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Angel watching over

Angel watching over
Photo Information
Copyright: Werner Dirla (werdir) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1416 W: 147 N: 2654] (11957)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-06-28
Categories: Daily Life, Architecture, Mood
Camera: Nikon D90, AF-S DX VR Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED, 67mm Hoya Circular Polarizer
Exposure: f/22, 1/6 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-06-28 11:16
Viewed: 954
Points: 7
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
My daughter and I revisited the grounds of the Hampton Mansion today to walk the magnificent estate and see many of the things we couldn’t fit into last week’s visit. There is just so much to see, and this shot is from the family cemetery that is a nice stroll from the main mansion. The sky was mostly overcast, but not excessively dark.

PP work: Crop, boost contrast, resize and sharpen.

Thanks for viewing.

Added note:

Since this was intended as a documentary type composition, I apologize for not providing any documentary information when I posted this. The two graves in the foreground are significant to the history of the mansion. When I shot the scene I suspected the graves were those of the only two people buried in the family cemetery that were not related to the owners in any way. I couldn’t confirm this at the time I posted the photo to TL (and I thought I might not be able to do so), so I didn’t add the historical aspect to my notes. Without this, I agree the shot doesn’t make much sense.

During our visit I stopped by the gift shop and purchased two books on the history of the mansion. Last night I was able to confirm the graves are what I suspected. The grave to the left holds Nancy Davis, a slave that the owners obviously thought much of. The grave to the right holds Selena Devlin, a loyal and cherished family servant (she SERVED the family for 80 years!).

I didn’t want to blur the background with a narrower DOF because I wanted to portray the graves of these ladies as rightfully belonging amongst the others.

tedesse, Sharpshooter has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Sharpshooter: thankswerdir 1 06-29 05:45
To rewshearer: thankswerdir 1 06-28 16:20
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Werner

Probably this is just my personal preference coming in to play again, but my criticism of this shot would be, once again, that you are trying to show too much within a single photograph.

In this case - "here is the cemetery."

Everything is clearly shown, the photograph is careful not to exclude anything.

Ironically, deciding what not to show can be elemental to a shot's success. Letting the viewer participate by using their imagination or speculation is a powerful tool.

Say, for example, you used a wide aperture and focused purely one of the near headstones, off-centre, and let the rest of the cemetery be seen out-of-focus. Chances are it would be a more rewarding image.

Additionally, by showing multiple 'subjects' here (two headstones and a statue) the eye cannot come to rest at any point of the shot, and instead leaps from one side to the other before coming to a reluctant rest in the centre of the shot.

I think your statement "there is just so much to see" sums up the problem: you want to show us everything. Throw somebody a ball and they'll catch it. Throw them five at once and they'll drop them all. The analogy works for ideas, and as far as I can tell, in photography also.


Hi Werner,
I like the low POV here, good angle too. I agree with what Rew has to say, although I don't really mind the busyness of the shot. The green from the grass really injects some life into this 'dead' atmosphere, the brick wall is quite effective too. F/22 has ensured that everything is nice and clear, a good place to be taking photos. Will be visiting cemeteries for HDRs as soon as the weather clears up.


Interesting the family cemetery.
Good POV,lovely colours and light,good sharpness.
Very nicely done

Ciao Werner, sad composition with fantastic perspective, great DOF and splendid exposure, very well done, ciao Silvio

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