Before I set off to irk each and everyone of you, let me just say the entries this week were particularly good. I mean, really good. In order to rationalize a placing of these images I’ve had to become downright nit-picky. As I write this, I still am not sure how I’m going to go about my selection. Well, here’s my best shot:
Oooo...one other thing: image size. It seems everyone is all over the place on size. I thought we were to observe the 1024 rule, on the longest side, but because so many of you were here, there, and everywhere...I’m not considering this in my ruling. Now on to the reviews:
Mike53545 - Forgotten: Now I wasn’t expecting people to come running over here and start taking pictures of my front yard! And I’ll have you know it’s not forgotten, heck, I have-tuh walk around the dang thing every time I walk out the front door.
It’s a wonderful time piece, there’s really no telling how old the image is, which is hard to pull off these days. I like the simple conversion that seems in line with an older image. To nitpick, there’s a lot going on in the frame that makes it very busy. I think the branches, particularly those center top and in the foreground bottom left and on the far right are a bit of a distraction and therefore a disservice to an interesting image. Perhaps some delicate cloning can open the image up a bit more. There’s also some loss in detail on the car’s shaded flank, but I think that’s forgivable considering the chrome strips and hubs have their opportunity to pop a little here. It’s a neat image and worked very nicely to get everyone else’s creative juices flowing. Nicely done.
Matrim33 - Man-made and Un-Manned: I just love looking at these wind turbines, never getting tired of their statement on a landscape. The backlit silhouette is very dramatic indeed, enhanced by your extended panorama. My snag with this image is the apparent ground tilt and just the itzy-est bit of tilt on the turbines on the right. Geesh...what a nit-picky last remark.
Still, the sky, clouds, the blue and these monuments, is enjoyable to view.
airfrogusmc - Vacant-Landscape: Boy, what a conversion, Ansel would be proud. I love it and wish I could have been standing along side of you shooting this scene.
Okay, this image is really hard to pull apart, it’s so good. I guess, well...it has to be that cute-as-a-button little cloud I have to pick on. Now I know it looks pretty cool up there, all stark-white against that stark black-blue sky, but I think it distracts from the windswept scene overall. I’m on the fence a bit, but I think removing it will make the image a bit more dramatic. Otherwise, I like your camera settings and the neighborhood there looks pretty darn neat.
teekay - The Empty Stare Of The Totally Stoned: Hey man....far out! Simple image, nice balance of exposure on the bright and shadow sides. I suppose a reflector would have been too difficult to manage? (Kidding!) I think the only thing I might argue is the framing. I think I might have squared it, loping off the blue sky up and beyond the head. I know we’re supposed to offer a sense that the subject is looking out and beyond, but the sky is above it here and doesn’t offer any additional information. The square frame would compliment the roundish head within, me thinks. I really like the photograph. Nicely done.
philk54 - No Trespassing!: Phil, I’ve been sorta dreading critiquing this image because I’m not sure what to say. But okay..here it goes. I think there’s a battle going on here between the fence and the factory wall beyond. I appreciate the sign is centered, but it’s so small, too distant.. there’s little impact for your effort. I think everyone of us has faced the ol’ shoot thru the chain-link fence idea and it’s not too often that I get the reward I’m looking for when I do it. I think there’s simply too much fencing, that it distracts and makes static the image as a whole. I enjoy your effort and pluck, but the photograph just doesn’t work for me. I’m struggling to like it and offer alternatives like getting a bit closer to the fence, but I’m not sure. I wonder too if the conversion that made the fencing such a light grey (almost white) does a disservice here?
Scatterbrained - Vacated Station: got up pret-ty dang early f’r that shot didn’t cha? Bestest time to shoot, agreed. Okay, a couple things with this shot. First, your horizon is tack on. Bravo! Here’s where I have a couple issues: the horizon is smack-dab center of the image and the station’s legs lead off the image page. I’m hoping that this was just a crop issue and that you have some material to work with at the bottom of the photograph. As for the horizon, I’d crop a sizable chunk off the top and get that water line off center and elongate the image into a semi-panorama. The rock jetty, I’m on the fence about. I wish there was more information about it or that it was gone entirely. Love the colors, the focus is good, you’ve transported me to the beach and there’s sand in my shoes. Thanks a lot!
Maureen Souza - Deserted Railroad Station: that’s a terrific subject, what a neat thing to shoot. To me, this image is partially baked and needs more time processed. I think some sharpening and some cloning out of wires and fence shadows would do it wonders. A step beyond that, I’d play with the image perspective, maybe lessen those contrail clouds that speak modern-age and maybe go with a b&w and vignette conversion. You have a awesome image here, but I think it needs some sprucing.
kbColorado - piano house: Is that because there’s a beaten ol’ piano left inside? Curious minds wanna know. Wow...very dramatic. Open space, great texture, wonderful conversion that shows all shades o’ grey. Awesome. I like the vignetting too. I think you know what I’m about to nitpick, them two little clouds up thar. I can understand leaving them in, but due to their shape and size..they almost come off as appearing to be a reflection of some sort or process/print glitch. I’d be inclined to clone them out. Funny, but the wisp hanging out above the large peak looks perfectly fitting. Possibly just cropping the top might work and gets the horizon a bit off center. Still...wow! I really like the ground detail.
Lonnie Mac - Ghost Town: I’ve got the shivers. Terrific image. I almost like the desat conversion, and the vignetting-burn is a nice add to set the mood. A couple things: I wish there was a bit more elbow room around your subject just to add to the lost-look; per my monitor, there’s an unsettling green fog hanging above the house, probably an aspect of the desaturation; and I think the burning left a ghostly apparition to the right of the house, on the porch. Or...the house is truly haunted. Yikes! Otherwise, a fresh coat of paint, some new curtains and throw pillows, and it’s ready to move into.
Cybnew - Bricks: Mat (Can I call you that?),nothing gets more vacant looking than a tumbled wall. Okay, a few things here...this particular conversion I think hurt your image. The blossom detail on the tree is nearly lost in the sky and branch network beyond, confusing the viewer. I’m wondering two things: did you try sharpening this image and should your camera’s aperture been set a bit higher in order to expand you DOF? I’m missing detail, is my complaint. This is difficult subject matter because everything is like out there, like in the midst of an explosion or something. Maybe a couple steps back would have helped, or few more steps to the right, I’m not sure. But you nailed “vacant.”
GarryKirsch - Wellington Beach - off season: first off Garry, I had to laugh a bit at your new watermark; I thought at first it was a tumbleweed or an old bent up piece of rebar. I’m not letting it get to me, I just think it’s sorta funny considering recent talk here.
On to the image then...there ain’t much to say here. The horizon is spot on. The division of lines is solid. I think I can only say it looks a bit soft in focus to me. I got what I asked for here, vacant, but I’m not sure there’s much more beyond that. I feel like I’ve just stepped outside my car, caught a cold shiver from a wind gust, and am about to return back to the warmth of my car seat and head elsewhere. Well, you succeeded in making me cold now.
Taking all of this into consideration and then weighing in the vacancy-feeling, with all that that might mean, here my results:
teekay - 3rd
airfrogusmc - 2nd
kbColorado - 1st
Thank you all for contributing. It’s all yours KB!