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Cassandra_Sullivan
02-28-2008, 03:15 PM
The PPAM convention was this past weekend. Print Comp was on Saturday. There were lots of challenges on prints - and we had tons that had to come back (78-79's) for thumbs up or down (and only one print that came back got a thumbs up).
Less than 2 dozen prints went blue in the Portrait category...even less in the other categories (wedding, open, conceptual imaging). 16 albums entered...NONE went blue (judges blamed print quality - blown out whites and stuff light that). 7 Folios entered, 2 went blue.

Here's my results:
Sunkissed - 80
http://www.cassandrasphotography.com/upload/12042111215891_sunkissed.jpg
I missed judging on this one (I was taking CPP exam) but I heard it originally scored 79 and was challenged and rescored at 80. A judge critiqued it for me after and said that it should have been cropped tighter (more off the bottom). Also I heard the skin tones were too warm but a judge commented "That's why it's titled "Sunkissed". :)

A Look That Kills - 78
http://www.cassandrasphotography.com/upload/12042113003263_dina.jpg
A judge critiqued it and said it should have been cropped tighter (tho he had a hard time showing me exactly how tight).

Starburst - 78
http://www.cassandrasphotography.com/upload/12042114607976_starburst.jpg
Critique was the highlights in petals should be brought out more, fix the nick in the petal in lower right and possibly printing on metallic paper.

I also entered a folio of a high school senior and it scored 78 or 79 (I forget!). I didn't get a critique on it.

Cat and Teya - post your results!!

Joe_Galioto
02-28-2008, 03:32 PM
cassandra-kudos on the blue & the beutiful photographs.
some panels are just tuff! unfortunitly too many new photogs. sometimes get discouraged, and don't continue to plug away.
good luck
joe

Sandra_Pearce
02-28-2008, 03:56 PM
Cassandra,

I am so glad Sun kissed merited. I love the warm glow. When I have gotten a 79 its seems like 80 is a million points away. Congrats on your win.

Sandra

Keith_A_Howe
02-28-2008, 04:07 PM
Cassandra - Wasn't this your first competition? I think you did excellant! As I add it up you had a print case total of 315 or 314. In Nebraska that probably would have squeaked you into the Top Ten and you would have gone home with a nice trophy. You should be very proud of yourself.

Keith

Valerie_Harte
02-28-2008, 04:08 PM
Congratulations! I love the Sun Kissed print too so I am glad it merited. One of our speakers said if you work the print salon you find you don't just have your entries to root for you have everyone's. I feel the same way about this forum. Everytime a print I recognize turns around or the scores are posted here I want it to merit just as bad as if it was mine. :-) Congrats, congrats, congrats!!!!

andiegoodman
02-28-2008, 04:18 PM
Congratulations! Excellent scores for a first timer...for anyone actually. Take what the judges say - fix the other 2 and let's see them get a seal at PPANE.

Dave_Cisco
02-28-2008, 04:23 PM
Congrats...Sunkissed is very nice..the right titles do help, don't they?:)

Ron_Jackson
02-28-2008, 04:33 PM
Way to go Cassandra! Congrautlations! I am very happy for you and by the way, nice work!

Teya_Rutherford
02-28-2008, 04:33 PM
Ok, I hope Cathy will show hers too. Also - any PPANE judges close your eyes, as I might rework and reenter some of these. ;)

This one scored an 80 without any discussion. Blustery Bride:
6367

This one scored an 80 and then was challenged by a judge that wanted it at 85. Another agreed saying it had a 1940s feel, but the other judges didn't like the strong backlighting, the extra catchlight, the negative space at the bottom and the upper left-hand corner, so it stayed an 80. Delilah:
6368

More coming...

Teya_Rutherford
02-28-2008, 04:39 PM
This one scored a 79 and a judge challenged it to bring it up to the merit category. One judge couldn't decide between giving it a 79 or 82 (didn't mention anything in between, lol). The challenger suggested the others get up and look at the detail, but only one took him up on it. The opposers didn't like the tilt and the mat color and felt there wasn't a strong enough connection between the couple. Swept Away:
6369

This one scored a 78 and was challenged to bring it up as well (I believe there was a significant range). Detractors didn't like that you could see the flaky baby skin on the foot (thought I should have retouched it), but others liked that and thought it lended to the realism. Not everyone was wild about the texture and how dark the dad's chest was, while others said that was exactly what they liked. Blessed:
6370

I had a lot of discussion around my prints, which I guess was a good thing, but it often seemed the very things that some judges loved, others hated, lol.

I also had two others that scored 77s without discussion. After speaking to judges at the print critique, one I think could have been higher w/the appropriate title, and the other I have to say Millers did a terrible printing job on (the skin tones were super red even though when I print through them without color correction my skin tones on that same print were lovely), with the proper printing I believe it would have been a 78 or 79, but it was my case filler, so I don't think it was really merit material.

It was a great experience and so so valuable to speak individually with the judges afterwards.

Andrea_Chapelo
02-28-2008, 05:08 PM
Way to go Cassandra! I think you did fabulous!

you too Teya.

And thanks for posting them guys. I am getting ready for my first comp, so all of this is very helpful to me:)

Teya_Rutherford
02-28-2008, 07:35 PM
question: to those that have done this before (it was my first time as well), how does the MA judging compare to that at PPANE? thanks!

Roger_Williams
02-28-2008, 07:59 PM
Congrats.

Not meaning to hijack this thread but as I am about to enter for the first time, maybe someone can answer a question that Casanrda brought up.


... A judge critiqued it for me after and said that it should have been cropped tighter (more off the bottom). ....

So how would anyone know how tight to crop an image (what a judge would be looking for)? Obviously Cassandra thought she had it cropped correctly so how would she know otherwise? Other than you guys, which are great, there should be someway for first timers to know what the dumb (or not so dumb) mistakes are without embarrassing ourselves. I've watched for two years at our state convention and I'm just hoping mine score higher than a zero.

I'm packing my box tonight and the closer I get to sending it off, the more concerned I am. I am proud of them but them pesky judges may see it differently.

Marc_Benjamin
02-28-2008, 08:12 PM
Congrats you guys! First times' always tough but I think it tends to get a little easier (presentation and cropping wise) as we keep entering.

D._Craig_Flory
02-28-2008, 08:13 PM
Congrats.

Not meaning to hijack this thread but as I am about to enter for the first time, maybe someone can answer a question that Casanrda brought up.



So how would anyone know how tight to crop an image (what a judge would be looking for)? Obviously Cassandra thought she had it cropped correctly so how would she know otherwise? Other than you guys, which are great, there should be someway for first timers to know what the dumb (or not so dumb) mistakes are without embarrassing ourselves. I've watched for two years at our state convention and I'm just hoping mine score higher than a zero.

I'm packing my box tonight and the closer I get to sending it off, the more concerned I am. I am proud of them but them pesky judges may see it differently.\

Hi Roger;

How, and where to crop comes with comp. experience.

As far as you scoring a zero, unless you send a piece of mount board with no image, you will score higher than a zero. I rarely see any with scores lower than a 65.

Heather_L._Smith
02-28-2008, 09:31 PM
Roger -
One of the pesky things about print comp is that it is completely subjective. A print may really 'speak' to one judge and not to another. One judge may feel very strongly that the image needs to be cropped much tighter, another may feel differently. D.Craig is right on the nose - it just comes with experience. There are lots of experienced folks here on the forum - more merits and loan prints among these folks than you'll find anywhere! Best advice I can give - post your images and ideas here, gather all the feedback you can, and whatever comes up most is probably what should be tweaked or changed. Given that you're packing your case tonight, it's clearly too late for this go-round, but definitely look for help and input next time!

Cassandra_Sullivan
02-28-2008, 10:02 PM
Thanks everyone - this was my 2nd time entering, though first time entering portraits (and it was from a real client high school senior session). I'm happy I got a blue on a portrait, since it's what I do.


question: to those that have done this before (it was my first time as well), how does the MA judging compare to that at PPANE? thanks!

The judging at PPANE would be a little tougher, since they're all affiliate judges. I don't think all the MA ones were...

Teya_Rutherford
02-28-2008, 10:04 PM
I think you can probably consider two general rules while cropping: the rule of thirds and the elimination of any elements that detract/distract from your subject.

ETA: Thanks Cassandra! I think we were posting at the same time.

Stephanie_Millner
02-28-2008, 10:47 PM
Cassandra, congrats! That "Sunkissed" is a gorgeous image!

Ron_Jackson
02-28-2008, 10:48 PM
Roger -
One of the pesky things about print comp is that it is completely subjective. A print may really 'speak' to one judge and not to another. One judge may feel very strongly that the image needs to be cropped much tighter, another may feel differently. D.Craig is right on the nose - it just comes with experience. There are lots of experienced folks here on the forum - more merits and loan prints among these folks than you'll find anywhere! Best advice I can give - post your images and ideas here, gather all the feedback you can, and whatever comes up most is probably what should be tweaked or changed. Given that you're packing your case tonight, it's clearly too late for this go-round, but definitely look for help and input next time!

I am an example of what Heather is saying. I posted images here and got a lot of feedback. I spent a lot of time tweaking my images to the best I could make them look. Now, I am proud to say, all four images went loan! Yep, I loaned them to my mother who is very proud of them all. So it pays to listen to the experienced here. Ha! Seriously, the wealth of knowlede here for competition is amazing. I did reach out here and I got very valuable help. My case is right now in transit to Raleigh for the Southeast Regionals. My first time and it's exciting. However, then things I learned from the gathering, and tweaking of the files has already taught me so much that will now carry on into my day to day business. Doesn't matter if I merit, I already won. Take the leap and reach out here. It is really worth it.

JohnMalboeuf
02-29-2008, 01:22 AM
Hi Guys,

I walked through the print display at PPAM on Sunday. I am not a PPAM member, but I have relatives in Norwood, so I made an excuse to visit mom and see the display.

My 14 year old daughter picked out Starburst, Sunkissed and Delilah prints as ones she liked. I loved the look of the Blustery Bride print up close. These prints are not done any justice on this tiny screen. It was nice to see the finished product on so many of the prints that have been shown here.

I wanted to get a feel for the competition prints and how the scoring went. It was interesting to see the scores that were posted. I also got some great ideas.

Congratulations,
John

cat_broderick
02-29-2008, 07:37 PM
This was my blue image, scored an 80, they judges didnt like the blanket.

cat_broderick
02-29-2008, 07:46 PM
I also got 4 reds, all 77's and 76's.

"Got Teeth" It was too dark (Millers was dark this year and I will in the future adjust density myself,lesson learned) They wanted more crib rail cropped out.

"Pregant Pause", too many keys going on with baby's dark hair, would like it cropped in closer to just baby's face and moms belly.

I dont think I got feedback on the other two.

cat_broderick
02-29-2008, 07:47 PM
................

D._Craig_Flory
02-29-2008, 08:05 PM
Hi Cat;

I can't see a comment like "too dark" about "Got Teeth". I think it's a lot more about the white railing being so far off, density wise, from everything else. When you have a stark white railing, inside that black background, that's where your eyes go. I'm sure that was magnified under the mini spots. I would love to hear an affiliate judges thoughts of your image.

cat_broderick
02-29-2008, 08:50 PM
When it was printed it was too dark, not as it appears here.

Don_Chick
03-02-2008, 01:23 PM
Congratulations, it's exciting to see the results after all the discussion that went into each image.

Ron,

I love your conclusion at the end of your post....



Doesn't matter if I merit, I already won.

Keith_A_Howe
03-02-2008, 02:26 PM
I would love to hear an affiliate judges thoughts of your image.

D., Cat ,,,

First let me say Congrats Cat for entering and on your 80.

I was not at the judging and can not speak first hand on the images, but I will give my opinions for what it's worth.

Mom and Daughter in blanket - I like the intimate feeling of the image but the fringe at the bottom is a distraction and I feel that the edge of the blanket by the girls ear is blown out. That is my guess at why they didn't like the blanket in this specific image.

Got Teeth - It is hard to say with out seeing the image but I am willing to bet that it is printed borderline to dark because they were trying to hold some detail in the rail where it appears close to blown out (should have been handled with artwork in PS). I like the title and lighting of the child. I can't tell about the distractions in the background under your watermark but I think I am seeing a fairly defined shadow pattern from the crib onto the wall. This could be handled with artwork to lessen the distraction. Had these 2 issues been handled and the print quality which I can't see been good I would have been in the merit catagory or maybe even a bit higher, I really like this image.

Pregant Pause - To me it is a really cute idea but missed in the exicution. I do not see "too many keys" with her dark hair. What I do see that I think may have lead to that comment is way too flat of lighting where we are lighting the girls cheek and letting the mask (front plane of the face, forehead, eyebrows, nose, cheek bones and chin) to be in shadow. We also have the girls top that looks blown out. Granted it is a hard thing to light correctly but that doesn't excuse the situation. I love the story and the title here but the impact goes where the lighting leads us and here it just misses. It should have been light from the back side of the subjects, one light behind mom sculpting the girls lovely face, and the second light behind the girl sculpting the belly and button. Then the impact would have screamed.

As the print is I would have been in the average to low above average area.

Girl in green field - Looks to have very nice light on the face. It appears under printed and a little under saturated. I am getting a bit of a sun flare feeling at the top of her head and question the detail here (take it down more). Biggest problem is the crop feels too tight to me. We lost the bottom of the dress (needs to be all there or go to a 3/4 crop).

I would have again been in the above average catagory.


Autum girl - Here is a case for a tighter crop. We are being lead to her hip which is not important to the image. We have fairly flat lighting again but from what I think I see in the catch lights in her eyes is the reflector is showing as the largest brightest catch light so the light should be from camera left but really is from camera right, fix these in PS. We have a stump of a hand by her chin, you should have pulled the sleeve back down her arm to show the hand. This would have also gotten the bright white fabric away from the chin as well eleminating the distraction. I feel this image with a tighter crop and some corrective artwork could be a borderling merit catagory image.
As it is I would have been once again in the above average catagory.
Which if you think about it is not a bad place, it means the image is better than the majority of the images created by professional photographers every day.

I don't know how many times you have entered but this set of images represents a good case and a good learning experience.

One last note. I hate to see anyone blameing the lab for too dark etc. but I would encourage all of us to learn to do our own corrections and enhancements as that is how we learn plus it makes entering less expensive when we can order straight prints.
I think I have rambled on way too long, sorry
Keith

Teya_Rutherford
03-02-2008, 04:34 PM
What a great discussion Keith! The only one I saw discussed was the blanket one, and they had different things to say then you, lol. I mostly got different comments from all the judges on mine too, so it does make it a little tough on us to know which way to go :)

I totally agree w/you re: the lab thing - I was not happy with how one of mine was printed and it definitely made me want to do all the corrections, etc. myself next time.

cat_broderick
03-02-2008, 04:55 PM
Thanks Keith for such a detailed response! I appreciate all the time taken here on this board to help us all improve.

There were no blowouts in any of the images, I realized they do look that way on here, but were not in the files or in print.

I'm not blaming the lab, I 'm blaming myself. The first two years I entered I had the lab do the adjustments for me as I didnt trust my own judgement. Last year my density was spot on. This year when I opened the box, my gut instinct was they were too dark. So what have I learned? That I can now trust my own judgement and going forward I will make the density adjustments myself. You did give me that piece of advice a month ago and I wish I followed it. Live and learn right?

Some of these were grab shots and what I am taking away from all this is the importance of not getting grab shots, getting finely posed images and knowing the difference. I am also learning so much about lighting.


Overall I am just a bit dissapointed with my scores, but dont disagree with what was said and what I learned. Like Ron said, I've already won!

Keith_A_Howe
03-02-2008, 06:17 PM
The only one I saw discussed was the blanket one, and they had different things to say then you, lol. I mostly got different comments from all the judges on mine too, so it does make it a little tough on us to know which way to go :)


Teya - This is why I recomend that you get as many one on one CC from as many judges as you can. Everyone will have something to say. When you start hearing the same things over and over, those are the major points, the rest of the comments are valid points as well but maybe not as strong of an issue. In the end it is up to you, the maker to decide what suggestions you want to take and which you don't think fit.
Keith

Teya_Rutherford
03-02-2008, 09:01 PM
Totally understand Keith. I talked to all the judges that were at the critique party, and with my stuff, what one judge liked and brought it up to the merit category, that was the exact thing the other judge didn't like, lol!