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Social Distancing is easy when the world around you is bleak and unforgiving
Social Distancing is easy when the world around you is bleak and unforgiving

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Non-Ribboner's Landscape/Seascape/Cityscape (Standard Editing*)
Camera: Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+
Date: Mar 24, 2020
Aperture: 2.4
ISO: 50
Shutter: 1/3000
Date Uploaded: Mar 24, 2020

[Mar. 27th, 2020 07:03:23 PM]

Since everybody is commenting on how it seems like this lacks processing, please note the following when the challenge is done:
This took several days and several attempts to get a shot that I could edit INTO this. No blue sky leaking through the clouds, no cars or people wandering through the background, no lights on (seemingly) in the houses... a bleak, desolate and uncaring world, with Nothing Appealing, no reason to leave your house, to get together with people outside...

so yes, I could have gone out to deserted city streets and taken photos standing in the middle of the road, I could have taken pictures in my office building where I still have to go into as an essential service provider, with 4 other people, and had empty desks with hazard signs up on them...but they aren't what I was going for.
Yes, the title is a bit "bashing you over the head", but even with the title, many people seem to have not noticed that this is intentional, and while I appreciate the advice given, I am well aware of how "badly" this has been edited.

I really did not want to enter this and get a ribbon for *this* picture, and I really hope that i'm #4 or #5 in the list, because if there's another challenge like this, but at a time when I can go out and shoot Normally, without social lockdowns, and with good weather that is not still literally below freezing, i'd like to put my best foot forward Then.

Place: 5 out of 6
Avg (all users): 5.0000
Avg (participants): 3.7500
Avg (non-participants): 5.0685
Views since voting: 473
Views during voting: 240
Votes: 77
Comments: 22
Favorites: 0

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04/02/2020 12:43:52 PM
Originally posted by Neat:

I had a feeling this was yours. Reading your notes I still think you could of done better - still if there were more entries would you have tried harder?? Just wondering.

Hard to say. The lack of entries tied in with my worldview and growing sense of despair... it is impossible to know if it would have made enough of a difference
04/01/2020 04:08:51 AM
I had a feeling this was yours. Reading your notes I still think you could of done better - still if there were more entries would you have tried harder?? Just wondering.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/01/2020 12:59:55 AM
Thanks for the explanation in your notes and in the forums during voting (though I could only guess which one was yours, I was right). I voted on these entries as I would have voted on any other challenge, but I left comments on every one of them explaining my vote. Sometimes the viewer won't or can't see what the photographer is trying to illustrate and such was the case here.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
03/29/2020 04:24:48 PM
your picture is the perfect visualisation of your title - that's for sure.
There is nothing wrong about it when you want to transport this kind of depressing emotion.
But if I imagine this hanging in a gallery as a single photography I would certainly walk by and not spend a second or third look. Only if it was accompanied with serveral other pictures combined together as an essay f.e. it might reveal ist strength.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/29/2020 01:25:03 PM
I think I understand why you took this pic, but I don't understand the lack of processing that could have made it much better. Is it supposed to be out of focus to demonstrate the lack of visitors? A bleak image for sure.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/29/2020 12:04:18 PM
It is a very bleak photo. Rather bland as well. I personally think, that if you are going to go for something like this, then at least have one point of interest showing through. Contrast could have been a good friend here, maybe a little dodging to brighten up something to catch the eye. Even cropping it to just the middle of the photo and having the snow, the trees with no houses and a strip of sky would have made this more interesting. Another option would have been to crop it at the tree trunk and just had the icy snow and the brown mud on the left, dodge the icy snow a bit and you would have a leading line to the brown snow, to show a path of interest that also translates to bleak and unforgiving. If this was a Free Study, I would have given it a 2 (sorry) for now a 4
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/29/2020 02:04:38 AM
gosh .. it really does look bleak and unforgiving ..
your photo has captured that feeling perfectly .. and the trees forming a frame add to that bleak closed in feeling .. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/28/2020 05:11:55 PM
I look at this and I see isolation and bleakness, but also light (even without the shadows). You picked a good vantage point to view the expanse of barrenness but with still the hint of a civilization. Hang in there, times are tough right now! But we're all in it together, even if it doesn't feel that way sometimes.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/28/2020 01:15:09 PM
Hi Ryan. Your title puts the viewer in an immediate state of mind of mournfulness and despair. The image reflects the title in that it does look cold, quiet, and somewhat lonely. I have to wonder a bit about the timing of the photo; sometimes with a cloud layer like that the sun will grace the viewer with a wonderful underside illumination. I'm assuming that moment either never appeared or was missed. I hope things look up for you soon and that the flowers spring forth and break thru that layer of snow.

How did I know this was yours? In the forum thread discussing the challenge you mentioned being the 4th entry in the challenge. Each photo has an image id ... this one is 1246986, which if I counted correctly, makes it the 4th entry. :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/28/2020 11:04:22 AM
The mood suggested by the title is forcefully conveyed. That said, I feel that this title is cumbersome and too literally states what the photo itself needs to reveal. This is a subjective opinion and at times deserves to be honored in the breach. Moving on, I very much like the grimness of the scene. The snow itself is dejected and slushy. The darkening sky only furthers this dim and uncomfortable tone, a dire reflection. You've chosen a strong moment to achieve this effect. The line of houses is somber and unavailing. I also like the framing of the dark evergreens. Nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/28/2020 09:41:16 AM
The title seems to justify the photo rather than support it.

What I mean by that is when I read the title I understand what it is you're trying to show me, but as I look at the photo I am forced to ask why it is that you chose this as your way of expressing it? Is it 'bleak'? Kind of. Is it 'unforgiving'? Not so much, because home is just over there - even if it's someone else's home. If you want to make this about social distancing then show me a person I wouldn't want to be close to. Show me the comfort of your spot in the world surrounded by things I wouldn't want to leave that spot for and not the other way around.

From there, as a photograph, because I can't justify the content with the title I look at the processing and say it just doesn't work. You tried to put on a "bleak and unforgiving" look and it just created something that lacks details and or any compositional element that brings my eye to anything other than the strip of sky between the (crooked) horizon and the clouds. 5 or possibly a 4 for me depending on the challenge theme.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/27/2020 07:35:29 PM
It does indeed look bleak and uninviting. But thank you for showing me a cloud with a silver lining. We need to find those.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/27/2020 09:46:33 AM
I feel cold now ... :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 10:36:30 PM
Iím not sure if you matched the title to the picture or visa versa. You are right that the picture is bleak, drab and not very appealing. The good thing is that you realize it. Sorry to be critical but the purpose of this challenge was to help you improve. If you are looking to improve on this perspective I would suggest taking the picture at a different time of day when there is more color in the sky and more definition in the landscape. I would recommend using a tripod to allow you to get a sharper image and a greater depth of field. Also the image needs to be rotated slightly to get it to horizontal. Also to get some interest you might want to wait around to see if some birds show up in the field of vision.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 10:16:10 PM
Not much here to entertain my eyes, I'm afraid. Perhaps there were some interesting patterns in the snow and ice you might have focused on.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 05:39:56 PM
The picture appears to be slightly out of focus. Also I would have cropped off the lower part with the dirty snow
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 01:36:36 PM
I think that 10 years ago my smartphone took better quality than this shot. The blur doesn't do you good here. Very uninteresting shot. Many flaws that could easily be avoided. Nothing looks straight. Rule of thirds, sharpness, composition. The best part is the right side middle part, but then you need to crop out 95% out of your image. I will give you 2 extra point for the purpose of this challenge (4+2)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 11:12:50 AM
Love the natural framing of thee trees! I wish there were more details in the black areas, for my taste.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 10:58:40 AM
i like the bleak mood of this shot. it's almost a romantic bleakness, like The Sorrows of Young Werther (or so I'm told)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 07:30:45 AM
It doesn't look like you were blessed with great light when you took this photo. I feel there is a lack of any real focal point and it does indeed look rather bleak.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 12:30:41 AM
Very mundane suburban image, Iím pretty sure if you drove around you couldíve found something better since it looks like it has been snowing. Also seems to lack clarity and seems a little bit too contrasty for my liking.

Horizon needs to be straightened and there is colour noise in the sky. I see you took this towards sunset that is a positive.

I hope with his critique you can move on forward and produce a finer Image.
I really do hope that I have not offended you with my comments but I remember when I started here I received a lot of harsh comments...but at the end of the day if I didnít listen and change I never wouldíve achieved what I have at present.

All the best.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/25/2020 12:26:38 AM
"Bleak and Unforgiving" is right. Although the clouds have shape and texture, you didn't accentuate that. Having something in focus may have created more interest.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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