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Angela_Lawson
11-24-2008, 08:03 PM
I would like some input on this image for competition. Thinking of entering it in Mid-East Regionals. Would like any and all CC - Good and bad?

Would I be embarrassed to enter it? Of course I'd love to score an 80 or above, but don't really expect to on my first time out, so if it would at least score in the high 70's, I'd be happy.

Thanks.
Angela

Possible Titles?
Dreaming of Tomorrow
Mommy's little girl

Anyone else?

Ashley_Short
11-24-2008, 09:47 PM
Angela,

I'm no expert, but I would think that it could be improved by having the album in the same key. My eye goes back and forth from her face, the album, and even the photo in the album. Not sure where to stop looking.

I love the idea... if you could find a name that plays off of "the day every little girl dreams about.."

Hope someone else chimes in. :)

Ashley

Rick_Massarini
11-25-2008, 01:45 AM
I like the lighting on the girl's face and the overall feeling of this image, but that brown book just grabs my eye and I have a very hard time getting off the book and back into the little girl's face, It's too bad that their parents didn't have a white book. That one out of key item in the image, considering that it is prety much a central element to the story, is going to keep the score down. I don't believe that you would be embarrassed by entering the image and believe that it will score in the mid seventies, but with that brown book, I don't think that it will go into the merit category.

D._Craig_Flory
11-25-2008, 02:00 PM
Hi Angela;

I agree with the assessment that the out of key album will draw down the score. Now, if you want to take the time, you COULD make it a white album:

Make a dupe layer. Then Image > Adjustments > Invert. Add a layer mask in Hide All and paint in the white using a white brush. Enlarge quite a bit as you get near the edges.

Let me know if you try it and need some help.

Angela_Lawson
11-25-2008, 03:14 PM
Thank you Ashley, Rick, and D.Craig. I knew that the off-key album was an issue, just wasn't sure how much. I may actually give changing the album cover a try, and see what you all think then.

Thanks again.
Angela

Don_Chick
11-25-2008, 06:25 PM
otoh..

Maybe it's supposed to be an out of key album cover to drive the viewers attention to the album first and not the girl.... Why, well because it's because of the content of that album (her Mom & Dad) that she's even there to look at the album....

Use a title to tell the judges that the Album is where the story begins and not the little girl.... Then pray for a panel who "get it"!!

Angela_Lawson
11-25-2008, 09:07 PM
Thanks Don. How about a title something like "In the beginning" ?

Anyone else have any thoughts? If Holly is out there, I understand that she is the queen of titles - care to assist?

Thanks again everyone!
Angela

Cindi_Delaney
11-26-2008, 04:55 AM
Once upon a time . . .

Angela_Lawson
12-15-2008, 08:32 PM
I'm pulling this forward again to see if anyone else has any other comments and/or titles. I'm going to go ahead with it for the learning experience and I'd love to score high, but I know if the judges don't "get it" with the album being out of key, it probably won't. But I'm also wondering about the placement on the "mat". Should I change it somehow?

Thanks.
Angela

Keith_A_Howe
12-16-2008, 12:41 AM
I know if the judges don't "get it" with the album being out of key,

Angela, What is it you think the judges won't "get"? That it's her parents album? That's obvious. Believe me they will get it. So are you really asking if they will forgive it being out of key? The answer is no. If that were the only challenge to the image and everything else was perfect you might get a 78 -80. But there are other issues that will also hold this out of the deserving of review catergory. I wouldn't be so blunt but you have mentioned twice that your hopes are to merit or high 70's. Realistically at a local I could see this mid 70's. At an affliate it will probably land a little lower than that - say 74-75area. This is just my opinion and I could be way off base. I encourage you to go ahead with this image. It's a good learning image. I just didn't want you to have your hopes too high and be disapointed.

To answer your other question, this should be a vertical image placed on a horizontal mat. The image should be slide to the right side of the mat so her face is at about the upper right intersection of thirds. I would like to see a little more of actual image area in front of her. The backer mat area should be the same as the background behind her. So if that's not a true white then the backer should not be either. The stroke should be very subtle and I would sample it from the shadow areas in the gown. I asked Holly about titles and her first choice would be "Her Favorite Fairytale". Her second choice is "And They Lived Happily Ever After".

Keith

Angela_Lawson
12-16-2008, 02:35 AM
Angela, What is it you think the judges won't "get"? That it's her parents album? That's obvious. Believe me they will get it. So are you really asking if they will forgive it being out of key? The answer is no. If that were the only challenge to the image and everything else was perfect you might get a 78 -80. But there are other issues that will also hold this out of the deserving of review catergory. I wouldn't be so blunt but you have mentioned twice that your hopes are to merit or high 70's. Realistically at a local I could see this mid 70's. At an affliate it will probably land a little lower than that - say 74-75area. This is just my opinion and I could be way off base. I encourage you to go ahead with this image. It's a good learning image. I just didn't want you to have your hopes too high and be disapointed.

To answer your other question, this should be a vertical image placed on a horizontal mat. The image should be slide to the right side of the mat so her face is at about the upper right intersection of thirds. I would like to see a little more of actual image area in front of her. The backer mat area should be the same as the background behind her. So if that's not a true white then the backer should not be either. The stroke should be very subtle and I would sample it from the shadow areas in the gown. I asked Holly about titles and her first choice would be "Her Favorite Fairytale". Her second choice is "And They Lived Happily Ever After".

Keith

Keith,

Thank you for answering. I'd like your input on what else I should have done to raise this to a higher score. I'm going to still enter it for the experience, but I'd like to know what to do differently for next time (I may re-shoot if I have time).

Angela

Rick_Massarini
12-16-2008, 03:51 AM
...This is just my opinion and I could be way off base.. Keith

Hey, Dude, I've seen you judge more than once, and I hate to call you wrong on this one, but you're wrong on this statement - YOU'RE NEVER OFF BASE !!!

All I can add is my personal opinion - Believe what Keith says... He knows his stuff...

Keith_A_Howe
12-16-2008, 03:52 AM
Angela,
I do NOT mean this critically (especially because from your avatar I can tell you are too young to remember this) but in the late 80's and early 90's these type of images were popular in print competition. So for me it looks a little dated. Of course the fact that it is the exact same wedding album as my own wedding photos are in and we will celebrate 30 years in April might also be coloring my opinion! LOL! Anyway the pose seems a little static and contrived. It doesn't have that "Norman Rockwell" captured moment of real life look. Try setting this scene up in a believable environment - like Mom and dad's bedroom - with the box and tissue the gown was packed in dragged out from under the bed. If you can't work in the whole album then just frame one image and have it setting on a nightstand. Another scenario would be in the attic. Have the open trunk with the gown draped over the edge, mostly in the trunk but enough showing to tell what it is. The girl could be in jeans and a t-shirt - pretty messy. Her hair should also be down or maybe in messy pigtails - not like she is trying to mimic a wedding updo hairstyle. Maybe all the girl has on is the veil and the shoes that she drug out of the trunk, not the dress at all. I am envisioning little red Keds tennis shoes stuffed into Mommmy's high heeled satin wedding shoes. Maybe dimly in the background propped against the wall is the grandparent's wedding portraits in very old looking frames. By creating this image as part of a whole scene it looks more like a piece of art or an illustration and less contrived. If you are set wanting to do this as a studio high key portrait then I would set this girl on one hip with her legs extended to the side. Twist her at the waist the opposite direction from her legs and have her resting one elbow on a small stool. She could even be resting her head on her hand. She should have a day dreaming expression on her face. Then instead of awkwarding holding up that heavy album, it could be resting on the floor in front of her. Then you have taken care of the problem of the low key cover - cause it doesn't show. If we see just enough of the images in the album to tell it's a wedding - the rest of the story is obvious. Make sure even though she is supposedly looking down at the album, don't have her looking down so far we lose her face and expression. She will propably have to look at the top edge of the album page and not the actual images on that page. In the current version we are seeing a lot of the top of her head. You need to get your camera angle lower when she is looking down - again so you don't lose the face. Her far eye is currently almost hiding under her bangs. Seating her so her legs are extended off to the side will create more of a flowing line and sweep to the skirt of the dress. Another way to do this as a studio portrait is as a standing pose. Have the album open on the floor in the lower left corner. The girl should be standing holding the dress in front of her - her body turned slightly camera right. Her face is turned back camera left. The train sweeps off to the right - creating a flowing line up to the girl. Right now it looks like she is sitting in a big puddle of messed up fabric. As the face is turned to the left - your main should of course also be left to create a short light pattern. With her body and the dress turned away from the main light it with skim across the dress and create little shadows on every detail of lace and beading - so it pops out.

Congratulations on taking the first step to entering. I have said this many times before but I will say it again, I entered 4 years before I ever got a single merit. There is no disgrace in getting a score below 80. Good luck!

Keith

Keith_A_Howe
12-16-2008, 03:56 AM
YOU'RE NEVER OFF BASE !!!

All I can add is my personal opinion - Believe what Keith says... He knows his stuff...

You obviously haven't talked to Holly.

Keith

Rick_Massarini
12-16-2008, 04:16 AM
You obviously haven't talked to Holly.

Keith
YES - I have - and she agrees with me !!!!

Angela_Lawson
12-16-2008, 07:01 PM
Thanks Keith. This image was taken during a session wanted by the mom, to match an older sister's session from several years back (that I did not do). So I was trying to recreate similiar poses for her. However, my camera room is fairly small, so I had to improvise with some of the images. I'll go back thru the session and see if I have anything else that would come closer to what you are talking about. In the meantime, I'm going to be posting several more photos to get input on, and hope that you will give me honest feedback as well. Your help is always greatly appreciated.

Angela

D._Craig_Flory
12-16-2008, 08:24 PM
Hi Angela;

The name Norman Rockwell has been mentioned as far as images that are storytelling. If you could find a copy ... I own a book by our own Jack Reznicki that is chock full of wonderful Norman Rockwell style images.