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Let me have it with both barrels.

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    I thought my entries for the rain contest this week were pretty good, but the voters do not agree. Please let me know what you think, good or bad.


    What I like: It kind of looks like a face in profile, with the grass serving as “hair” and the “open mouth” in the lower left quadrant. I also like the variety of textures – the rippling water, the grainy stone, the patch of grass.


    What I like: this one just screams RAIN to me (so does Stephen Colbert, but I digress). This photo showed the rain most clearly, with the streamers of droplets falling from the eavestrough and the weird flared round droplets scattered throughout. In the top left corner, the drops make strange shadows against the gray sky. Following the rule of thirds, I lined up the car’s tail-lights in the bottom left “third-corner”. I was quite pleased with how much detail could be seen in the photo overall, as it was really dark when I took it.

    ETA: note to self, photographers do not take pictures, they make them.


    What I like: the various shades of blue, the texture of the drops. The original (which I will try to post tomorrow – it’s not on my flickr, and I have to go to work soon) is much more gray. I played with the contrast, gamma and hue settings until I got this version which felt right. I figured there might be competing shots similar to mine, so I wanted it to stand out from the others. It stood out all right, because they all got votes 😳

    Fire away, I want to get better!


    I’m no expert but as a voter I can say this. The first one isn’t bad but it doesn’t have any “wow” factor to it. It’s a nice picture in a bunch of other nice pictures.
    The second one would be cooler without the reflection, also looks a little blown out or overexposed.
    The last one is a cool picture no doubt, but there’s a dozen other “water droplet on glass” sorts of pictures this week and where there’s a lot of repetition I think there tends to be fewer votes.

    Anyway, don’t let it get you down. I won last week and this week I’ll be lucky to accumulate 15 total votes.


    I agree with all of your points Kestrana. Even the part about doing way worse this week than last week. I have been trying to not get bent out of shape about the votes lately. I was pretty bummed there for a while when I had a bad week but I have come to the realization that I will never figure out what the voters are wanting so I am just gonna post the ones I like and just say what happens happens.


    I think the basic problem with the first two is there’s too much stuff in them. If* the subject in the 1st photo is the ripples in the pool, then you should think about filling the frame with them, or very nearly.

    If* the subject in the second photo is the rain coming down in the doorway, then the entire background is basically a distraction. If you have enough aperture, you could open it up and blur out the background, or if that’s not possible, get a lot closer to a smaller portion of the curtain of water (say the upper left corner with the sky in the background).

    If you’re not consciously using negative space, the subject should be a much bigger portion of what’s in the photo, basically.

    *)This shouldn’t need to be a question, btw.


    I’m hardly a photographer, but I do vote, so since you asked…

    I agree with sleeping on #1; there’s lots of nice elements in there, but there isn’t any focus.

    #2 I didn’t like because of the neighbor’s car pulling in (or maybe it’s the light reflecting from the flash, but the distance seems improbable for that). I dislike in general pictures that have alien elements that seem to distract from the picture.

    #3 is very nice, but there were a lot of them as and, as bkestrana said, unlike rainbows, they all tend to look the same as there’s no scenery to frame with them to differentiate among them.

    I’m tending toward lokisbong‘s opinion the more I do these. I will probably NEVER win one of these danged contests, except by fluke. The consistancy of quality-picture that the top-notch farktographers contribute is too out of my league; I don’t have the time or money or eye to learn everything about the subject.

    I instead merely try to improve, learn from the best, and be creative in my posts. This week I was shocked to place as high as 16th on the rainbow sunset (all the pictures are from earlier than my tenure here); I thought it was pretty crappy, myself. But I cannot use the desert as an excuse; caradoc lives in the same metro area I do. I just haven’t yet had the opportunity to get good storm pictures since I got more serious about photography.

    When I can, I try to get at least one ‘zinger’ shot for each contest; a shot intentionally taken for a contest that at least blows me away. I’m happy if I can at least break the top 20 with those. 4 in the last 6, I’ve managed. They keep telling me to stick with it and keep trying, so I’ll tell you the same.


    1) I’m leaning towards agreeing with Sleeping and ravnostic on the first one. Perhaps a tighter crop with just the ripples and rock or ripples and grass whould be better, but all three seems just too much with no focus.

    2) Again, too much going on. The background throws it off. It was a neat concept, though. Perhaps a shallower depth of field so the droplets are sharp against a blurred-out background.

    3) This one, I liked. There were alot of others like it, and historically speaking in Farktography (see also: voter fickletography), similar shots tend to drag each other down. Out of all of them, though, the colors in yours set it apart and got a vote from me.

    /FWIW, TIAYW, etc etc.
    //not an expert
    ///just plays one on TV


    Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I value your opinions and suggestions, no matter how many self-deprecating comments you may make. I do not have any “photography friends” in real life that I can talk to, so it’s great to have access to your expert advice. I try not to worry about vote totals, but this week just seemed so much lower than expected that I went “whoa, I must be doing something wrong that I’m not seeing.”
    I will keep at it, and always try to keep improving.


    I try not to worry about vote totals, but this week just seemed so much lower than expected that I went “whoa, I must be doing something wrong that I’m not seeing.”

    …if I hadda nickel…

    …I think I’d be up to about a buck now (I’m still a noob, too.)

    My trend is still upward. And, perhaps, the best is still to come. From all of us.

    (except U-Man…if he get’s any better, NASA will give him control of the Hubble, Hef’ will commission him to take all the Playboy shots (and he won’t even need an airbrush), and Googlemaps’es deal will result in having ‘NSFW’ labels over all the chicks-in-a-pool scenes where nipples show {and, I suppose, the occasional peter}.)*

    All the love, U-M, but seriously, did’ja come outta yo mamma saying “the lighting’s adequate, but we need to correct the aperture and adjust the histograms to account for the red…” or what?


    Wow that was…disgusting.

    Also you do realize U-man‘s mom is Mopsy?




    Hmm… well it certainly hasn’t been boring around here lately. At least nobody mentioned “drain babies.” Ahhhh nuts…

    Ahem, anyhow… Zero Exponent:
    FWIW I also echo what everyone else said regarding these specific pics. And I do like the third one. Didn’t make it to vote this week (also forget to enter ha) but I can say I would have voted for that. As far as a more general advice I would agree with what you stated in one of your posts – photographers do not take pictures, they make them. This is something that I need to be more conscious of myself, and it’s easy to overlook. But for some of those that succeed here consistently (U-Man and Elsinore especially), they excel at being able to compose a scene that illustrates the theme instead of simply finding a subject that fits and taking a snapshot. Sometimes it’s quite simple but that effort – mixed with proper lighting, framing, and/or being a bit clever – seem to go a long way around these parts.

    It’s apparent that you’re putting in the effort, and that you understand the themes. Just continue to work at creating images that best illustrate what the themes mean to you. As weeks go by, look at the pictures that you like, that you vote for and identify what made them stand out for you and figure out how you can apply that to your own work. Honestly it’s practice, practice, practice. Again, I’m not the big shot guy and I’m not where I want to be at yet either, but having come a long way already and still working at it, well that’s my best advice. Good luck!


    Yes, ew.

    Although I’m totally going to refer to the size of bodily orifices with apertures from now on. Just to set a standard, goatse is f/0.7.
    ex: “You should have seen that sandwich, I had to open to like f/1.4 to take a bite.” or “Dude man, no way. All the amyl poppers in the world couldn’t get me wider than f/11.”

    (editor’s note: the “ew” is about the birthing comments)

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