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Wrong Way

Wrong Way
Copyright ©2007, Elisabeth Spector HoF Win ¤ $

Watching for birds during an evening at the lake.

Photographer: Elisabeth Spector HoF Win ¤ $
Folder: ES Miscellaneous
Uploaded: 2007-Aug-04 14:22 EDT
Current Rating: 9.75/8 (Weighted rating: 9.17)
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Copying allowed: No
Camera: Olympus E-1
Lens: Olympus 11-22mm f2.8/3.5
Lens Adapter: None
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/200
Focal Length: 11mm
Flash: No
Tripod/Monopod: No
Critique Level: Dead Honest Critique

Comment/Rate Critique Guideline Share this Image

Many lines

Find that there are many lines in the composition, in table, the diagonals in the clouds, and the verticals in the girl and in the tower in the BG. Like it!

nils alveby ¤ $ at 15:13 EDT on 2007-Aug-04 [Reply]


what a good BW conversion should look like ...the model was leading us to the high dramatic clouds above , her feet firmly planted on that table ...very well processed ;-))

dee vee HoF Win ¤ $1 at 15:24 EDT on 2007-Aug-04 [Reply]


Elisabeth - first impression: 'oh my what a great pp work here in b/w'. The high contrast treatment on skirt and vest really is fantastic and good thing that the face and skin tones are still lovely. The soft blur that you gave (?) to the ripples in the water really makes the sharpness of your daughter stand out. Hands and shoes look huge - she has got to grow into them, LOL. Second impression: I am slightly disturbed but the cut off bench. Your work on the sheen of the wood is excellent but the whole thing, table and bench), to me does distract from your daughter and the selling point which is how she is looking upwards into the vast (beautifully rendered) sky. I am sure there will be a third impression after having slept over it. Klaus

Klaus Er HoF Win ¤1 at 16:00 EDT on 2007-Aug-04 [Reply]


I think maybe my title is too obscure ;-). There's something about this image that amused me but it's something even I didn't notice until I had worked on it for some time...

Thank you Nils, for your comment about the lines. I hoped they weren't too chaotic.

Dee vee, thank you very much. This one took more work than most (exposed for the sky in very low light conditions and had to wrestle back the foreground).

Klaus, always a pleasure to read your comments. Glad you like the pp work, too. No blur added anywhere--that's just how the water looked (I liked that part, too), esp. the strong b/w pattern). Was waiting to hear someone comment about the bench. I'm a bit ambivalent about it myself, but hope that other compositional elements in the photo keep it from being too disturbing. I'm laughing out loud about the feet and hands! She has such teeny tiny feet and hands, not much bigger than those of some large babies I know. I can only guess that the effect here has someting to do with the perspective (being so close to the subject with my 11mm focal length)?? I'm still chuckling as I look at it. Well, thanks for your in-depth comments on this--very much appreciated.

Elisabeth Spector HoF Win ¤1 $ at 16:37 EDT on 2007-Aug-04 [Reply]

Preciosa foto

Una maravilla de fotografía, Elisabeth, es tierna y dramática a la vez. Sería un 10 si los patos estuviesen a la izquierda, en el reflejo del lago. Buén tiro.

Fernando Bellas ¤1 at 17:27 EDT on 2007-Aug-04 [Reply]

Distinctive Style


I recognized this as your work without clicking on the thumbnail.

Well done, as usual.

Best wishes... joe

Joe Sneed HoF ¤1 at 17:51 EDT on 2007-Aug-04 [Reply]


Elisabeth, considering the lighting conditions, your post processing is excellent.

Marianne Decker Win ¤ at 19:04 EDT on 2007-Aug-04 [Reply]


The girl (your daughter?) really syand out against the background. Excellent PP. She relly looks "queen of the table"

Wiliam Wagenaar ¤ $ at 19:12 EDT on 2007-Aug-04 [Reply]


Masterful conversion, the pp work is very skillfully done which must have been tricky to get the right balance of your daughter against that brightly lit sky.

Stephen Elliott Win ¤ at 04:46 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]


I love the stillness of your daughter against the movement of the sky and the water. The figure is one of your best and, as has been mentioned, the pp work gives it a great feel. A lot of your pictures leave me feeling uncomfortable in a good way and this has that quality. I do think, however, that maybe the contrast is a touch too heavy. Those darks are very dark. Saying that, this is what gives it some of that quality I mentioned before so maybe I'm talking nonsense.

adrian tear HoF Win ¤ $ at 09:17 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]


i was look at this for a longer time and try to find some words...well,not find any so this is a very good the picture and conversion...

denis grzetic HoF Win ¤ at 12:11 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]


A beautiful compo and an extraordinary conversion!

vaggelis fragiadakis HoF Win ¤ $ $ at 12:39 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]

Again ...

a great picture, Elisabeth. Without reading the title, it looks rather mysthic to me. Enhanced by the light stripe in sky. Like also the tower in BG, a nice repetition of FG. The treatment gives me the right feeling for the late hour. Altogether very well done.

Best wishes,

Horst Schmier HoF Win ¤ $ at 13:02 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]


and the birds are in the water all the time. LOL. Again being late to visit the image, I will echo the comments of the others with a couple of exceptions. Firstly, the bench doesn't bother me because the focus should be on the girl. There is a great deal of movement or vertigo in the pov probably brought about by the short lens which makes me sit down before I fall down. (Has nothing to do with the wine I've been drinking) Finally, I want to thank you for presenting an image that I can enjoy while waiting for her to fall backwards.Hasn't everyone looked up at the sky when clouds are moving and gotten dizzy? Appreciate this very much elisabeth. george

george shaw ¤1 at 14:33 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]


A very powerful picture. If I pretend not to have read the circumstances around the picture (looking for birds) this could look like a girl calling upon all the powers of the universe …. for something. Help perhaps? Her body is too relaxed to be angry or curse something, but the sky is dramatic (so it could have been so with a less relaxed body).

The table and bench bothers me because they make the picture more prosaic and trivial than it would have been without. To me it takes away some of the magic from the picture. I would suggest that you crop so that only a small part of the table is included (if you crop more than that it will get too close to her feet). Well – unless that takes too much of the height of the picture (could perhaps also crop some of the sides to keep height – if that doesn’t mean you will loose too much of the patterns in the sky).


p.t. Inactive Win ¤1 $ at 17:51 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]

Thank you all, wasn't expecting so many comments...

Fernando, ¡Estoy utilizando Google traduzco, así que espero que esto sea comprensible! ¡Mi conocimiento del español es muy pobre! :- (esto es justo un tiro maravilloso de la gente, con un contraste muy de diversión proporcionado por la muestra del anuncio. Amo el arsenal de diversos uniformes (y de sombreros!). También como manera la gente se está moviendo en todas las diversas direcciones, con diversas cosas en su mente. La manera los caballeros en el primero plano enmarca algunos de ésos en los trabajos del fondo muy bien para mí. Absolutamente un tiro interesante, y ella se parece encapsulan tan muchos elementos del moderno-día Rusia en una escena. In English: Fernando, I don't know if you read English, so I'm using the internet again to translate for me. I wonder how amusing it sounds to read it on your end? Yes, the ducks. :-) I didn't even notice them until I processed the image. Then I found myself smiling at the fact that my daughter was scanning the skies for birds with two of them right behind her! I, too, wish they were more visible (to the left would be good). Glad you saw them, though. Thanks so much for commenting.

Joe, LOL, I thought the lake and subject would both be familiar (hopefully not too familiar). ;-) Thanks.

Marianne, thank you, too.

Wiliam, yes "queen" of the table! I'm sure she felt that way (or "princess of the table," if I know how she thinks).

Stephen, thanks. I probably spent more time on the pp than this was worth, but was relatively happy with it in the end. I tend to push my E-1 images to the extreme (always shooting in low light and then rescuing as much as I can later). I think I'd miss the challenge if I ever got a camera that could take decent images at ISO 3200, lol.

Denis and Vaggelis, thank you both very much. That means a lot to me.

Horst, very kind of you. Wasn't sure if some would mind the tower in the BG. It's a brand new high-rise, the only one in the area and something of a local landmark already (and a source of disagreement from the locals as to whether it's a welcome addition to the neighborhood).

George--you got it! :-) I also like your comment about looking up and getting dizzy.

And Caroline, I'm much honored by your visit and your lengthy comments. I do see your point about the table. It's one of our favorite places to hang out, so I suppose the sentimental/documentary side of me won out. I may take a look at this some more, though, and look at an alternate crop (one of my favorite exercise!).

Elisabeth Spector HoF Win ¤1 $ at 19:32 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]

Oops, sorry Adrian

Neglected to respond to your comment earlier... Thanks as always for your detailed thoughts. Really nice to read your comment about the moving sky and water; I especially liked that aspect of the sky, which seemed to be rushing over her head. And I guess the dark areas of the bench/table are quite black, borderline even for my taste re hi-contrast B/W. The foreground was *very* underexposed in the original and there wasn't that much detail there to rescue. Would have been better off I suppose taking two exposures rather than working from a single RAW file, but I never shoot that deliberately, lol. Anyway, thanks again for the comments!

Elisabeth Spector HoF Win ¤1 $ at 23:18 EDT on 2007-Aug-05 [Reply]


Hi Elisabeth, it's good to see a picture posted by you...

Have you cropped this? It doesn't look like 4/3rds aspect ratio to me.. maybe an illusion?

There is quite a bit of tension created by the composition here... the hard edges of the table and deck with all the bold zig-zags are in complete contrast to the dreamy pose of the little girl against that dramatic sweeping sky. The texture of the water maybe goes some way to link these two aspects, i'm not sure.

Also, she is maybe oversharpened a tad too much... she does pop in a lighting textural sense quite strongly..

OK, thinking aloud really, i like how her stance is echoed by the tower in the background, those ducks just behind her... but i'm getting mixed messages from this...a good or bad thing? I'm not sure...

It is a very striking picture, with lots of mixed metaphors and textures and echoes... one the one hand a childish, moment of escape, on the other she has been disconnected by the sharpening from the rest of the frame, and outwith her are strongly opposite structures and forms...

Aha! It's a study about childish innocence in a man-made world and our own struggle to escape it when young... only to try and recapture it amidst the urban world when old!

It is about escape and alienation!

No? Ok, i like this, but i think that maybe the production is a little over-wrought in places and gives too much equal weighting to different elements which in turn, causes a degree of visual confusion. Caroline's suggestion would leave little left of the original frame...

I think that perhaps this would have been better served with a landscape orientation and / or being taken from a little further away giving a little more breathing space to the table and so placing it in it's environment as opposed to contrasting with it... Although i suspect you had no room, hence the 11mm focal length?

Actually, i just don't know... it is quirky and strong as it is.. maybe the sharpening reigned in would place her in the picture rather than hovering above it?

I have to say, that i find this a really interesting little picture because of all the aspects mentioned above... and i've come back to it a good few times (hence the dealy in commenting) since it was posted. It's one of those pictures that one nminiute a certain aspect annoys you a little, or distracts, then the next you kinda like that about it...

Sorry i'm not being too commital here. I KIND OF LIKE IT ;-)

Best wishes-


Andrew McLean HoF ¤1 $ at 13:33 EDT on 2007-Aug-06 [Reply]


Andy. LOL, now *that’s* a comment—quite a stream of consciousness going there! Also so appreciative of your candor and the time you took to look at this multiple times and wrestle with your thoughts on it.

I can’t really disagree with anything you say. Oh, and don’t try too hard to read any profound intent into it, because I can’t say that I had any! I think I liked the different feelings of scale somehow, with a small child appearing (feeling?) sort of larger than life and grandiose, until compared against the large, rushing sky which renders everything else relatively less significant. I stretched the sky somewhat toward the top of the image to get a bit more height out of it, and slightly cropped the bottom. (I felt the benches in front of the table were too large/prominent given the perspective effects of being so close.) A slightly different POV might have worked better, I don’t know (though I’m not so sure about the landscape orientation because I was so attracted to the height of the sky and the vertical sweep of the clouds). But who knows? There are undoubtedly other possibilities that might have made this a much better shot (certainly this isn’t the best of them!).

The other thing that attracted me to this photo was the fact that, except for the sky, it was so underexposed—I’m always attracted to a challenge, lol. So I was fairly pleased with being able to get a conversion out of it that I could be satisfied with, even though it is far from perfect.

I completely understand any feelings of ambivalence that this produces, and am glad that it at least sparked some thoughts (always a pleasure to hear yours, good, bad or otherwise). I wasn’t sure this would generate any comments or discussion at all, so I’m happy that it did. I now have more food for thought that I’m sure will carry over into other photographs one way or another.

Elisabeth Spector HoF Win ¤1 $ at 14:46 EDT on 2007-Aug-06 [Reply]


I have kept coming back to this on my very brief visits over the past few days, and finally get time to stop and comment. A wonderful moment, beautifully captured, and the PP is outstanding. So many eyecatching elements - particularly the tower in the bg, for some reason....

Stephen Lacy HoF ¤ $ at 08:40 EDT on 2007-Aug-08 [Reply]