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Angela_Lawson
10-05-2009, 09:46 PM
I'm attaching an image (yeah, I know it's small, but was in a hurry) that got a 77 at Mideast Regional last year. Having never entered print comp, I was okay with the score, but now that I have some time, I'm interested in having the "experts" rip it apart, and tell me what I could have done to bring it into merit category, or if it would have even made it. The title was "Chubby Cheeks" - and yes, it was meant to be open ended to refer to either set.

Anyway, I know what was wrong with the other three images that made 76's in my case, but just wasn't sure about this one.

Want to learn, because I want to MERIT next year!

Thanks.
Angela

Keith_A_Howe
10-06-2009, 02:30 AM
Angela,

I know you were in a hurry but I REALLY need to see it larger to give you any kind of valuable feedback. In this small image I think I am seeing some issues with the background. It might be just the low res small file though. I do feel like there needs to be more room around the baby. If you can post a larger image perhaps I can give you some more usable or accurate critique.

The thing to remember is the classifications. 77 is above average. Everyone of course enters what they feel is their best work. So your print was above average among all entrant's best work.

Keith

samgardnermcr
10-06-2009, 02:43 AM
Angela,
Thanks for posting and requesting advice! Most people are hesitant to ask for critiques and yet critical review by our peers is a great way to grow our image making skills!
I agree with Keith that we need a bigger file to check out details. You can certainly email one to me if it is handy at sam@samgardnerphotography.com
A 250 dpi at 10 inches would be great!
I think I see some issues with the margin of the baby area and the backgound.
Thanks, Sam Gardner M.Photog.Cr, CPP, International Juror

Angela_Lawson
10-06-2009, 06:46 PM
Thank you both for answering. I uploaded the image into the PPA Print Competition Gallery section. This should get you there (I Hope). Thanks in advance for your time.

http://www.ppa.com/community/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=5146&size=big&cat=507

Angela

Keith_A_Howe
10-07-2009, 02:56 AM
Thanks for posting the link. It's better in the gallery, but it's still a fairly small file. I have looked at your image on a couple different moniters and my comments are based on seeing just the small file. I do think it's too tight of a crop and the stroke could be a pinky flesh tone instead of a gray - which relates to nothing that I can see in the image. Changing those two things would help the image but I don't think it would get you to a merit because of the technical problems I am seeing - again - seeing on a small file.
There seems to be a magenta blushing/rash in the aprox center of the background. This is usually caused by blown whites. There also appears to be asn issue where the edge of the blanket fades into the background like it's been obviously artworked or dodged. Last I see a transition of color in the skin tone along the backside of the arms and the lower half of the baby, like it was burned down and the skin tone shifted. Whether any of this is what is actually on the print, I can't tell from a small low res file, so I am guessing. But either problem by itself could be enough to keep an image out of the merit catergory. Good title and good subject choice is probably what weighed in favor of the image. If you want to rework this image for another submission I would suggest you start over from the raw and see if you can address some of these issues more successfully. Hope this helps.

Keith

samgardnermcr
10-07-2009, 09:33 PM
Angela, Thanks for posting and asking for a critique. I hope this area of the forum grows so fast that we have to add lots of other jurors to help us. I have learned so much from entering prints in competition over the years and it's exciting to see others on the same path.
I agree with Keith's comments on this one and thought I'd throw in a general helpful hint about size of children in a frame work for competition. The general idea I heard which seems to be most helpful is that a child sitting needs to have enough space around them, that if they stood up they would still fit on the mat. I think it matters more whether our instincts tell us if it "feels" comfortable, which is hard to judge sometimes when a particularly cute baby is the subject. We all tend to go "awwww- they are so cute" and those parent feelings kick in. It's hard to be objective about the art, framing, and composition at that moment. Try turning your image upside down and just looking at it as if it were not a cute baby , but an abstract subject... does it feel like enough space around it then? Or, make another work print with more space added and set the two of them up on a table and just walk into the room after not viewing them for a day or so, and suddenly turn and look at them side by side.
These sorts of "tricks" can help us be objective about our own work - something that is difficult for all of us.
Hope these tips can help you with your work. Keep em comin'
Sam Gardner M.Photog.Cr. CPP, Int. Juror

Angela_Lawson
10-08-2009, 01:21 AM
Thank you both for your input. I think I will leave this one alone, and try for some new and fresh images. After my next back surgery next week, I will have alot of time to go thru all of my images and see if I can find anything that will be worthy. You'll be hearing more from me in the near future. Thanks again.

Angela