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View Full Version : Monthly Shooting Assignment - Nov/Dec 2009: The End



Ken Nadvornick
11-02-2009, 12:24 AM
We're all headed there, or thought we've already been there, or will wake up one day when we least expect it and suddenly find ourselves there. A few will temporarily fight their way back from it, while the rest of us will be quickly swallowed up and forgotten because of it. Since all people, places and things good and bad must eventually arrive there and suffer it, the Nov/Dec 2009 assignment is, quite simply,

"The End"

Please interpret and render as you see fit - literally, figuratively, conceptually, or by whatever other definition you choose. Results for the assignment are due by the final tick of the clock in the last time zone on the planet for the year 2009.

Best of luck,

Ken

P.S. For first-timers wishing to give this a try, the following standard procedures carried forward from previous assignments should be helpful:

(1) Take note of the MSA assignment, which will be inserted into the title of this thread.

(2) Take your photo(s) according to the assignment guidelines. Try to shoot something new rather than grabbing from your archives.

(3) You can post your photo in the MSA Gallery or, you can host your photo elsewhere and link to it in this thread, or, you can post it as an attachment to a message here in this thread and it will show as a clickable thumbnail.

(4) It's all for fun, there are no prizes, but at the end of the MSA, a previous winner will choose a new assignment and a new "victim" to lead the MSA in a couple of months time (it's not really monthly).

(5) How to upload: the same as in the standard gallery, press the "'All subscriber galleries", you find a drop-down menu and press the Monthly Shooting Asignment, thats it.

And two additional hints about uploading your photographs...

(6) If you aren't a subscriber, you cannot upload to the galleries. You'll need to attach your image to a post in this thread. Of course, it is a much better idea to subscribe instead ; and

(7) If you start out by uploading to the Monthly Shooting Assignment gallery, the system won't give you the chance to fill in the data fields that all the other galleries offer - i.e. to list the film and developer, location, and the other suggested information. If you like to list that information, just upload the photograph to a standard gallery, and then "edit" the upload. During the edit, you can change the gallery it is stored in.

Fireguy2002
11-02-2009, 12:33 AM
First-timers unite!! *holds fist in the air waiting*

I've been wating for this assignment to post. Good luck all.

MattKing
11-02-2009, 12:41 AM
Interesting idea for this assignment Ken.

And an interesting example submission too!

This should be fun.

Matt

Ken Nadvornick
11-02-2009, 12:59 AM
Interesting idea for this assignment Ken.

And an interesting example submission too!

This should be fun.

Thanks, Matt. Thought I'd try something a little more conceptual this time around. See if I can get people to stretch a bit, if they are so inclined. But literal interpretations should also be quite doable as well.

I did think twice before posting the example submission though...

Ken

Ken Nadvornick
11-03-2009, 06:44 PM
Thanks. Yes, a very difficult exposure driven by reciprocity. Only one frame of the twelve was even close to usable. Fourteen seconds was simply one of several brackets.

The model, my teenage son, was a trooper through it all. He held perfectly still through the entire roll on a night when temperatures were just above freezing.

It is a very difficult negative to print. The halo of light from the lens condensation (an attempt to create the appearance of fog that worked too well) overwhelms in the unmanipulated negative and must be severely burned down without showing the obvious artifacts. Then the right edge must be further burned to absolute black because that's what the subject is staring into...

I should also note that this is an archive image. It was not made specifically for this assignment, but chosen as an example seemed to me to demonstrate at least one valid conceptual interpretation of the theme.

I hope I didn't scare everyone away by using it.

Ken

Fireguy2002
11-05-2009, 12:00 AM
So this was the first idea that decent came to mind. I guess I'll see whether i should go with the first answer or whether I should wait next time.

nsouto
11-05-2009, 04:48 AM
Wow! I'm gonna have to give this one a bit of thought.
Thanks heaps for the challenge, Ken.

Ken Nadvornick
11-05-2009, 11:26 PM
So this was the first idea that decent came to mind. I guess I'll see whether i should go with the first answer or whether I should wait next time.

I rather like this! It has a barren, skeletal end-game feel to it. But I won't say anything more, as I'm hoping to do a short paragraph or two write-up on each submission at the end.

Interesting you should mention first ideas. Whenever I do these sorts of exercises I try to routinely throw out the first half dozen ideas that pop into my head, figuring these are likely the same ideas everyone else also had pop into theirs. Then I start the real thinking, which at that point becomes much more rewarding for me.

Thanks for the submission,

Ken

Ken Nadvornick
11-05-2009, 11:32 PM
Wow! I'm gonna have to give this one a bit of thought.
Thanks heaps for the challenge, Ken.

Ahh, Noons. We know each other from that "other, unmoderated" place. I remember your work as well. I have high hopes for something subtly intriguing... <grin>

Ken

Ken Nadvornick
11-10-2009, 10:22 PM
Thanks, Bertus, for your entries. Like several others I am drawn to the first image. I thought it was a real person. Then I didn't. Then I didn't really know. Then I decided it didn't really matter. Well done.

Sort of reminds me in a way of the eerie photographs I've seen of the post-meltdown region surrounding the Chernobyl reactor site. You know in the larger sense the why, but mysteries abound in the smaller details. Like that figure.

Nice interpretation!

Ken

Mike1234
11-11-2009, 07:29 AM
I'm just dying to give this a try. :D

nsouto
11-30-2009, 06:34 AM
Anyone else having problems with uploaded images not looking 100% in size?

Just comparing my last upload to same image displayed at same rez and zoom in Irfanview and they look totally diferent!

Dunno what's happening with APUG, but the image is slightly different from what I loaded. In particular, I'm getting reticulation of small detail while on Irfanview it's perfect.

Wonder what I'm doing wrong?

Ken Nadvornick
01-01-2010, 05:00 AM
Well, it is now precisely midnight on the South Pacific island of Samoa (GMT-11), the last time zone on the planet, and the final chance for an MSA submission has come and gone.

A big thanks to everyone who decided to give this a try with my admittedly more difficult than usual theme. My hope was that it would give everyone a chance to step back from some of the more easily found traditional subjects and instead put on their thinking caps.

I am very pleased with the results. Glancing through the gallery it is easy to see the mental wheels turning behind just about every submission. Those submissions range from unique takes on traditional subjects to very personal images to highly conceptual abstracts. Congratulations to all on your refreshing efforts.

I decided last evening to sit down for a few hours and take an extended look at each entry, followed by an attempt to put into words my thoughts on each of the photographs.

My disclaimer is that I am not an art critic, nor do I play one on television. What follows are simply my personal reactions to each of the photos. The ultimate worth of those reactions is for each to decide for themselves. Just don't take me too seriously.

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[Solitary Leaf] (attachment only)
Fireguy2002

A very well seen photograph, I think. Shallow DOF does its 3D thing very effectively. Keeping the angle of the stem parallel with the background lines such that the leaf can cut directly across the trend of those lines creates a nice tension that compliments the DOF isolation. And the simplicity of the statement is stark and overwhelming. Lots of clarity here. My compliments to you.

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Doel, the end of a town (1)
Bertus

I liked this one from the beginning. It's my favorite of the set of three. The figure lends an incongruous touch of the unexpected to the composition, drawing the eyes very strongly and lending a sense of mystery. The textures and tones work well together. My only wish might be for parallel verticals on the left. But that is only my large format bias making a pest of itself. I can imagine this as wonderful full-scale print. Well done.

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Doel, the end of a town (2)
Bertus

Another mystery here, but one more related to curiosity than uneasiness. The words say "letters," but I do not ever remember seeing anything quite like this before. Are they a makeshift memorial? Letters of protest? The background spire subtly implies a graveyard tableaux. But all I am really certain of is my curiosity.

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Doel, the end of a town (3)
Bertus

This one is probably closest of the set to meeting the theme. My sense here is one of sadness. There are some very personal items visible within this piece of furniture. Books, gloves at the bottom, perhaps a pair of sandals next to the gloves. Each of these - especially those books - represents a carefully made choice by someone at some point in the past. The significance of those choices has now faded. And the cabinet sits out in the overgrown grass.

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The End Of Life...
barbara ann

A very personal montage and accompanying description. Together they serve to forcefully remind us all of the fragility of life, as well as its brevity and finality. I read somewhere that if the age of the Earth were represented by the length of an American football field (300ft/91m), then the average human life would be less than 1/50th the diameter of a human hair. Sadly, some end up even shorter than that.

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Sadly, Morgana Vanished...
nsouto

Yes, the universal sign of a nearby illicit business. But also a very effective photograph. This is another of my favorites. The strong angles and quirky but sharply focused subject matter combine to create a very dynamic composition. And where I live if the police drive by, more than just Morgana will probably be vanishing pretty quickly. Good job, Noons.

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End Of The World
nsouto

Very strong perspective, suddenly terminated without a visible vanishing point. Another creative interpretation. I am drawn to the crispness and regularity of the forms. But I am not sure I like the figures as they compete with and dilute that regularity. Regardless, a well-seen and executed image.

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Gone...
nsouto

In this photograph DOF forces the eye and imagination is left to do the heavy lifting. We see not the end, but its aftermath. We know nothing for certain, other than that whatever was happening is no longer. And seemingly never will be again. Another good interpretation.

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No Chocolate on my pillow??? (attachment only)
stradibarrius

It sure doesn't get any more final than this, does it? Gives one pause to think as well. An effective use of corner and edge burning to force us to look at something we'd rather just ignore. Like automobile accidents, I know it happens to others, but I also know that it's just never going to happen to me. Right?

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Really, Things Are Just Beginning.....
sly

Well now if this isn't just THE End, I sure as heck can't imagine what else would be. What a wonderful angle to take on the theme. And made all the more so by the fact that it's one of the few positive angles taken. My compliments for showing us all that there's more than one way to look at both beginnings and endings. I like this one a lot.

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Msa - The End (of the Path)
MattKing

A visible vanishing point illustration of the theme combined with a seasonal illustration. The trees are barren, while the path is covered. This photograph speaks to those, myself included, who treasure the melancholy that is autumn. Step outside. Daylight is ending. Warmth is ending. Color is ending. Even movement seems to slow down. That is what I see in this photograph. Very effective, Matt.

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Msa - End Of The Road
nsouto

I believe this later submission truly nails the "or will wake up one day when we least expect it" portion of the assignment. Really not much more to be said beyond that, other than now I understand better why my food is so expensive.

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MSA: The End. Into The Light...
barbara ann

What do I see here? That I was with my father the day he died. And moments before he passed, after having been silent for over twenty-four hours, he raised up on his bed, reached with his right hand and called out to something in front of him. Then he was gone. I never knew what it was he saw...

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So that about covers it. And as far as picking my favorite?

I gave this a lot of thought. I think the one that jumps out at me the most is the 'nsouto' (Noons) photograph of Morgana's hanging shoes. Secondary illicit interpretations aside, I think it says The End in a wonderfully quirky and abstract way, while at the same time standing quite on its own apart from the MSA theme as an otherwise visually interesting composition.

Second place? By a thinner hair than you can know is "Really, Things Are Just Beginning" by 'sly'. Bonus points here for seeing a positive interpretation of The End while most others, myself included, went the other way.

And honorable mentions go out to 'Fireguy2002' for "Solitary Leaf", 'Bertus' for his "Doel #1", and especially 'barbara ann' for being willing to step further outside the box than anyone else with her "Into The Light..."

So congratulations, Noons. The March-April 2010 Monthly Shooting Assignment now falls to you.

And as for January-February 2010, it's all yours Matt...

Thanks again everybody,
Ken

MattKing
01-01-2010, 02:35 PM
Thanks Ken, and congratulations to all who participated in this round - there were some great submissions.

Congratulations in particular to the winner, nsouto.

The next Assignment is up and running. The theme is "Brilliant", and you can find the thread here:

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum195/70097-monthly-shooting-assignment-jan-feb-2010-brilliant.html#post918281

Matt

P.S. a request to the moderators (or alternatively, the project owner, david b) - it might be best if the "Sticky" designations were removed from the two threads at the top of the forum.

nsouto
01-02-2010, 01:51 AM
Yikes! I'm in trouble again...

Thanks heaps Ken for the great theme, only hope I'll be able to come up now with something equally interesting!

And thanks to everyone who participated. I love these bi-monthly "challenges" to our creativity, they're a great way to give some direction to my feeble photographic efforts.

And this one had some really interesting entries, particularly in the interpretation of the theme. I absolutely love sly's bottom-line approach to the subject! :D

Barbara's entries touched me more than I cared to show. Been on the receiving end of some missing family in the last few years and I could well relate to the feelings shown... May your God bless you, top lady.

Ah well: onwards to infinity! And beyond!