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In Memory of our Heroes

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This is made up of 3 images. I would like to get some critique please.

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 7D
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:25 Apr 2012 - 4:39 PM
Focal Length:160mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/400sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:250
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Center-weighted average
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Manual
Title:In Memory of our Heroes
Username:amato amato
Uploaded:19 Feb 2013 - 9:39 PM
Tags:Digitally manipulated
VS Mode Rating 100 (33.33% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
NEWMANP
NEWMANP e2 Member 61583 forum postsNEWMANP vcard United Kingdom574 Constructive Critique Points
19 Feb 2013 - 9:50 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

looks like a serious departure from your usual genre and thats good, making a shot your own is always good. composite work is really intersting, im just getting into it myself and its a steep curve but worth the effort. can be frustrating too

if im being honest and without detracting from your efforts, maybe there is a bit too much going on in one image,
the flag bits good and well placed, the soldier and medals fit well in the opposite corner but the flowers, stars and text are all competing a bit for attention without one single element being dominant.
i think i may have subdued the background colours some, faded out the text with the opacity slider and either layer masked the hero to bring him to the front or extracted him and pasted him on top, blurred his edges to make the extraction less sharp and tied him into the rest with an overlayed simple texture.

if its among your first efforts then i think you are on the right track, have the right sort of ideas and it will come together for you, the more you do

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amato
amato  7 Australia
19 Feb 2013 - 10:20 PM

Thank you for that. I will go back and see if I can do what you have suggested. I am not up on layer masks though
Jan

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Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41194 forum posts United Kingdom196 Constructive Critique Points
20 Feb 2013 - 12:42 AM

I think just making the man solid. It would make him the main subject and the memorial, flag and flowers more like memories. They wouldn't compete for attention then.

Other than that, I think it's a little cheesy, but at least the elements fit together.

Nick

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amato
amato  7 Australia
20 Feb 2013 - 1:44 AM

Thanks Nick for the feedback. I will look at what you have suggested. This is the first of this sort of thing I have done and getting ideas is hard

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NEWMANP
NEWMANP e2 Member 61583 forum postsNEWMANP vcard United Kingdom574 Constructive Critique Points
20 Feb 2013 - 8:20 AM

if you want ideas look on the web for BPE british photographic exhibitions, then click the list of exhibitions and work through their individual websites and you find enough inspiration for the next 10 years
Phil

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom845 Constructive Critique Points
20 Feb 2013 - 8:27 AM

I think you have done a pretty good job. Maybe a few too many flowers, but they were doubtless there. The problem for me is that the treatment has resulted in a rather flat image. At least one component, probably the soldier, needed to have full contrast to stand out, the rest being subservient. Good idea.

Paul

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8754 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1587 Constructive Critique Points
20 Feb 2013 - 8:03 PM

It's good to try new things, Jan, and I must say that you succeeded inasmuch as I knew immediately what the image was about, which means that it has impact and a "story".
I like all of the elements that you have included, and it must be hard to leave some out, especially when they are all of individual significance to your memorial.
I am assuming that the three images you used are the memorial with flowers at the base, the flag and the man.
I have a feeling that this might be very personal to you, but may be wrong.
Anyway, starting with the memorial and flowers, you have some strong shade covering most of those glorious colourful flowers. OR, the "shade" may be because you placed the flag over the flowers. I am inclined to think that this is the case. But it's a shame because they would have provided a very strong and colourful base for the whole image. So, you could either start with the flag and place the memorial and flowers on top of it, or start with the memorial and flowers and add the flag but remove those parts of the flag which cover the flowers.
As to the flag, if you want it to be this large in the frame, I would allow it to fill in the top left so that you have a clean line at the top, without the woodgrain (?) showing. That grain does look good behind the flag, though, giving some texture to your background.
As to the man, I agree with others, I think he should be your dominant element, and at full opacity. You obviously want his cap badge and medals to be shown, and I think you could make him a touch smaller so that the badge and medals aren't touching the frame edges.
The white stars are well placed in the composition, but I am unsure about the badges that you have added. I don't like the one that you have placed on the man's chest, that just doesn't look right. You have used the two "empty" spaces to place the other two in, and that's a good idea, but perhaps the one on the left needs lowering and the one at the top needs to go more to the right. Without seeing that alteration done, I don't know if it would look ok or not.
A work in progress, I think, but well formulated and carried out.
Pamela.

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amato
amato  7 Australia
20 Feb 2013 - 9:02 PM

Thank you everyone for the help. I will go back and fix up a few things

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