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ctfchallenge | all galleries >> Challenge 149 - Breaking the Rules >> Challange 149 - Exhibition > A Man against Time
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A Man against Time
15-JUN-2007 Tony Kuneck (tkuneck)

A Man against Time

Warsaw, Poland

Rule broken: proper exposure

Just as in the "example", I over-exposed and blew out this fellow's white hair in the sunlight, producing a bit of a "halo" effect. This had the added bonus of also captured the motion of the background vehicles, which adds to the idea of the image. The idea of an older fellow being suck in his march against time.

Proper exposure would have necessitated the use of ND filters or a smaller aperture to enable the proper usage of a faster shutter speed. But if I had done that, this would have been a completely different shot, I would have lost the intrigue of the motion behind the man.

To be honest, it was the vehicle blur I was originally attempting to capture, but I got lucky with this shot, and the man being completely in focus. I didn't expect to get any decent photos that day, I was just learning (well, playing) with the S3. I knew that by using a slightly slower shutter speed I may catch a fun shot, while not completely blowing out the images, which was what that days shots were all about.

Canon PowerShot S3 IS
1/60s f/5.6 at 72.0mm full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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ctfchallenge31-Dec-2007 04:22
Definitely sets the "world passes you by" type mood. Nice job. John
ctfchallenge30-Dec-2007 17:05
Nice shot Tony! - Kelly
ctfchallenge30-Dec-2007 02:23
If you were composing for the rule of thirds, with a moving background, yes, it would be extremely difficult to try to nail everything "correctly" along the lines and intersections. In this case, I would have been composing with the man on the right line of thirds - his head on the upper right intersection of thirds. That would have insured my subject placement to follow the rule, and it would have been mostly up to luck, or fabulous timing (which can happen) to get the rest of the elements placed accordingly.

There have been quite a few entries that have claimed breaking the rule of thirds, when they centered their subject. They were all rejected by me, for, simply laying a grid over the image revealed that although the subject was centered, the rule of thirds was well in effect. They were all moved to pending, awaiting new claims from thier makers. :) I believe yours is the first to successfully break the rule of thirds, and ironically, you did not claim it! LOL! Fascinating indeed!

I am obsessive about the rule of thirds, precisely b/c I find it works so successfully. I compose every shot based upon it, and once uploaded into my computer, a grid is applied to double check alignments and make minor crops to adjust. There can be several ways to successfully compose any particular subject, but by adhering to the rule of thirds, unless I have leading lines to use instead, I assure myself a successful composition. This rusults in my virtually never have to trash a shot b/c of poor composition - for other reasons, sure, but composition? Very rare. What I do notice is that I am most often complimented or noted for my compositions. Therefor, if it's working for me, sharing it with others can serve to help them as well, and that's what we're here for. :) ~ Lonnit
Tony 30-Dec-2007 00:00
I was going to say the breaking of the rule of thirds, but I was not composing with that in mind... it's virtually impossible to get moving background targets into the thirds, and the man was moving slowly enough to follow, so it felt natural to keep him centered.

Does simply keeping the subject centered actually qualify as breaking the rule of thirds?!? It seems like a complimentary type of shot, like when if your not paying attention to thirds, you are probably centering your subject. So in that sense, I certainly do not feel like I "broke" the rule of thirds, but I do know I payed no attention to it that day.

I know that minding the rule of thirds can turn a decent picture into a great one, but to me it seems that if one follows that rule blindly it may mean you miss out on shots... which I figure was your intent to point out in this challenge :)

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for the kind words!!!
ctfchallenge29-Dec-2007 22:19
You could have knocked down the ISO a notch and still retained the shutter speed and f/stop. That would have saved the highlights. Now, I guess the question would be, would that make a better image. I don't know - not necessarily. I love the exposure here. I think the colors are fantastic! I love how when I focus on his face, I can feel the whirrr of the bus going by. I love the clarity of the man, set against the softness of all else. I feel you were justified in breaking the rule.

Another rule you broke, the one of my personal passion, is the rule of thirds. You put your subject smack in the center. Why does it not bother me? Because, instead of the rule of thirds, you have used leading lines to draw me to the subject. Virtually the ONLY time I will ever stray from the rule of thirds is when I am using leading lines instead. The white car zooms us across to the man, as does the line that runs thru his head, along with the "trumpet horn" formed in the yellow shape that sits between the roof of the car and the bus windows. It's shape, in it's ever widening form, leads us directly to the upper half of the man. This is a fantastic use of leading lines and leading shapes, completely overriding the necessity for following the rule of thirds.

This is a fantastic image, well justified in the breaking of the rule of thirds, and perfectly acceptable in having blown the highlights. Your strictness in adhering to so many other critical rules has given this image a strong foundation, easily allowing for your to stray as you did. Brilliant shot! Love it!!! ~ Lonnit