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View Full Version : Eeep! First post here for critique! *nail biting*



Carrie_Viohl
04-22-2009, 04:40 PM
Hello, everybody! This will be my second year entering prints, and I'd love some feedback!
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y63/carrieviohlweddings/AnnaSmall.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y63/carrieviohlweddings/hannanSmall.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y63/carrieviohlweddings/rileySmall.jpg

Any advice and critiques will be greatly appreciated! :)

Specifically, the one with the little guy in BW, that was the border I used for the actual canvas , but is it too messy for a print comp?

The little girl in the field, is the forest too distracting?

Thanks so much!

-Carrie

D._Craig_Flory
04-22-2009, 05:29 PM
Hi Carrie;

I'm going to talk about the little girl outdoors. (others later) Your stroke is way too noticeable ... too wide and too bright. An accent line is just to separate the subject layer from the background layer. On a low res I never use more than 1 to 1ΒΌ pixels and on a 16X20 300 ppi I never go above 5 pixels. I pick a color / tone from the image that will compliment it.

She is too big in the presentation and not at the best position. Here is how I see you presenting this:

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i93/DC47/AnnaByCarrieViohl.jpg

Carrie_Viohl
04-22-2009, 06:04 PM
Thanks so much, D. Craig!
I look forward to your other insights! :)

-Carrie

D._Craig_Flory
04-22-2009, 06:11 PM
Hi Carrie;

I like the 2nd image of the infant in the container. Here is how I see it being presented ... including flipping it. I don't care for the 3rd one.

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i93/DC47/BasketOfJoyByCarrie.jpg

Lorrie_Kennedy
04-22-2009, 09:18 PM
I know you are looking for comments on the use of these for competition, but I just wanted to let you know that I really like the last one. To me that is art. It is evocative, emotional, interesting, and it would hang wonderfully in someones home or in an art gallery. It is not the norm, it isn't just another one of the same type of portraits you see in a lot of studios. It has soul. This is just the way I see it however. There is a market for everything, and I am certain there is a place for this type of photographic art. Keep up the great work!

Heather_L._Smith
04-22-2009, 09:35 PM
Welcome to the forum, Carrie! Are you entering at Nationals or a state affiliate? What are your goals for print competition? Are you hoping to merit with every print? Hoping to get one to merit? Hoping for anything over 70?

Let me first say that these are beautiful images. My comments are simply what I see, what strikes me, and what I think the judges might "pick" on. Does that make sense?

On image #1, my biggest concern, actually, is her pose. I think it's finished beautifully (I would actually use a darker stroke, not a lighter stroke on this image - just my preference), but it's her pose that concerns me. Why is she leaning back? Why are her hands hidden behind her back? If she had a really mischievous look on her face, you could pull it off with a killer title, but as it stands, I fear her pose could keep this from the merit category.

I love image number 2. I know D. Craig recommended flipping this image, and in most circumstances I would agree that since we read left-to-right, you would want to enter this image into baby's face rather than into the back of baby's head, but I actually really like this image as originally presented. I like it larger as you presented it originally (rather than flipped and smaller as D. Craig has it presented). The only thing that really jumps out at me is, unfortunately, baby's belly button. I know that sounds silly, and it's natural for the belly button to be that way, but my eye keeps being drawn to it because it's such a dark spot against such a bright area. If you squint and look at the image through squinty, unfocused eyes, that jumps right out at you.

I'm actually very drawn in by image #3. I think it's striking, and is a child portrait presented in a different way. It needs a really great title to explain why it was cropped that way, and why there's a texture there, but I think there's something really interesting and different there.

Again, just my humble opinion, but that's what you get with a panel of judges, too... opinions... granted, they're well trained opinions, but they're opinions nonetheless.

Congrats on a great set of images. Keep up the good work!!

Tss1203
04-22-2009, 09:36 PM
I know you are looking for comments on the use of these for competition, but I just wanted to let you know that I really like the last one. To me that is art. It is evocative, emotional, interesting, and it would hang wonderfully in someones home or in an art gallery. It is not the norm, it isn't just another one of the same type of portraits you see in a lot of studios. It has soul. This is just the way I see it however. There is a market for everything, and I am certain there is a place for this type of photographic art. Keep up the great work!


I agree, the third one is my favorite :)

Carrie_Viohl
04-22-2009, 10:30 PM
I know you are looking for comments on the use of these for competition, but I just wanted to let you know that I really like the last one. To me that is art. It is evocative, emotional, interesting, and it would hang wonderfully in someones home or in an art gallery. It is not the norm, it isn't just another one of the same type of portraits you see in a lot of studios. It has soul. This is just the way I see it however. There is a market for everything, and I am certain there is a place for this type of photographic art. Keep up the great work!


Thanks so much, Lorrie!
I love the hint of smile in his eyes! I cropped the other half of his face out, because it really seemed to make his remaining eye stand out.
I'm gonna have to wrack my brains to come up with a decent title. (Isn't that always the way?!)

Carrie_Viohl
04-22-2009, 10:33 PM
Heather, I really appreciate your taking the time to give a detailed critique!


In answer to your question, last year my studio had three prints go merit and one go loan at nationals. I'd like to better that, by either getting one more loan, or one more merit. (I think getting four to merit would be harder than getting two to go loan!)
But, really, I enter these just to keep me on my tippytoes!

Dave_Cisco
04-23-2009, 01:55 AM
On image #1, my biggest concern, actually, is her pose. I think it's finished beautifully (I would actually use a darker stroke, not a lighter stroke on this image - just my preference), but it's her pose that concerns me. Why is she leaning back? Why are her hands hidden behind her back? If she had a really mischievous look on her face, you could pull it off with a killer title, but as it stands, I fear her pose could keep this from the merit category.

I love image number 2. I know D. Craig recommended flipping this image, and in most circumstances I would agree that since we read left-to-right, you would want to enter this image into baby's face rather than into the back of baby's head, but I actually really like this image as originally presented. I like it larger as you presented it originally (rather than flipped and smaller as D. Craig has it presented). The only thing that really jumps out at me is, unfortunately, baby's belly button. I know that sounds silly, and it's natural for the belly button to be that way, but my eye keeps being drawn to it because it's such a dark spot against such a bright area. If you squint and look at the image through squinty, unfocused eyes, that jumps right out at you.



The above observations were mine also..in #1, it looks like she's trying to un-jam her underwear.:D
Also, in each case, it's clear than the images are not finished...stray hair, stray threads, unfinished catch-lights...if these can be seen here, they can be seen in a 16x20 under competition lights.

Dave_Cisco
04-23-2009, 01:56 AM
Heather, I really appreciate your taking the time to give a detailed critique!


In answer to your question, last year my studio had three prints go merit and one go loan at nationals. I'd like to better that, by either getting one more loan, or one more merit. (I think getting four to merit would be harder than getting two to go loan!)
But, really, I enter these just to keep me on my tippytoes!

You should be giving advice, not asking for it.:D:D:D

Mark_Turner
04-23-2009, 02:29 AM
Hey Carrie, I think all 3 have a chance to score well, especially the third. Impact is huge, and that one has that in spades. I might knock down the catch light from the octobox(?) a little. It's pretty prominent. The baby in the tin thingy needs the umbilical removed, IMO, because it draws my eye right to it and away from the baby's face. The little girl in the field is solid portraiture work.

Welcome to the PPA board. It's different here.

Carrie_Viohl
04-23-2009, 03:28 AM
Hey Carrie, I think all 3 have a chance to score well, especially the third. Impact is huge, and that one has that in spades. I might knock down the catch light from the octobox(?) a little. It's pretty prominent. The baby in the tin thingy needs the umbilical removed, IMO, because it draws my eye right to it and away from the baby's face. The little girl in the field is solid portraiture work.

Welcome to the PPA board. It's different here.

Hi, Mark! SO nice to see you here! :)

I'm so confused about competition prints. The ones that did really well last year were my least favorites, and vice-versa.
That said, I think it's a really good exercise!

Dave_Cisco
04-23-2009, 06:05 AM
Hi, Mark! SO nice to see you here! :)

I'm so confused about competition prints. The ones that did really well last year were my least favorites, and vice-versa.
That said, I think it's a really good exercise!

The lesson here is .. don't fall in love with you comp images...you lose objectivity.:)

Mark_Turner
04-23-2009, 11:44 AM
Comp is like clients. You never really know which they'll love.