BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Karen Blakely

Comments on photo

I am new to this website and excited to view other photo enthusiasts pictures. I use Adobe Photoshop elements 3.0 to "play" with my pictures.
I would like to know what others think of my most recent posting where I overlayed 2 pictures. I think I like it but would love comments on how I could make it better.

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5/25/2005 4:36:35 PM

Karen Blakely  
Likely would be helpful if you could see the picture

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5/26/2005 4:49:58 AM

Michael H. Cothran   I just viewed the image in your gallery.
Allow me to offer you some constructive criticism:
There seems to be no purpose to your overlay other than the fact that you have now learned how to do it. It took me a few seconds to even realize the one image was that of a dog's head.

It certainly is fun to "play" with your pictures, as you state, and often times great images can be born of your efforts. I don't think that's the case here.
If you're going to be creative, as in your overlays, try to have meaning or purpose in their connection. Of course, not every created image has to have in-your-face meaning. Some images are created with no meaning or purpose in mind, and exist simply for the pleasure of viewing them.
However, your image is somewhat confusing, and that is the problem - is there a reason for the dog's head and the boy in the snow together?? If so, the message is unclear. So when you imply a message, BE SURE that the meanings and purpose are "clear" to the viewer.

Remember this golden rule - if you have to explain an image, you've failed as a photographer.
Michael H. Cothran

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5/26/2005 6:00:40 AM

Teresa K. Canady   Karen,

I was wondering how you did that? I have PS 23 as well, but have not figured that double exposure thing out yet?????



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5/26/2005 2:27:55 PM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  OHH Michael!! You bit it on this one! Art-- Wonderful pure art in its most beautiful state is never revieled in one simple answer. Art should have several posible answers to the point. If you have ever studied art a lot of artists will never even reveal WHY they did what they did just for the sole purpose of you as a viewer having the abuility to interpret the piece and bring meaning into it the way it fits YOUR life. A lot of art is this way. Including songs: a lot of songs are writen with meaning left vague so the listener can interpret and bring meaning that is powerful to them. This is how an artist connects to his/her viewers. If there is only one possible meaning then you cut off a lot of possible viewers from 'understanding/enjoying' your work. It is a unilateral piece and not multilateral. Look at Georgia O'keefe's work, several meanings there. Look at the last supper etc etc. When art can be looked at, discussed and viewed while being seen in so many different ways that is when you have a pure powerful Masterpiece! Unilateral work is left for amatures.

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5/26/2005 4:23:33 PM

Karen Blakely   Thank you for you comments Micheal, I am new at this stuff and I guess like everything art is a taste issue. I was going for a haunting kind of look and longing as the expressions on both kid and dog are looking, and I thought the two would go together well as the two of them are best of buddies but separated as the dog belongs to someonelse.

Melissa , what did you think of the photo creation?

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5/26/2005 6:11:01 PM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  I think this piece does have potential you need to clean the dog up. He looks a little too cut out. If you take your dog layer and use your eraser around the edges to smooth them out I believe that the dog will look a little less cut out. Dogs, the forest, the snow and the look the boy are giving are all very neat items to work with because they all evoke a cold feeling you could enhance the feeling with a blue filter in photoshop or turn the photo black and white to enhance that feeling a little. I think that your creativity is great, the creativity is what makes great photos! Develop this aspect and you will make great peices! I think you are on the right track! When one talks of feelings and art my ears perk up! So I know you are on the right track!!!!

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5/26/2005 7:27:30 PM

Michael H. Cothran   Karen,
As you can see, different people will have different views. Melissa thinks I
"bit it on this one!" since 1. I don't see a parallel between your image and those of Georgia O'Keefe, and 2. I just think it's not a good image. Perhaps, in her eyes I did, but to you I stand behind my first comments, and want to reiterate: "If you have to explain an image, you've failed as a photographer." Even in your own explanation to me, you were a bit confused as to what you were "trying" to do yourself!!

Personally, I try never to be too analytical. It's just that your image did not evoke me in any way. I see nothing "artistic" about it. Melissa obviously does. To me, it is confusing, somewhat cluttered, and appears to be just a practice in overlaying Layers and Opacity setting with two random images.

Karen - you wanted opinions, and I gave you mine, as contructively, but bluntly as I could. Please take it for what it's worth. Keep shooting and "playing."
Michael H. Cothran

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5/27/2005 6:42:31 AM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Nice responce Michael,

This is how I see this as being similar to Georgia O'keefe's Image. The image leaves you wondering why?? Ok why is this a haunting image. Why did the photographer include the dog. Why did the photographer make the dog transluecent? Now looking at the picture from the perspective of a parent that might have had their child mulled/killed by a dog they could get something very powerful out of this image. Looking at this picture from the perspective of a little boy whos only friend was a dog and he died would get another very powerful message from this image. What is neat is that it is not reveiled as to what and why. Now the actual dimensions of the photograph I might agree with Michael a little more on. Technically I believe that the rules of art should come into play a little more and that there could be some perfecting on this image but to just dismiss this peice would be to quick of an opinion on this for me. I personally feel that it has potential for the reasons stated above, --there could be several possible meanings drawn from this image which is a very hard thing to accomplish in art.

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5/27/2005 12:23:46 PM

Linda D. Lester
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/13/2004
Contact Linda
Linda's Gallery
  You go Melissa! I love seeing what you have to say!

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5/27/2005 1:06:48 PM

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