful to get snow like that here again -- not much at all for the last few years. I think your comments in the box above demonstrate you view this for the novelty of the snow and not for any photographic merits it has.

That said, there are a few things to notice about it -- one you said you used a 4 sec shutter, but obviously also used the onboard flash -- with it taken at night, the flash essentially became the shutter, stopping the motion of man, machine and snow. Not completely, however, as there are since of motion blur on the snow blower. Without a fuller description I can only guess, but I would say the blower had lights on it that continued to iluminate after the flash fired; which gave the flame-like glow and motion blur.

Things that held it back in the challenge would include the use of the onboard flash and the harsh shadow to the left and the motion blur. If the blur could have been eliminated while still producing a flame-like glow, it would have been much better.

The spray of snow creates a diagonal that gives the image strength and motion, but I agree with the commentor below and cropped most of the gentleman out. In addition, a couple of steps to your right would have created feeling of observing the action rather than the feeling of having just missed the action I get from the nearly direct receeding of the individual.

I hope you enjoyed the visit with your Girlfriends parents. (I also like how you capitalized 'girlfriend') :D

David
Critique Club
Photographer found comment helpful.
Creek
01/03/2006 06:51:33 PM
Creek
by bbright

Comment:
From the blue tones to the subject, a very cool image. However the choice of shutter speeds here is unfortunate. IMO, higher or lower would have helped the image, but which one depends on what you were trying to achieve.

A slower shutter speed to smooth out the water, removing the business of the background -- but also increasing the confusion between the motion blue and the shallow DOF. Or a faster shutter speed to stop the motion of the water and provide a solidness in the background and remove the conflict between blur and OOF, but at th expense of adding to what is already busy.

In any event, a much shallower DOF would have helped the image -- but would probably not been possible in the avialable light. As it is, there is little to seperate the in-focus subject from the OOF background, resulting in a competition for my attention. That competition between the two is, IMO, why this image finished squarly in the middle of the pack. It holds my attention, and thus gets the longer view desired, but fails to do anything with that attention once acquired.

David
Critique Club
Photographer found comment helpful.
Sweet Music
01/03/2006 06:43:54 AM
Sweet Music3rd Place
by Dirtypainter

Comment:
Congrats on your first ribbon!

I can't add much that hasn't already been said, but I can say this. There were many in the challenge that used a leading line only partially in focus. And while this adds interest, it does not add to the seperation of the subject, so needs more. You added this more with the sheet music. While many isolated words with DOF, thus providing a subject, this alone does not provide much interest. By combining the two you created interest and a subject that provoked even more interest (however unintentional) by it's unusualness.

Add to this the wonderful lighting and tones the only think I could think of to improve it would have been to include another sheet of music closer to the camera to emphasis the OOF of the foreground.

As I said, the lighting is wonderful, but it appears bringing the lighting up to this level in post-processing created some problems in the darker areas. This is unfortunate, but not critical enough to drag the photo down much.

Again, congrats on your first ribbon -- I would say you redeemed yourself nicely.

David
Critique Club
Photographer found comment helpful.
Generations
01/03/2006 06:08:46 AM
Generations
by Tej

Comment:
This image fits the challenge well, but unfortunately lacks the impact of a winning image. The focus is spot on and definitely shallow, but the background is a bit busy. The green leaves in the background against the white provide a a contrast that draws my eyes away from the subject.

The brown branches are the main distraction, which is a shame. I feel they could have been used to your advantage if you had moved your perspective up and to the left just a bit. What I am thinking of is moving the subject out from in front of the branches -- this allows the strong diagonal lines to frame the subject, pushing the viewers attention back onto the flower.

Dispite these few complaints, it made a strong finish squarely in the middle area of the voting pack. This area is hard to get out of, but careful attention to compositional details will get you through it. Good luck.

David
Critique Club
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Showing 31 - 40 of ~640


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