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Point of No Return

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Old 06-28-2003, 06:11 PM
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Toad Toad is offline
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Point of No Return

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Last edited by Toad; 07-22-2003 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:52 PM
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I see what you guys are saying about the horizon line/background. Good suggestions.

The darkness of the gravesite could be tuned back - it was nothing like that in the original after all - I darkened it until it felt right to me....and it felt right to me really dark. I have attached the original just as a point of reference. I may play with this a bit more.

I like what you have done with the b&w. It is a really nice version - not my style - but I like it a lot. I certainly will remember that trick when I need to "age" something - very effective.

I think I will keep the Poppies bright red however - poppies are a pretty integral part of the World War 1 graveyards in France - wouldn't be the same without them.

Thanks for the feedback.

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File Type: jpg verdun crosses py.jpg (81.4 KB, 36 views)
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Old 06-28-2003, 11:46 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Mauler -- is this something like what you were talking about -- lighter, but with background blurred out? I used a blur and then a gradient on a layer mask to drive most of the blur to the background. I ended up with a foggy effect, which might be okay for this subject -- if they have fog in Verdun?

Toad -- I really like the original - the perspective, the depth of field - to some extent (not sure myself whether I'd prefer the background or not); I prefer a lighter tone simply to see a bit more of the image -- I can understand your choice to darken, and how dark is up to you.

Toad -- I just noticed after I uploaded my version that your darker look really contrasts the lit edges of the crosses with the darker form -- a very nice effect that I hadn't paid attention to before.

My version also loses too much of the detail of the crosses too quickly -- that could be handled with a change in the gradient.
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File Type: jpg pt-no-returncj.jpg (36.9 KB, 37 views)

Last edited by CJ Swartz; 06-28-2003 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 06-29-2003, 08:05 AM
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LactoBeeZor LactoBeeZor is offline
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My opinions only....

I love the first one; the darkened one, and like PM and CJ the background doesn't do it for me. Can you reshoot the scene? Maybe put in the top of the tree line. That way it can be fogged a bit better. I like what CJ did but would start the fog back some more. Great photo though. I wonder if many people shoot cemetarys? I have done several shots of tumbstones. The old ones are really detailed and aged well.
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Old 06-29-2003, 01:29 PM
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Thanks to everybody for your feedback. I can see a couple of ways to improve this image.

The background clearly has to go, or at least be heavily marginalized as a photo element.

I am less sure about the fogging. The results that were submitted are pretty cool - I particularly like CJ's - but I am not sure that they say the same thing any more. They are all great images - but show different interpretations of the theme.

When I did this one, my theme was the death of a million and a half young men over a nine month campaign - Verdun in France. The image is meant to be stark. The lighting is harsh - and the goal is to be hyper-solid. I want to see the crosses in the back row as clearly as the front - the sacrifice of so many should evoke awe. I deliberately chose not to soften the lines to achieve that.

I really like what people have done with this photo - the mood on most of them is "rest in peace". The images are quiet and respectful with a trace of mouning for things past. I guess I am trying to walk a somewhat different path here - thematically PM's is the closest to where I was aiming - the presence of a trace element of horror - which I think he has captured nicely (although in a completely different style).

Thank you for taking the time to review this picture, and for showing me alternate interpretations of the theme - it helps me to grow as a photographer.
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Old 06-29-2003, 03:40 PM
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Maybe throw a setting sun behind and do light rays with shadows of the crosses fanning out like the crosses are.

That would give a reason for the background not being seen (replaced by sun and light), keep the symbolism, and add drama with the added back lighting (a fun idea for anyone who hasn't noticed - dramatic moments in movies use heavy backlight).

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