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Ashley_Short
05-08-2008, 05:17 AM
I'm going through some of my images and came across these. Please tell me if you think they would work for competition or CPP. If they are competition worthy, titles would be an awesome help, too.

If you don't like them, I can handle the CC, so please, dish it! I'm here to learn!

Thank you!!

Ashley_Short
05-08-2008, 05:17 AM
One more.

Thanks again!

Heather_L._Smith
05-08-2008, 03:13 PM
Hey, Ashley! Okay, I came and looked at this thread, didn't say anything, went back out and saw that there were 30 views and no posts, so decided to come back and share what I saw.

Now, I'm not an expert at print comp by any means, but I'll share my initial response to the images...

#1 - I think something like this would work just fine for CPP and I think it would score in the upper 70's in competition. The tricky thing here is that it's a subject we've seen a million times... a HS senior. For comp, we have to do something different, unique, interesting. I think it was John Metcalf who said 'the judges are given an entire seat to sit in, but we only want them to use the edge of it,' which I think is a great quote. I think one of the reasons there were 30 views and no posts is that there's nothing wrong with these images, they just don't make us perch on the edge of our seat to get a closer look. I think you've got something great to work with on this first image. I think it could be pumped up by doing a cross-process or something funky and cool. You've got the colors in the image to pull it off, and the ripped jeans and flip flops give you room to experiment with something like that.

On image #2, I'm sure the clients loved it - it has charm and the setting definitely has possibilities, but for me, it's just two people standing by a pole. Other than the woman leaning on the man, there isn't any interaction between them. Also, something Keith taught me with posing is that if it bends, bend it, if it turns, turn it... her arm is nearly ramrod straight... give a little bend to it. While bending her arm won't change how I initially felt about this image, it's one of those little things to remember next time! For me, I think it's the lack of interaction that misses the mark. On a slightly separate note, with this presentation, I probably would have cropped more off the top and more off the left side to bring the couple further to the left... I'd take some off the top to make it feel more panoramic.

On image #3, you've got great light going on here! Love the accent light and the way it shapes her body. The fabric in the lower right corner is distracting... I actually had a "what's that?" moment, and like the first image, it's a subject we've seen many times. For CPP I think it would be perfectly fine, but for comp, it's got to be something unique and different (or absolutely 100% perfectly executed). It's interesting on this one - I'm drawn to her fingernails because they're so much brighter than her skin. One thing, too, that happens with maternity images when they're bare skin is that the hand that covers the chest should look natural, like she meant to do it... which is really hard to do! Her hand on this one is a little claw-like.

Just my 2 cents, and maybe not even worth that, but I thought I'd get this thread going if nothing else!

D._Craig_Flory
05-08-2008, 04:14 PM
Hi Ashley;

I agree about image #1 ... good for C.P.P. but will not score above 80 in competition. Some things I'd change if you do use it for competition: #1 the subject layer needs to be a touch to the right for the 3rd quadrant. #2 the white accent line is too much. I'd use a color from the image. An accent line is to separate the subject layer from the background layer and not draw attention to itself.

On image #2, it is also a good one for C.P.P. but not for competing. I'd flip it and move the subject layer more right. The subjecy layer needs to be deeper and some hot spots taken care of.

On image #3, I like this one the most. What is disconcerting is the black background with a hi key subject layer. I'd use a grey instead so the white background, in the subject layer, doesn't draw so much attention. I like the selective color but I would use an adjustment layer to up the saturation of the rose.

Ashley_Short
05-08-2008, 06:46 PM
Ok, so I've worked on them a little bit... so I'm going to repost. Please tell me what you think. Thank you guys so much for taking the time.

In response to both of you:

1. Yes, I do have that problem of "just another senior." I put on some different effects to make it pop a little bit more, but I don't have any filters/actions, etc., so I don't have a lot to work with. I tried a cross process I found online, but it just make her hair a really weird color and it looked a bit pukey. :(

D. Craig, I moved it over a bit and actually cut off a tiny bit on the right. Do you think that helped? Do you like the stroke color better?

2. I had tried to crop the top off originally, but I really liked the orange leaves. Well, ok, they were distracting to me, but I still liked the color. :rolleyes: So, I went ahead and cropped, rotated, etc. What do you think?

D. Craig, which hot spots in particular bother you?

3. ok, so new matte, etc. as well as saturated the rose and got rid of the funky corner. Does it look better or just weird now? I think it looks weird, but just b/c I'm so used to looking at it the other way.

Thanks again for your time. I really appreciate it!!

Ashley_Short
05-08-2008, 06:47 PM
Here's the last one. If you can't tell b/c it's small, the stroke is white and the first one (sr girl) has a greenish stroke.

Keith_A_Howe
05-08-2008, 09:31 PM
I was not going to comment on these because Ashley has been getting some good feedback already but she PM'd me and asked for my comments.

First off it is challenging to tell anything about #1 or #2 as they are quite small - so I am making some assumptions that could be wrong when viewing a larger version.

#1 - Heather commented that there is nothing unique or special about this image and that is true. However a comman subject can do well if it is treated exceptionally well. On this image we have a challenge because the first thing that I notice is the lighting. It is very flat. Even if you pump up the saturation or change the placement on the mat or the color of the stroke, fix the crop so the doorway is not tipping over to the right or add grunge or whatever you do, the lighting will still be flat. I am also concerned that she is looking so far to camera left, we are losing her eyes into the corners. This could look different on a larger file but here it looks like something that needs to be fixed. But the flat lighting will be an issue for certification or for competition IMO.

#2 Again Heather pretty much nailed it with her comments. I think the static posing will be a big challenge to a good score in competition. Also even though the image is too small to see the light on their face, I can pretty much know what it is like by looking at how the shadows are falling in the background. The light is coming from behind them. Rim light is not a bad thing, but it needs to be used as an accent, not as the main or only source of light. Imagine this same print, taken later in the day, to eliminate the busy light and shadow patterns in the background. Then turn the couple into the "sweet light" of late evening. Have them relax their bodies into each other. Instead of the man leaning with a stiff arm on the post, have him wrap his arms around the woman's waist. Have him tip his head and nuzzle into her neck and have her tip her head back and up slightly, like a woman would do, when she wants the man to kiss her neck. Use a shallower depth of field to throw that background out of focus. Then you would have a romantic portrait that tells a story about this couple and their relationship. While the image can be improved with PS, you cannot correct the pose and that will hold it out of the merit catergory in print competition IMO.

#3 - The first thing I think when I look at this image is why? Why is a naked pregnant women holding a rose in front of her belly? Then I next think - boy I hope that rose was de-thorned! LOL! Again this is a very comman subject, so for competition you either need an unusual treatment or exceptional technique I feel that both hands could have been "finessed" a bit. The hand on the breast seems like it is stiffly in front of the breast, not really touching or holding her breast to cover it up. The hand holding the rose has the fingers coming straight toward the camera. Study old masters paintings or Don Blair's book Body Parts or even hands in the loan collection books to see more feminine graceful hands. Lastly, when I see spot color used. it is the maker telling me "this is the most important thing in this image, this is what I want you to notice first" That is what makes me say why about this print. Why is the rose so important. Even though I have some questions about this image, it is the strongest of the three. I agree with D. Craig that the gray mat is probably a better choice.

Keith