View Full Version : Competition Ready
12-28-2010, 10:00 PM
I really want to enter some photos for competition at our regional event in Feburary, but not sure if I am ready. I would love input on the images that I am considering entering. Thanks in advance for all your great advice.
12-28-2010, 10:02 PM
here is one more I may like to use.
12-28-2010, 10:55 PM
love the last one with the crucifix
might have to clean up the shadows on the side walls or add some more palms
12-28-2010, 11:26 PM
I agree with Joe. Crucifix image is the best by far.
12-29-2010, 01:08 AM
Comments based on what I am seeing on this monitor - could be different if I saw actual prints.
Football player - make sure you do not not lose the top edge of his hair or his torso below his forward arm.
Drilling tower - or whatever it is. Is there noise or pixelation in the sky? If so that will kill this. Also it is too heavily vignetted causing a keyhole effect, again that will knock it out of the merit category.
The bride - It will score below average in my opinion. The edge of her arm is blown out against the window and her face is almost blown out. The brightest spot in the image is her back below her arm where you have lost all detail in her gown. So that's where the eye is drawn to. Her eyes are too far around to the side and create an uncomfortable feel. Her shoulder is popped forward giving her poor posture. The verticals are tilted but not enough so that it looks intentional or that it benefits the image. Too many little things that will all drag this image down and you will be unhappy with the score.
The bride and groom - Nothing to make this image stand out. The subject matter is very common, the pose is average, the lighting is flat. Look for something special and unique in potential competition images. I have a million photographs just like this in my files, but I wouldn't choose them to enter.
The church image - I feel this is your strongest image because it does have that uniqueness I was talking about above. However, if you are going to use a technique or effect, do so because the overall image is improved. Spot color is a very dated look, so only use it when it absolutely adds to the image. Otherwise you just leave the judges questioning why. Here I think, without seeing it, that the image may be just as strong if not stronger in full color.
Hope some of this was helpful.
12-29-2010, 02:34 AM
i usually feel the same way about spot coloring - seen enough of it.
but there's something interesting between the robed children in b&w & jesus in color.
darren i wonder what it would look like in sepia with a slight color tint on the crucifix & an old-world texture
12-29-2010, 04:33 AM
In the first image, the image blends into the background on the shadow side - it might be stronger if there was a kicker on the right side to add a bit of separation of the cheek line from the background. Also, on my monitor the shadows appear to be a bit blocked up - but it might just be my monitor. There must be some detail in the important parts of the shadows if it is to do well in competition.
The second image is a bit too small to see in it’s currently posted form - looks like it might be a drilling rig? Or a Crane? Whatever it is, the first thing that caught my eye was the stars on the lights - they are all in different directions - that usually indicates that they were added in afterwards since refraction usually happens along the same lines so if the stars were to be naturally occurring due to the lens aperture, then all of the stars should be going in the same direction. The second thing is the overly heavy edge burning that does not look “real”.
The third image - the bride - she is posed with her shoulder directly into the camera with the camera shooting into her armpit. The eyes are turned to look out of the window, but the head is not turned enough, so the eyeballs are looking out of the corner of her eye sockets with the viewer seeing mostly the whites of her eyes. I would try to turn the head a bit more towards the light and try to center the eyes in the sockets so you don’t see the whites as much.
The fourth image of the wedding couple looks like it has had too much skin softening applied. The couple look plastic and there is no texture in the skin. There are also some hot spots in the background and on the shoulder that are the brightest area of the image and distract the eye. The bouquet also looks oversaturated. I would suggest toning down the hot spots and taking down the bouquet saturation a bit to focus attention on the faces instead of on the bouquet.
The last image is a great idea, but I feel that the use of spot color for the crucifix will hold the image back. Spot color was hot and trendy a few years ago - but it’s trite and a bit passe’ now. The feeling of the story I get is the impression of the ressurection and the energy flowing from the crucifix to the 11 apostles standing below it. The spot color makes it difficult for me to get off the crucifix and into the 11 people standing in front. The spot color cuts me out of half of the story. I would suggest that you go back and look at it as a true black and white image or in full color and see how that plays. I think that either color or BW would be better than a combination of both.
12-29-2010, 01:10 PM
i missed the fact that there was 11 children(or dwarfs) representing the apostles
that makes it a stronger image for me
if darren can figure how best to present it
because of the representation of "god" here i feel the crucifix needs to stand out somehow. maybe just a warm glow radiating from the crucifix.
12-29-2010, 03:11 PM
Wow thanks everyone for all the very useful comments. I was wondering on the last the last image about the spot color as well. Last year when I viewed the competition the judges really seemed to frown upon spot color and dramatically dropped the score. Thanks again for all of your feedback, it gave me hope that I may be able to get a merit this year. I will go back and look at some more photo and see what will be better suited for competition than the others. Thanks again for all your insight everyone.
12-29-2010, 04:34 PM
Last year when I viewed the competition the judges really seemed to frown upon spot color and dramatically dropped the score.
Darren, This is a misinterpretation of what happens. Judges do not drop the score because something is spot colored. We never take away points . Not always but as a general assumption, spot color is a very dated and trite effect. So it probably would not be used by someone who has entered a lot and sorta knows the ropes. Spot color shows up more often on entries from very new photographers or beginners in competition. It then follows that those entries may not be at the same level as a more experienced photographer might submit so the scores might be lower. Also many times a uninformed entrant will use an effect to try and create impact where it's lacking in the original exposure. Judges see that for what it is and do not reward it. Another thing that happens is when spot color is used it makes whatever is colored the most important thing in the image. ( of course in your example that is appropriate) Often it's a shirt or a brides bouquet or something like that. Because the maker chooses to emphasize a secondary element and make it the most important thing in the image, they actually end up hurting the image rather then improving it. So maybe it appears that the score was dropped simply because it was spot colored but what really happened is it received a lower score because something majorly distracted from what should have been the center of interest. Of course beginners often have better work then long time entrants so there are exceptions to this assumption!
Back to your specific image. I think that because the children are in white robes they will kind of blend together and the red draping on the crucifix will be what stands out. So that's why I feel this should be a full color image. It doesn't need the emphasis of spot color to draw attention to your main subject If the children were in multiple colored robes then I would say spot color was one way to go, so that the crucifix stood out. I think you did the right thing when you created the image so you don't need to fix anything with any effects in processing. It just doesn't need it. Of course I am saying this without seeing a full color version. Maybe you could post it that way for us?
12-29-2010, 05:51 PM
Thanks again for the insight into the judging aspect of competition. I am new to this and I am finding that I am choosing photos that the clients show most excitement about. Below is the photo in color. Thanks again for all the insight.
12-29-2010, 07:01 PM
Oh yes! I like the color way better. Now I can get into the story rather then thinking about the technique. Couple things on the image. Right now Christ's shoulder is the brightest thing. Tone that down. The face of the figure is too dark - lighten it up. Tone down everything but the crucifix so it pops. Right now the draping on the figure looks hot pink, deepen or darken it to be red. Is there any more room around it? I feel like it's a little tight. Lastly the stroke color often subliminally tells the viewer what is the most important thing in the image. because you have chosen white, it refers me back to the children. Try either the red from the cruifix draping, once you get it to be red and not pink! Or the flesh tone from the figure.
12-29-2010, 08:36 PM
Definitely, definitely! I like this picture much better in color! JMHO.
12-29-2010, 08:45 PM
Off topic - Angela, I just sent you a PM about that class we were talking about doing.
12-29-2010, 09:11 PM
The color image does seem to have more depth and the abundance of white robes still gives it a monotone feel on the bottom with the majority of the color being on top. The children's hair is the gradient between the two.
I would definitely tone down the pink though and possibly add a splash of light on Christ's face.
12-29-2010, 09:36 PM
After reading the last couple comments about the pink, I recalibrated my monitor and your right, it was 1980's hot pink. Not only was the sheet pink the whole image had a pinkish tint to it. So here is the image after adjusting the reds in this photo. Thanks again everyone.
12-29-2010, 10:08 PM
The color version is definitely stronger than the spot toned one. Now that it is in color, I can get into the story.
12-29-2010, 10:39 PM
I prefer the tighter cropping in the original image. This one has all of the children looking up but I just like the composition of the first one. You lose the little girls on camera left in the latest crop and the doors are distracting. Maybe you could do a clone job on the little boy looking sideways and go back to the first one....with the color correction of course.
12-29-2010, 10:49 PM
I didn't really look at the crop in the second image - only the improved impact when it came up after clicking it. I agree with Greg's comment on the crop. I'd lose the doors on the sides and lighten up the color of the key line just a bit.
12-29-2010, 10:56 PM
Greg and Rick, I totally agree, I meant to put that out there for Keith when he thought it may be tight on the other crop. I originally cropped it in that close because of the doors as well. If I went any further out, there is a lot of other stools and chairs that take attention away from the overall story being told. Thanks for helping me.
12-30-2010, 01:39 AM
well i guess i'm alone on this one
not that i like the spot color, but i do like the children in b&w
something mystical about it that way that i don't feel in the color
12-30-2010, 03:30 AM
I would have to see his B&W version next to the color version to decide which one is best. There's only about a thousand ways to convert the color to B&W, and in many cases the conversion (how the tones convert to B&W) makes or breaks the image. I liked the B&W version, I just didn't like the B&W with the spot color added. For this image, it'll work either way - B&W or Color - but just not as a combination of both. I can get into the story either way, but with that spot of color added, it just keeps pulling me away from the kids on the bottom
12-30-2010, 12:54 PM
that might be ok in this image
jesus should stand out and be the focal point, not the children
i'l also like to see a b&w of this image before i decide.
12-30-2010, 04:42 PM
Here is the photo in color and in B&W for you to. Thanks
12-30-2010, 04:49 PM
Have you considered a gradient of color as opposed to spot color? Christ in full color and graduating out in a circle to black and white so that the color ends just before it hits the children. It's just a thought because it could be part of the story telling element if it was named accordingly.
You could call it "The Color of Love"
12-30-2010, 04:58 PM
Greg I never did think of that. I may have to give it a try. I really appreciate everyones suggestions. I have found myself looking a lot closer at other images and trying different techniques on them to see what the outcome would be. I think I have a few others that are great base photos that just need some minor tweaks to make them competition ready. thanks again everyone.
12-30-2010, 07:32 PM
that's what i was trying to suggest earlier in this thread
12-30-2010, 10:49 PM
that's what i was trying to suggest earlier in this thread
Great minds obviously think alike:)
12-30-2010, 11:20 PM
Don't flatter yourself
12-30-2010, 11:24 PM
Great minds obviously think alike:)
Greg - do you realize that means you think like a Yankee...
12-31-2010, 12:00 AM
Actually I just translate for him
01-01-2011, 03:22 AM
I thought I saw one where the children were in glowing black & white and only Christ was color. What happened to that one? Tweak the color if you need to.
01-01-2011, 03:29 AM
We've come full circle on this one
01-01-2011, 03:47 AM
Phewy, I missed it. I liked that one the best.
01-01-2011, 12:51 PM
so did i
maybe the color on jesus could be toned down so there's just a hint of color