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Speed of the Foe
Speed of the Foe

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: High Contrast (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5
Location: Raleigh, NC
Date: Aug 29, 2005
Aperture: 3.5
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/80
Galleries: Black and White, Macro
Date Uploaded: Sep 1, 2005

The gun shown is a "quick-firing" gun from the Spanish-American War. The text shown is "VELOCIDAD DEL ENEMIGO" which means "speed of the foe".
It sits on the Capital grounds in Raleigh, next to the statue of Worth Bagley (the "first to fall" in the Spanish-American War.

Edits: Cropped, Increased brightness and contrast.

Place: 207 out of 343
Avg (all users): 5.2227
Avg (commenters): 5.2857
Avg (participants): 5.1500
Avg (non-participants): 5.3371
Views since voting: 584
Views during voting: 313
Votes: 229
Comments: 9
Favorites: 0

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09/15/2005 01:02:25 PM
Critique Club

Hello from the Critique Club.

This image is certainly high in contrast. It is an interesting image, and the story/translation in your description adds to the interest.

As several people have commented, you have an interesing grain effect, very reminiscent of b&w film. I think that this works well here (especially in the light greys).

Focussing on the detail as you have, the image takes on an abstract quality, though at the expense of the viewer's general comprehension of what they are looking at.

As you have chosen to present an abstracted image, the importance of remaining elements and in particular composition increases. The key elements in this image (to my mind) are the writing, the highlight on the barrel of the gun, and the stand (with more writing). These elements are all quite central in the composition as it stands, which leaves the eye quite static when looking at the image. It may be more satisfying if you moved everything so that the important elements were off centre, leaving the eye to move around the picture to extract the detail (and even better if you could direct the eye to a particular highlight of the image). I might have tred framing this image with the gun running along the top third line, with the stand to the left of the image.

Part of the challenge (in my opinion - there is some debate) was to find a subject matter that was naturally high in contrast. You appear to have chosen to represent high contrast by taking an image that does not appear to have been very high contrast to start with and applied a dramatic shift in brightness and contrast in post processing. The consequence of this is that you have lost a lot of detail in the barrel of the gun. While having strong whites and blacks is important in demonstrating high contrast, some grey is necessary to keep detail up. I think that finding the contrast naturally and gently enhancing it while retaining detail was likely to be a more succesful strategy for this challenge.

Feel free to pm me with any comments. Good luck with future entries!


  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2005 03:47:58 PM
My highest score yet! Thanks for all the comments on this everyone!
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/11/2005 12:20:05 PM
Okay, I read the Spanish saying on the piece of metal. Is that a gun? I can't really find anything appealing in this image, I also think that the high contrast made the image worse rather than improving it. 4.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2005 09:31:46 AM
nice grain and high contrast, but I am unable to tell what this is?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2005 01:29:18 AM
Not bad, but for me lacks that "wow" impact of other entries in this challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2005 08:14:26 PM
The grainy effect works well on this one. Nice job
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2005 11:52:55 PM
No idea what the image is of, but the contrast is nice and strong.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2005 02:16:07 PM
Very nice, I love the high grain that you have here and the classic look that you've given it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2005 01:34:12 PM
i've spent awhile trying to figure this one out, but alas it has beaten me. i do find the background particularly interesting to stare at.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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