It's past midnight on Wednesday and it's time to review the photographs!! I'm Rebecca Vaughn and am helping out this week.
As some of you know, professionally I am a freelance producer in the advertising industry and I am hired on a project-basis to coordinate photography and film projects like print ad campaigns and TV commercials.
I love photography and I'm enjoying our 'photo assignment' threads very much. Taking the time to look at and consider other people's photographs is very instructive to my own amateur photography. Thanks for letting me join in the fun.
The first photograph was submitted by.......me!
What I was responding to and trying to capture in this scene was the soft light and the various lines and shapes in the chair, window and roof but unfortunately I don't think that the image is very successful. I wanted it to have sort of a cozy, homey feel to respond to the "Where I want to be" subject for this week, but it's too dark and I don't think that I can see enough detail and there just isn't enough there to hold my interest. (I am allowed to be my own worst critic )
The second image was submitted by Gil:
This big cat is gorgeous and I wish that I could see more of this beautiful creature. This photograph leaves me with a lot more questions than answers though and I wish that there was more context to answer those questions - Is the cat in a zoo or in the wild? What is it doing? Is it yawning or is it angry? I'm not sure.
The third picture is Burnzilla's/Sharon's:
Motorcycles and a motorcycle ride. This subject matter has really good associations for me and I can relate to it immediately. The fact that the bike is leaning in relation to the landscape adds drama for me which I like. Visually the image is interesting too - the bit of helmet in the upper left helps to frame the image nicely.
Paul Bach is up next:
Motorcycles again, and what appears to be a family. There is a story here but I don't know what it is. The picture is well-framed and the people are clearly the subject of the photo but because I am seeing their backs and they are walking away from the photographer it seems like more of a sad occasion than a happy one. I wish that I could see their faces.
Statedawg has posted this landscape:
I am having trouble commenting about this one because of my own assumptions. I am looking at this picture and assuming that it is a motorcycle ride and wondering where the motorcycle is but I am trying to address the picture with what is there rather than what is not there!
I think that I am wondering about motorcycles because so much space is devoted to the road in this image - it is not strictly a landscape.
This is Voni's picture:
I am loving this subject matter - how can you miss with kids?? These guys are adorable and look at the different expressions on their faces - they are out riding bikes and having fun. Also, the boys are looking right at the camera, which really engages me as a viewer - I like that a lot. The composition of this image is not working for me as well though - I think that there is too much blank space on the sides of the picture. If this image was a vertical or if Voni had moved to fill the frame more it might be more visually interesting for me.
Here is Rapid Roy's picture:
I see this picture as being really different than the others. It's a formal portrait and a record of the occasion when all of these people were together. The photo is well executed - there is even space on both sides of the people and a good amount of space both below and above the people - the photographers technique does not detract from the subject which is this group of folks. It's not especially interesting to me visually, but it does a good job of what it is trying to do, which is record the occasion.
This is Visian's picture:
I already commented about it a bit in an earlier post - I like this picture very much. Putting the bike in the upper left makes for an interesting composition and the space in the foreground leads my eye right to the bike. The image would be even more interesting for me if the bike were facing into the frame rather than out.
This is BeerTeam's entry:
I can relate to this subject matter well - an early fall motorcycle ride - and it immediately engages me as a viewer because of that. I also like the composition. BeerTeam has taken the time to position himself up and off of the road so that he can get nice framing for this shot. I really like the dark leaves along the top of the frame too - they help frame the shot, direct your eye back into the picture, and they are visually interesting themselves.
Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to take pictures this week and post them!! They each have their own merits and I like all of them very much. My opinion of each photo is highly subjective and I am interested to know if anyone agrees or disagrees with how I see each photo. I am looking forward to next week and seeing more!
Last edited by boxergrrlie; 09-20-2007 at 11:46 AM.
Any comments about #32?
I thought it is a strong composition.
The long rural roads leads the eye.
Would like to see same shot with airhead blurred and road in sharp focus. Not sure which would be better. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Looking at his other pictures taken at the same time gives me good insight about the photographer's process. And it's interesting to me which images he chose to post. It also shows me how many pictures you need to take before you get a really good one.
The cat is captive. You can tell becuase his canines are blunted. He is yawning.
The cat is a great shot, albeit not in theme.
That theme was hard [/whine]
My dog ate my best pictures.
19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.
Well, thus ends our second photo challenge. Another group of really nice photos, which are always fun to talk about. Thanks Rebecca for offering your expertise this week. I enjoyed your comments. Let me add mine:
I like boxergrrlie's compelling image. Throwing a shot off-kilter always seems to add a sense of drama and--in this case for me--a sense of foreboding. The silhouette works nicely to contrast with the bleak exterior. This shot says "winter" and "stay inside" to me. The candle and the light anchor the shot and draw the viewer's eye from one corner to the other.
As Gil has already pointed out, this does not match the theme--it opposes it. Definitely don't want to be here, but that's what makes it, also, a compelling image. Someone suggested this cat was yawning. You can almost always get a fierce big cat image in a zoo if you have the patience for one to yawn--which doesn't usually take long. That is not to take away from this strong, well-composed picture. One of its chief strengths is its shallow depth-of-field which commands attention to the subject.
This is a great image. The only think I don't like about it is its diminutive size. It fits the theme perfectly. I like that the road is straight, the horizon horizontal, and that we're headed into a curve. The bike being off vertical adds a sense of motion or urgency to the shot. The technical aspect of this photo that works best is Sharon's use of fill-flash. The flash illuminates the bike's cockpit and windshield bringing them into sharp relief in the photo's foreground. The instruments and controls are well-lit and easy to see. The is the subject, and the viewer's eye is drawn automatically down the road. Nice shot.
PAULBACH has an interesting shot that well may fit the theme. I like that it has a motorcycle in it, but what does it say that these people are walking past it? Kids and grandkids? They're more important than the bike? Normally having three subjects with the back to the camera wouldn't work at all, but these three. . . . They're all lined up and clearly marching somewhere, and their large-to-small ratio is intriguing as well. This is the sort of shot that well may be nothing more than a snapshot (maybe, I don't know) but that offers such an interesting composition and story that it invites a great deal of speculation. Saturation, sharpness, lines are all spot on.
This is a nice image by Statdawg. This is where I might want to be, too. It's a static shot (I have many of these, too) and while interesting, would be so much more so with the addition of a rider (or a deer if you're lucky) or something. What doesn't work for the composition is that fact that the horizon bisects the image; however, it's saving grace is the photographer's decision to place the road in the far right side of the shot, from the lower right corner.
Another entry from the Mr. & Mrs. Burnzilla team. This is a neat shot. It's a standard photo of a beautiful location. The avenue of trees certainly draws the viewer's eye--forces it, really--down the road. It's a very high-contrast image but is handled very well. Stephen's decision to go vertical is what makes this shot, as does the inclusion of the tree tops. Note that the horizon is in the bottom third of the image (the rule of thirds) which emphasizes the subject. The inclusion of the bike in the far right margin is what tells a story here. Note that the bike is barely included and does not dominate the image. Imagine the shot without the bike: equally effective photo but without a story to tell. It appears as though it is also lit with a fill-flash, but perhaps not; it may just be well lit from the (setting? rising?) sun.
Either of the Burnzilla's photos, by virtue of their vertical composition, might make good ON covers (if the eds don't mind me saying so. . . .)
How can anyone resist a grandmother's love for her grandchildren? It is the very definition of love. This is a great family photo, a snapshot, and a delightful one at that. Fits the theme well, too. As someone pointed out earlier, every kid has a different expression on his face. The one little fellow doesn't seem to have a bike; he's an underdog and I find myself rooting for him. Two things may have helped this photo to go from "nice family snapshot" to "great photo." One, if Voni might have taken six or eight paces to her left with the boys facing the camera, they wouldn't be piled on top of each other. Might have been effective. Two: when photogrgaphing children, when possible, kneel or sit down so that you are on their level rather than looking down at them. It's surprising how helpful this technique can be. It's a nice shot, Voni. These boys will look at this photo years from now with happy memories, I'm sure.
Rapid_Roy's entry is funny. I like that he didn't let not riding prevent him from taking or entering a picture. This is a pretty standard group photo, but a very well-executed one. It's perfectly composed, with no one cut off, and with the group in the lower, not center, portion of the photo. Beautiful background and great lighting. Bonus points for no one making a peace sign behind anyone's head.
There were lots of comments about Visian's entry, and rightfully so. It's a really interesting photo: overall green color, unusual bike, interesting composition, lots of negative space (as Ian408 points out). This photo really works for me. The location is so unusual (at least to my experience, I live in a desert called Southern California). I like that the bike is in the upper left corner and is headed out of the image. The large empty space in the foreground works for me, though probably only because of the mossy green "carpet." Two things to note: bikes are like people; they have good angles and bad. This is a complimentary angle from which to photograph this bike. Second, this is another very effective use of fill-flash. Visian points out that the scene was sufficiently dark that the camera automatically activated the flash. What doesn't work, however, is the bane of all bike photographers: reflectors and reflective license plates. Not sure what you would do about that other than remove or cover the offending plate or photoshop out the reflections. Still, an interesting, well-executed photo matching this week's theme.
BeerTeam's first submission is a beauty. Matches the theme and is an interesting composition. Note that he took a bit of a hike to compose this image. This is not a bike picture; it's a picture of a beautiful country road with a motorcycle as a story-telling element. The road leads the eye through the image. It's masterfully composed, beautiful colors. Note, too, the inclusion of the tree's canopy in the top of the image. This sort of "framing" is another very effective way to tell a story or limit composition. Very nice.
I just flat-out love BeerTeam's second submission. This is a lesson in alternative angles from which to photograph your bike. He's is lying on the ground. He also doesn't stop the lens all the way down, allowing the forground (look at the gravel) and the background to drop gently out of focus, drawing attention to the bike and away from where the eye want to travel, this roller-coaster gravel path. Like PaulBach and grossjohann, I wonder if the image might be more effective if the bike were just a tad out of focus. Thanks for posting an alternative, gj. I THINK BT won't mind. . . .) I don't know which one. BeerTeam's submission is a REALLY striking image. Great bike portrait. Great static road shot. I definitely want to be here.
Thanks to all those who submitted photos and put themselves out there for comment. Please feel free to comment on or argue with my (our) interpretations. Look for next week's challenge shortly. . . . And consider contributing a photo.
Last edited by SNC1923; 09-20-2007 at 07:31 PM.
It was where I wanted to bePAULBACH an interesting shot that well may fit the theme. I like that it has a motorcycle in it, but what does it say that these people are walking past it? Kids and grandkids? They're more important than the bike? Normally having three subjects with the back to the camera wouldn't work at all, but these three. . . . They're all lined up and clearly marching somewhere, and their large-to-small ratio is intriguing as well. This is the sort of shot that well may be nothing more than a snapshot (maybe, I don't know) but that offers such an interesting composition and story that it invites a great deal of speculation. Saturations, sharpness, lines are all spot on.
The Jeff Seymour family, moving on with years of fun and a youngster to enjoy it with. Ted's Hall's motorcycle added a tincture of adventure. Found the shot among a couple of hundred rally shots.
Picture was taken at Green Mountain Rally.
I've been watching these threads with delight. Wonderful photography.... I feel that I am being allowed an inside glimpse of my brothers and sisters' lives.
So - is there a theme for the next batch of photos?
Thanks for posting these, everyone!
Sue Rihn #43753
BMW MOA Ambassador
Sometimes it's the bend in the road that makes life worth the ride.
At the Green Moun tian Rally, Vt. I'm all the way to the left.
Last edited by r11rs94; 10-24-2007 at 06:11 PM.
The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
I answer to Roy, Chief, or Sarg.
04 R-1150-RT current bike. 94 R-1100-RS74,383, Sold, 78 R-80/7, K.I.A by a D.U.I