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Critique A snack for Santa

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by Mike Buckley, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Just a few hours after I got the idea of making this photo, my next-door neighbor presented her cookies to me. She had no idea I was planning the photo and I had no idea she was planning the cookies. I didn't have the right kind of drinking glass, so I borrowed one of hers.

    The tabletop is a piece of wood and the background is red presentation paper. A small continuous-light lamp fitted with a diffusion sock was on the right. A flag behind the lamp limited light falling on the background and another one below and in front of the lamp limited light falling on the right side of the tabletop. A white reflector on the left brightened that side of the scene and added reflections to the glass and candle holder.

    Mike 2018-12-05--004-S.jpg
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  2. Santa would be happy.- nicely done,..Coming back to this image...I wonder how it would look without the napkin and miniature tree. My eye is being drawn to the tree and whiteness of the napkin instead of the cookies.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  3. Nicely done. It had me drooling like the candle.
  4. Dudley5854


    Nov 1, 2018
    Very nice work Mike. Really like the scene and good lighting.
  5. Thank you, everyone!

    My initial scene was just the candle, milk and cookies and it was too sparse for my taste. Lacking the napkin, it was also a bit unrealistic; even Santa needs a napkin. So, I framed the cookies within the bright objects. For me, this scene is one of the exceptions to the guideline that our eye tends to be attracted to the brightest parts of the scene.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  6. asaya

    asaya Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    Tony Saya
    Very nice Mike by the way I received the book "Light Science & Magic just need to find some time to begin reading it.
  7. Thanks, Tony! One nice characteristic of your new book is that reading one chapter at a time and then getting away from the book for awhile before returning to it is an effective method of absorbing the information; it's not necessary to read it straight through from start to finish.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  8. asaya

    asaya Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    Tony Saya
    I saw that looks like each chapter is a different scenario so take it one at a time. Thanks hope to post some stuff soon, of course my business just took a large step up which I am not going to complain about. I am sure this winter will give me plenty of opportunity
  9. Nice creation Mike. Great use of shadows and dark tones to frame the subjects. The 3 white objects are well balanced. Nice to see the candle used again! Like the old-timey processing.
    In our house, back when the kids were younger, Santa always had a beer left with his cookies :D  often a bottle of Old St. Nick :joyful: 
  10. Thanks, Nick!

    My wife complained that the scene in the photo doesn't include a note to Santa because she always remembered leaving one for him with the cookies. She didn't remember what any of the notes ever said. I suggested that a reminder to drive carefully would have been appropriate.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  11. kilofoxtrott

    kilofoxtrott European Ambassador Moderator

    Dec 29, 2011
    Tettnang, Germany
    Santa's on a diet??? ;) :) :p 

    Excellent picture Mike.

    Kind regards
  12. Great lighting and composition, Mike!
    I really like the toning as well.
  13. I really like the vintage look of the processing.
  14. Thank you also to Bart, Klaus and dossy!
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  15. Really well executed
  16. Hi Mike. I like the toning very much. I think I would prefer the image without the small tree. IMO it spoils the mood of the image. But I like the rest of the image a lot.
  17. Thanks, Binnur! I aded the tree because without it, there was too much negative space on that side of the scene for my taste. I can easily imagine a small child placing the tree next to the cookies, so it works well for me. However, I don't have children, so it's not as if I'm an expert about that.
  18. My kids often/always left a small creation, usually of Lego's, for Santa to admire.
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