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WINNERS PROJECT 52-8-25- Architecture-Graveyard/cemetery
Posted By: JensE, 06-28-2016, 07:37 PM

Thanks for the excellent, if smallish, set of contributions to the Architecture-Graveyard/Cemetery Theme and Sub-Topic in The world seems to be a rather small place that in 9 submissions, there are only 7 distinct places, but let's take a look:

Out of Tom's multiple photos for the theme uploaded on flickr, ramseybuckeye chose to post the most challenging one. Challenging, as there is only a relatively small hint, a single arch, to a graveyard, a back-lit composition with the moon as the only light source and clouds too close and dense to scatter it, and wind moving the branches of the trees. To me, the picture fits a landscape theme much better than the Architecture theme of the week. It is difficult to make out any architectural features other than the arch being a small, somehow ornamented arch. From a technical perspective, the long exposure time leaves a partially blurred tree line, which distracts a little in combination with the artificially looking halo around the trees. The rendering of the highlight rings around the moon also looks somewhat artificial. The steep light fall-off makes the corners a little imbalanced here because of the proximity of the moon. I do see that you used and ISO 100 setting at 5s (heavily pushed afterwards?), not much more that you could have done to capture the large contrast, when light is changing so quickly, but I wonder if you could do better post-processing it. To sum it up: an engaging picture fitting the theme (just), with some technical quirks. My favorite from that day is btw. the Tawelfan Cemetery.

Susan(slowpez)and Ramon (RayLo) chose to post pictures of the same place, one with a significantly wider angle of view than the other. Interestingly, the very same is true for the pair of shots by Tess (tessfully) and Norman (normhead).

The first two by Susan and Ramon show a place with a very formal architecture. Both capture aspects of it in an excellent way: very good use of angles, matching depth of field, good brightness and/or color contrasts. Ramon's focus makes his point about numbered stones very clearly and emphasizes their relation by perspective compression. Susan's composition on the other hand achieves a great sense of space by not showing the end of the lines in either direction and the low angle leaving it to the distant trees to provide a scale. Of the two, I tend to favor hers because, without having seen Ramon's and not having read about numbers being on the backside, I was puzzled already why some of the stones just had numbers and others and additional personal inscription, while at the same time, Susan's picture transports a sense of significance of the National Cemetery as a monument.

The second pair, technically equally well executed, shows somehow quite the opposite: An inviting place which has been used over a long time, evident in both pictures, with very individual styles of tombs. I like how Tess captured several different "BROOKS" tombs in the foreground. I'd find it difficult to create the right mood for this small community, not too formal place in the hard direct sunlight from fairly high up. In that respect, Norman's compressed perspective with just a sketch of the chapel and not too much sky works better for me. His focused photograph still features the Architecture aspects and diversity of the place and invites you to decipher the inscription for further exploration.

Back up to Christian's (ChristianRock) photograph. This looks like a sad place to me, at least from an Architecture standpoint. Not sure if this was the intention, but the photograph highlights a lot of mismatched ingredients: The symmetric building, not only being too small without any framing trees in this large open space, stands at an odd angle to the footpath. It doesn't really matter as the building to the right is anyway placed in an indecisive way relative to it. While both at least feature a somewhat consistent design, neither communicates with the well in any way: material, color, texture, shapes - nothing. This even continues with the well and the statues right next to it. The grave plots in turn were obviously meant to be minimalist and formal, which can be both beautiful and symbolic. While this has worked in the front row, behind that, the only partially decorated sites - at least on the right - appear out of alignment, contributing to a feel of randomness and emptiness in between the flowers. More subconsciously, the impression of this part of Peachtree Memorial Cemetery is strengthened by putting the path leading you just slightly off-center of a seemingly symmetric composition.

Not sure if the one suspected (I think it is though) and one speculative graveyard artifact in Tamia's photograph are enough for an Architecture theme with Graveyard/Cemetery subtopic; it is even farther stretched than Tom's single arch. I still like it, the bright backside(?) of the rear stone places a nice highlight around the front stone, and the barn reminds me of places I played at long ago. So for me more romantic than mysterious, but a touching photograph in how it makes me wonder how long memories should stay symbolized and how those stones might be reused.

I'm glad assa1 kept his non-promise - another great Architecture photograph showing a much more elaborate culture of remembrance. The fresh flowers in front of it tell me that it is not merely archaeological but living. At the same time, the perspective picks out very intimate emotional scenes of grief and solace, a nice bridge to the upcoming 'People' theme. It adds a lot to the previously posted pictures. Colors and light work every well, esp. impressive on the grieving women's face. Looks magical, maybe also helped by the crisp detail. At the size/resolution in the forum, the selective focus doesn't work well for me, somewhat better in larger size on photobucket. I'd still prefer it more pronounced, or alternatively the DoF extended to the faces in front.

I would like to extend Noel's (noelcmn) "Wow-cracking images here!" to his very own. The composition masters the fact that the path does not lead straight to building very well, aided by the the most used path/lane through the leafs mirroring the right line of curbstones. It took me a while to find out. And of course, the gorgeous trees frame the roof perfectly. The variety of tombs adds to the theme. All nicely modeled by soft light. Blue hour? I must admit that I'm also drawn to it because I have never seen an open ceremonial (I suspect) building before, but still I have picked - sorry for you Noel not being in next week - noelcm as the

with assa1's Cmentarz Powązkowski very closely behind

and a tie between slowpez and normhead on 3rd, which proves that I did not just go in reverse order.

Looking at the writeup, I hope everybody gets a sense of how inspiring and interesting all the submissions were for me. I regret to not have gone out and take the planned picture for last week, but I'm happy to have had the chance to contribute with this thread.

Last edited by JensE; 06-28-2016 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Why is it that you can't spot the mistakes while proofreading the preview?
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06-29-2016, 01:48 AM   #2
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Congratulation to Noel, well done. Also to Susan and Norman. Jens, your comment is a piece of art, as usually I suppose.
06-29-2016, 03:14 AM   #3
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Oh Dear, JensE, I think you are already on my enemy list-keeping me out of next weeks challenge, and having already captured some portraits must surely have some consequences . In any event, enemies aside, I'm chuffed. Such stiff competition here, and that margin of win must have been very small, as I thought Assa1's image was gonna win it- it's so evocative! Thank you, and congrats to Assa1, Slowpez and Normhead.

Project 52 does not usually attract a great number of entries, usually around 9 or ten, but the idea is that we "promote" it on the Forum, with a view to increasing the number of entries. But the Quality of submission are indeed inspirational.
06-29-2016, 06:00 AM   #4
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Congrats to Noel on the win and to assa and Norm also. This weeks entries were quite wonderful to view. I enjoyed reading the in-depth reviews of each of the photos also Jens. Very informative and I always seem to learn something.

06-29-2016, 12:54 PM   #5
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Congratulations to Noel, Assa1, Susan and Norm for your well deserved placings, these are incredible pictures. And "wow" to JenLens for your commentary, there should be an award for that!
06-29-2016, 01:29 PM   #6
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Thanks! Glad to read that, I wasn't so sure how my comments on your submission would be received. I only noticed this morning, looking at the updates on my phone being unusually tired, that it got a little lengthy. Didn't look so bad on my 27" screen
06-29-2016, 05:45 PM   #7
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Congratulations to Noel, Assa1, Susan, and Norm on your wins. Jens, thanks for judging and for your commentary, to wit...

QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
...the bright backside(?) of the rear stone places a nice highlight around the front stone, and the barn reminds me of places I played at long ago. So for me more romantic than mysterious, but a touching photograph in how it makes me wonder how long memories should stay symbolized and how those stones might be reused...
... I've since discovered that the stones were from the graves of a husband and wife, and were replaced with a single monument. I still don't know how the owner of the barn came to be in possession of the original stones. I presume the "bright backside rear stone" is one of the pair. Those slabs of marble are now being used to cover a gap in the barn's stone foundation to discourage woodchucks from living below the structure.
06-30-2016, 04:29 AM   #8
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Congratulations Noel! Kudos as well to Assa1, Susan and Norm. Great work by all this week! Thank you for the considered and informative comments Jens.

I will be sitting the next one out. Off on a canoe trip.

06-30-2016, 09:19 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
Thanks! Glad to read that, I wasn't so sure how my comments on your submission would be received. I only noticed this morning, looking at the updates on my phone being unusually tired, that it got a little lengthy. Didn't look so bad on my 27" screen
It was good to see another point of view on photography. I was basically worried with the interaction between the elements of the picture. And the picture's theme is the inevitability of decay - even the bird poop on top of the head of the statues depicts that. But there's always 3 elements to a picture - the subject(s) the photographer and the viewer. You as a viewer got some things I didn't even think of - and it was very interesting to me to see that. I'm sure others will agree regarding their pictures as well
07-04-2016, 08:37 AM   #10
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Congratulations Noel, and also to Assa1, Susan and Norm. And Jens, what a great job of reviewing the photos! I'm impressed that you actually went out to Flickr and viewed other photos too. I kind of forgot about the architectural part of the theme. Actually I didn't make it to any cemeteries with much of what I would call architecture, but it was still fun and challenging which is what these challenges are all about. Awesome challenge!

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