I like the idea a lot Shane but IMHO it needs something more. At the moment the point of compositional focus is the highlight in the centre and I think it needs toning down a bit. Something like a blurred figure might be the answer. However I do like this sort of manipulated image. They can very often be wall hangers. Keep going.
looks like a chinese black and white water color painting.
or a Sumi-e.
I like John's idea, a figure running away from you, in panic, being chased by !!!
Since this is a conceptual image instead of a documentary or descriptive one we might need to approach this in a couple of ways.
Concepts belong to the artist, so if we are to confirm or imply that you have succeeded in presenting your concept we need to know what it is.
The other alternative is to leave it up to the viewer and allow them to determine their own concepts.
There is little point in us suggesting you should or shouldn't include or exclude parts thereof since this would immediately change the photo into OUR concept.
You have used a number of design elements here which do conjure up certain emotions and feelings along with some personal recall. The monochrome tones and the splashed of light among the blur certainly remind me of the odd occasion when I would stagger home from the pub through the local park. As a kid I was quite fearful of such places and I can get in touch with that emotion as well. I have also spent some time educating young people with a vision impairment and I can relate very well with the discomfort they feel when faced with unfamiliar and poorly lit surroundings. In addition, it might appear to some as the last vestiges of light in a forest and they are hurrying home before the light fails, feeling a bit anxious that the dark will catch them.
Now, if none of this relates to your original concept, it doesn't matter. Every image has two faces; that of the photographer and that of the viewer. It doesn't make it a better photo if someone 'gets' your idea, or a bad one if they don't get it. That's why I tell stories with my conceptual shots. I just assume everyone is really stupid and they need everything explained to them.
So, present your case, tell us about your ideas, allow us to determine our own and all will be good in the world. How do you get better? Do more. And how will you know when it works? Oh, you'll know all right. You get this funny little tingle across your skin and you can't stop grinning.
The mood of this image really speaks to me. I'm referring to the mood created by the monochrome style and the blur.
This is one of those images that I can tell you which parts I like and which parts are the parts that first grab my attention but I won't be able to tell you why. (That says a lot more about me than the photo.) I love the blurry trees. I'm really surprised that they are the first thing that I see because I would almost always see the brightest area of an image first.
Considering that you want the light on the pathway to be the subject, I wonder if a different perspective and composition that eliminates the same light in the sky would work better. Another possibility is to consider toning down that luminosity in the sky to determine if you like the results.
An emotional response? It sure does: those tones evoke a warm winter's afternoon, when I have been sitting in the sun too long and am starting to become drowsy. I see the world through half-closed eyes and don't want to engage with it, It is getting late, I should probably move, but I prefer my reverie: I want so savour every last minute of the winter sun on my back.
I see a pathway of uncertainty- not exactly inviting, not exactly intimidating; a bit dark but with highlights of light (hope), partly visible and partially obscured. By virtue of there being no one on the path, it is easier for me to place myself somewhere in it. This is an image I could come back to many times, and just wonder.
As part of my response I would like to share the verse that I chose to go with this image
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
Ernest Dowson from “Vitae Summa Brevis” (1896)
Thank you to all for your comments...
John, this image in pretty much straight out the camera with the exception of the toning. It was made with intentional camera movement so I guess in that sense the view of reality has been intentionally altered.
Adding a person to the images wasn't in the cards as it was a pretty quiet day at the garden but I don't think I would have included one in any event as I wanted to viewer to picture themselves in the scene (as many of you did).
To follow on Tom's comments:
As an artist (and I use that word quite hesitantly) I want my work to speak to others and am not necessarily caught up in what the viewer feels as much as that they feel something or find the image interesting to ponder. It was nice, however, to see that your perceptions of the image matched quite closely the feeling that I felt upon creating the image.The other alternative is to leave it up to the viewer and allow them to determine their own concepts...
Where to go next? I want to explore intentional camera movement more to see if I can come up with a set of images that when shown together allows viewers to explore a variety of emotions. It is interesting as I have others that are certainly more 'linear' and color banded in nature and while I find them satisfying to view but I don't think that they have the emotional impact that an image like this one has.
I think this is certainly a longer term project as finding the right place and time for images such as this can be challenging.
I can't tell you how much that your comments mean to me...my struggling inner artist thanks you and is encouraged by your words.
Mahalo Nui Loa (thank you very much)!
Your photo goes exceptionally well with the poem.
Using that criterion, you accomplished your goal in that photo at least as far as my reaction to it is concerned.I want my work to speak to others and am not necessarily caught up in what the viewer feels as much as that they feel something
By the way, my very person definition of art, which doesn't necessarily apply to anyone else, is that anything made my mankind that moves me is art.