I had not planned to take this shot, but what happened left me surprised. I went to the playground (also an army parade ground), because I surmised that that is the only place I can find substantial or some sand. So, a day before, I did a survey of the ground, and thought that I would come next day - either to take the macro pictures of ants who are building their nests in sand, or foot-imprints of various people who move on the sandy-pathways. So, I set out Saturday morning with the 400D coupled with 100mm macro lens.
Once there, the ants were difficult to capture, and without tripod 100m when pointed down misses its focus because of hand shakes and narrow DOF. Anyway, the pictures that were turning out too were not very interesting. So, I tried going into the nearby woods. On my way I noticed a note on the gates of cemetery(I had noticed the previous day that there is a cemetery at the backside of playground). It said that the gates are open everday from 7am to 9pm.
Did that mean that I could go in. I never had ventured into a cemetry before. It was desolate at that moment with early morning rays gently kissing the graves. Only beings to keep my company were few dogs, some of whom were perched on top of well-lit graves and basking in the sun. Once there, I didn't know why I was there. Being in a place where dead are buried, gave me very different feeling. It was something that I had not experienced before. It is difficult not to get emtotional or philosophical at these occasions. I didn't know if it was OK, or proper, to take pictures in a cemetery and then no one was present there to enquire. I gave the benefit of doubt to myself. In my few moments there, I found out that cemeteries have a lot of stories to tell. Somewhere you find the withering flower-bouquets on some graves, and on graves carry messages that move you deeply. I must have stayed there for 10-15 mintues, and in between taken some random shots. These were not really for the challenge.
After, I came out I struggled a bit more with macro pictures of ants. Some shots of boys playing cricket, and some street shots later I headed home. It was only late in the day, when I was looking the pictures on my laptop that the theme fell in place.
Irrespective of how it does in the challenge, the picture has touched me. I found this place to be a not just a great leveler, but also a great unifying ground. Literally.
Rest in the above caption, hence, has more than one meaning for me: Rest = Comfort, Rest = Our Fellow Travelers on this earth. Rest = Rest of our being...etc.etc.
I hope to connect with viewers through this picture. If I am able to, I shall be glad; as it goes with kind of photography that I want to do. If not, I shall try harder next time. :-).
Good Peace to All!
Place: 90 out of 124 Avg (all users): 5.0861 Avg (commenters): 6.2857 Avg (participants): 4.7045 Avg (non-participants): 5.2430 Views since voting: 690 Views during voting: 290 Votes: 151 Comments: 11 Favorites: 0
This is Kari Ann, greetings from the Critique Club:
composition: A little cropping off the top of the image would have placed the grave in a more interesting spot. But, im in a tie here, because i like the background, and what it adds. so i think you did well.
color: love the colors, very dark and moody
contrast: again, very moody, and fits the subject beautifully
focus: perfect for the one grave in focus
depth of field: i like the aperture you used, sets the grave off beautifully from the surrounding death
lighting: stunning. the stone is highlighted just...stunningly!
other: I very much enjoyed critiquing this photo. I love dark, moody images that make you think and feel other than product shots that make you go, "wow,.....sand." Your process and different eye took this image to another level, and i hope the misunderstanding of the voters didn't let you down. I feel though, this was probably doomed from the first. Voters tend to look for almost copycat images of the challenge title, and don't give shots like this a chance. I have to agree with the border though, its not my cuppa tea Keep up the awesome work, and PM me if you have any further questions.
I saw your request for a comment on Art's 10,000th comment thread. Here is my take. First, the post processing on the cross (B&W conversion, contrast) is nicely done. Two things hurt your score. First was the subject itself. The sand is not the main focus of the image no matter what your title implies. Plus, fun cheerful images score better than this type of image. Second, the background is extremely distracting. If you cropped out the top 1/2 to 2/3 of the image (giving it a landscape orientation instead of portrait), the size and placement of the cross makes for a stronger composition.
Love the grave as it is emotional and expressive. Deep blacks and bright whites. I am not so fond of the upper half. There is no sense of scale -- are these caskets 20 feet away or houses 200 feet away. I'd crop to the lower half. I am also not a fan of the wide multi-tiered frame. Go simple on frames.