View Single Post
  #24  
Old 19th June 2018
pdk42's Avatar
pdk42 pdk42 is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Leamington Spa
Posts: 5,594
Thanks: 366
Thanked 1,236 Times in 926 Posts
Likes: 144
Liked 5,907 Times in 1,917 Posts
Re: May 2018 Photo Challenge Humanity in Action...

Hi all. Mark asked me to post up some comments/analysis/critique of last month's entries. I've put them in the same order as the original thread. So, here goes...

Their glances meet by pdk42


Their glances meet by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


OK, so this is my photo so I'm not really in the position to give an impartial view, but since it's a shot I took some time ago, I think I can make a few comments about it with at least the benefit of hindsight. Firstly, I quite like the positioning of the two characters. It really was lucky that I caught the two glancing at each other and it definitely is telling a story of sorts - do they know each other?; or was it just a fleeting glance of attraction? However, the processing of the shot is really heavy-handed! I was trying to get a sort of washed out, high-key view but in the process I've managed to turn their skins into plastic! I think I used some "glow" preset I downloaded for LR and it really isn't that good. I'm also not wild about some of the distracting elements around the characters like the cardboard box on the counter and the dishwasher rack lower right. So, thanks to those who saw through that and the heavy-handed PP and liked the photo anyhow!


Let me help you by blu-by-u



I can see that this photo was taken in some challenging light. There's a lot of strong highlights and deep shadow which blu-by-u has handled well. It's a great street scene too - the busker and the little girl giving some money and both being surrounded by bystanders. It's a scene that makes one linger and study what everyone is doing. A bit of a "Where's Wally?" search reveals lots of interesting behaviour by the crowd. It's a great study in social activity. Compositionally though I think it would have been much better if the girl had been closer to the centre of the image and larger in the frame. This would have increased the impact of the shot enormously. Nonetheless, I think that the image represents the competition's theme of "Humanity in Action" extremely well - probably better than most other entries in fact !


Helping each other out by Gate Keeper

Helping each other in the garden, Nairobi by philip Gate Keeper, on Flickr

This is a great shot. The expression on the face of the guy holding the rod is captivating and grabs the viewer's attention immediately. The eye can then wander around and find other things of interest - what (any why) is he holding with his left hand? Why does he support Chelsea ? If I had to be critical I think it would have been better with a bit more room at the top so that the guy with the saw was fully in the frame - but overall it's a small point. The shot has strong subjects and definitely shows humanity in action.


Helping Hand by Ricoh


Helping Hand by -Steve Ricoh-

Well, what can I say! This is another fantastic street image from Steve. It's cheeky and definitely brings a grin to the face. "Lucky man" I'm thinking! At first I thought it would have been better with the heads/faces of the two people visible, but on reflection I think it's all the better for them being headless. It adds to the mystery and leaves us asking for more. The slight blurring of the people in the background adds a sense of time passing and also a sense of isolation between them and the bum-touching couple. In fact, the bum-touching is a sort of metaphor for humanity in a way and prompts the question as to whether the guy got any action later - so top marks for being on-subject for the theme!


Untitled by IanMacD



This looks like some action indeed! Either he's landing or about to have an encounter of the painful kind with those trees! As an ex glider pilot, I've clenched my buttocks many a time when slope soaring in a weak breeze and know that in order to go up, I need to get closer. Iain's image is a great sport action shot - the pilot and his paraglider fill a lot of the frame and the background of trees on the escarpment adds an element of danger and connection with the landscape that is lacking in most shots of paragliders which are often taken against an open sky. Great image - I'm surprised it didn't get some votes!


Untitled by Wornish



If paragliding near trees isn't dangerous enough, here's a guy up a tree with a chainsaw! And what are those ropes dangling from him? It's not even clear how he's connected to the tree. Rather him than me. A great study in the work of a tree surgeon and photographically not as easy as it looks since with the bright background, keeping detail in the subject is not a slam-dunk affair. My challenge now is to try to get the image out of my head of a man juggling a chain saw 30' up a tree!


Back to Bassics... by Bikie John



Now I know why his user name is "Bickie John" - if ever there was the stereotypical biker man, then here he is with a guitar in hand and sweat on his face! What a great capture. Oozing emotion and passion. I can almost hear the thumping of the drum-kit and the wail of the guitars. I'm a trifle deaf now from my own years going to hard rock concerts. Fantastic shot and definitely deserving of a few more votes!!


Enjoying the first sun of spring by RogerMac



It's those two heads isn't it? Smack bang on the thirds intersection and nestling in the gap in the bushes. It grabs the eye immediately and it's almost impossible not to then follow the gaze of the bald guy onto the people on the lawn and then the building behind. So - a triumph of composition! The people in the background are however just a bit too small to enable the viewer to really understand what they're doing. A longer lens would have helped, but of course we need take our shots when we can with what we have!

Focussing On The Memories by OM User




Well, this was my pick for the competition! The three older railwaymen chatting and looking intently at each other is a strong central theme and the little lad at the front capturing it on his camera evokes a real sense of history and the passage of time. Humanity's tendency to preserve and re-live the past, in all its rose-tinted fantasy, is a recurring theme in all societies and walks of life. Here we have humanity from young to old enjoying a fleeting connection. Great stuff!


Humanity inaction by MJ224


Ha - so the first poster to liaise together the IN and ACTION bits to get inaction! A nice idea and beautifully personified in this shot. It's a great social observation of the prevalence of smart phones and the way that they draw their users into splendid isolation. The separation of the two people at the extremities of the bench adds a degree of tension to the shot and also allows us to go browsing around the central part of the image where we realise this is in, indeed, Wales. Proof that humanity has made it past the marshes! A great flipping of the competition's theme and a great shot.


Humanity Inaction.... by Walti



So Walti also took the opportunity to be inactive. Given how close these two shots were posted I won't in any way infer that one copied the other though! As to the shot itself, I found that the sub-title was an essential key to understanding it - it wasn't immediately clear that this was the carer and the cared for - or not-cared-for as it transpires. Like MJ224's shot, it's an insightful observation once again of how the smart phone is modifying our behaviour for the worst. The poor guy with the sticks is ignored whilst his carer is no doubt checking out the latest banal "meme" on Youtube or whatever. As The Donald would say - "Sad, so Sad, so very Sad". Photographically though, the lighting really isn't helping here. The subjects are in shadow and the background is in bright sun. It's never a great situation and ultimately it lets this shot down. However, it's a great social observation of Humanity In Action / Inaction!


Building New Sea Defences by Rebnats



If there's one thing that marks Humanity it's the machines that we've built and this one is a prime specimen indeed. Without the worker in the frame we'd have no idea just how big that piece of concrete is nor the size of the lifting gear. As it is though, we get a great impression of the scale of it all. It's a great documentary shot and unlike the previous two shots, it's most definitely an action rather than inaction shot!


Lest we forget... by cliff

Lest we forget... by cliff scrivens, on Flickr

And so we finish with another fine machine. Now, as something of an aviation nerd I happen to know that this is Spitfire TD314 based at Duxford. It's a mark IX manufactured in 1944 in Castle Bromwich and once stationed in South Africa. Its history can be found in Global Aviation Resource (.com). This is what it as to say about it:

Quote:
“Manufactured at Castle Bromwich in 1944, TD314 initially joined No. 33 Maintenance Unit (MU) at RAF Lyneham on 2 April 1945; during operational service with the RAF, it would circulate through several units including No. 30 MU at RAF Sealand, No. 6 MU at RAF Brize Norton, No. 183 (Gold Coast) Squadron at RAF Chilbolton and No. 234 (Madras Presidency) Squadron at RAF Bentwaters until it was finally received by No. 29 MU at RAF High Ercall for disposal on 27 February 1946.

Eventually, TD314 was dispatched to No. 47 MU at RAF Sealand on 24 March 1948, where it became surplus to requirements and was crated up and shipped to Cape Town, South Africa, on 19 April 1948, arriving on 12 May for active duty with the South African Air Force. Following six years of military service in South Africa, the Spitfire was sold to the South African Metal and Machinery Company in 1954 for disposal. The fuselage and other parts were later recovered by Larry Barnett in Johannesburg between 1969 and 1972, before it was sold to Canadian owners in 1985. In 2009, Peter Monk acquired the aircraft for restoration by the Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Limited and it was registered to Keith Perkins in 2011, with work beginning the same year.”
I believe it's now owned by the company that also operates the DeHavilland Rapide at Duxford.

Anyhow - to the shot... It's a very nicely-framed composition. The pilot's just getting his leg over ready to lift her to the heavens - I can almost see the smile on his face Nicely captured and a pleasure to look at and to linger. If it were my shot, I've have lifted the shadows a bit and added some contrast to give it more "pop", but I know these sort of things are personal taste. Overall, a very pleasing image!





So - well done to all those who entered and congrats to the winners.

Now - let's have a bumper entry field for this month's comp - it's a great way to get engaged and hopefully receive some pithy comments on your work too.
__________________
Paul
E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
flickr
Portfolio Site
Instagram
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to pdk42 For This Useful Post:
IainMacD (21st June 2018), MJ224 (19th June 2018), Phill D (17th August 2018)
The Following Users Liked This Post:
Bikie John (19th June 2018), chris (19th June 2018), cliff (19th June 2018), Gate Keeper (1st July 2018), IainMacD (21st June 2018), MJ224 (19th June 2018), Phill D (17th August 2018)