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Darcey_Salwak
02-08-2008, 07:06 PM
Hi there,

I just joined PPA of MA about 3 weeks ago.The convention and print competition is next week. (Feb 22).

I just discovered this ppa community and forums and wish I had done so 2-3 weeks ago!!! I printed a few prints I thought I would bravely enter in the print competition. Not knowing much at all about the rules, I printed them on 16x20 mountboard, but without any borders or frames and such. I cropped them to 16x20 to fill the whole board. Now I see images here with frames and borders and they look so much better!!! If I had known I definitely would have applied them to my own images. Do most of you add borders?

I wonder if I should even bother submitting? Any advice?

Thanks so much for your time!

Clueless in MA!
Darcey Salwak

Don_Chick
02-08-2008, 07:16 PM
Hi Darcey,

Absolutely send in the images you have and chalk it up to a learning experience! You can also have them reprinted with borders, etc. and bring them up to NH's conference the end of April for a second opinion!!!!

Mark_Levesque
02-08-2008, 07:41 PM
What Don said. Also, you should be proud of yourself for having the gumption to enter prints right off the bat. A lot of times we have to cajole people for years to get them to overcome their reservations. Good for you!

D._Craig_Flory
02-08-2008, 08:06 PM
Hi Darcey;

First of all, welcome to the Forum. Congratualtions on realizing how important competition is. Besides just entering I will recommend sitting in, and watching, the actual judging. And, if there is a day and time for a print critique, make sure you go to that as well. Ask to have them talk about what would have made your images better.

Debra_Collins
02-08-2008, 09:01 PM
I agree, and speak from experience, Darcey. The same thing happened to me last summer at Florida convention. I had all of mine printed without borders and then found out my mistake. I had 3 reprinted and submitted the other 3 as is. One of the ones without the border got an 80 and one with an 86 so you never know. I was told that the borderless one would have gone higher with the border but I was happy.

Darcey_Salwak
02-09-2008, 12:11 AM
Thanks for the advice. I guess I will still enter them, although I know I will be so nervous!! I wasn't sure how the whole judging process worked, I am so glad to know that the judging process can be viewed! Wow, that will be so interesting, I am looking forward to the whole experience. Debra, I would have been estatic with those scores, thanks for sharing that with me. I feel better!
Darcey

Teya_Rutherford
02-09-2008, 12:51 AM
I noticed the same thing at WPPI last year - because of the display/viewing system, the little clips actually cast a shadow on images that didn't have a reasonable amount of space on them :(

Makes me thing I should make my mats even larger than I was planning.

I'll be there too - so perhaps we will see each other! :)

Darcey_Salwak
02-09-2008, 02:42 PM
Hi Teya, it should be a great learning experience. I will look for your name, I wont know a soul there. Is this your time entering prints?

Teya_Rutherford
02-11-2008, 02:31 PM
It's my first time at PPAM (or any PPA competition). I've entered WPPI competitions before (last year), but really didn't know what I was doing at all, lol (still don't, but at least feel a little more comfortable).

cat_broderick
02-11-2008, 03:48 PM
Teya and Darcey, you will find the Print Judging to be such a learning experience. I pop in and out all day while trying to keep my mind on the seminars going on in other rooms. I'll watch 20 images get judged, then think I am going to leave, then stay for "just a couple more".

Teya I will see you there, and Darecy will look for your name.

Teya_Rutherford
02-11-2008, 04:09 PM
I'll be easy to spot, as I'm seven months pregnant ;)

Keith_A_Howe
02-11-2008, 04:10 PM
Darcey
I agree with all the others, Welcome to the forum, Congrats on deciding to enter. Go ahead and show us here as well, we may have suggestions that can help for future competitions. Be sure and ask as many judges (one on one) after the judging for CC. Never get disheartened by one judges opinion, you never know you may have ask the lowest scoring judge. When you start hearing the same suggestions more than once consider these as the main points.
Good Luck
Keith

Darcey_Salwak
02-11-2008, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the welcome, and thanks for the responses. Okay, I only have 2 images on the computer I am at right now... here is one. The judges do not know the photographers' names when they are judging, correct? What about afterwards, are the names displayed? If prints scored really low scores, does everyone see that? Look forward to meeting everyone.
Darcey

Darcey_Salwak
02-11-2008, 07:09 PM
here is the 2nd...I can post more later when I get to my work computer. Thanks!

Cassandra_Sullivan
02-11-2008, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the welcome, and thanks for the responses. Okay, I only have 2 images on the computer I am at right now... here is one. The judges do not know the photographers' names when they are judging, correct? What about afterwards, are the names displayed? If prints scored really low scores, does everyone see that? Look forward to meeting everyone.
Darcey

Hi Darcey,
No, the judges don't know the photographer's name while they're judging. If your print scores over 70 (I think), it 'hangs' - which means it is displayed - and when it's displayed, yes, your name is on it. Saturday night of the convention is the "Print Critique Party' which is where you'll see all the prints that hang, and you can also ask the judges to give you a one-on-one critique of your print.
BTW - we're practically neighbors! I'll look for you at the convention, too! :)

Cheri_MacCallum
02-11-2008, 09:54 PM
Welcome Darcey,
Congrats on jumping in feet first!!! If possible go to the print comp and listen. It's a great way to learn!

Keith_A_Howe
02-12-2008, 01:10 AM
Darcey
Again I applaude you for posting and entering.
CC on these 2 images is pretty hard with as small of a file as these are.
The Kids - Good location, I really like the leading lines of the dunes. It would have been better if the boys shirt had been white as well. The busy pattern draws attention away from the story. There appears to be a dodging spot by the boys face and It may be backlight hair but it looks like the line goes all around both kids as well. I would suggest backing off on the crop a bit to give more room around the kids and move them to camera left in the crop. Also watch so that the horzion line does not interesect thier heads and keep it out of the middle of the composition.

The girl - It looks like you have a nice lighting pattern on her face but there are 2 things that really bother me with this image. The flower over powers her face and It was photographed with too short (wide angle) of a lens distorting her body. If you look at the size of her head vs her shoulders and elbows you will see how her elbows and body get smaller the farther away from the lens they are. A longer lens would help eleminate this problem. If you want to distort the body then do it to an extreme that tells the judges that this was done on purpose and adds drama.
Please do not let me discourage you from posting, I see positives in your images that I do not always see.
Good Luck Keith

Darcey_Salwak
02-12-2008, 01:45 AM
Well Keith, I have to thank you for your honesty...I belong to other photo clubs and when it comes to getting honest critiques, it just doesn't happen, so I appreciate anything you contribute. I have never had any formal training, ppa is my first step (looking forward to the seminars), so thanks again. Here are a couple more, if you care to comment I welcome all your suggestions!

Darcey_Salwak
02-12-2008, 02:03 AM
first child is a little boy with Autism (you cant tell from this picture, can you?) the other is a senior in high school with cell phone addiction :)

Teya_Rutherford
02-12-2008, 12:10 PM
You have some lovely work Darcey! I really like the girl w/the parasol, but wish she wasn't so dead center in the frame.

Keith_A_Howe
02-12-2008, 01:46 PM
Darcy
If I get a chance is it ok to play with an image?
Keith

Darcey_Salwak
02-12-2008, 05:07 PM
Thanks Teya. Yes Keith, please feel free, thanks.
Darcey

Keith_A_Howe
02-13-2008, 02:27 AM
Darcey
I see issues with the girl with the umbrella like she is broad lit. Also her arm looks uncomfortable but I am still drawn to her so I think this image has potential I think it will be in the deserving of review (78-79) or maybe in the deserving of merit catagory. The girl in the window doesn't do anything for me, I see the window frame intersecting with her head and feel like I am seeing through the dress to a diaper. Sorry.
The boy again is an average image, while it is a very good image when we know the back story of his history, the judges don't know that and will see an average piece of work.
The teenage girl with the phone. You have nice light on her face, good clothing and some angles in the composition cause from camera tilt. But there is nothing that steps it up to the next level. I feel that it will be in the above average catagory but it is a good image to enter and learn from. You might play with cropping to see if you can add some drama to her.
Just the way I see them
Keith

Darcey_Salwak
02-14-2008, 03:56 AM
Thank you Keith for taking the time to critique my images, I haved learned so much just from reading these forums! I read in another thread that your wife is ill? Hope all turns out well. Thanks again. Looking forward to the convention next week. I think I will bow out of entering my case, I am way too green, I think I will watch, listen, and learn ... enter next year.

Mark_Levesque
02-14-2008, 11:11 AM
If you have images that Keith considers "deserving of review (78-79) or maybe in the deserving of merit", they are images you should be entering, Darcey! Green you may be, but you don't get experience by bowing out. You think you've learned a lot so far, but actually preparing and entering images in competition, regardless of the result, will teach you so much more. What you need to do is set expectations appropriately. Decide that your goal is to hang all of your prints, and maybe get two reds (above average professional category). If you do better than that, and you may, it is gravy. But that is a very reasonable and achievable goal. What you should avoid is the mindset that "I'll enter print comp when I'm sure I'll get all blues" because you will find that you can always find an excuse to hold back. Be bold. Put it out there. You've already made the first step, which was putting some images out here for comment and & critique. Don't fold now. It was the right step. So is entering. Be strong. :)

D._Craig_Flory
02-14-2008, 12:26 PM
Hi Darcy;

ENTER !!! Was that loud enough ? You don't learn anything by not entering images. But, when you enter you acclimate yourself to what occurs. You find out what the judges are thinking. When you then have your entries critiqued later you can ask questions & find out what to do better next time.

An analogy: When I ran in my 1st track meet I came in dead last. I learned from that. I kept getting better. In my senior year I was the 3rd highest scorer on the entire team. I didn't stay out of races simply because I didn't think I was good enough yet. Each race gave me more knowledge and i gained confidence.

cat_broderick
02-14-2008, 01:33 PM
The case is due friday (tomorrow)in Carver so I am not sure she can at this point..... :-( Well, if you upload to Millers NOW you may make it!


But Darcy definitely watch and learn, you will enjoy it I promise.

Teya_Rutherford
02-14-2008, 01:53 PM
I was under the impression she had the prints and just didn't want to send them? You should do it Darcey! Cathy and I are - be brave with us :)

cat_broderick
02-14-2008, 01:58 PM
If you have them already-do it! You can hand deliver to Nancy-shes close to you. I was nervous my first year, everyone is!! and I did learn so much more by entering. LIVE OUT LOUD!

Cassandra_Sullivan
02-14-2008, 02:18 PM
Hey Darcey if you don't enter - me, Cat and Teya won't let you live it down during the whole convention...bwahaha! ;)

And yes you can just drive to Nancy's and hand deliver your case...call her if you have any questions...

Darcey_Salwak
02-14-2008, 04:43 PM
oh my! okay! :) I do have all the prints in my case and ready...Nancy does live right down the road from me, if I can hand deliver I guess I will, thanks for the push, I will be biting my fingernails the entire time though! thanks guys!

Teya_Rutherford
02-14-2008, 04:53 PM
yay! we can sit together and bite our nails at the same time.

cat_broderick
02-15-2008, 06:46 PM
Saw your case when I dropped mine off, good for you!

Darcey_Salwak
02-15-2008, 08:41 PM
I dropped it off at noon today, probably just missed you then! I hope I dont regret it, Im sure I wont...two of the prints only have matte lamination instead of glossy, hope that doesn't make too much of a difference. On the same ones, I dont think they were printed down enough, oh well, too late to worry about it now. (but I will, cause I just worry too much in general :) )

Mark_Levesque
02-15-2008, 08:42 PM
Good for you Darcey. Other first timers, take note!

Teya_Rutherford
02-15-2008, 08:46 PM
I'm stressing about whether my case got in (a friend dropped it off as I can't make the two hour trek w/my toddler in tow, lol). Didn't happen to see mine did you Cathy? ;)

cat_broderick
02-16-2008, 10:42 PM
No Teya, Darcy's just happened to be "tops" on the stack leaning against the wall.

Teya_Rutherford
02-16-2008, 10:56 PM
S'ok. I got the word from my pal that they were dropped off safe and sound. Just one more week! How slowly do you think this week will go by? ;)

Darcey_Salwak
02-22-2008, 03:26 AM
Oh this is just great...just heard the latest forecast and Natick is in for 6-10 inches of snow!! Im commuting and they say it will start with the morning commute and go all day!!!! :eek:

Teya_Rutherford
02-22-2008, 03:55 AM
I'm not going on Friday, but will probably still be a mess Sat. morning :( You might want to stay over Friday night at least.

Cassandra_Sullivan
02-22-2008, 11:08 AM
Yes I'm going up tonight - called yesterday to get a room for tonight. The CPP Exam moved to 8:45 Saturday AM so I didn't want to deal with snow in the AM and driving an hour.
By the way - I was at the print case check-in on Monday and saw all your prints. Very nice! Darcey I'm glad you entered!
After the CPP test I'll probably be helping out at Print Comp.

Mark_Levesque
02-22-2008, 02:08 PM
Ooh, thanks for the reminder. I'll get the answers posted later this am.

D._Craig_Flory
02-22-2008, 02:39 PM
Ooh, thanks for the reminder. I'll get the answers posted later this am.

For anyone who has not been reading the threads, with practice questions and then the answers on here, ... Mark was NOT saying he will be posting the answers for the actual certification exam !!! :D :D :D

Teya_Rutherford
02-24-2008, 08:01 PM
It was great to see a few of you yesterday! Wish I could make it tonight, but I'm home sick. Should we post a review of how our images did, or is that not a good idea if we plan to rework them and enter them at PPANE?

Darcey_Salwak
02-26-2008, 05:58 PM
Hi Teya, it was nice to meet you at the convention, and Cat too! I saw Cassandra at the print comp, she was volunteering, but I never got to meet her, sorry about that. It was a great learning experience. I was surprised how intense the judging process was...some images brought up alot of discussions! Heres how mine scored: Thinking-77, Teenage Addiction-76, Heaven Sent-76, Beach Babies-74, Loved-74 and 7 days old-75. Im glad I entered, but boy was it stressful! How did you do Teya, I saw your image with the couple at the beach. That brought up alot of discussion. What other images did you enter?

Darcey_Salwak
02-26-2008, 06:15 PM
here are the images, I know some were not posted in this thread:

Darcey_Salwak
02-26-2008, 06:16 PM
Heaven Sent and Beach Babies

Darcey_Salwak
02-26-2008, 06:17 PM
Loved and 7 days old

D._Craig_Flory
02-26-2008, 06:22 PM
Hi Darcy;

I have a suggestion for the future. Lose those white accent lines and, instead, use a color from the image. They are way too vivid and draw attention to them instead of simply accenting and separating the subject layers from the background layers.

Darcey_Salwak
02-26-2008, 06:34 PM
Hi Craig,

actually, these are just web versions....my images were submitted with no borders...I printed them all as 16x20's because I didn't know at the time I could use borders :)