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The Agronomist

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My self portrait for the July Critique Buddies Meeting Number 2. You can be as harsh as you like about it and hopefully constructive!!

I found it really hard to do mostly because I do not make a good subject! I set the camera to manual and used the self timer. Even using fill in flash I needed to tweak in photo shop and as a result the original sized version doesn't bear too much close examination. I did also try it on a more overcast day with less contrast which was more successful technically. However I chose this shot because I think it sums up my job pretty well (e.g. wandering around fields in the baking heat in this case but also in the foul and wet) and as such was a more accurate self portrait.

Camera:Nikon D300 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:Sigma 10-20 mm
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:The Agronomist
Username:Scutter Scutter
Uploaded:9 Jul 2009 - 5:50 PM
Tags:Humour / fun, Portraits / people
VS Mode Rating 100 (50% won)
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Votes:28
Group Event:Critique Buddies July 2009 - 2
Has Modifications Modifications Welcome (Upload a Modification)
Variant - TestsVariant - Tests

Comments

kaybee
kaybee  103795 forum posts Scotland24 Constructive Critique Points
9 Jul 2009 - 5:54 PM

You have hands for feet
LOL

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Scaramanga
Scaramanga e2 Member 637 forum postsScaramanga vcard United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
9 Jul 2009 - 6:07 PM

Really works well, the larger it gets the better it is.

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LynneJoyce
LynneJoyce e2 Member 6LynneJoyce vcard United Kingdom98 Constructive Critique Points
9 Jul 2009 - 6:12 PM

Interesting idea well executed.

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DOGSBODY
DOGSBODY  51432 forum posts England30 Constructive Critique Points
9 Jul 2009 - 6:30 PM

I really like this image. It has a strong and interesting composition which is mainly due to the very low shooting position and the use of a very wide angle lens. The only thing that I don't like is that very white burnt out area of cloud on the left.
I have uploaded a mod with that area very roughly cloned blue. I have not made a proper job of it due to time constraints but with care and the necessary time you could clone that area in properly. Andy

Last Modified By DOGSBODY at 9 Jul 2009 - 6:31 PM

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petixa
petixa  9 Spain
9 Jul 2009 - 6:31 PM

i like very much this...

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HectorRivera
9 Jul 2009 - 7:29 PM

Interesting, impacting prespective and great camera view point

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bayleaf
bayleaf  7 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2009 - 7:35 PM

Super Ben,
It works well
John

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Take-a-View
9 Jul 2009 - 11:25 PM

This is great. Unusual and original viewpoint. Agree with Andy however about the burnt out cloud.

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Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73846 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
10 Jul 2009 - 10:16 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

A very inventive and unusual take on the challenge. On the whole I think it has worked remarably well, and is a testament to the achievable dynamic range of the D300. The lighting must have been a nightmare to control. There are some highlights that have burnt out to pure white, tho I often see comments on clouds, when you examine them with the naked eye some are close to pure white.
The things that drew my attention are the expression, to be honest I'm not too sure as it looks like your a bit constipated Wink and there looks to be a flattening effect both to the hands and the face, probably due to the 10-20. There is some distracting flare - particularly on the hand area. The light from the flash looks a bit harsh, was it on camera? It would probably be better being slightly diffused.

To be ultra critical (which is what the challenge is about) there appears to be signs of the PS work in the way of a slight halo at the top of the head.

Overall I like the image, and worthy of a vote.

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Scutter
Scutter e2 Member 61742 forum postsScutter vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
10 Jul 2009 - 10:39 AM

Thank you all for your comments so far. The consensus seems to be that the burnt out area should go. That is interesting because I left it in as part of the picture as it is the sun itself partially obscured by the cloud and crop. In the original picture there were rays showing but the clumsy processing has lost these! Love the comment re constipation! My expression probably has more to do with getting the focal distance right which involved an unnatural stance and the soaring temperatures than any bowel conditionSmile

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Fishnet
Fishnet  104976 forum posts United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
10 Jul 2009 - 2:12 PM

I know I'm not in your group but nobody's uploaded any to mine lol

I LOVE this, totally and utterly love it, it looks like something I would have taken, similar style I mean.

I think it's wonderful how you have managed to get yourself in focus, I bet it wasn't easy, the colours are beuatiful, your expression is great and makes the photo for me, I thought you were pulling up some very tough weeds (not constipated lol).

Regarding the burnt out bit, I wouldn't get rid of it, but instead put a big starburst effect on it in PS and make a feature of it.

I think this is fabulous.

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Scutter
Scutter e2 Member 61742 forum postsScutter vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
10 Jul 2009 - 2:42 PM

Thanks Anna! Well I'm bored too 'cos no one else has uploaded so I may reciprocate Smile
Ben

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Fishnet
Fishnet  104976 forum posts United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
10 Jul 2009 - 2:47 PM

Same here, that's why I checked out the other groups as nobody has uploaded any lol

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Coleslaw
Coleslaw e2 Member 913403 forum postsColeslaw vcard Wales28 Constructive Critique Points
14 Jul 2009 - 7:58 PM

I was going to comment on the expression on the face, but Nick already covered that. You looks painful.
I like the angle. I think your right hand is a bit too big, which might distract a bit. I would like to see a bit more details on the face, it looks a bit too smooth for my liking.

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Scutter
Scutter e2 Member 61742 forum postsScutter vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
14 Jul 2009 - 9:13 PM

Thanks Cole! Just to show how youthful I am (and therefore how smooth and baby-faced I am I have uploaded another version of my self portrait!! Wink
Ben

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csurry
csurry  129230 forum posts92 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jul 2009 - 6:12 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Well I like the use of a quirky angle, but I'm afraid your expression looks a little like you are constipated Wink Grin

That's a shame really because apart from the expression I think it is a really creative and good self-portrait. I know if you are anything like me in front of the camera then trying to find a natural expression is difficult and the harder you try to relax the worse the expression appears when committed to memory card.

The fact that it shows us your work as well as you is a good angle (pardon the pun). Mind you for me who wants to see another computer screen. I did think about that, but "shyed" away Wink

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Scutter
Scutter e2 Member 61742 forum postsScutter vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jul 2009 - 10:38 PM

Thank you Cheryl. I am afraid that after this "Meeting" I shall ever be labeled as "The Constipated Agronomist" Smile Wink. I really struggle to look "normal" when a camera is pointed at me even when It is me doing the pointing in effect for this challenge. As several people in this and other crit buddy groups have said looking into your own lens is daunting. Wink

Ben

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discreetphoton
discreetphoton Site Moderator 93451 forum postsdiscreetphoton vcard United Kingdom20 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jul 2009 - 12:06 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

The one thing that can be seen in your expression in the first version is the concentration in your work (even if it's just a reaction to the flash, it's easy to see how you may furrow the brow along with the soil). I can see how the overcast sky may have worked out a little better, but appreciate the reasons for your choice. I think that a square crop would help balance out the lighting without detracting from the mood of the photo. The fill-flash appears quite natural, and a benefit of using on-camera flash here is that the hands aren't over-exposed.

Last Modified By discreetphoton at 25 Jul 2009 - 12:10 AM

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Scutter
Scutter e2 Member 61742 forum postsScutter vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jul 2009 - 11:23 AM

Thanks David, your crop works well. The facial expression was slightly posed as I was "examining" the plants but it was also an effing hot day and I had yomped over half a field to get to the linseed Wink

I may put the overcast shot up as a Version - although come to think of it I think I rejected those on the grounds that I looked eevn more hideous!! Smile

Ben

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csurry
csurry  129230 forum posts92 Constructive Critique Points
26 Jul 2009 - 12:33 PM

Think David's crop is a good move, it takes away from the distraction of the overexposed cloud.

"The constipated agronomist', sounds like a title for an Agatha Christie novel Wink

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Scutter
Scutter e2 Member 61742 forum postsScutter vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
26 Jul 2009 - 3:51 PM


Quote: Think David's crop is a good move, it takes away from the distraction of the overexposed cloud.

"The constipated agronomist', sounds like a title for an Agatha Christie novel

Humm! I will come up with a synopsis when I can work it out.................Wink

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v8dunc
v8dunc  7333 forum posts Scotland4 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jul 2009 - 12:32 AM

Crit Buddies,really late getting round to these this month,so most things have been covered.cant think off anything to add.prefer the bw portrait
Cheers Duncan

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HectorRivera
27 Jul 2009 - 7:55 PM

V2 is excellent a classic style, Great lighting and shadow.

Hector

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rowarrior
rowarrior  64350 forum posts Scotland9 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2009 - 12:20 AM

Yes, very creative, though I see what Cheryl means about the constipated look, I just couldn't quite put my finger on the expression at first, think she nailed it Wink

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