29 January 2008

Oh gargantuan turkey leg...

Sir David Kofahl challenged me to a dual. Let the best photographer win...

Contrast (David added this category apparently...)


Black and White


Personal Vision
And one more for good luck...


Tim Hussin January 30, 2008 at 5:04 AM  

Humor – Dave

Comments: Dave’s made me laugh out loud while Vanessa’s was funny, but didn’t make me laugh out loud. Fat people are pretty funny though.

B & W – Dave

Comments: Dave’s has nice composition, and a good feel. Nice contrast between black, white and gray. The shadows of the trees are nice and it looks like the bird is reading the papers about birds. Vanessa’s is close, but it’s out of focus, which is UNACCEPTABLE.

Color – Vanessa

Comments: It was somewhat tough, but I like the cleaner composition and idea behind Vanessa’s. Dave captured a nice moment, but it is a quiet one and doesn’t quite pop out. In this case, it’s not so much about the color as it is the boys running. It would’ve been more successful if you been closer to the boys and framed them against the colorful backdrop. Vanessa’s could use some photoshop magic, but I understand the limits of you peons.

Composition – Vanessa (by default)

Comments: You didn’t enter this category, Dave, so you lose that one. The photo is ok, but the composition isn’t really something that makes it stand out. Composition is about assembling the pieces of the image to make it aesthetically interesting. You’ve framed Casey against the shoes, but the photo has no depth to it. The photo of Bump Monk would’ve worked better, or even of the man against the burlap wall. Those are cleaner and more interestingly composed….sorry Casey.

Contrast – Tie

Comments : I don’t really understand this category, so I can’t decide. Is Dave’s light vs dark? Is Vanessa’s color vs. naturalness? I’m not sure. Plus, never add a category unless it goes through the judge’s application process. Shame on you, Dave.

Emotion – Vanessa

Comments: Dave’s is a creative way to look at the category, but I wanted you to capture an actual emotion by a person. It’s a hard thing to do sometimes, but it’s a good way to make an image connect with your audience, and it just adds human interest.

Portrait – Vanessa

Comments: Dave’s is just a cop-out, like Vanessa’s composition photo of Casey. Photos of your friends are cool, but that have to be kick ass photos. You already have the intimacy that it usually takes a while to develop with your subjects, so you can capture real emotion, and you can even pose them however you want. Vanessa’s has nice expression, but I wish you would’ve framed her in that doorway behind her.

Personal Vision – Dave

Comments: I would’ve liked Vanessa’s if it was weirder. Maybe cut off her whole body except her feet or something. Just trying to find things that make someone say, whaa? That’s cool. Dave’s is closer to this, but it could definitely be weirder.

Movement – Dave

Comments: I’m not too excited about either of these. They are pretty straight shots and not terribly interesting. I like parts of Dave’s, I like how the shadow of the hand hits the blue scarf, and I like the secondary person in the left. I wish he added more to the photo though. I like the expression in Vanessas, but dragging the shutter like that gave some blur to their faces (slightly). I also can’t really tell what they’re doing. It’s not bad though, and a good way to show movement.

Best of Show: Dave’s black and white photo.

So it’s a 4-4 tie, with Dave’s best of show bringing him up. So I propose this, there will be a second contest, where both of you have to enter a different photo for the composition category, since Dave never entered it. This can’t be a photo shot from the festival. This has to be a new photo. Winner takes all.

The subject of the photo will be composition, but it must be something shot on the streets of Gainesville. Incorporate the suggestions below.

The photo is due by this Sunday by 5 p.m. That’s more than enough time to kick butt.

Good luck warriors.

Overall Suggestions: You guys need to try to experiment with composing photos with your center of interest not in the center of the frame. Dave did a much better job with this and did this in most his photos, but Vanessa’s photos are mostly center weighted. Try the rule of thirds, cutting the frame into a tic-tac-toe board and putting your center of interest on one of the intersections. Try to add secondary elements in the other parts of your image to make it balance. Also, I like dead space sometimes, try to leave some breathing room, but don’t make your photo messy by doing it.

Be anal about your backgrounds. If you can, find a way to clean it up, shoot from low or high, so you’re shooting against the ground or sky. Find a neat background and just wait for something to happen in front of it. Find a spot in something that you could frame someone, and wait for them to walk by.

Look for light. I didn’t see much good use of light. Find a patch of light coming through something and expose for it, pushing the background black. Shoot in the early morning or around sunset to get “photographer’s light”, where shadows are long and the light is warm. Use photography as an excuse to go talk to someone new. Ask someone on the street to take their photo. 99% of the time, they are willing.

Look for cleaner images, composed nicely, with no distracting elements that don’t add to the image. Sometimes random stuff can be story telling, but it needs to add to the image rather than just be there because it was there. Make every photo look intentional. You will take rejects, but those are for you to keep and not show to anyone. The best photographers take shitty photos every day, but it’s only the best that they show to people.

Tim Hussin January 30, 2008 at 5:05 AM  

Oh, yeah, and best of show is separate, while it doesn't add to the overall score, it just tells of my favorite photo.

Tim Hussin January 30, 2008 at 5:24 AM  


Moments, Moments, Moments

Look for moments wherever you go. Odd looks or interaction between people. Emotion and human interest. These make the most story telling images.

Also, don't be afraid to get close to people. You don't need a long lens for this, just physically move around.

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