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Home Sweet Home of Our Ancestors
Home Sweet Home of Our Ancestors

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Home Sweet Home (Classic Editing)
Camera: Konica KD-400Z
Location: TL Bar Ranch Tooele County, UT
Date: May 25, 2003
Aperture: f4.7
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/1000
Galleries: Black and White, Rural
Date Uploaded: May 27, 2003

Shot at the historic Munsee cabin roughly 3 miles South of the trail followed by the ill-fated Donner-Reed pioneer party. This cabin is adjacent to land owned by my wife's family.

I am very limited with aperture and shutter settings on my camera, so I metered off the highlighted clouds and underexposed the rest of the shot. I don't recall if I was shooting at -0.5EV at this time as well, but I was making every attempt at capturing the scene without blowing out the highlights of the clouds.

In PSP8, increased the gamma slightly, converted to grayscale, bumped up the contrast and brightness to more closely imitate a B/W shot, and colorized to create the sepia effect, which I feel adds a certain 'age' to the scene. Final step was USM at 1.25/150/15, and resized for submission.

Place: 7 out of 175
Avg (all users): 6.2184
Avg (commenters): 7.1765
Avg (participants): 5.9247
Avg (non-participants): 6.4602
Views since voting: 1593
Votes: 206
Comments: 20
Favorites: 0

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06/09/2003 11:08:43 PM
Just in case it's not obvious, my last post was a critique club posting.
06/09/2003 11:00:34 AM
Challenge Topic
Your photograph fits the challenge well. It envokes images of the past through the sepia tones and through the run-down look of the subject itself. There's an irony in the term 'sweet' home, as people back then lived much more roughly than we do.

Subject considerations
Pairing the old, worse-for-the-wear tree with a similarly run-down, man-made object works nicely. The rubble outside the shack adds to the feeling of decay, neglect. I wonder, though, if this supports the 'sweet home' mood, or is intended as a critical commentary on our neglect of the past. Either way, the subject powerfully incites our imagination. I would have prefered to see a window in the house. That would have helped the 'home' feeling. I suspect that you wanted the tree, the clouds and the shack, forcing a camera position without a window. The clouds, however, do not add much to the scene and could have been left out, especially as the adjustments needed to capture them left them looking slightly unnatural.

Technical considerations
A higher iso would have allowed you to capture the clouds better and the resulting grain would have aided the 'old-time' feel of the shot. Because of the darkness in certain areas, it's difficult to gauge the sharpness overall. However, I feel that there's no sharpness issue, at least on a computer screen. You may find problems when you print. The dof is well-chosen, each element is portrayed clearly.

The composition is good. Your subjects occupy the frame well, with no wastage. The lines of the shack lead smoothly to the tree, positioned slightly off-centre, whose branches lead us to the further reaches of the frame. The tree, to the top-right, helps crowd the frame and supports the homey feeling.

Overall strengths
You succeeded nicely in creating a particular feeling - that of an old-time environment. The colours, the subject, the location all support your idea well. There's a clear feeling of living in the wilderness, helped by the mountains, correctly sufficiently in focus.

Suggestions for improvement
The whole image might have been better lit, the darkness (I don't think deliberate, given your comments) is too strong. You might have included a window to strengthen the feeling of home. The attempt at including the clouds, I think, was the cause for the exposure problem and the resultant imbalance overall. I should explain that. Tonally, there's not as big a range between the lights and the darks as there could be in a b&w photo. Controlling that is, arguably, the foremost challenge of b&w photography. Without spot editing, digital camera users have it even more tough, and we really have to extend our vision of our instrument's range. An example - the brightest part of the non-sky scene is the closest part of the roofing. Graphically, this draws the eye towards that. A slightly longer exposure would have equalled the brightness in the front of the shack without losing any detail, and would have increased the overall tonal range significantly.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/05/2003 04:50:28 PM
Nice work Paul! I love this shot. I think it works really well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/03/2003 08:56:42 PM
I suppose you could say that this WAS home sweet home! A beautiful shot - I am one who loves sepia tone... however I don't know whether it was necessary in this shot, but that's just me personally.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/03/2003 06:35:34 PM
A very satisfying image. A remarkable setting for a humble abode. Makes one reflect on the wide world we live in.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/03/2003 02:16:14 PM
Beautiful photo
06/03/2003 02:28:49 AM
this colouring really works well for the shot. I like your angle and the background, its all very rustic and old looking, without being run down. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/02/2003 12:43:41 PM
Well done - a little on the dark side, but
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/01/2003 10:31:45 PM
Fantastic perspective, tones, light and composition....!!! YUM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/01/2003 09:48:02 PM
Nice composition and idea. A bit dard on my monitor (underexposed?).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/31/2003 10:53:31 PM
Oh wow, this is really amazing, the colors, the angle, the light, everything, definetly a winner or among the highest, 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/29/2003 10:35:40 PM
Exellant photograph, you are one of the best photographers I have ever seen on this website. This looks like you are a professional photographer with alot of experience!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/29/2003 03:53:56 PM
One of my favorites.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/29/2003 03:53:42 PM
5. Fits the theme well enough, and there are no blatant 'you suck!' flaws to it, but neither does it really grab me for any reason at all. For reasons of composition, cropping, or subject choice, it's just a photo, and doesn't do especially much for me, aesthetically.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/29/2003 12:58:50 PM
A bit dark to me.
05/28/2003 04:00:35 PM
great shot. I like the mountains in the background. very interesting to look at. good luck
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/28/2003 01:45:38 PM
I would like to see this photo have a little more light, and in color. A little sharper focus would add to it.
05/28/2003 08:16:28 AM
Excellently executed. Beautiful composition. I especially like the tree and background. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/28/2003 07:34:08 AM
Fantastic tones - and pleasing composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/28/2003 04:56:42 AM
we still have people living under these conditions (or worse) in this part of the world. anyway, the wood planks used for walls are rather beaten, and gives character. i like that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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