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Thursday, 22 August 2013


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Gotta love Turkey Man with this batch, though the Linemen shot is quite strong too. Congratulations to all.

Definitely Turkey Man for me, although I also like the first three a lot.

the Vincent Manna is my favorite. composition, lighting, subject matter and timing are right on.

I like the second batch of photos better except for the funeral home parking attendants in the first batch.

Somehow I missed the contest. Is it too late to submit?

[Yes, sorry. It was just a little one-day exercise, nothing big or serious. Although the prizes are very nice. --Mike]

Turkey Man - Such a powerful image. Wide angle field of view usually gives a room to breathe... but not in this one. I feel like I am part of the scene.

Fishermen at sunrise, while a beautiful photo, reminds me of Aubrey Bodine's oyster tonger which is a spectacular photograph.

I like the linemen shot a lot and would love to hoist a couple of pints with these boys after work.

The window washers for me is a powerful shot of very dangerous work but I feel it's just missing something to offset all the blue. Maybe a little cloud in the left corner somewhere. I know, I know...

So far, for me, it's still the Funeral Home parking lot shot with the linemen a close second.


Talk to the authors of both batches, have them agree and make a book out of all these photographs. I am fascinated with the quality of all of them.

You will have an interesting time picking the winners!

This is why I look at TOP. Any fool can debate lens sharpness, but THIS inspires us to get off our rear ends and start shooting. Thank you.

Strange but only the 3 yr old painter grabbed my attention in Batch 1 but nearly all of these are outstanding. Just could't pick a winner between the cop (walk this way), the linemen and the turkey man but eventually I'm most impressed by the actor.
This has been an entertaining and instructive diversion Mike, hope you repeat the experiment (maybe once a year?).

Many of these (in both batches) are excellent. I don't envy your job of selecting good/better/best.

Lots of great choices. Some more abstract, regarding the concept of men working, than others.
From the first batch - the last image of the steel worker has great lines, color and content. The worker brings to mind, a knight doing battle with the fire breathing dragon.
The Funeral Palor image is a classic street photo in many ways, but I too, question if they are workers or attendees to the parlor.
In the 2nd batch, the last two photos are the two that stand out for me. Turkey Man is a great men working image, doing a task that I'm sure has its challenges. The last image of Vincent Manna rehearsing is lovely. Great light, subtle colors and a sense of mystery all draw my eyes in to stay and study this one for a while. Here is a man caught up in his moment, pacing absent mindedly while reading his script. This one is clearly my favorite.

This batch, easy:

- Turkey Man.

Runner-ups (again, in the order in which they are presented above):

- Welder. A nice WORKING capture
- Fisherman. Lovely image, but, somewhat like Dihiana, if it wasn't for the caption, nothing would have made me think these were fishermen, or people working
- Victor Manna. Lovely photo.

Again though, from this 2nd installment - Turkey Man.

And since I never specified in commenting from the 1st installment - Steel Mill, would be the one I choose as the best in that batch (followed very close behind by Mike Wagner... again, is such an exquisite B&W image).

The turkey man. My god, what a picture. The welders, the window washers, and the fishermen all are excellent. The Vienna reflection photo is a wonderful thing as well, but I would not consider it on-theme.

All in all, I like these better than the first batch.

Wasn't expecting more so soon - thanks ! Turkey man does it for me, too, from this batch. Unlike the last batch, where I found 4 of 10 to be stronger than the rest, I might give a slight nod to the theater shot, but really, after the turkey man, there are too many that are equally enjoyable. (I still like the steel mill shot #10 from the first batch a lot).

The final four in this post are all terrific, although I think the shot from the ballgame would be stronger if it weren't in colour.

I've got to go with the two more or less conventional labor pictures: the cop and the lady and the turkey feeder. It has to do with the photographers using black & white to do what documentary photography does best, abstract out and stress the significant action. You understand straightaway one element of those guys' jobs.

The most compelling image to me (so far, or are there more semifinalists?) is "Turkey Man," which brought to mind in a most disturbing way Arnold Newman's 1963 portrait of Alfred Krupp — http://www.12thpress.com/?p=174

Between this batch and the last, it seems I prefer anything with a welder or torch (grunt... fire!) and modern architecture in color. Should be easy to figure out the four I mean, and apparently I also prefer color photos when it comes to "people working."

Victor Manna is an evocative photograph as well, but no fire or glass...

The Turkey man is a great shot...classic

Like some other commenters, I'd vote for Turkey Man - but the Vincent Manna picture is also quite remarkable.
Surprised to see an overprocessed image amongst the semifinalists, though.

Linemen and the welder are my easy favorites in this group. I have to say, I think the Linemen are going to pick my pick for this contest.

1. Turkey farmer
2. Policeman & old woman
3. Welder

Turkey man's hat makes him look like a priest taking communion to his flock.

Turkey man first, the cop and the old lady second. Both black and white. Both taken using film. Does that say anything beyond my possible prejudice?

Good luck picking winners. Your readers display amazing skill and taste.

Despite my response to the steel scrap photo in batch 1 and the welder in batch 2 -- traditional and excellent "working" shots -- I'm stuck with Turkey Man.

My talent for hallucination suggests it's Arnold Newman's Alfried Krupp, played by Woody Allen, for some reason feeding the birds.

But, aside from that jog into the irrational, the content of this picture is completely captivating. From content to lighting to depth of detail this is one of the most original photos I've seen in years.

I am going with the crowd and Turkey Man, but there are so many strong photos in the batch. I would buy a print of the Portuguese Flea Market.

Turkey Man is my favourite of these.

I'm enjoying seeing the differences in styles of the decades and tech on parade here. Turkey Man and Funeral Home Guys are 1970s classic B&W, showing what still can't be done quite as nicely with digital, and Steel Mill and Actor Rehearsing show modern digital colour doing what it does so beautifully. Will these coulor shots look dated in a few years? Probably. You can sense the era in which Turkey Man was shot.

Turkey man and Walk this way are the ones I like the most. Both for different reasons. The photo of Vincent Manna is beautiful as well. There is one photo where I don't see any people so I wonder how that could fit the theme. I'm just curious, no criticism. I always like to learn or understand.

Enjoyed them all but my vote also goes to Turkey Man.

Turkey Man is irresistable. A perfect image. I love the flea market picture as well. Good sense of place.

Fantastic pictures. And having the description really makes this competition stand out from others I have seen online. It is so interesting to read about why the photographer took the picture; what they were doing/thinking at the time, etc.
I know that some say you should look at photographs without captions and draw your own conclusions, but I like reading a little bit of background as to why the photo was taken.

You should definitely do another competition sometime in the future (but not too soon - you don't want to turn this into a competition site)

As for favorites, I really like the little girl painting. She reminds me of my own daughter.
And the window-washers - I like the way the colorful buckets stand out against the expanse of blue.

I swear I wrote a novel in my head about the confused woman asking the policeman for help in the middle of a parade. It is a near perfect picture that I could stare at for a long while.

I like the policeman and the turkey man in that order.

Comments on Batch 2, ordered from the top of the post (You should really number these Mike so everyone agrees on what to call them):

#1 Really dig the colors on this. Nice and close. Only thing is I would prefer more of the person in the photo.

#2 Don't agree with the composition. The people are too far, too much to the left, and bunched together. I like the horizonless aspect of it though.

#3 I like the difference in body sizes between the two subjects. I think the photo was taken from too far though. A closer shot would have worked best. Also it seems a bit too ordinary for a cop photo.

#4 Really dislike selective desaturation, and crushing of the blacks. First thing that stands out is the over processing. It completely dwarfs the subject in interest. The train I'm guessing is the subject, but doesn't really go with the theme I would say.

#5 Interesting shot, but again I don't think it fits with the theme.

#6 I like this short. Probably my second favorite in this batch. I like the human aspect of it. Nice and close, you can get a feeling for what those guys are like. It lacks a little contrast and/or a little overexposed.

#7 I like this one as well. Nice composition, gives you vertigo just looking at it.

#8 This looks a little too ordinary to me. You can get a shot like this at every baseball game, unless there is something special about those two players I'm missing. The out of focus foreground elements are distracting as well.

#9 I like this short as well, I'd list is my number 1 favorite so far. The overall clutter and the guy dozing off, almost disappearing in the background.

#10 Great shot as well, ties for no 2 in my preferences. I really like the chatoic turkeys in white, and the guy in black. Plus the lamps above almost make it look like he was teleported there.

#11 Looks overprocessed, the composition is too simple, and the position of the legs isn't the best. I would have waited a half second more so both legs would have been on the ground. Even better though, catch the guy earlier in the walk when he would have been between the chairs and not overlapping with the background spectators.

Pleasantly surprised. Very. All interesting and portfolio quality. Congrats to the brave souls that entered.

Michael, me thinks you have the most talented and sophisticated readers in all of photography web land.


Just out of curiosity, why was there a limit of 800 pixels wide, but no limit to the height? People are able to submit much bigger photos in the portrait orientation (not that it's inherently an advantage or a disadvantage). Shouldn't there have been a height limit of 800 pixels as well so as to level the playing field?

[800 pixels in width is the restriction of the blog software. Not my doing. --Mike]

Wow! I am not worthy! What great photos in these two batches. I think the "Turkey Man" photo may be the strongest photograph I have seen in the last few years. Bravo to all!


This is obviously not my picture but wouldn't you love to have this guys job?

From this batch, my vote goes to "Walk This Way". Action and great expressions.

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
til Thanksgiving comes around again to find
My birds leave the only home they've ever known
Oh, no, no, no, I'm a turkey man
Turkey man, hurling out his feed up here alone

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
til Thanksgiving comes around again to find
I'm not the Big Bird that they think they know
Oh, no, no, no, I'm a turkey man
Turkey man, feathers every day stuck in my comb

TV dinners ain't what I'd feed my kids
Even with that turkey smell
And there's a pig parts rumor about fake squid

That food science, I don't understand
It's just my job five days a week
A turkey man, a turkey man

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
til Thanksgiving comes around again to find
Turkeymati non carborundum don't you know
Oh, no, no, no, I'm a turkey man
Turkey man, hurling out his feed down here alone

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
til Thanksgiving comes around again to find
I wish I were the Big Bird that they think they know
Oh, no, no, no, I'm a turkey man
Turkey man, birding out his days out here alone

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...

As I mentioned in an earlier reply a week or more previously, find very little of anything photographically to excite my viewing. Either in this continuing portfolio or otherwise.

Had thought when first announced the imagery was to be recent captures, obviously not. The
view of the railway train on the overbridge smacks to me of a certain surrealism; it might have been real when captured but not how it has been presented.

As to the comments of the others as to the
fowled farmer, my own thought was quite different. An SS guard at Aschwitz, wheeling poison gas containers through naked prisoners, about to be executed, to have their gold teeth and other valuable items extracted and then the deceased bodies cremated. Much like the turkeys whose better parts are used in frozen dinners, to be then later heated and consumed. The excess turkey parts are then recycled as it were to be made into something far and away different than the
original intent. Macabre? Perhaps? But that is how I saw the photo. Interesting too the camera was a Leica, a German camera.

Oh man, when I saw 800px wide, I assumed on the long edge. My portrait orientation submission was 600x800. Was I disqualified for that?

[No. --Mike]

"People Working" made me realize that the genre extends well beyond Sebastião Salgado's epic Workers.

Great portfolio. Congratulations to all! Not least, to Mike and the Judge.

Turkey Man is pretty much the only photo I like in either batch.

Credit to turkey man, Manna, and the welder, but the one I really love is the Colombian fishermen.

Turkey man for me. The welder, fishermen, and window cleaners were all beautiful, but not really in the style of photography that I enjoy most.

Another great batch and again well done to the photographers.

For me "Walk this way" gets my vote. It's very humanistic and a great "story in one shot" picture. And it's still not 100% what the obvious interpretation should be.

I can imaging one scenario where she just wanted to simply go to the shops - like she does everyday - only to be confronted by this massive event. Maybe setting up lots of anxiety for her. Contrasting what others find fun can be overwhelming for others.

I vote for the New York cop. This image made me smile. Their expressions are so evocative and the physical contrast between the burly man and little old lady, are humorous. Technically, very well done! There is enough depth of field to give context to the scene but not be distracting. That the main characters are in the light also separates them, and there's wonderful rim lighting on the mans face, and a lovely halo on the woman's hair. A New York moment...well seen and executed.

Is it weird that Turkey Man makes me think "Woody Allen movie poster"? Personally, my favorites are the fisherman at sunrise, the I.M. Pei glass building, and the Vincent Manna. Not sure about the order though...

I finally figured out who the "Turkey Man" reminds me of: Nosferatu!.

This is a very strong set.

I love the welder shot for the colors, the workers on the slanting glass for how unlikely it looks, the turkey farmer for the composition I think (which breaks all the simple rules of thumb), and the actor pacing the set for the effective silhouette against such a complicated background.


Having looked at the three sets of semi-finalists, I like far too many of the images to mention them all. But I can't help feeling that many of the subjects are not really doing very much.
Vincent Manna, the actor looks like he is working the hardest - which must mean he's doing a great job. I like the lighting and the exposure which give lovely subtle colours, the dynamic subject in a static composition and the pose with fist upraised is perfect.


Turkey Man. Having just seen his exhibition here in London, my wife agreed that this was very Sebastiao Salgado-esq. And in my book that's high praise.

Then, in harmony, we compared the light and colours in the background of the Vincent Manna image with pictures we have (and have seen) of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Worth the price of admission alone. Pedants, don't even start...

Turkey man is a classic as is the shot of the cop and the old lady. These are my favorites in this group. Strong runners-up are the welder (love the smoke) the window washers and the Vincent Manna picture.

Turkey man. Lovely.

Bravo to all contestants!
Of all batches, the welder is my favourite, followed by the 'Turkey man', as he's known as now...
This contest is great—thanks to the sponsor and Mike!

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