View Full Version : Seriously in need of some CC

12-23-2010, 10:11 PM
Hi. Im new to PPA and happy to be here. I am "considering" entering images this year, not sure if I am ready, and definately need some help on presentation. Would appreciate your critique on these images. (and hopefully I am posting these correctly)

12-23-2010, 10:15 PM
there are two more...

12-24-2010, 02:18 PM

I don't want you to think nobody will help you. You just posted these at a time when most people are busy with last minute orders and family stuff. Give it a few days and I'm sure people will have more time.

12-24-2010, 03:23 PM
Keep in mind that I'm not a judge but I will gladly give you some opinions if that helps.

Overall I like your style. Compositions seem to be good and I like the ideas you've come up with. I normally don't like selective color images but the luft balloons image kinda jumps out at me in a good way.

Little girl, Big dreams scares me. The composition combined with the dark eyes makes me think "Bride of Chucky".

In Farmer's Wife, was there a reason you had her cut her eyes to the side? For some reason that keeps me from locking my view in on the image.

You will get much more detailed cc from others on here that have years of experience at this but I figured I could throw my 2 cents worth in while you were waiting.

On another note, there is a way to post your images directly in the thread making them larger. It seems complicated at first but it's not so bad once you've done it a time or two. You basically publish the image somewhere online such as you website or an image hosting site. You then type the address in here and it will show up. You also put image markers at the beginning and end as shown in the example below. I will use curly brackets for the sample but the real thing requires the square brackets.


Make sure the image is no larger than 900 pixels wide.

Hope this helps and welcome aboard. Glad to have you here. :)

12-24-2010, 03:32 PM
My absolute fav is "A Place of Solace". LOVE the composition and tones.

I also like "Hindsight". The sky is wonderful.

I really love "Bliss", but for some reason I keep wanting to see it cropped in the other direction so the brides veil runs from the upper left down to the lower right. Personally I think I'd like it better, but that's just me.

I'm with Greg on the little girl one...scary. And I kinda thought the same of the "Farmer's Wife" one...kinda creepy to me, but still kinda cool :)

I'm no judge either, and this wasn't exactly a technical review, but hopefully my opinions will help you some :)

12-24-2010, 04:44 PM
thank you thank you thank you!. Yes i guess I feel the same about the lil girl. I took several of these of her, and this one is not my favorite, for the "dark eyes" reason, but i didnt go with my gut (this pic got the most comments on my fan page). LOL@bride of chucky...i can see that now. The Farmers wife, well, it is creepy, her whole shoot was creepy..old houses, graveyards, tied up on the rr tracks with her husband sitting in the foreground on the tracks with an evil grin, lol....was just a very cool shoot. I watched a few webinars on the key elements for comp prints, is there anything else i should look into?

12-24-2010, 05:45 PM
A really great place to get started with competition is with your state association. Michigan will be holding its annual print competition in March at the Detroit Westin and I would encourage you to look into attending. Michigan closely follows the rules and procedures of the District and National competitions and most, if not all of the judges are PPA approved jurors so you can really get a feel for how your prints will score on the National level before you send them on. The print exhibit there is also a great place to get some input on your images. I believe Michigan will require physical prints again this year, but many photographers feel that the cost of the print is well worth the investment just for the feedback you can get from others that view your entries at the exhibit. Feel free to PM me or visit the website, ppm.org for more information.


12-24-2010, 06:28 PM
Oh thanks for that, ill definately check out that link, good info!!

12-24-2010, 06:38 PM
This one of the little girl, is one of my favs. This shoot was actually a shoot for Jeff Zaslow's upcoming new novel (lord help me), I think she is less scary in this one, lol. I photograph about 30 weddings a year, and numerous other shoots and this seems difficult to me, to choose a few images I would like to submit for a competition out of all that I took. What I like, or what others adore, may be a big flop in a judges eyes, this i know.... So I am looking forward to learning from all of you and these forums!!

12-24-2010, 07:57 PM
I'm not a judge but FWIW I think the little girl images have potential. May need to come up with just the right title.

12-24-2010, 08:02 PM
This one of the little girl, is one of my favs. This shoot was actually a shoot for Jeff Zaslow's upcoming new novel (lord help me), I think she is less scary in this one, lol. I photograph about 30 weddings a year, and numerous other shoots and this seems difficult to me, to choose a few images I would like to submit for a competition out of all that I took. What I like, or what others adore, may be a big flop in a judges eyes, this i know.... So I am looking forward to learning from all of you and these forums!!

Yes, I like this one much better than the other little girl one. Much less scary :)

12-24-2010, 08:35 PM
Haha, thanks Bobby, maybe the scary one can be used for something more macob? A new Stephen King novel perhaps, lol.

12-26-2010, 04:19 PM
I was doing a really quick peek and was noticing that there are about three to four that resemble each other, mostly the couple poses, Just finished watching a webinar with Certify with Sandy and they were suggesting to make sure you look at the images as a collective as well, suggesting to be careful of repetition in your compositions.

they commented that the judges will look at the thumbnails first to see any issues right off the bat before looking at each one larger. Just some thoughts if you were going to gather images together for CPP submission. Cheers!

12-28-2010, 05:03 AM
I didn't read all of the rest of the comments so if I repeat something others have said, sorry about that. First of all, several others have prefaced their comments by saying they are not a judge, so I guess I should tell you that I am a judge. Any comments I make here are based on these images for print competition.

A windows view - the title explains why the water drops are so far out of scale with the subject and all on one plane so the title will help that. But it is not believable that no water droplets struck the window anywhere where the couple is. And if you are photographing through a window to a couple at this distance it's challenging to believe the water drops would be in focus at the same time the subject is. Also there appears to be burning down of the background because there is a halo around the couple, most noticeable around the umbrella.

A place of solace - interesting but I need to see it bigger. I think there might be potential in this one but I can't see the details well enough to tell. On this monitor there seems to be some overly bright highlights across the foreground. I can't tell if this is sand or snow.

Bliss - when you have an image like this that is a very common subject matter, it needs something to give it impact, like exceptional lighting or incredible subjects or a unique viewpoint. This image doesn't strike me as memorable, which equates to less impact. I would skip this one.

Little Girl - Big Dreams - On the center of interest thread I just posted an image that has a primary and secondary center of interest, which is what you have going on here. The problem is your primary center of interest, the reflection in the mirror, is soft in focus. Your secondary center of interest is where your focal point was. The reason the actual girl is the secondary is because her back is to us and the story is the image in the mirror so that tells us she is the secondary center of interest. Also the reflection has dark pocketed eyes. You either need to go farther in that direction, make it darker and more spooky like with a dried up dead bridal bouquet at her feet and change the title to explain the dark hidden eyes. Or get some light in her eyes and make it more about what she is dreaming of.

Hindsight - Great location but the elements in this image just don't work together to tell me any story or convey any emotion. There is no light on the girls face or upper body. What light is striking her is all on the skirt of her dress, a fancy dress that doesn't fit with the title of hindsight, so as a judge it would just confuse me as to what you are telling us to look for/at. I am losing her hair into the darkness behind her. Her pose is conveying weakness to me as she is slumped in a passive position. The contrast of a very dressed up subject in a decrepit location can work well if you are using that contrast to tell the viewer something about the subject or to convey some message or story. In this image there doesn't seem to be any reason for this subject in this location. And because the lighting isn't helping us know where to look, it just gets even more confusing. Keep this location in mind for the future but approach it with a more defined idea of what you want the viewer to think about and feel when they see the image. I showed this one to my wife. Her idea was to place this girl - dressed and made up goth (but light colors) in the foreground - front edge of the porch maybe. Have her is a fierce pose and expression centered in the window, that's why the light colored clothes so she stands out against that black hole. Use a strobe back lit or a reflector or something to make her hair separate from that dark hole of the window. Then the title is "American Gothic Revisited"

This is getting long - I'll finish the last two on a new post.


12-28-2010, 05:27 AM
Farmer's Wife - Is this the same model as seated in the window? You are aware you can't enter two images of the same subject in the same year aren't you? I like the idea of this image - you just need to take it further. First off there is flat light on this image, just a little bit of directional and what there is, is broad light. Next the subject's body is square on to the camera. Combine that flat to the camera body position with mostly flat to broad light and it makes this girl look heavier and less curvy then she could be. Her dress doesn't perpetuate the story for me. I would like to see her in a dowdy farm wife kinda dress and then keep her dark makeup like it is but have her hair styled all wild and frazzled maybe even with bits of straw in it. Next challenge is her expression. There is a difference between a bland expression and a serious thoughtful expression. if you ever watch America's Next Top Model they always talk about being fierce in the expressions. It's when they have a thought or emotion that you can read in the eyes. Imagine if she had a really evil look and was staring down the lens so the viewer could see that evil intention and feel uneasy. When you can make the viewer feel an emotion like uneasiness or any emotion that is IMPACT! I think this idea is worth re-exploring - like I said just take it farther and use an edgier light.

Red Balloons - I wouldn't use this. Spot color is a technique that has been around a long time and so it looks stale and dated. The composition here is centered. If you are going to break the rule of thirds do it so it improves the image. Close your eyes and picture this image as a long horizontal with lots of space to the left hand side and the couple about 1/3 in from the right side. then imagine that line of footprints coming from the lower left corner and leading to them diagonally instead of straight up from the bottom. Then picture the couple like he had his arms around her waist and she was bent over slightly backwards and he just swung her around in a circle and you captured it just as they were parallel to the camera. Now you have composition and emotion and leading lines all to help you tell a story about a young couple in love. One balloon escaped from the bunch and floating away in the sky. Then the balloons add to the euphoric lighter then air story of that feeling of love. As it is, it's just static.

So I have kinda torn your images apart - but what I want to tell you is a I see a point of view here, I see a creative eye and a vision. All you need is a little technical refinement and a little more analyzing what it is you want to say and then how to make all the elements you use in the image work to perpetuate that story you are telling. Believe me, what you need to work on is a whole lot easier to achieve then someone who starts out with rad technical skills but no creative vision. I really look forward to seeing where your work will be in the next couple years.


12-28-2010, 06:44 PM
Keith, thank you for all that. A lot of it makes total sense, and I appreciate your "ripping apart" my images, lol. It's the ripping apart, that makes us think, and that is what I am here for.

12-28-2010, 06:54 PM
Kelly, remember I was thinking about competition and that is a whole different level of playing field then if you had just asked for a general CC. Also remember I am just one judge and there are six on a panel at IPC. Some other judge might totally disagree with me. If you are going to IUSA be sure to contact Sarah Johnston and sign up for the mentor sessions in the print show. Most people tell me it's well worth their time.


12-30-2010, 07:37 PM
Not going this year unfortunately, but ill definately keep that in mind!! Thank you so so much!

01-06-2011, 06:29 AM
I think "A Place of Solace" is a winner!