View Full Version : Print Comp Critique Please- No VA Judges

02-04-2010, 03:40 AM
I posted these on the ask the experts section earlier today but it will be after the 14th before I can get a response there so I posting here in hopes that some of your Masters and comp experts can get to them before that. Thanks in advance and please give it to me straight.

Angels Pee Too?
Intense Beauty

02-04-2010, 03:44 AM
OOPS! Angels Pee Too? didn't make it above here goes again.
In the Garden
Parts for In the Garden
These Eyes

Thanks again!

02-04-2010, 02:19 PM
Dianna, I sent Sam Gardner an email asking if he could look at the ASk the Experts thread. He has been teaching a week long school but said he would get to it over the weekend.

02-04-2010, 09:31 PM
Thanks Keith. I just couldn't wait until 14th. Cutting it too close. Has the forum changed since last year. Is the only way to get critique to ask in experts section now? I thought maybe Jeff or Rick might take a look at them since you were tied up.
Thanks again

02-05-2010, 06:59 AM
Thanks Keith. I just couldn't wait until 14th. Cutting it too close. Has the forum changed since last year. Is the only way to get critique to ask in experts section now? I thought maybe Jeff or Rick might take a look at them since you were tied up.
Thanks again


For what it’s worth, here’s my opinions…

Here’s how the PPA scoring categories relate to the numerical scores …
Exceptional 100-95
Superior 94-90
Excellent 89-85
Deserving of Merit 84-80
Deserving of Review 79-78
Above Average 77-76
Average 75-74
Acceptable 73-70
Below Exhibition Standards 69-00
Automatic Review 81-78 (In’s & Out’s)
Merit Print 80 and Above

A beautiful First Communion portrait. I like the image placement for a broad lit portrait. The mixed keys bother me a bit and the white of his jacket being the brightest point in the image and all the dark draping in the background makes it a little difficult to get off the coat and into the boy’s face. On my monitor, there is not much separation between his hair above the ear and the background - possibly a little bit of a kicker in this area might have pulled that area away better. I think it would have had more impact if the boy had been short lit instead of broad lit, and facing to the left instead of to the right since we normally read left to right (picture flipping the image left to right and bringing the main light in from the left side). A very salable image. I would place it in the above average category.

There are a few things that bother me about this image. Initially, I got the feeling that there was something wrong with the color balance since there is a distinct color difference between the face and the shoulder/chest. The shoulder looks noticeably darker in the red/yellow color range and looks like the burn tool may have been used to take down a distractingly bright shoulder that was projecting towards the camera (the burn tool when used heavily on skin tones tends to cause a red/yellow color shift) and the difference in color tones appears distracting. I also see the same color shift in the right top of her forehead (Is this real or a problem with my monitor). There is an unnaturally looking light area just to the left of the string around her neck that looks like a dodge line. The hair tends to blend in with the background and could benefit with a couple of rear kickers. I would place this one in the Average category mainly because of the color shift issues.

Intense beauty:

I like the line of the image with the line of her arm leading into the slope of the rocks behind her, but the arm hooking back to the rock is a bit of a distraction. I see the same red/yellow color shift on the lower part of her upper arm which gets progressively redder as your eye moves down the arm and into her forearm. Then the color shift seems to disappear when you hit her hand. On my monitor, I see no detail in the front of her dress or in the darker area of her hair. The use of the skin softening filter is a good salable technique and one that I use frequently in senior portraits, and it sells quite well, but for competition, it looks a bit heavy. You might try placing the softening filter (Portraiture or whatever) on a separate layer and backing down the opacity to where it just smooths the skin tone but doesn’t take over the image. I’d place this image in the Average category as it is. With the reds taken out of the burned areas of the skin tone, I’d place it in the Above Average category

Oops! Angels Pee Too?:
I understand the idea, but I think that there is a much better focus to the image than the baby peeing. Interjecting the comic aspect of the title draws your attention down to the legs of the baby and away from that really wonderful expression on the child’s face. If it were mine, I would patch out the line of the child peeing and flip the image horizontally so that the light comes in from the upper left, because once you see the line of the child peeing, the comic aspect becomes the focus of the image and the beautiful image of the child becomes secondary. I think the image of the child is strong enough to stand on it’s own and the comic aspect is a detraction. The gold line around the image really doesn’t help the image, and I believe that it actually works against the image. I would lose the gold key line since you already have the strong lighting effect of the background tie-in. When I first looked at it, my initial impression was that the skin tone on the baby’s face appeared a bit too light, but the longer it sits on my monitor the more correct it looks. I would suggest softening the two bright beams (one aimed at the chin and the other aimed at the forehead) just a little bit so that they don’t look quite so artificial. With the image flipped left to right, the patchwork and the gold line gone, and a title that places the emphasis on the child‘s face (which is what I believe you probably intended when you set up the image), I’d place this image in the middle to upper part of the Deserving of a Merit range - around 83-84.

See the next post - it got too long !!!

02-05-2010, 07:00 AM
Continued from last post...

In the Garden:
Since I do not have an MEI, my opinions may be of little value here, but I’m assuming that this is an Electronic Imaging entry and that all of the work components will be presented to the judges along with the finished image. If you were not planning to submit all of the parts on the board, I would suggest that you do so since the amount of work involved would not be apparent if the components were not presented. Just make sure that the background image that you started with is in the public domain and that you will not run into a copyright issue with using a piece of religious art as a base, but even the part that you used was apparently worked so that it is not a straight copy of what was there to start with, so it may not be an issue - but that call is left to the Jury Chairman.

Wonderful concept! I think that this image will do quite well. But there are four things that catch my attention. The beam of light coming in from behind her, which I assume is supposed to be the light of heaven lighting her face, is coming in a little bit behind her face and into the top of her head. I would like to see the beam come more into the front of her face maybe out of the lower part of the upper left corner instead of the upper part of the upper left corner. The second thing is the slight halo effect behind her head - this looks a little unnatural. The third thing that catches my eye is the wing. The light is coming from behind her but the wing is the brightest part of the image and it is evenly bright down the majority of the wing with no cupping typically seen on the lower part of a birds wing. Maybe a bit more shadowing on the front of the wing possibly making the center part of the wing darker and little more cupping - like that of a real wing - just a bit more shadow might make it look more realistic and take the emphasis off that bright flat white area in the middle of the image.. The fourth thing is the shadow of her hands that is directly below the chin line - if the light is coming from behind her, then the shadow should come around to the front a bit more. I would also suggest placing the image a little bit off-center and low to the right on the mount board to give just a little bit more space in front of her face than behind the wing giving her a little more space to look into. On my monitor, the left edge of the image appears a bit ragged while the right edge appears sharp - is that intentional or is it an artifact? The ragged edge effect is a bit distracting. As is, I would place the image in the Deserving a Merit category with the light beam moved down a bit and the wings worked a little, I think it could go into the Excellent Category. Also - an image like this, I would suggest placing your logo on the image and not on the border when you post it as someone could snatch that image off the web and use it somewhere.)

These Eyes:

Nice portrait, but again I see the same color shifts as in the two portraits above. The neckline and the cheek on the right hand side look noticeably redder on my monitor and appear to have been burned (maybe it’s just my monitor?). There is little definition in the hair and the black of the dress (again - maybe my monitor again?) The catch lights confuse my eye. The image is broad lit but I do not see any strong main light catch lights in the eyes - only that of a low fill light or a reflector and a bright catch light low in the eye that is not caused by the main light. I can see the half-moon of the light exiting the eye on the bottom of the iris, or maybe it‘s a curved bottom reflector like Larry Peters’ Eyelighter, but no catch light where the light entered the eye which confuses my eye a bit - But, the effect does produce a nice almost dreamy look to the eyes which is still rather attractive… The skin tone appears to be smoothed a bit heavily, and there is a strong specular running down the bridge of her nose which is somewhat distracting. In my opinion, she might look more attractive if she was turned in the opposite direction and short lit instead of broad lit. I’m also not sure that the use of the gold background helps this image since my eye keeps bouncing from her face to the background and back again, The eyes have a compelling look, but with the lack of detail in the blacks and the color shifts in the neck and cheek on the right hand side, I would have to place this image in the Average category. With no color shifts and more detail in the shadows, the image could go up into the Above Average Category.

Please bear in mind that I’m viewing these images on my communications computer and my old monitor - not on the monitor that I currently use for my file processing (not anymore). I am seeing red/yellow color shift on several of the images in shadow areas that appear to have been burned in, So I need to ask if the reddish tones are real or some kind of artifact - if they were not burned in and I am seeing a shift that is not real, please let me know. If they were burned, PM me…

02-05-2010, 10:26 PM
Thanks Rick you can delete them now.