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View Full Version : Possible Choices for KPPA/Mid-East Regionals CC Please



distracted
12-28-2008, 12:34 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v39/betheckstein/Cooper-web.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v39/betheckstein/Kordell-web.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v39/betheckstein/Senior-Dreams-web2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v39/betheckstein/Love-hopes-all-things-web.jpg

I am trying to put four images together. I have these and a pretty cool welding shot...well I think it is cool. I could only put four in the post so I left that one out. I took two of these to the KPPA fall conference. They both merited at that level. I will likely take those two but am not sure about the other two. I could try and shoot something totally new but would have to pull in off in the next week. Any opinions are more than welcome! Thanks! And I am purposefully not telling which two I took just to get a totally non-biased input.

Keith_A_Howe
12-28-2008, 05:03 PM
Beth,
Are you paranoid yet? 32 views and no comments. I don't know why nobody has responded but maybe they didn't want to look foolish by guessing the wrong two images as previously scored 80. FWIW to say they "merited" is not accurate because a merit only comes from national judging. If it was an affliate judging and they scored 80 or above, you would refer to them as sealed or recieving a seal. But as it was a non affliate competition the accurate term would be scored an 80 or 81 or whatever. In some parts of the country they also refer to it as a blue ribbon. Not trying to scold you here but how would you know this unless someone told you, it's not like there is a PPA dictionary anywhere! So because I almost always look foolish anyway, I'll take a shot here and risk looking foolish again and guess the two that scored 80 or above were the preteen boy and the senior girl. But I also want to say that if these 4 prints came up before me on a panel I would probably be in the above average catergory. So here are my thoughts on each one. Not trying to boost, but because you are new here, I will tell you I am an afflaite juror so I do have a background in print judging. I have judged at national 4 out of the last 5 years so hopefully what I have to say is valid.

The baby boy - The brightest thing in this image is the white stripes in his sweater. Those bright stripes pull me down to the frog and then to his black out of key pants. I find it challenging to pull my eye back to his great face. Next the cropping is an issue. I don't mind cutting into the hair of a subject but do so for a reason, like to emphazie the face or expression. Here on a 3/4 length it seems more like a mistake than a choice. By cropping as you did it places his eyes and face at an uncomfortable location within the image. You don't always need to follow the rule of thirds but when you choose not to compose that way it should be because it helps the image. Here the unusual composition is not a benefit to the overall story of this image. What I do like about this image is the subject matter - great face and eyes, and the choice to aim for a mid key image (even though the white strips and black pants mess that up) which gives it a contemporary almost editorial feel.

The preteen boy - This image has a lot of contradictions. His hat and shirt are more in keeping with a teenage angst sort of portrait yet he has a wry almost sweet expression on his face. That kind of contradiction can work but it doesn't seem to make enough of a statement here to be a deliberate choice. The logo on the hat adds to that skater rebel teen feel for me. Plus it draws my eye up to that corner where you don't want the eye to land. Again there are some composition issues. His eyes are at almost the exact center of the image, which also means we are showing almost as much hat as face. The face is more important here so we can crop out some more of the hat which would also get rid of some of that distracting logo. Next - you have nice directional light here but it is broad lit. His face can handle broad lit. So it's kind of a moot point on this image but most times broad light is not a good choice, so that's why I am pointing it out here. Your bride is also broad lit and it is an issue in that image. I am looking at this on Holly's brand new laptop so it's a pretty good moniter and the whites of his eyes look overworked to me. Too evenly white. If the eyes are a sphere, there should be highlight and shadow across those whites to show the roundness. When you make the eyes too evenly white they start to look flat. There is some roundness here but you have gone just a bit too far. I also think the score could be improved here with a little enhancement to his irises. Lastly I get the feeling there is a lens choice issue. Part of that is reated by the shape of the hat. It appears to flare out at the top. Combined with the composition really makes it feel like his head is too large for his shoulders. That is usually an indication of too short of a lens. Again this is a great competition subject. I would crop it horizontal to get rid of part of the hat. Then I would rework the eyes. I realize his lips were probably that pink naturally but it does almost look like you added more pink too them, so I would tone that down.

The senior girl - there are a lot of positives to this image. The challenge is the negatives will probably keep it out of the merit catergory. First look at her pose. She is flat to camera. This is making her shoulders look broader and less feminine. You have compenstated for this by the crop but then that crop emphazies the low camera angle. Next the tilt of her head is away from the light, so her chin is tipped into the light. So you are lighting up the underside of her nose and chin. The correction would be to tilt the top of her head into the light.

The bride - I love the mood you are trying to create here, but there are some technical issues that will keep this out of the merit catergory IMO. What is the story you are trying to tell? A thoughtful bride? Then the most important thing is her face and expression. Instead with the direction of light and the camera angle the most dominant visual area is her hair and veil followed by the side of her face. Imagine if your main light was coming from far camera left, almost 90 degrees and a bit lower then it is here. Then the light would skim across her face. It would skim across her closed eyelids creating dimension and roundness. That would place all the emphazise on her face and expression and the camera right side of her face would be in shadow lessening it's visual importance and adding drama. I am guessing this image might have been created with available light in the environment - window, lamp whatever. So you are probably saying you couldn't move the light. In that case you move the subject in relation to the light. I would crop off the top, just keeping enough hair and veil to finish the story and get her eyes at about 1/3 down from the top. I personally feel this image has been overworked - too softened and smoothed for my taste. However as a judge I would have to say that it was a choice of the maker and ask myself does it add to the story of a soft dreamy bride and the answer would be yes. BUT then if the skin is so soft and smooth I am bothered by how harsh and dark her eyelashes and hair look against that softness. It reminds me of movie starlet eyelashes from the 50's.

I think these 4 images will fall somewhere in the above average catergory at an afflaite judging. These are much better images then I see for many first time entrants and I really encourage you to enter them. I apologize in advance if you are not a first time entrant - but that's the feeling I got from your previous thread asking about posting images for CC here. I would love to see the welding image so I hope you will share it also.

Keith

Keith_A_Howe
12-28-2008, 06:39 PM
Ok Come on Surely there are more opinions out there than just mine. Lets give her plenty of different people's view points.
Keith

distracted
12-28-2008, 07:18 PM
Wow...thank you so much for taking the time to really explain the issues you see and more importantly the "why" behind it. I was kind of wondering if my images were that bad that no one even wanted to attempt to discuss them. ha-ha.

It was actually the Senior girl and the bride that scored 80 or above.

The Senior girl was at 78 or 79 the first time around and then bumped to 80 when it was brought back. The bride got an 85. There was a lot of discussion about the bride. When I asked the judges afterward when all the prints were hung for viewing and we could have discussion with them if we wished, I was told that they felt like I had tried to open the Senior girls eyes (which actually I had not) I did not do a great deal to her eyes. The bride was taken with a bounced flash under fluorescent room lighting...hense the choice to go B/W as the ambient light did play into the tone.

I did not take the preteen boy or the baby. I agree with everything you said about the baby. I am just grasping and I really liked his face. I also agree about the preteen boy. Do you think the necklace is distracting as well?

I did know that my prints did not receive a merit from that judging but I didn't know not to refer to them as a "merit print". I am here to learn so I would never have any kind of an attitude or think anything about someone trying to help me along the way. That is good to know. Sometimes I feel foolish to even open my mouth at all because what I might say will surely be incorrect. I guess everyone walked in these shoes at some point...

I will post the welding shot. It is nothing amazing really...I just think it looks cool. Technically it is likely unworthy.

This will be my first official competition. I just feel so inadequate. I don't exactly get my feelings hurt, it is just an annoyance factor on my part due to all I still have to learn.

distracted
12-28-2008, 07:21 PM
Here is the welding shot...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v39/betheckstein/weld-web.jpg

treasures1
12-28-2008, 07:41 PM
:)Hi! I am pretty new here, too, and your images are way better than mine! Good job! I anticipated what would be said about the broad lighting- I get that comment a lot, too. Everyone on here will give you such great advice- I bet more people will be on to comment after the holidays.

I like the welding shot-great color! I liked all of the portraits. My least favorite was the older boy-not sure why. Maybe the expression.?
I hope you used a nice long lens to get that welding shot- it looks like it could've been dangerous.:)

And the last thing I'll say is that for Keith to say you would be in the above avg. category- that's huge- because he notices EVERYTHING! Keep posting!

Rick_Massarini
12-28-2008, 08:12 PM
Thank you, Keith, for bringing up the PPA terminology issue...

The whole print competition terminology thing throws people all the time. So, since I have been a Volunteer at the International Judging for many years, every time I get the opportunity, I always try to post some information that clarifies it a bit. A couple of years ago, we had two PPA members from my state lose a total of 4 print merits because they didn't understand the terminology - they thought that they had merits because their prints had received scores above 80 at the Southwest Regional judging, and they had seals placed on the backs of the prints proving it - what they didn't realize was what they actually had were "Sealed Prints" - Prints which WOULD HAVE received merits if they had been sent to the PPA International Judging that year. I knew that these two people were newbies and was excited that they had sealed entries and was interested in whether or not any of the images went Loan - at the end of the judging, I still hadn't seen their prints, so when things finally calmed down a bit, we looked up their names - neither of the two members had sent in a print case - they didn't send the prints because they thought they already had merits for them - and the seals expired unrewarded. I don't want anyone to lose merits just because they didn't understand the terminology.

So here's the quick rundown on merits...

State, Local, and other non-affiliated judgings cannot award PPA merits. Merits can only be awarded at the PPA International Judging.

State and Local "merits" awarded by state and local associations are not applicable towards any kind of PPA degree. State and local recognition awards are sometimes referred to as "merits" but are applicable only towards state or local recognition programs. Repeat - PPA Merits can only be awarded at the PPA International Judging.

Affiliated regional judgings do not award merits either - they only give "Seals of Approval". A print that scores 80 or above at an affiliated regional judging will receive a PPA "Seal of Approval" - not a "merit". This seal is a certification that the print has been accepted for exhibition by an affiliate judging - it is not a merit - but the print will be automatically accepted for exhibition and will receive it's merit when it is submitted to the VERY NEXT PPA International Judging. If it is not submitted to the VERY NEXT International Judging, the seal "expires" and is no longer valid. Prints bearing expired seals are considered the same as an unsealed entry when submitted to the International Judging - it goes into a judging room that is judging unsealed entries to be judged for acceptance (for merit). So if you forget to send a "sealed" entry in to the next International Judging, and you remember after the deadline and send it in the following year - that seal is no longer valid. The print is now the same as an unsealed entry and must again be judged for acceptance.

Sealed entries that are submitted to the PPA International Judging are automatically accepted for exhibition and will receive PPA merits. These prints are sent only to a panel of jurors that are judging accepted entries for possible inclusion into the PPA Loan Collection.

Unsealed entries submitted to the International Judging are first judged for acceptance (for merit). Those entries that are accepted are moved to another judging room where a panel of jurors are judging merit prints for inclusion into the Loan Collection.

Entries accepted into the PPA Loan Collection will receive an additional Exhibition Merit (total of 2 Exhibition Merits for a Loan Collection Print).

Sealed prints that are not submitted to the NEXT PPA International judging do not receive their merits, So I remind everyone to send in your sealed prints. If we don't get them at the International Judging, you don't get your merits !!!!

Also - my personal opinion - ORDER A VIDEO CRITIQUE when you send your prints to the International Judging. This is an invaluable learning opportunity. Take advantage of the opportunity! One of the International Jurors (not necessarily one of the ones who was on the panel when your print was judged) will review your images and tell you what is good and what can be improved. IMHO - It's cheap at twice the price !!!

C ya in Phoenix !!!

Keith_A_Howe
12-28-2008, 09:27 PM
It was actually the Senior girl and the bride that scored 80 or above.

Well I knew it was either the boy or the bride. I guessed the boy as the bride has more technical challenges, but I could see where it would appeal to some judges. I feel fairly confident in saying it would not score 85 at an affliate judging.


I did not take the preteen boy or the baby. I agree with everything you said about the baby. I am just grasping and I really liked his face. I also agree about the preteen boy. Do you think the necklace is distracting as well?

The logo on the hat was a huge issue for me so I didn't really notice the necklace. If you eliminate the logo then yes the necklace would be a problem because it creates two leading lines drawing me out of the bottom of the image. So I would say just get rid of it.


Sometimes I feel foolish to even open my mouth at all because what I might say will surely be incorrect. I guess everyone walked in these shoes at some point...
There is a huge difference between being ignorant because you are new and being ignorant because you haven't made an effort to learn. Unfortunately there is a lot of "folk" wisdom that goes into print competition. It would be nice if there was a book or something that explained it all in detail. Maybe Rick Massarini can write it. Everyone can send him every question they have ever had about print comp and he can answer them all in one place. :D Wadda ya say Rick? I bet you would have a real money maker on your hands if you wrote that book.


I will post the welding shot. It is nothing amazing really...I just think it looks cool. Technically it is likely unworthy..

I like the welding image, but I can't really say what I think it will do without seeing the actual print. I do think you should consider printing it on metallic and it needs to be a lot deeper than it is here. Just make sure you don't go so deep you get banding around the flame. Normally a blown out area like that flame would be a huge issue but in welding - it's accurate cause that's how it looks.


This will be my first official competition. I just feel so inadequate. I don't exactly get my feelings hurt, it is just an annoyance factor on my part due to all I still have to learn.

Everyone gets stage fright the first few times they enter. My wife couldn't sleep for a week before her first competition, yet she was in the Top Ten and got a Kodak Gallery Award her first time out. Don't beat yourself up about what you have to learn yet. Instead be proud of yourself for making the effort to learn it. I know a ton of photographers who never attend a seminar or enter a competition because they either feel they have nothing to learn or think why should they bother, thier work is good enough. They are the ones that should feel inadequte because they aren't trying to get educated, you are. So good for you.

Keith

Carver_Shivers
12-28-2008, 09:44 PM
Out of all of these, the bridal just jumps out to me. I see a simple yet extremely elegant woman of quiet calm and beauty. I see a classic portrait here, reminds me of Hurrell. Thanks so much!

distracted
12-28-2008, 10:47 PM
Thank you for all the kind comments and advice!

Good to meet you Kesha.

Thank you Carver. I know it has it's challenges and even more so than I realized but I am going to take it anyway. I will just have to hope for the best. At the fall conference two of the judges loved it and the one female judge did NOT.

Rick...thank you for the detailed explanation of how a print merits. So since KY is hosting the Mid-East Regionals this year then if any of my prints are sealed then that would mean they are deserving of a merit and will get one if I enter them at the next PPA international judging. Is that correct? However, if this had been a normal winter conference for KPPA then the print would still have to go on to the regional judging before sending it to the PPA international judging, right?

Keith...so you think the welding shot should be printed metallic? Is that the same as WHCC's pearl paper? Does that go over well at competition? In the two state print competitions I have watched I don't think I saw anything printed on metallic. I saw glossy and luster and those who printed on luster were chastised for it. Yep...that was me the first year, and a few others. I entered two prints fall before last and they had a dismal result. I was totally clueless at that point. I took two more this year and did better. As long as I keep improving I am ok. That is an image that I would have no clue how to title or where to place on my canvas.

A couple of more questions...how do you decide where to place the image on your canvas? And how large or small to make your image in relation to the canvas? I understand about the stroke size and to pick colors out of your image. How important is which colors your choose? I apparently didn't choose well on my Senior image as I was advised to go a different direction before entering it in Jan. Lastly, should I saturate my images more than usual for the lighting conditions? I guess I thought my Senior image looked a little more washed out under the lights than intended.

I don't want to wear you all out with questions and posting images. However, if I come up with something else in the next week image wise, I will probably pop it on here to see if it is a better choice than any of the previous images.

Rick_Massarini
12-29-2008, 02:19 AM
...since KY is hosting the Mid-East Regionals this year then if any of my prints are sealed then that would mean they are deserving of a merit and will get one if I enter them at the next PPA international judging. Is that correct?

Correct. Since the Mid-East Regional is an affiliated judging, then they will be awarding "Seals of Approval".



However, if this had been a normal winter conference for KPPA then the print would still have to go on to the regional judging before sending it to the PPA international judging, right?

It would have to go to a regional if you wanted to have a chance to have it sealed, but a print does not have to go to a regional before being sent to the International Judging. You can send a print straight to the Int'l Judging that has never been tried anywhere before. There is no pre-qualifications required. Every year we get thousands of prints sent to the Int;l Judging that have never been judged before - so many so that we usually run several judging panels at the same time, all judging prints for acceptance. So if you feel strongly about an image, you can send it straight to the Int'l Judging without sending it to a regional first. But... sending your images to a regional competition gives you two shots at having it merit - the first being the regional and the second being the national.