Back Modifications (2)
Views: 63 (36 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

the egg timer

By jadus      
Ok - so I'm learning how to take a photograph with a narrative.
This guy is fascinated by clocks and loves his chickens. He is also in the autumn of his years.
I left the opening to the chicken shed in the image because it acts as an entrance to the under world ( death). The clocks are there because he is fascinated by clocks and has less time to live than he has already had.
The chickens - he loves chickens. The image is taken in the chicken shack in his garden.
He's looking out of the frame at something in the distance - who knows what?

i can see that the sky behind his hat is a bit of a distraction as is the over exposure on his knees - not sure what to do about this without upsetting the rest of the image.

Did i achieve an image with a narrative?
Are the mistakes too much of a distraction?
In terms of composition does it matter that he is so far to the right of the image and looking out of the frame?

Thanks for looking.

Tags: Clocks Aging Chickens Portraits and people

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
15 Nov 2012 9:36PM
HI Jade.

The image is what you want it to be. Youve asked some questions about composition, and if you understand the guidelines, rather than rules, this breaks many of them, - but, it doesnt have to conform. I dont mind the man looking out, - it does what you suggest, - whats he looking at, - to me he appears about to greet someone by raising his hat.

the bright areas are not super bright, and can be toned down in photoshop, - but not essential to do.

The image is slanted, - dont know if you intended it to be, and trying to correct this in a mod removes way too much of the image.

I would like to see the mans face, especially his eyes with a lot less shadow, and Ive loaded a mod with this addressed, as well as the highlights.

I would interpret this image differently though from a narrative perspective. For me its about life, not death, and it shows a man who has enjoyed his life, and continues to do so by doing what he likes to do.

Hope the mod works for you,



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Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2012 10:12PM
I'm afraid that the picture does not give me the story you tell, and if you have to explain it, then maybe it falls a little short of your design and expectations.
It's too close a crop to place the man in the environment, and I wouldn't know it was a henhouse, and I certainly wouldn't associate it with death....
I wonder if you are creating too deep a narrative for a single image?

This is a bit dark all over, and maybe a blip of fill-flash would help, as would lightening the whole image. The colour balance is quite blue too, and maybe a warmer feel (the old "twilight of life" cliche?) would be better.
Overall though, I'd like to see a wider view, the context would tell more of a story, and might include vital information...more clocks, more chickens etc.

jadus 6 1.2k 3 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2012 11:43PM
Thank you Willie and nick for your feedback, that's helpful.
Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 9:06AM
Your questions, the guy being on the extreme right would on most ocacsions not balance the image. Here he is not looking out of the frame and he is well balanced by other items on display.

I don't really get your message but as a viewer, I can make up my own story which makes it fine in that regard. One can imagine manys cenarios which is good from a viewer perspective.

In terms of mistakes, I am not sure what you mean, perhaps it would help if you told us what you see as your errors!. To me the main thing is I find the slant disturbing and have uploaded a mod where I have lifted your shadow detail and to a greater extent, have made the picture somewhat straighter.

Is this your first foray into the critique gallery? If so I do hope you get out that which you expect.

iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 11:08AM
Interesting. I guess a lot of images tell stories. The problem to any story teller is that we all have a different map of life, we all look at things differently..
This is your challenge, is this photo for college or course?
What I see is an old man who likes clocks. The hen house opening suggests (to Me) a cuckoo clock! Has he a head ache or is he saying hello or goodbye.
As Nick says you should not have to explain the story.
It's a thought provoking image and viewers are bound to think about a meaning. They are unlikely to see what you see. Too long and complicated a story.
Good picture, got people commenting,
jadus 6 1.2k 3 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 11:44AM
Frank - yes it's the first foray into the critique gallery, and yes I am receiving constructive feed back which i am learning from. That will do for me.

Nick and Ian - I put the information about the image because the question asks what are you trying to achieve, otherwise i would have left the meaning of the elements in the picture up to the viewer.

Ian, you're right about how we all project different things into images and I am enjoying getting to know how others view this image. The idea came for a competition that I want to enter. I was uncertain that I knew how to create a thought provoking image but it seems that I have achieved that.

And no - I didn't notice that the image is slanted - I was knee deep in chickens at the time!!

Thank you all for the time you have taken to give me feedback.

paulbroad 10 123 1245 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 9:37PM
The story is not clear without your narative. Thus, compositionally there are a lot of rules broken, and not always successfully. I would crop to near the left clock then dodge to lighten the chaps face a bit. It can be difficult to tell a complicated story just with a picture, but even with the text I wonder about the chicken shed being the underworld.

jadus 6 1.2k 3 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 9:49PM
Thanks for the feedback Paul.

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