View Full Version : Recomendations for Print Comp (Yes I know what another one!) :):)

01-29-2010, 09:49 PM
Hello everyone. I would like to get some input on my images for the Mid-East Regional coming up in March. Please be open and honest I am a big boy and I can handle it, I hope!

Anyway here are some possibilities, some have merited at state and I will give you some more information about them each individually. I know I am posting a lot but I am not looking for an in depth analysis of each image. I would greatly appreciate some advice on which ones to enter in Regionals and nationals, which ones to retire, or hold till next year and maybe some advice on the ones you feel I should enter.

"Romance Among the Ruins"
This image got an 86 last weekend at the KY state comp and they talked about it quite a bit. I think it is ready but I am always looking for more input and ideas so if you have any suggesting let her rip.

This image got an 80 at Ky last weekend. Some of the judges thought the lights in the background were too bright but the technical control was good. I have already turned the lights down some but I can always turn them down more if you all think they are too distracting.

"First Dance"
This one merited at state before but not nationals. I went back to raw file and redid it tuning the highlights down on the dress and opening up the shadows a bit. I still think this images has potential but as always am open to comments and suggestions.

"Morning Mist"
This one got an 80 last weekend and one judge said they would like to see more detail in the foggy parts. I shot Raw so I can always go back and play with it some more but I wanted to get your thoughts before I do too much work.

Thank you all so much for any help you can give. I get to a point where I am so into these images I lose focus and miss the forest for the trees sometimes. Another pair of eyes can do wonders sometimes you know.

I look forward to your honest comments and thank you so much in advance for your time.


01-30-2010, 06:15 PM

First off, you probably know this but for other people's education let me reiterate that state competitions are almost always non-affilaited comps, so you don't always have a full panel of approved PPA jurors. Because of this, and also because most state judgings are partly as learning experiences, the scores are sometimes a little looser at a state judging. Now to your prints in particular.

Romance Among the Ruins- Nice composition, and I really like how you have the bodies swaying into each other. Often we see very similar images where the pose is stiff and upright. Even if they were not kissing, with the pose you get the idea of passion. Also you have created a curved line with the bodies that contrasts nicely with the straight uprights of the columns. I would slide the image to the right on the board ( leave about 1/4" of black on the right) to get the couple out of center. Next on my moniter the columns and stone floor look an unatural and overpowering bright yellow. As a judge that would probably seem artificial to me and might be a drawback. However the rest of the image also appears highly saturated so if I saw the actual print, I might get a fantasy feeling from it and be ok with the school bus yellow stonework.

Lovescape - This image has some great things going for it and some challenges. Where it lands will be detirmined by how each judge weighs the positives against the negatives. What's good is how you balanced the light on the couple against the skyline in the background. The composition is very nice but I would like to see just a tad bit more room between her hand and the edge of the image. The challenges that I see are first the color of the sky looks very artificial yet the skin tones look very realistic. You may say that's the color the sky really was, but you don't get to tell the judges that and it looks like it's been altered. Altering the sky color is not an issue in itself, but it raises the question in the judges mind "does the effect improve or distract from the overall image". In this print because the fantasy looking color in the sky does not relate to any other fantasy feel in the image, I would probably feel it was a distraction. Again, that's based on not seeing the actual print. The next challenge I see is the bride's pose. I have a thing about armpits. Also this bride is posed with her hips and waist mostly flat to camera. Also the main light is broad lighting her body making it look wider then it has to. Along the bottom edge of her right arm and in her armpit the skin tone has shifted to orange and appears on this moniter that it's artifacting, which is a consideration for technical excellance. The last challenge I am seeing is your horizon line is running downhill to the right.

First Dance - What I like best about the first image is what I like least about this one. This one looks very stiff and posed. I realize this is just a portion of the brides back, but I am not getting any feel of a relationship between the couple. If I saw this I would guess she was dancing with the groom's uncle that she had never met before. There is no arch of her back as he is pulling her into him, no sense that those hands are caressing or embrassing her. The hands just look stiff. I am also bothered by the awkward crop on her arms. Also on my moniter I am having trouble finding anything that's sharp. The hands seem out of focus, but maybe that's just the low res file? I think this is a terrific image for the brides album, where the emotional appeal to them is obvious because they know that's the two of them. But as a judge who is a stranger to this couple, the emotion just isn't reading through for me. To improve this image, crop it as a square. At the top edge about 1/2" above his thumb and at the bottom about 1/2" above the V of the lace trim. What this does is eliminate most of the problem arm, the light area in the upper left corner, the light area of the guys collar that shows by her cheek and at the bottom is gets rid of all that light skirt that is the brightest thing in the image. Then play around with mounting it on the background at an angle to get rid of that static posed feel.

Morning Mist - For me this is one of those prints that will be borderline at a state and probably fall short at an affiliate. The biggest challenge to this print is time of day. Because this was taken mid day, we do not have the directional light needed to give a scene like this some impact and a sense of depth. I would probably retire this print and look for something else to fill the fourth spot in your case. Seeing your other wedding images here, I am sure you have something else that would do better.

Hope something here was helpful.


01-31-2010, 01:52 AM
Keith - First off let me say thank you for taking time to give me your feedback. It really means a lot to those of us that are working toward our Masters that experts such as yourself are willing to give us your help and feedback.

You really made some great points and I will make some changes before Regionals in March. You really pointed out a few things that now I can can not "unsee". I will retire Morning Mist for now, I may play with it later. I hope you do not mind but would you, or anyone else, take a look at a few other images that I am considering.

I have put it on a black background but keep in mind since I am not a master this year at regionals and nations I have to mount it on 16X20. So what do you think? Any hope? Not worth the time?

"Wavelength" (Possible name still thinking about it.)
This is another one that has not been in comp before. It is an idea I am playing with and as you can see has not been cropped yet. Still thinking about how to present it. This may be one where I have to wait for 2011 when non-masters can enter odd size prints as I do not feel that a 16X20 mount would do much for this image.

Thanks again for your input and I hope you do not mind that I posted a few more images.

Again thank you so much for your time and help,

01-31-2010, 06:18 PM
Unnamed - Is the image tack sharp? So those islands in the foreground are crisp and detailed? If so then I think this has a shot. Lay a ruler along the shore line and you will see it is running downhill to the left. You need to straighten the horizon. Also on this lowres file it looks like the technique used on the image has left a "glow" of white along the bushes on the right side of the image, if I am correct in my assumption it is from the technique, you will want to fix it. As positioned on the board right now the horizon is smack in the middle from top to bottom. My first instinct is to slide it up so the shoreline hits about one third down from the top. By placing it at the top of the overall presentation, you increase the feeling of distance to that shore. If you slide it down, it feels like that shore line is closer and I am guessing then it might feel like the sky is cramped and cropped too tight. But experiemnt and see what you think. From this moniter it looks too light, remember they are judged under intense lights. If it looks good in normal room light, it will be too light for competition conditions. As always I ask Holly for titles. She said "Morning Has Broken" because it's a little less cliche then "Daybreak"

Wavelength - Kinda like where you are headed with this. Again it appears too light on this moniter. Also it's obviously a created fantasy scene. So right now you haven't taken that fantasy far enough. I was trying to come up with what you could add, so once again I asked my wife. She suggested putting a face overtop the image of a beautiful woman. Her eyes would be in the sky. Her nose would be suggested by the two trees. (what's that dark thing in the water between the reflections of the trees? Depending what it is, it might need to go) Then her mouth would be in the water. Depending on how skillful you are her hair could blend/turn into clouds at the top, and ripples in the water on the bottom. Of course this face would be in lower opacity - dreamlike. Then your title is " Lady of the Lake". This is just a suggestion of one way to go, but if you are going to do something fantasy, you need to take it further somehow. Otherwise it looks like you just duplicated and flipped for no reason, or to try to make something out of nothing. As far as entering this year, the black board around the image will not hurt it. What may be an issue is if you feel it really needs to be presented larger. That's your call.