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Armageddon II
 
© My website: http://www.geocities.com/venhaus1

Armageddon II


chris_venhaus
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Here is where you can find a less-degraded image: http://www.geocities.com/venhaus1 Canon 70-200L f2.8. Waiting for several different strokes of internal lightning to illuminate the entire cloud (without multiple strokes in the same area)was the biggest challenge. The next biggest challenge was the scan- I used a Minolta Scan Speed- which has problem with this type of shot. The resolution lost in the scan (vs. slide)was disappointing, but you get the idea.... the larger file is a bit better, but still suffers from degradation from the upload.

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© My website: http://www.geocities.com/venhaus1

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Please open the larger file to critique. The slide is tack sharp with

gobs of detail, but my scanner has a tough time with dark slides...

Taken Monday night after a huge thunderhead moved over Lake Michigan.

The internal cloud to cloud lightning really created quite a display

that night. The city on the horizon is Kenosha, WI.

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I think this would be better if you cropped to concentrate on the clouds and omit the city lights. It may make the photo seem more abstract but those clouds are darn beautiful!
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The city lights add an element of scale to the shot, and they are tack sharp on the slide. As a matter of fact- there is a building which you can actually see the windows in the slide. I posted a lightning shot a while back that had no horizon or foreground interest, and it really didn't work well as an abstract, nor do I think this one works without the horizon. I really appreciate your opinion and the time you took to comment on my image. Thanks :-)
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I like the cropping, wouldn't change it. The city below not only affords scale, but proximity, which is part of the reason this shot is so good.

 

I like the color a lot. I like the the whole cloud area can be seen, given a visual finality to the subject. I've personally started to put some effort into creating a new package theme of "God versus man" and this shot would fit right in. Man thinks he's big... then look at this shot.

 

Great shot.

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Great image...it certainly does look like Armageddon! The exposure and composition are wonderful. Nice job on the foreground, the lights provides a sense of magnitude. Great photo!
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Congratulations on getting the vital element right, i.e. being there with a camera. This is sensational and while I do find the lights distracting, they are the only way to get a real sense of how small we are in the face of God's creation.

 

Well done. This is a great shot and all kudos deserved.

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I think this is stunning and probably does lose a lot in the scan. A really large version up on the wall in all its glory would most likely blow me away, but this scan looks a little flat everywhere but in the center of the cloud and in the town. The sky beyond the cloud looks a little murky, which is probably how it really looked, but somehow stepping up the depth in the sky behind and at the edge of the cloud, without overexposing the center would improve things. I have no idea how this would be done, just my impression.

 

Compositionally I think the ground improves it, though I would actually like to see a version with more sky above and to the right. If those are stars peeking up over the top, perhaps including more of them above and to the right would add to the grand perspective, make this a true lanscape instead of a cloud portrait. This could also allow you to include a jet black sky at the top which would add to the depth of the picture, and perhaps make the murkiness closer to the ground easier on the eyes. Forgive me for rambling.

 

I think some of your other pictures are amazing, especially "after the storm". The color and depth are incredible. You have a GREAT eye for this sort of shot.

 

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I like the lights in the foreground. They illustrate quite clearly the difference between the paltry power we think we wield over the earth compared to nature's lightshow. As if God/Nature/Whoever is saying "You think that's illumination? I'll show you power!"

 

I'd love to see this hanging on my wall too. A large print would look marvellous.

 

Rob

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Much like the fireball getting ready to roll over the underlying city in this image, this POW will surely draw much criticism regarding the "use of color". I don't mean that in a negative way at all. I think the shot is fantastic. But images such as this always seem to attract criticism because the photographer didn't "capture something" that wasn't there to begin with. It is what it is ... a well-captured moment in nature. You can't ask nature to "give you greater diversity in color, vibrancy, light" etc. Chris did a great job of capturing what nature gave him and is deserving of POW (IMHO) for the following reasons:

  • Great composition. The inclusion of the city lights defines the magnitude of the storm. The light pollution emitted from the city provides the viewer with a sense that this is a heavily populated, busy city and not just coastal lighting. The picture would be nothing without the underlying city.
  • Great shutter reflexes. The lightening looks as if it was probably at the pinnacle of light emission.
  • Good sense of timing. Chris deserves a pat on the back for seeing this happening before it happened. Granted, it's not as difficult as a sporting event shot, but the composition is well done and shows a keen sense of vision and timing.

Great shot, but I would not have named it "Armageddon II", I would have named it "Critique of my Photo.net POW" as you probably feel much like the underlying city in your photo right about now. :-)

Regards,
Chris Grady
http://grady.org

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Powerful use of light and dark. My favorite in this photographer's folder is AFTER THE STORM. Talk about good use of color...That one does it! Very unusual shot...

 

It is probably my monitor, but the dark areas border on muddy in the POW image... Can someone tell me if they see the same.. If so, I may need to adjust my monitor so that I can see this image better. Nice job capturing the light behind the clouds and a very imposing dark mood in this image!... and congratulations on POW.

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This photo beautifully reminds us of nature's power over all living things

 

Hmmm, it reminds me of the power of teenagers at minilabs to scratch your negative, which is what that bottom row of white looks like. I appreciate the concept, but the buildings are simply too miniscule to work. Yes, I understand the notion of scale, but that could be achieved with bigger, more recognisable structures which I think would communicate the human element more effectively and probably invoke a greater emotional response. In the end, to me it merely looks like a heavily filtered picture of some storm clouds.

 

Sorry to be so critical, I do like some of the other photos in the folder.

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Thanks for your perspective. The "scratch" is actually an anomaly in the scan, not the slide. I edited this shot in a room that had a good deal of ambient light, and didn't notice until you brought it up. There were NO filters used. Nightime lightning photography will very often result in "purplish" shots, since the color temperature of lightning is different than that of daylight balanced film. Using tungsten balanced film will shift the color to blue. The point you make about the city lights is well taken, unfortunatly the scan does not reveal the detail I have in the slide. You can actually see the individual window panes in one of the larger buildings on the slide. My subject was the towering thunderhead, and I wanted the city to be minimized, and not compete with the power of the clouds. I appreciate your opinion, as I do everybody else's :-). Thanks.
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Wow! I am so jealous of people that manage to have their camera on them at moments like this. The number of times I see great cloud formations, storm fronts and the "perfect" lighting and my camera is safely tucked away at home. There is an intensity in this photo that I can't quite describe and certainly in my humble opinion is quite powerful. The lights in the bottom corner - love em and hate em. I do find them distracting, but yet they add perspective. Without them the shout would be just another cloud rather than a powerful brew rolling over a city.

 

All of you photo.netters out there, please check out my small humble collection, I'd appreciate some comments.

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It's hard to criticize an image that captures the essence of nature in sharp contrast to man's dominion (the city). Powerful color and sharp detail in the city silhouette. It is humbling!!
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Got a picture of a distant storm over Lake Ontario once by accident. Used an 800 film but lost the negative (unfortunately).

 

Took a number of sunrise and sunset photos since. It's always interesting to see the power of nature at work. Never fails to amaze me...

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First off - excellent. Great sense of scale, excellent depiction of the power and grandeur and beauty of nature. Ominous only if you're not awestruck by the force of the natural world.

Now for an observation, having read comments here and elsewhere on Photo.net (specifically here regarding the lights looking like a scratch on the neg, etc.). While I think it is important to ask for clarification on such points, don't be so quick to judge until you've done so. The Web is a wonderful forum for sharing photography, personal vision, etc., but limited at the same time. After all, we're sharing high-resolution media via a low-resolution medium. That, and viewer's monitor size and settings, etc. I read a lot of criticism that doesn't take these variables into account.

Something to keep in mind.

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John makes a good point regarding the judging of photo.net images based on the abilities of the technology that delivers it to our eyes ... namely the monitor and the scanner in this case.

I paid a pretty penny for a Nikon LS-4500AF scanner. Though it does a great job overall, the images still have a quite a few annoying anomalies that need to be touched up after each scan ... especially verticle lines. I didn't expect this from a relatively higher end scanner such as this.

If you're going to comment on this image take a look at Chris' high res picture first. It's even more impressive than the one stored on the Photo.net servers (above).

There are a lot of distracting anomalies in many of the pictures on photo.net but those are scanning issues that should not detract from photographers work as we all understand that they are there because of the limited abilities of today's scanners and the loss of data that will occur due to compression etc.

Regards,
Chris Grady
http://grady.org

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