My Work vs Emmy Award Wining Photo

Had to post this purely because of the surprise at finding a picture taken at the same spot I was in when in Syria last year. The only difference is, you can see how heavily modified the Emmy picture is in comparison to mine. Also I left the same picture out of my book because I felt it was too weak, even if I played with it in software. Have a look at the two pictures and compare for yourselves.

My picture

Aleppo

Aleppo

The International Emmy Award Winner 2014

Emmy Award Winner 2014

Emmy Award Winner 2014

I decided to make a modified version of my picture to make it easier to compare with the Emmy version, the POV is slightly different. The point I am trying to make is that for me, there is nothing special about either my image or the Emmy version, it was the reason I didn’t put it in my book. This is why I was so surprised Emmy gave an award to such a similar image. Have a look at my modified version and make up your own mind.

Aleppo Modified

Aleppo Modified

What do you think?

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21 thoughts on “My Work vs Emmy Award Wining Photo

      • Anyway, I prefer your photograph. The angle shows the surrounding destruction better and the natural white colour you have left unaltered gives it a “tombstone” like appearance that fits well with the grim subject matter. Not that I’m an expert.

      • I was surprised, that is all. I have made a modified version and put it at the end of the post for a more direct comparison. I still don’t think either images is particularly strong, it’s the reason I didn’t put my version in my book.

  1. The Emmy award photo is too cropped and dark, I guess symbolic of the darkness and destruction going on there. I would say your photo is clearer and the bit of blue sky and clouds somehow gives a feeling of possible ‘hope’.

    • Thanks for the comment. I have updated and put my own modified version of the image at the end of this post for a more direct comparison. As I said, I still don’t think either image is particularly strong in comparison to my other work and is the reason I never included it in my book. Have another look and see what you think.

  2. Well with all the respect for your work, I just think, at least what may explain their choice, is that the ambient of your photograph is somehow “too happy” for the subject, which is a destroyed building and destroyed lifes because of war. The composition may be too perfect for, again, destruction. The award wining photograph is not perfect either, but the crop, which is unsual, does not show that the surround buildings are in a good state, and thus emphazise the destruction subject.
    On the other side, I really like the movement of the falling rocks from your pic.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I have updated my post to include a modified version of my original image to show what can be done. The point I was trying to make is that I don’t think mine or the Emmy version are particularly strong as images. I certainly would never have considered putting it in my book. That is why I was so surprised Emmy gave that image a prize. Have a look at the new version I have put in this post and see what you think.

    • I was surprised, that’s all as I don’t think either image is very strong. I have updated and put my own modified version of the image at the end of this post for a more direct comparison. As I said, I still don’t think either image is particularly strong in comparison to my other work and is the reason I never included it in my book. Have another look and see what you think.

      • I’m not a fan of “Photoshopping” to begin with beyond some basic cropping, or color and density correction. I think the burning (dodging?) on the winning photo is poorly done and obvious. The passer-by doesn’t add any emotional impact for me either.

        I’d agree yours wouldn’t land, as-is, in my outstanding pile either; but I like your fuller frame and color contrast. The simplicity and modesty makes it better.

        Yours allows one to note the juxtaposition of multiple things: blue sky and earth, damage and no, spaces, normality and not, man’s ability to both build and destroy, etc.

        You know, I bet a slightly, wider angle would’ve done it; just a wee bit of line curvature would’ve added some more drama.

        On the cell at the moment, so can’t see your amended pic. Will look in the morning.

        I still think it was poor judging.

  3. Ok, just got the B&W. Don’t like it nearly as much as the color, and I take back what I said about a wider angle. Original is fine.

    And frankly, the non-drama of the original speaks louder than the FX shouting of the doctored versions. But I’m an English Major; I dwell in subtlety and innuendo lol.

    • I don’t like the modified version I did either but it was interesting to make the comparison for the conversation it opens up. Namely how much modification often goes into images in order to manipulate the viewer. I try to keep my mods to a min, ok sometimes I prefer an image in B&W but not the extreme modding used to create a different impression of the reality of the moment.

      I thought you were an innuendo free zone…lol

      • That’s why I like your work; it’s mostly straight out the box (as much as it can be).

        Very rarely do photos not need a tweak of density or color to satisfy the disparity between mechanics and biology. Just not a fan of the graphic art people are calling photography these days. I guess I never quite graduated “old school.”

        I rethought my last comment, and reexamined the shot:

        It really is just fine in angle, composition, lighting and color for the buildings. If I had this in my lab as a film shot, I’d tweak the printer for bluer sky with good cloud contrast as much as possible, but not enough to spoil the stone. And I wouldn’t crop it by machine, I’d let the framing matte take care of that little bit.

        Admittedly, the glory of digital manipulation would allow you to perfect the sky without altering the buildings, which would make it just right. If I could segregate the sky blue and give it just two buttons darker to make the blue pop, and give some texture to the clouds while keeping their white…well that’s money.

        And as far as innuendo-free, not for poetry geeks like me lol

      • What you say is true, I could have done all that but I still wouldn’t have been happy with the final result. I wanted to focus more on the people rather than the destruction as you well know.

        Innuendo in poetry, the idea is shocking 😉

      • I think whatever you do is great because it’s what you did. I support your efforts regardless. You have talent, you have compassion. Admittedly I like it when you get rewarded over the other guys lol.

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