Winning Selection: Year End Digital Black and White Previously Entered: 01,SE084,DB,Cowboy's_at_Camp
It is a scene, a story, and a challenging lighting condition. Love the three subjects, two with concealed faces, the third becoming primary and in action tending the fire. Composition is beautiful, the rule for thirds lands perfectly on the primary subjects face which is looking into the photograph drawing our eyes back in to explore more details. The background mountain silhouette is perfectly exposed, just enough to give some details and context but also framing for the foreground subjects. The highlights are perfectly exposed and the shadows drop nicely into blacks. There are a few rouge noise specks (probably blue and red before B&W conversion) primarily in the left side of the photograph that could be cleaned up with a clone stamp or spot removal. The dog in the left side of the frame is a secondary subject that is fun to discover, a slight targeted adjustment to increase the exposure of the dog would make it slightly more discoverable. The whole image is slightly grainy possible due to a high ISO, and some adjustments to noise or unsharp mask could clean up slightly but be careful not to overdo. An aperture of f/1.8 did a great job of letting in light but also gave us a very narrow depth of field to work with and it was placed very well to provide details on the cowboys. The 50mm lens is a great lens and the shutter speed of 1/90th of a second could have been brought down to 1/60th as long as the cowboys were moving slowly which would give the sparks slightly longer trails. Would need to compare the 1/90th and 1/60th trails to know which looked better! Very fun and interesting photograph, I am sure it was lots of fun to create!
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