View Full Version : RaspberryLimeSwirl - need advice please

02-04-2009, 05:14 AM
i'm going to enter a series of marble images for competition. could i please have some advice on this image? what category should i enter it in? thanks VERY much for your help.
i'm still getting the hang of photobucket...let's see if i got this loaded up correctly:


02-04-2009, 02:15 PM
Bonnie, In PPA competition there is either portrait open, commercial or albums. So in a PPA comp this would be in the open catergory. In state or locals they can have any catergory they want and can vary from comp to comp. What catergories ae listed? There should be something called illutrative or maybe fine art. That's where I would put these.


02-04-2009, 02:28 PM
in the commercial category the sub-categories are: general, photojournalism, unclassified, scenic and fine art.
i think you're right - fine art is where they might fit in best.

i'm also looking for any advice on how i might improve the image or why it might not be a good candidate for competition.


02-04-2009, 02:46 PM
It's a good canidate. Is the marble tack sharp? It appears like there is dust or something on the top of the marble. It doesn't look like this marble is dichroic glass but that's the kind of speckled highlight I see with that kind of glass or with the sharpening tool. So that needs to be fixed. The top edge of the marble is showing halliation. That should be fixed. Also in the bottom of the glass the marble is in, there is a darker area slightly up and to the left of the marble. Look at it from a bit of a distance and it pops out. It looks like a sloppy burn area but I really suspect this was a sort of hand blown glass with an uneven thickness bottom and so that's why there is that darker area. If I was on a panel and that was brought up as a challenge, that's how I would counter those remark. I collect art glass and so it's a familar thing to me, but why leave it open for potential problems?

Why do you want to enter a series of marbles? Impact plays a big part in how a print is evaluated. Something that is rare has more impact then the commanplace. While we never compare one print to the next, by the time your fourth marble image comes through, it's not as rare anymore. If it were me I probably would enter a couple marbles and a couple other kinds of images. But I don't know what your goals are, so maybe that's not the right choice for you. Good luck!

02-04-2009, 02:59 PM
Hi Bonnie;

Keith is correct. In our Pa. state print competition these would be under Illustrative (Salon).

Off on a tangent ... we have a category I have never heard of anywhere else called Craft. It is anything done in a creative unique manner using a photo or photos. As an example (but the list of possibilities is very long) I won a blue ribbon with a boudoir session. I bought a Valentines Day Heart Shaped box of chocolates. I had an 11X14 printed and then cut it to fit the bottom of the box and glued it there. I took five 4X5's and cut them all heart shaped. Next, I put four face down leaving space in the middle and then used a hot glue gun to glue the fifth one under the others. In the final presentation ... the panel took off the lid and lifted out the tray of chocolates. Next, they viewed the multi image layer & lifted. out that to see the image in the bottom.

02-04-2009, 04:06 PM
thanks for all the comments, keith. the marble is sharp in places and not so sharp in others as a result of the reflection of the diffused light off the highly reflective surface. i'm not sure what to do about that. the focus was locked on the blue swirl on the front of the marble. aperture is 4.0 (trying to throw the background glass out of focus) of course the complexity is in how to light the marble without distracting hot spots of reflected light. aaackk. where the light caught the sparkly flecks of the dichroic glass is not oversharpened - just a glittery symptom of the composition. is it distracting? the place on the glass that looks thicker is another symptom of the lighting not post processing. i'm also unsure how to avoid this. i am too annoyed/discouraged/tired to reshoot today. if you have any advice on how to do a better job in camera, send it my way and i'll go at it again tomorrow. i very much appreciate your comments.
and i understand about over saturating the "market" with marbles...i guess it's just what i love photographing the most and i haven't entered before so was hoping to have one big bang with a case full. your point is well taken.

02-04-2009, 07:41 PM
i am too annoyed/discouraged/tired to reshoot today. if you have any advice on how to do a better job in camera, send it my way and i'll go at it again tomorrow.

No Bonnie, don't reshoot and don't be discouraged. Just look at those things and decide if they should be fixed or left as is. If I had thought you should dump this image and start over I would have said so. It's because I think it's good that I believe it's worth fixing any little problems so it doesn't hold you back. In the actual image I may be able to tell the reflection was from the dichrioc glass, I may be able to tell the blotchiness is from the uneven bottom of the glass and back edge of the marble is an easy fix in PS. So they may all be non-issues. I was just pointing out things to look at before making the final print. I think you got it already, you just need to tweak it in PS, not reshoot it. If you love photographig marbles then I understand why you want to enter 4 of them. I wasn't trying to tell you not to, just giving you more info to consider. I love glass - obviously as I am a collector. I know how hard it is to photograph. I used to photograph it quite a bit. Holly and I both have loan images of glass stuff. You have inspired us to start playing with it again. So maybe you might wanna try some other glass pieces besides marbles if you decide you don't want to enter 4 marble prints. If you were close, I have a whole bunch of stuff you would have a great time playing with. We just got a new piece in Fed Ex today that we bought in a gallery while we were in Maine last week.


02-05-2009, 02:57 AM
keith - we SHOULD be neighbors. my house is full of all kinds of cool glass. some of it very expensive and some of it very cheap. and i LOVE playing with all of it...and as a result i love taking pictures of it.
i was not feeling very well today and i realized that my reply was very whiny. that's whine-eeeeeeee. it is hard to photograph glass and be a perfectionist at the same time!!!! it could flat out make you crazy (as if i needed any help) haha. in any case, i didn't mean to be so needy but thanks anyway for the kind words. i sincerely appreciate all of your comments - they are dead straight on and very very helpful.
i am taking all your advice and doing some photoshop magic and then the image should be in good shape. i'll post it when i get done.
i was just in maine a few months ago but didn't see any glass that inspired me. where were you and what did you buy? and i'd love to see some of your glass images. do you have a web gallery? bonnie

02-05-2009, 04:19 AM
i was just in maine a few months ago but didn't see any glass that inspired me. where were you and what did you buy? and i'd love to see some of your glass images. do you have a web gallery? bonnie

We actually bought a Sea Parrot glass kalidescope at a gallery called Concepts in Kennebunkport. We also collect kalidescopes so this piece fit both collections. If you ever make it to Sausalito there is a great gallery we really like. No I don't have a gallery with any glass images - they are all real old, haven't done anything with the photographing the glass in 7-8 years. I did find one of Holly's images that I had posted here quite a while back. The highlights look blown on my moniter but they weren't in the actual print. I believe this one went loan.

02-05-2009, 04:23 AM
Bonnie, I really like this image. The color and composition are great and I love the movement from the swirls and circle. Great job!

02-07-2009, 03:22 AM
thanks, cheri!
keith - we also collect kalidescopes - how can you avoid them when you love glass??? thanks very much for sharing the image of the marbles. it's beautiful. and i love the black background. i have a hard time lighting the interior of the marble against black but you've done a lovely job. i can see the light source from above. are you also using reflective fill from the bottom?