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the new American Gothic
the new American Gothic

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2008-07 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-30D
Lens: Tokina AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 DX Fisheye for Canon
Location: somewhere in the wilds, PA
Date: Jul 4, 2008
Aperture: 3.5
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/1000
Galleries: Emotive, Architecture
Date Uploaded: Jul 25, 2008

A church I drove by in rural southern Pennsylvania. I thunk it was cool...

Thanks for your votes and comments. A few notes:

There was no dodging and burning done. The shadows on the church are shadows of the clouds. The sun is directly behind me. I left it as it was because it was most natural that way and added to the strangeness. I dont want 'perfect' images.

This is the second time I have used tonemapping on an image and the first time was because it was a rule of the challenge. I'm not too fond of the effect because, as Hot Pasta pointed out, it makes things look fake. But here, that was my purpose. The new American Gothic isn't real - its plastic, make believe, over the top fake. That's also why I used the fish-eye; the distortion was intentional and was exaggerate the fakeness even more.

When I came across this scene in rural Pennsylvania, we had been forced to pull over (my husband had to make a phone call. The sky was cloudy all day and it had been raining off and on. The only place we could stop was here. We were only in front of the church for about 5 minutes but the wind picked up and those dark clouds blew in. The red doors seemed to glow. The scene was just so strange - no cars, no people, this glowing church in the middle of no where on Independence Day - it all struck me as so otherworldly, a world I don't understand in the least, that I had to catch it.

Its not about religion, its not about God, it is about people and the faces they put on to the outside world.

Place: 173 out of 524
Avg (all users): 5.8598
Avg (commenters): 6.8000
Avg (participants): 5.7951
Avg (non-participants): 6.0476
Views since voting: 1273
Views during voting: 288
Votes: 164
Comments: 14
Favorites: 1 (view)

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08/11/2008 02:51:11 PM
Great shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/08/2008 03:07:50 PM
I love the story that goes with this! I also really like this shot, and oddly, for some of the reasons you detailed in your notes. It's like a little bubble world with a church dropped in. Almost like one of those snow globe things without the snow in a way. At any rate, I thought it a very cool shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/08/2008 10:10:30 AM
great shot, really like the fisheye. i personally dont like the tonemapping, but still interesting take and I get your thoughts about the "fake" Am gothic. certainly makes the photo more interesting and would probably be much better as part of a series
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
08/07/2008 07:49:43 PM
Cool sky and I like the processing. The red door really pops here. The fish gives an interesting perspective, but I think this one would be even better with a bit of defishing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/06/2008 08:22:27 AM
I think the HDR adds to the fisheye as far as making this surreal...I am not a fan as it tends to make things look plastic
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/04/2008 06:03:11 PM
Nice - it looks like an illustration.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/03/2008 08:54:43 AM
Like the fish-eye look. I just love old buildings. The red doors is what caught my eye and made me look. Nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/02/2008 09:08:22 PM
do not care for the distortion
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/02/2008 08:45:04 AM
I like this one.......
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/02/2008 06:15:30 AM
only the reda are too strongs 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/02/2008 05:37:03 AM
The colors and the sky, combined with the wide angle distortion, makes this look like a painting. I wish we could see the whole tree on the left, and not at all the rightmost one. (Not voting).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/02/2008 12:18:44 AM
this is an interesting capture; I wish the top of the church wasn't as 'burned in' as it appears; but i'm certian there is a reason for it and i'm just missing it right now (i'll look again b4 voting is done tho I doubt I'll edit my comment since i'm lazy like that sometimes) :-) I love the curved angle of the horizon and the red-doors witht eh path leeding your eye right into the center... its a very nice composition; the way the right side is burned in is really nice; and i think if the top was evenly burned in the same way... it would rate a 10 from me... right now i'm wavering between a 7 and 8- so i'm going to stare for a while longer while I decide :-) and re-visit b4 voting is done - but I like the stormy feel to this as well as the textures related in the grass, trees and clouds... :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/01/2008 01:39:45 PM
I like the feel that the curved horizon gives.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/01/2008 01:28:27 AM
amazing wide angle shot, those red doors are awesome/
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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