<<< o >>>end of the age 41 comments + add yours

"This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Mat 13:49,50)

I'm not religious, but if anyone personifies what I imagine an angel might look like better than this guy, I've yet to come across him.

Update: often, when I post something that I'm not entirely sure about, your feedback is useful, and this one's no exception. What I was aiming for with this image was some sense of quite how surreal and striking I thought this guy seemed, and that's why I selectively desaturated the background: to draw him out from his surroundings. But, on reflection, it was probably a bit too drastic (or maybe literal) way to do it. So, the version's that's up now is less extreme. If you're interested, the original is here:


focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
1.19pm on 20/5/06
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
81mm (130mm equiv.)
aperture priority
+0.0 (-2/3 FEC)
C1 Pro
1x1 + people [portraiture]
comment by Andrew at 06:11 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

Interesting. Nice desat on the background.

comment by m at 06:19 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

More from Blackpool Pride?
Reminds me of a sci-fi movie. Can't recall which one.

comment by Janine at 06:29 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

She looks like mutton dressed as lamb ; trying to be a part of her child's nativity play.
I'm not sure about this one
I love all your other stuff though

comment by djn1 at 06:37 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

Janine: I just updated my entry for this one to include the second paragraph; i.e. this isn't a woman.

comment by shooter at 06:40 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

I'm not sure about this either, as image for the words it works, in its own right the jury's out. I like the fact that you do attempt the unusual though, will be back..

The film referred to I think is the superb and classic Bladerunner, and thinking about it if you squint your eyes up it could be Rutger!

comment by Jonathan Fleck at 07:13 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

The worrying thing is that he could easily be a she... Like the positioning, not sure about the background desat.

comment by Leander Joergensen at 07:16 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

Hey, I really like your portrait photos;) They are really good and so are this.;)

comment by Jamey at 07:31 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

Normally when I don't like one of your shots it's because the photo itself doesn't do anything for me, but I usually think the processing is still pretty good. with this, I don't like either very much I'm afraid.

My first impression was that it's the sort of thing you'd see on a poster at a bus stop with big text on the right-hand side saying "don't give in to bullies" or "1500 young people kill themselves every day in Britain, call The Samaritans now" or something like that. It just has that feeling about it, like it's part of a job knocked together by a junior designer at some local council office.

Sorry if that's a bit harsh. If it's any consolation, I think it's more that the kind of posters you see at bus stops overuse selective desaturation rather than any criticism of your processing in itself.

comment by Bill Hooker at 07:32 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

What a great face.

comment by Patrick at 07:35 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

Nice portrait shot but I could do without the tonal difference in the background. For me it puts so much focus on the portrait I can't help look at the background. It must have been a fun event...

comment by mirefly at 09:00 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

I'm so disappointed at the public's lack of ability to tell if these people are men or women. It has truly surprised me, since I feel they embody the sex they are very stongly. For example, what woman has an adam's apple like this man?

Thank you for portraying men as beautiful and women as stong.

comment by Andres at 10:54 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

well done image. but i prefer the ones you take that awake in me sensations or stories. well i supose this is another kind of sensation.

comment by djn1 at 11:08 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

Patrick (and others): ok, I agree, to the extent that I've now reworked this one. The tonal difference is still there, but it's now a bit less stark. If you're interested, the original is here:


comment by jgarcía at 11:49 PM (GMT) on 30 May, 2006

good, very good.

My congratulations!.

comment by Napfisk at 12:16 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Really can't decide to be honest. I actually like the old one: there's no sense of space and the background could easily be a poster in itself...


I can say, however, that guy has an amazing face. A bit 'weird' perhaps, but definitely not 'scary' if you will. It's actually quit a tender picture. He looks a bit sad being so detached.

Anyway, it is a good picture by any standard!

comment by SR at 12:49 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

I think the background desaturation is still over done. He could be standing in front of a poster, as apposed to being apart of this/his world, albeit extricated from it - the effect you were trying to portray, if I understood correctly. I'd prefer to see a straight portrait shot of him. His expression is arresting and the post-processing of his face is excellent. I'd like to study him, without the background distraction.

comment by michael at 01:08 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

I think I liked the original version that you posted a little more. It had a much mroe surreal quality to it. It seemed more "gritty" for lack of a better word which made the angelic nature of the subject more apparent.

The man's eye colour is striking.

comment by thlayli at 01:25 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

i prefer this version -- i think he's as striking, and in a way that's less obviously your doing.

comment by Robert at 02:51 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

I think the lack of transition from the foreground to background achieves what you wanted: a separation of the mythic man from the everyday background. If there were objects in between to show the gradual decline of focus in the distance, the effect would not have the same punch. The new version does keep him at least somewhat connected to the surroundings, and reduces the feel that he's in front of a billboard.

I'm amazed at how cleanly you separated the man and his fur/hair from the background.

comment by Tom B at 04:42 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Hi David. I still visit daily but seldom comment too much anymore. So many others comment that I enjoy the photos and the reading that goes with them.

As far as this shot though, I think it work well mainly because of the DOF along with the bright white against the blurred dark background. Nicely done.

comment by Trish at 04:45 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

I love this guy's face... to me his expression is one of wisdom and bemusement. I like both versions for different reasons, the first seems more ethereal and less "connected", the revision puts him more into the scene. Beautiful work.

comment by lUMA at 06:02 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

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comment by Violet Lavendar at 08:22 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

David, you're so right. He does personify an angel living amongst us. I commend you for observing and connecting with him, and I thank you for sharing him with all of us. Your photograph does justice to an angel.

comment by mark at 09:13 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

I actually prefer your original Dave, it was lighter and more striking. Still....when it comes to this level of quality there aint that much in it :)

comment by m at 09:38 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

The current shot looks more plausible than the previous version, the background colours in this shot could almost have come from the DoF(if we didn't know it was your shot of course)
It is "thought provoking" that there are people out there that thought this photo was of a women!

comment by Steve at 10:34 AM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Interesting portrait. I much prefer the one with the less desaturated background. The other version looks like it is 2 seperate pictures rather than one shot.

comment by Andy Roddick at 03:47 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

I always find it interesting to open the comments, especially with photos like this one. While others seem a bit luke warm on this one, I love it. The DOF is great, especially with the three in the background. He kinda reminds me of Sting in Labarynth. By the way, I much prefer this original version over the desat. one.
Good job!

comment by Jide Alakija at 04:04 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Yup I prefer this one. I'm also very glad you reworked it. Nice one Dave.

comment by cathy at 04:45 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Is this a girl or a guy? Whichever, it's a nice shot if a little creepy. Who are the shadowy people beyond? Why the fluffy getup? This picture raises many questions for me.

comment by Kayleigh at 04:58 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Definitely like this one better. Great job! A bit creepy.

comment by Rick at 06:59 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Did you use a Photoshop mask on this one or do you use a plugin. As with others I amazed at the hair and feather detail you retained.
The last three have been interesting new departure from previous work.
Well done! Rick

comment by Jent at 07:46 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

I LOVE this pic! Great job. I like it much better as it is now (and not the original, which I thought too stark). I love this guy, and I love how comfortable he is as he is. Set against the background world, the photo really caught my eye. Great job!

comment by Adrian Park at 08:16 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

A striking individual and I think you've done a great job of portraying his unusual looks and your emotional response to him and the scene.

My thoughts on the technical execution: I prefer your more recent version but I agree with SR that he looks a little too divorced from the background. To me, it appears as though you've applied some gaussian blur to the background so it has lost all texture/grain which results in this disjointed feeling.

Whether your shots ultimately appeal or not, your creativity and willingness to experiment is an inspiration!

comment by Di at 09:14 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

it's perfect

you connect with people and it leaves me stunned.

congratulations for capturing what so many couldn't.

comment by djn1 at 09:39 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Thanks everyone.

comment by Sysagent at 09:39 PM (GMT) on 31 May, 2006

Aye David the original was way too desaturated to sit right with the main image component the man, this new one is spot on imo...

I am always astonished at the level of detail you are getting in the images posted up on your site (expensive L Glass I presume), but the detail always looks "just right" and not overdone which is quite easy to do with PS etc..

Good shot and better than the past 2 entries for me :)

comment by smo at 09:32 AM (GMT) on 1 June, 2006

Somehow I don't really like it. Because of the desaturation of the background the photo looks to artifical or crafted to me.

@'m': You said it reminds you of a Sci-Fi movie. I'm quite certain that you were thinking of 'Barbarella' from 1968. There is an angel that looks a lot like this guy on the photo.

comment by Sarah at 10:42 PM (GMT) on 1 June, 2006

I agree with smo, this definitely reminds me of the the blind angel from Barbarella.

This is one of my favourite images in a while - I love the composition of the shot and the strength of the subject's face and expression.

comment by Urv at 04:31 AM (GMT) on 2 June, 2006

I really like this shot but I would be interested to see it before processing. i think with the eye contact and expression he would still hold our attention even without being emphisized. Beautiful shot.

comment by frieda at 09:26 PM (GMT) on 2 June, 2006

He's beautiful. It's a stunning photo.

comment by Ani at 06:32 AM (GMT) on 14 June, 2006

Late commenter, but I couldn't resist. I prefer the second one as the background in the first is too flat. But this one is wonderful. He is lovely...the eyes and skin tone are perfect.