I don't know what it is, but I like it... there is a funny dynamic in this shot and play in perspective... the line on the ground pointing to the guy in the background is obvious... and he almost looks like he is walking backwards.
I've seen that you asked for a critical acclaim of your latest works; but this is something I'm very hesitant about. While it would be my pleasure to oblige, I feel that, too often, a critic starts nit-picking and loses sight of the whole along the way.
Since I cannot know your vision that has led you to take exactly that one shot in question, and why you presented it in a certain way, I cannot do it justice by way of a so-called critical acclaim. Humankind is a many-eyed beast.
That's why I've chosen to use an "unofficial" way to express my own thoughts on this particular shot.
Pretending this would be my own work, I would have been a bit unhappy about a certain flatness inherent here; the lack of contrasts would have been irritating to me. This is what I would have done: since I shoot in RAW-format, and RAW only, I'm left with what the sensor of my camera has actually seen and recorded. Which is, in most cases, much more than the compressed JPEG-file output of the camera would led you to believe.
Having A RAW file enables me to adjust contrasts, colors, highlights, sharpness and much more, provided a software like Lightroom, Aperture, or PS Camera RAW is employed.
In this particular case, I would have increased light in the guys hands, feet and face in the foreground, in order to give him a more accentuated, sharper presence. I wouldn't bother about the guy in the background, he is just a slave to the composition, albeit an important one. He does a fine job.
Next, I would have taken care to highlight the intricate "embroideries" of the mosque, to make sure that the guy in the foreground and the mosque show some relation.
Having worked on these details, any further adjustments the shot as a whole may need would get obvious. Doing that, if necessary, would give me a result I could be satisfied with.
But as stated above, this is my own take on things. It doesn't change the fact that this is a great composition, demanding attention immediately and a joy to look at.
While we should strive for perfection, in my opinion, we should also hope to never reach it, because, once we've done a perfect job, how would or could we top that? Any work thereafter must be below the achievements of our masterpiece. Something I truly dread.
Getting back to why I'm not keen on writing a critique on a particular work: the emotional content gets easily forgotten. I've seen works here on dA that I deem perfect; I admire the skill that went into them, was blasted away by the technical toys employed etc. Usually, when looking/thinking back, in these cases I remember the artist, but not his/her art. Because, despite the perfect presentation, it left me cold. No emotional content. No little flaws that would make it human and reach out to my own imperfection, nothing I can relate too.
That's why I say: who cares about the flaws? Fly into my face, grip me on an emotional level, show me something unexpected and let me dream and hope. Let my imagination run wild. But please, keep perfection away from me. A human being is only perfect when he/she is dead. Since I mean to live, perfection seems to be my natural enemy.
And I love this shot of yours deeply. Despite the flaws pointed out. Which do exist in my own mind only anyway.
Do you really think that I'm a critical acclaim hog, B? It was just that a friend of mine had suggested that I enable the Request Critiques option so that I'll get more constructive feedback, and the person providing critique good or bad, would feel safe in the knowledge that there will be no hard feelings or tantrums from my side.
Okay, so I took your advice an shot in RAW. It was all good when viewed on my camera's lcd screen but when I got home and viewed the images on my computer, they showed up reversed! Maybe because I'm using a Linux based OS, perhaps? I think I'll try it on Windows. Not to fond of that OS though, it's soooo slooooow.
Thank you so much for the superb critique, B! You have no idea how grateful I am for that. It is much, much appreciated!!!
The Comsat Angels ROCK!!! Shiva Descending and Eye Dance are my favorite tracks!
No, I never thought you may be something like a critical acclaim hog (love that expresssion ), but I thought you might be a little bit tired of such meaningful comments such as "Great one, Khuram", "Cool shot, Khuram" etc.
Taking this into account, the "Critical Acclaim"-option should be a useful addition to escape such friendly, but meaningless comments. If it only weren't for the people who feel called upon to speak a verdict after a lengthy, boring, hair-splitting excursion on all things to do with creativity. Artsy-fartsy pompousness. I have seen too many of them, and it made me cringe on all occasions. So, when I see a serious desire for a little bit more than the standard three-word flattery, I love to oblige, but at the same time I make it a point to keep away from the art police.
Sorry you've run into troubles with RAW. Unfortunately, the RAW-image of a camera is something similar to the exposed but not-yet developped film material of yore. To actually use this format, you really can't do without a dedicated software like Adobe's Lightroom or Apple's Aperture (created by Apple for Apple disciples, naturally). Without such a tool, you can't do a thing with it. Of course, beyond Adobe and Apple there are many more software tools to do with RAW, some plenty good, some not.
If you would have such a software tool, you would initially be disappointed when viewing your shots. All murky and flat. But the RAW format is meant to be developped in a similar way as exposed film has been developped in the past. Then, and only then, you get the best from all the sweat you've been in when taking your shots.
Linux is unfortunately not the very best OS when it comes to imagery or music production. While Linux is really powerfull, you need to be a bloody geeky nerd to make the best of it. Since I don't want to be nerdy, but have work done instead, Linux would drive me completely crazy. Still, it IS a powerfull OS - if you got the time and nerves.
Unfortunately, the big players in all things RAW do not offer their software for Linux OS's. But there are quite a few RAW-tools for Linux available, like RAW Therapee ([link]). You may want to download something like that to play around a bit in order to see if the RAW format could be useful for you in the future.
I'm one of the many lost souls in the endless sea of Microsoft origin. While it is the flavour of the day to bash all things Microsoft, they're not nearly half as bad. In fact, Windows 7 is mostly a beauty and very reliable. I have my computers custom-made, meaning all the parts inside are parts I've chosen myself, because I was convinced they would meet my demands (not always true ). No problem with Windows. But try something like that with Apple ... it wouldn't work, because they got a hold on hardware and software. Anyway, you would be shot before your computer was ever finished, because you dared to question the wisdom of Apple Com.
I'm glad you like The Comsat Angels. They have released some flawed material too, unfortunately, and synthesizers should never have been part of their sound, but I just can't resist their nearly tribal drum works paired with sparse, but cutting guitar work. Not forgetting often truly impressive bass parts that add a lot to the brooding atmospheres they used to create.
Should you ever be in need of such or other music, but can't find it in Dubai or get it online in sufficient quality, let me know. Chances are that I may have that stuff, so I could rip it in high quality and put it on my server for download. As this wouldn't be a public page, no troubles should arise from sharing such a common interest.
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