Mike Kelley Vs. Lee Morris: Whose Images Are Best?

I recently challenged Mike Kelley to a photography competition. We both had two and a half hours to photograph the iconic "Dome House" in Charleston, South Carolina. Today, you will get to vote on your favorite photographs and choose a winner.

But there is a catch; we're not going to tell you who took each set of images, we're going to let you guess. 

Below you will see two sets of three images. Mike photographed one set and I photographed the other. You can click on the images to view them full screen. 

Images 1-3

Images 4-6

Now it's time for you to vote. First, try to guess who took each set of images. In the second poll simply choose your favorite set of images. 

In the comments below let us know why you voted the way you did and which images are your favorite and why. In a few days, we will release the entire behind the scenes video that covers the photoshoot and how Mike and I actually captured each of these shots. 

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94 Comments

Gabe Border's picture

This is Great.

Garrett Reid's picture

That telephone pole and the other house kill image 3. And the beach is super distracting. And I actually don't like any of the wind servers in the backgrounds. Pulls the eye away. On the whole great images... esp 4-6. Looking forward to part 2!

Shawn Clabough's picture

The difference between 2 and 4 gave it away for me. But then I've known Mike's images for a long time.

the 4-6 pictures are perfect based on the lighting, composition and each of them tells a story. They are definitely taken by professional (mike kelley).

I much prefer images 4-6, so I assume the pro architectural photographer took those.

1. Colors are way too cold, almost sickly. The vignette on the right is distracting. Good composition, though, and I like the light spilling out of the room...maybe could use a little more separation in the chairs/table.
2. It's a nice photo you would expect to see in a $200-300 price point shoot of this home. Feels way too wide...like you're trying to capture everything, which is fine for a re-max listing, but not for a magazine or high end listing.
3. TELEPHONE POLE! Sky looks really interesting, but birds draw eye too much away from the house. Sand could have been cleaned up where the footprints are...or don't walk there if it was clean in the first place. If this was in one of you're critiques it would be a 1...looks like a snapshot.

4. Love the warmth and naturalness of the light. Also really like the shadows and the drama they add. Feels like you're in the room opposed to looking at a photo.
5. Great composition. Good balance of values between the porch and landscape. Attention to details with the rug, pillows and table setting are appreciated.
6. So much more interesting than the other shot of the exterior...eye is drawn to the home, in fact, everywhere you look leads you back to the home. Just enough light painting in the foreground to add interest and not be distracting or boring.

I don't even think it's close. If Mike somehow took images 1-3, he tanked on purpose. Assuming Lee took 1-3, he needs to re-watch the videos starring Mike.

I'm going to reveal my favorite images and I don't think it gives anything away. I think images 1, 4, and 6 are the best shots. If I had to choose a favorite it's between 4 and 6 for me. I'm not sure I can choose because they are so different.

My favorite is #4. I'm not sure interior architecture shots can get any better than that.

You'll laugh when it's revealed how that was taken

I feel an iPhone coming on!

Handheld test shot that turned out to be the killer composition?

No, not that easy

Vincent Rochefort's picture

Is that you in the window kitesurfing outside....lol

Abu Habeeb Stevenson's picture

How interesting, if these shots were to sell a property I would choose #2 as my favorite simply because it shows off the beautiful curves and angles including some of the exterior...whereas as a stand alone photo I'd prefer #4 for it's colors it's just that it's lost a lot of the interesting parts

Dana King's picture

Exterior, hands down you. Great angle, fantastic lighting, love how the house seemingly comes out of the foliage and grows to the sky. This is why everyone needs to support Fstoppers. where else can you get fun creative tips and tutorials that not only inspire but make you laugh along the way. Stay down to earth P &L and MK :)

Patrick Hall's picture

My favorite photo is most definitely #7! I can’t wait for this bts video to be released!

Morgan Nowland's picture

dayum! cant wait!

Celso Mollo's picture

I agree this one is the best 7 all the way!

Alexey Bachin's picture

Plot twist! All pictures were actually taken by Patrick! :D

Justin Lauria's picture

This is, without question, the best one out of all of them!

Lynnet Perez's picture

Love the composition on this one, just too orangy/purply for my taste. Maybe make it a little cooler.

Danielius Eidiejus's picture

4 was the teller, 3 has the telephone pole and too much vignetting. 1 and 2 are very good though! Wasn't an easy guess

Marco De Maio's picture

maybe Lee take 1,3,4 | Mike 2,5,6.

My fav. 2,5,6 ;)

but the guy in picture 4 is suspicious, could it be Lee?

Mike kites too... and wears pink

Marco De Maio's picture

but the prize for those who guess who took all the pictures is a bottle of wine? ;)

Cherokee Lair's picture

I voted for 4-6 because the interior shot is flawless but, the other 2 shots are over-saturated for my taste.
I would have voted 1-3 if they were all cropped differently. I wish you would let me crop them and show how compelling those photos could be... My name is Cherokee Lair and I am a cropaholic!

Brian Stricker's picture

Take #3 and #6 out and I think opinions change. I like #1 for the porch, #2 for the interior and a combination of #3 and 6. The staging of some of the seating in #4 is just bothering me.

Mike couldn't have left the throw in such a sloppy fashion on the sofa (photo #2)... unless he wanted to just to fool us.

Ethan Davis's picture

I think the major differences are the use of shadows, neatness & placement of objects as well as artificial light. I'm looking forward to who took which shots!

In the video you see that Lee takes a vertical shot of the interior and Mike takes a vertical shot of the exterior. :-)

Patrick Hall's picture

I edited the video and they both shot in all those locations and orientations

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