View Full Version : Critiques, please!

03-11-2010, 02:50 AM
I didn't enter last year but am going to this year. I have mostly merited with fine art subjects but one of my goals is to merit with a portrait. I have a pj background and have been working hard to master portrait lighting and posing.

I entered our local non affiliated judging and my scores were not embarrassing but I won't merit with 76s and 77s. I need to know if I need to do more work to these or if I should ditch them and start over.

Here are three:

score 75


score 77


Thanks! oh, and the top hatted child is a girl, one of a set of identical twins who had a blast playing dress up. They are my daughter's boyfriend's girls so I get to play with them quite often.

Here's the whole session (http://www.lindagregory.com/dress-up/) I put up for them to have fun showing off to friends.

03-11-2010, 06:13 PM
H Linda, to me the best one of the three here, the girl in the top hat catches my eye... To me a vertical crop and better contrast is a start. I think the legs should be smoothed out, maybe vignetting at the corners and tone down the background... I would like to see more of the Rembrandt lighting effect on her face to really make her stand out...

My $.10, but corrected for inflation, $.01...

03-11-2010, 11:03 PM
is this message showing up?

03-12-2010, 09:17 PM
Linda, we have talked about these prints in the past so I was waiting on Sam to respond. He and I both get an email notification every time something gets posted on this thread, so I don't know why he hasn't posted yet. He is a pretty busy guy.

Carver - In the ask the experts section your posts don't show up to the public until they are approved by one of the "experts". This is a feature of the ask the experts thread that I don't understand the need for, but I've asked about it and they don't seem to want to change it.


03-13-2010, 12:29 AM
I agree with Keith that your strongest image of these three is the girl with the top hat. I like the idea of a vertical crop as well, however, a square cropped image placed on a horizontal 20x16 board might draw extra attention to the child. Try placing the lower tip of the umbrella somewhat near the lower left corner of the square crop. I hope this makes sense.

Sam Gardner M.Photog.Cr. CPP Int. Juror
June 13-16, 2010 Judging International Comp, Atlanta GA

03-13-2010, 02:14 AM
Just sending my congrats for going for it.

03-22-2010, 04:49 AM
I feel that the strongest of these is the girl in the top hat. You have nice light and a good subject. I wish the background was a bit darker. I too would crop it vertical and play with placement toward the right third on the board. I would need to play a bit to see if I like a horz or vert board. I see some issues with the skintone of her legs (they seem muddy to me) like maybe they were burned in a bit too much. Also her right hand looks red compared to the rest of the image. Burn down the background and floor some. Poss. look at doing this in BW.

Two ladies - Nice light and tonality, average subject, average situation. Poseing could be improved by turning their bodies more and getting their heads closer togeather. Overall lacks impact so I would recomend looking for a different image for competition.

Boy Crying - again nice lighting. Question what the story you are trying to tell here. I find the flowers distracting, if this is not a boy then maybe I can see using them but in this case they feel kinda stuck in as opposed to placed with design or purpose. Way too much space around the image. It looks like a little sailor suit, why not go with a nautical theme? Back to the image in front of me, there looks to be an issue with where the floor and the background meet that also pulls my eye away from the subject.

Remember when looking or images for competition, look for impact, then consider the rest of the elements. It is pretty hard for an image to climb above average with out impact.

Hope this helps

04-12-2010, 03:51 AM
Working hard on this this weekend! took a year off and I seem to have lost my thought processes for it!

Here's the girl with more work in horizontal and vertical.




04-12-2010, 10:33 PM
I like the vertical the best, but the left and bottom borders bother me because they aren't the same (and since I don't know what I'm talking about, that may be useless info). BTW-we have to talk soon- I miss you.

04-14-2010, 02:23 AM
Looking at these small files is a challange. I think the background could go down a bit darker and the choice between vert vs horz. I havn't played with them as far a trying changes but as you have them the vert. is place wrong, the babies face is too much on the center line. Your Horz is placed better. Think of the rule of thirds when placing the face.