While they are sleeping... R.I.P
by keriboiComment by Bear_Music:
*** CRITIQUE CLUB RESPONSE ***
Regarding the challenge topic ("Death"), the image obviously meets the challenge. In fact, from a scoring point of view, it meets the challenge TOO obviously, it comes across as too predictable a solution. There are no surprises, there's nothing that elevates this image above the other cemetery shots, and the middle-of-the pack finish seems about right for this one.
Aside from having taken a different approach altogether to the challenge (in other words, an image that's not-a-cemetery), how might this have been improved?
One thing that comes to mind is that well over half of the image area is given to stuff that's really basically irrelevant to the emotional loading you want the image to carry. Or in any case, nearly half of it... The grass is basically useless for contextualizing here, while the trees, at least arguably, offer some "shadow of death" overtoning that's appropriate.
But basically what's happening here is that you're shooting from eye level and you've been seduced, in the small viewfinder, with the apparent power of that strong diagonal; it's an easy thing to have happen. But the diagonal isn't helping the image at all, it's not leading us anywhere we need to go, because the *actual* potential interest of the image is found in the progression down through the field of graves, and *that* is a left-to-right diagonal, not the right-to-left one you've established which is effectively walling us off from penetrating the graveyard. I'd have been looking at getting closer to the stones and filling more of the foreground with them, and trying to generate a leading-line type flow INTO the graveyard, not across-and-out of it.
Another thing that strikes me, reading your notes, is that this is apparently a night shot (presumably illuminated by lighting within the graveyard?) but it doesn't give that sense at all, and that's too bad; after all, "night" and "graveyard" are a classic pairing, and it would be nice if you'd managed to capture some of that dark, eerie mood.
Hopefully, this feedback will give you something to digest and apply the *next* time you shoot a graveyard, jejeje™