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I Contemplate My Crime
I Contemplate My Crime

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2007-04 (Expert Editing*)
Camera: Nikon D50
Lens: Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
Location: Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA
Date: Apr 15, 2007
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 400
Shutter: 5s
Galleries: Emotive, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Apr 15, 2007

Taken at Eastern State Penitentiary during the Behind the Scenes tour. It's a rare event where Members get to tour the parts of the site that are normally off limits to guests. This skeleton sits in one of the cells in the cell block that is used each year for the site's Haunted Prison.

In Picasa2:
Effects - Soft Focus (to blur details around edges)
Tuning, Highlights & Shadows
Save as JPG

In PSE 4:
Several passes of Selection > Brightness/Contrast > Contract Selection to darken edges
Dodge & Burn
Save for web

Place: 211 out of 573
Avg (all users): 5.8882
Avg (commenters): 5.5000
Avg (participants): 5.8000
Avg (non-participants): 6.1000
Views since voting: 681
Views during voting: 375
Votes: 170
Comments: 6
Favorites: 1 (view)

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05/08/2007 07:56:47 PM
Greetings from the Critique Club!

ESP is certainly a great place for photography, and I regret that I have yet to go there. I've parked in its shadow countless times to have dinner at London Café 2 blocks away, but have yet to actually visit. I need to remedy that.

I like this image quite a lot. You composition, though unconventional, works quite well in this case, as a tighter crop at the top would lose the beam of light. Centering the head as you did was, indeed, the way to go in this case.

Though I recognize you probably did not have a way to accomplish this at the time, I would have preferred to see more light on the face, so as to make that the focus of this photograph. As it is, the light draws primary attention to the top of the prisoner's hat (try looking at this from across the room and you'll see what I mean). This is partially compensated for by the dimmer light on the shirt, which forces the eye to circle around from the hat, down and to the right toward the shirt, and then to be pulled back across the face by the brighter light on the hat. If you have an opportunity to re-shoot this at a later date, you might try bringing a pen light or other small, focused light with you. A 5-second exposure should allow you plenty of opportunity to use a painting with light technique to bring better light the face. Another option, which may be more practical, is to simply dodge the face in post-processing.

Your exposure, focus and other technicals are flawless here, and the photograph is well-composed and creative to boot. Congratulations on a very good photograph.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
05/07/2007 10:13:21 PM
Very neat. The skelli seems out-of-focus though. Otherwise and excellent shot. I like the dramatic lighting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/03/2007 10:01:07 AM
This is an interesting piece. The lighting is quite nice and the composition overall works. If ONLY this photo was in focus, you'd have a fairly high placing entry. :/ Good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2007 05:13:05 PM
must have been a doozie-looks as though he's been there awhile!
05/01/2007 07:56:17 PM
reminds me of waiting on challenge voting to end. Great shot!
05/01/2007 03:21:43 PM

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