View Full Version : Does this stand a chance?

08-08-2010, 09:20 AM
I'm editing this senior's session and this image got me thinking about print competition. I didn't shoot with comp in mind, but I'm liking this shot. Does this stand a chance of a merit? I didn't do any cropping to it yet to give myself some options.


08-08-2010, 09:24 AM
Black and white version:


08-08-2010, 04:15 PM
the lighting on her face is lovely. She looks awesome! What might hold this image back is the hand placement. The hand itself looks extra long because of the way it is facing the camera. For kicks, consider flipping it so that she has stopping power as your eye travels across the image.

08-09-2010, 03:30 AM
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your feedback. How would you suggest I place the hand? Good idea about flipping the image. I'll try that.


08-09-2010, 07:18 AM
I agree with Jeff. The back of the hand is demanding way too much attention. It is a lovely image though!

08-09-2010, 07:43 AM
From a Prnt Compeition perspective... the hand blending into the background doesn't help. If the hand were to be rimmed out by a kicker light, and in a slightly more feminine position, it might have more impact - as presented, the hand needs more separation from the background. If the hand is supposed to have a strong, masculine feel, then it might be a nice idea to let the jurors know this by a stronger lighting pattern on the face... Possibly a bit stronger directional lighting on the face coupled with this hand position... Or an overall softer look combined with a more feminine hand position (what is shown is a strong masculine look)
Just my opinion, of course...

08-09-2010, 08:24 AM
Perhaps I'm seeing something different on my screen because I'm not seeing the hand blend at all. Of course, the background is black and so is the glove, but on my monitor there's no loss of detail in the glove at all. I've not printed the image yet, so maybe my monitor is too bright?

Can someone help me see how the hand is posed in a masculine way? I'm showing mostly the side of the hand, the fingers are curved and loose, and she's lightly touching underneath her chin with her finger tips. I would definitely not pose a guy like that! hehe

But, more than one person has said the same thing, so I guess I'm in the minority here!

Thanks for the responses, btw :)

08-09-2010, 01:59 PM
I am by far no expert but I know the 'rule' about hands. Show the side of the hand, the pinky finger side of the hand. The way the hand is here, you have what is traditionally called a claw, the thumb and fingers in a position like a crab claw. Possibly have her left hand under there instead of her right and see what responses you get and above all, what YOU think.

08-09-2010, 02:54 PM

I think you could make this image into a merit, but I am not going to suggest you do that. There is too much potential in this subject to settle for just a merit. I think you should rephotograph. Her ice blue eyes and white blonde hair are very striking which equals impact. She is a high key subject on a low key background and this is an example of breaking that rule for a purpose. Her expression is great - even though it's serious, it hasn't gone blank and it hasnt drifted over to angry. I don't have a problem with her hand. If I were on a panel and another judge voiced a concern about size, I would rebut it by saying if you look where the creases are in the glove at the base of her thumb you can see the actual hand size. It is appropiate to her face. Because she is wearing gloves and because the bracelet is actually below her wrist it tricks you into thinking her hand is longer than it is. I do see seperation from the background on her hand. The changes I would suggest in the hand pose is to bring the hand out a bit so just the tips of the fingers are under the chin, more like her fingertips are caressing the underside of her chin and less like her chin could be resting on her fingers. As long as you are rephotographing also try the tips of her fingers resting against the base of her throat. If it were just the little finesse of the hand, I wouldn't suggest rephotographing but there are a couple bigger issues that I think you need to correct. First the kicker light on her left, camera right is too intense. A kicker light should be just like a little spice and the kicker here is the brightest thing in the image. But if you look at her nose shadow you can see the main light on her face is actually pretty flat. I think you can easily tweek the lighting a little to bring this print to the next level. The other thing you need to finesse is her body position. Because of the way she is turned we are looking straight into her shoulder and because she has a black strapless dress on a black background, that light colored shoulder gains too much emphasis. You might need to gobo the light so it doesn't strike her arm. Also her shoulder is a little popped forward, making her very round shouldered. Have her pop her shoulder back and twist it a little away from the camera. That should solve most of that issue. Also that twist back of her near shoulder should bring her far shoulder around just enough that we see a suggestion of it on her left - camera right- side. Right now with the way her body is posed it looks narrower then her head. She needs a bit more base to her. This is worth redoing.

And definately go with the color version.


08-09-2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks, guys, for your input! I'm very grateful!

And thanks, Keith, for giving me that detailed critique. It gave me a lot to think about and I do think it's a good idea for me to reshoot her for competition. I'm still new to this competition thing (not necessarily to photography) so practice would help!

Plus, she's one of my reps and just lives in the next town over, so I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem for her to come back in to the studio for a reshoot.