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Vatican Sunset
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest FIRST PLACE Winner
 
Vatican Sunset
Vatican Sunset
© Michael S. McCook
 
 
 
Gerda Grice
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member since: 10/1/2001
    I love the concept of this image, the beautiful sky colours and the way the setting sun seems to create a halo of light around the Christ figure in the middle of the image. I also love the sharpness and clarity of the image. I wonder, though, if you'd consider cropping off the half statues at the extreme right and left of the image. I tried blocking them out by holding sheets of paper up to both sides on my screen, and, to my eye, the image is even more impressive without them. Just a suggestion.

6/7/2003 8:38:50 PM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thank You Girda. I took your advice and cropped the image. I agree, it is better. This is actually photoshop magic. I had a rather lack-luster shot of the statues and a really nice sunset shot I took out of an airplane window. Neither was exceptional on their own, but together I think they create great image.

 
Gerda Grice
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member since: 10/1/2001
 

It was a great idea to put those two images together, Michael, and you're right: they do create a wonderful image together. Incidentally, you put them together so seamlessly that I would never have guessed that the resulting image was a composite if you hadn't told me. I'm very glad that the cropping worked for you. -Gerda

 
Gordon J. Evans
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/8/2003
 

Light and dark with the sky create a wonderful sense of drama to the pic...

 
Lee-Ann Fialkov

member since: 6/8/2003
 

This is a really beautiful photo. I lived in Rome a few years ago and drove past this palazzo quite often. You have really captured that 'Roman' atmosphere, that dusky, energetic, almost raw and electric feel that Rome and il vaticano has. Well done. Also, technically speaking, you have done a superb job as well. Very crisp. Great light. Very magical....and moving.

 
LJ Corliss
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member since: 3/26/2003
 

Congrats to you :)

7/7/2003 6:14:36 PM

 
Gerda Grice
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member since: 10/1/2001
 

Congrqatulations, Michael, and best of luck in the final round.

7/7/2003 6:19:48 PM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thanks everyone for all your kind words and encouragement.

7/7/2003 8:23:37 PM

 
Mary K. Robison
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member since: 6/30/2003
 

Gerda's comment above is right - if you hadn't mentioned it, I'm sure most viewers would assume you waited patiently for that Perfect Framing of light around His head...instead, you truly worked some magic with the two photos. Congratulations on your creativity, and good luck in the finals.

7/9/2003 1:57:57 AM

 
Cheryl Meisel
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/5/2001
 

This is beautiful, almost magical! Congrats! Cheryl

7/10/2003 9:24:13 AM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thanks Mary and Cheryl, I really appreciate the comments.

7/13/2003 7:55:14 PM

 
Gabriela Cunha

member since: 6/4/2003
 

congratulations!
gy

7/14/2003 4:44:40 PM

 
Serena Pierce

member since: 3/29/2002
 

Congratulations Michael! Fantastic work in PS!

7/14/2003 4:45:52 PM

 
Dolores Neilson
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member since: 11/18/2001
 

Many congratulations on this powerful image you've created! Enjoy your well deserved first place win!

7/14/2003 5:02:01 PM

 
Evy Johansen
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member since: 6/16/2002
 

Congratulations on your well deserved first place win! Beautiful image, great work!

7/14/2003 7:27:50 PM

 
Connie L. Carpenter
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member since: 3/27/2002
 

Fantastic and inspiring... congratulations.

7/14/2003 7:44:23 PM

 
Patrick Campbell
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member since: 4/21/2002
 

Great job with your combination of the two images....congrats on the big win!

7/14/2003 8:13:20 PM

 
Gerda Grice
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member since: 10/1/2001
 

I loved this image when I first saw it and I'm really delighted that it was chosen as a first place winner! Congratulations on a well deserved win!

7/15/2003 1:16:10 AM

 
Mette Vendelboe Allison

member since: 1/28/2003
 

Congratualtions- great work:-)

7/15/2003 1:48:57 AM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thanks everyone for the great comments about my photo and the congratulations. Im really excited about the win....finally. Betterphoto is my favorite site with very strong competition. I feel very fortunate to even get a picture in the finals... to take a first place, however, is really fantastic!

7/15/2003 7:12:16 AM

 
Darren Alexander
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/27/2002
 

A very deserving win! Really outstanding image! Good job!

Kudos!

7/15/2003 5:32:27 PM

 
Monika Sapek
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member since: 8/31/2002
 

Many congratulations on your first place win, Michael!
Monika

7/15/2003 7:15:13 PM

 
Gary W. Lake
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/26/2003
 

WOW! I missed this one the first time around - what an incredible image! I would have hated to have to choose between this and the Grand Prize winner - that would have been a most difficult decision!

7/16/2003 10:51:54 AM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thanks Darren, Monika and Gary for you kind words.

7/17/2003 10:11:55 AM

 
doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
 

Great thing about this image is that is has a strong element of credibility to it. You sort of know that the sun wasn't setting back there, but the lighting on the building and the sunset work together somehow. It must have been a lot of work masking out or erasing the spaces in the balcony rail. Wonderful piece or art, skillfully crafted as well. Congratulations

7/21/2003 7:36:04 AM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thanks Doug. I am still fairly new to Photoshop and am teaching myself as I go. I changed the color balance and hue of the building to create a more realistic scene to match the sunset. I actually spent a lot of time erasing around all the statues and balcony rails. I'm sure there is an easier way, but I'm not yet proficient enough to tackle it.

7/21/2003 7:57:10 AM

 
Katleen R. Struckle
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member since: 6/26/2003
 

Michael, Congratulations. Your photograph is very beautiful. Can you just image what heaven must really look like. It just beyond our comprehesion. There is a Christian Song out I can only imagine. When I look at your photoit just intensfies my imagination. Kathy Struckle

8/12/2003 9:18:17 PM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thank you Kathy. I appreciate your comment.

8/13/2003 3:32:04 AM

 
Brenda M. Wolfensberger
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/29/2004
 

Congratulations on this image Michael. I am just seeing it today for the first time and with the recent passing of the Pope it made your photo even more touching. Thank you for sharing it with us and from what I can see... you certainly have a handle on Photoshop. I can't wait to check out your gallery to see the rest of your work.

4/17/2005 7:55:13 PM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thank you very much for your comment on my photo Brenda. I thought it appropiate to re-enter a cropped version of this photo in this months contest.

4/17/2005 8:29:50 PM

 
Luis Louro
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/1/2005
 

Great work, great gallery, Michael!!!

5/7/2005 1:52:35 AM

 
Michael S. McCook
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member since: 5/10/2001
 

Thank you Luis.

5/9/2005 9:15:54 PM

 
Kate Jackson
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member since: 4/9/2004
 

Very belated congratulations on this inspiring image Michael! It just came up on the Contest page and I had to comment!

2/4/2006 1:00:53 AM

 
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