View Full Version : CC for possible IPC replacement

04-23-2011, 06:22 PM
I've got a couple of images from my district case to replace for IPC. This one is on my short list. My dh (who happens to be a HUGE football fan) says I should call this "Flag is for Sissies" LOL! Not sure how that would fly at IPC though. At any rate, CC would be appreciated. Still trying to learn the ropes :)


ETA: Added my 2nd replacement at this link as well. CC for both appreciated.

04-23-2011, 07:20 PM
I don't get a strong connection between the suggested title and the image, though there would be no problem with the title at comp. I'm just not sure that is the best title for that image.

04-23-2011, 08:37 PM
Football heart burn...... :D

Great shot! As a canadian i woukd love to play with the concept of football being on fire in the usa, or the culture surrounding the rituals of monday night football.

Americas' football is on fire/usa football on fire
Or adding fuel to Americas fire.
Monday nights heartburn.....i think monday nights are huge for food and football?

04-23-2011, 08:44 PM
My gut reaction for a title is "Burning Desire" because this kid eats, sleeps, and breathes football, but I would expect to see a completely different image if I heard the name first. I think I hate the naming part more than picking the images!!

I just added my 2nd replacement print to that same link. CC for both appreciated :)

04-23-2011, 09:03 PM
Burning desire is good....maybe if yountried to fit in teen
This teen is on fire?

Like the other title too....funny how the titles are such a stumper....i went throught the same thing with my entries, hope i picked right, it seemed appeared to be a very strong part of the judging at PPANE

04-24-2011, 09:36 AM
I'm not trying to be negative... but here are my opinions on the image...
The title really doesn't work for me - for the image that is being presented - The expression on his face doesn't convey a feeling of "burning desire" - he almost looks like he is afraid/scared of the football that was lit on fire - and I know the look - I see it all the time - we do this kind of shot regularly - light off some rubber cement on the football and watch the expression on the kid's face - since they really didn't expect to see all those flames... etc.. The fire aspect is a pretty common effect, as Senior portrait's go... as I've said, we do it for many, Many, and sometimes I think that it's TOO many seniors, and it really sells well to the client and his parents, but for a competition image, the look on the subject's face in an image such as this has to REALLY sell the whole concept. His expression just doesn't do it for me... it's a good image, but I don't think that it would hang at the IPC - I would place it in the 77-78 range at a State or District judging where scores are used ( but remember - numerical scores are not used at the IPC) - but this is just my opinion, of course... And as far as the "Flags is for Sissies" title - that title doesn't work for me either since he is not wearing shoulder pads and all the other paraphynelia that is typical for someone typically playing tackle football - if he had shoulder pads on, it might get a somewhat stronger feeling, but I would have to see the final image before making a final judgement call... again - everyone has their opinion - that's why we always run 5 judges plus an alternate on an IPC panel...

04-24-2011, 05:25 PM
I have learned that how the image looks posted on this forum and seeing the final print in an actual judging are two very different things. The real thing almost always looks way better. That being said though, from seeing the image here I have to agree with Rick's sentiments that the expression is not selling the story. I also think the way he is holding the football looks tentative and almost like he is afraid of getting his fingers burned. He almost seems to be leaning back away from the viewer instead of trying to intimidate. A strong fierce expression with the football clenched in his fist like a football player actually holds the ball and aimed right into the face of the viewer would sell this story a lot stronger and then Burning Desire would be a good title. I am not seeing any big technical challenges so I would probably place the print high in the above average category just shy of the merit.

If you decide to repeat this concept I would have the subject wear his full uniform and use a background that suggested outdoors at night - like plain black. You want to perpetuate the story and nobody plays football inside an old brick building. The background is great for a senior portrait but distracting for the story you want this to tell in competition.

The little girl in the flowers - I am afraid the results would disappoint you. First on my monitor her skin tone has a green cast. Next she is looking so downward we are seeing way more of the top of her head then into her face. Because she is looking almost straight down, the viewer can't see what it is that she is involved with, so as a judge I can't feel the story. If she had been looking down and forward 1-2 feet in front of her, we would still get that thoughtful feeling but not so much the top of her head and we could see what it was that had caught her attention. The next issue is the broad light. There are a few instances when broad light is appropriate but this image is not improved by a broad lighting scheme. If her head had been tipped the opposite direction you would have had a nice short light pattern. Lastly there seems to be something unrealistic going on with the depth of field. Normally depth of field gives us a more gradual fall off of focus. Here it seems to have a distinct line from foreground to subject and then again from subject to background. Also the flowers on the same plane as the girl are in focus on the left hand side and out of focus on the right hand side. I feel that perhaps some of this was added in PS and it is an issue you could correct just like the color balance could be easily fixed. So correcting those two challenges would certainly help the image but I don't feel it would get it into the merit category. If this were my little girl I'd be all over it to hang in my home but as a judge it's not what I would pick to hang at IUSA.

If I were choosing for you, I'd say go ahead with the football player because it's close. There are six judges on a panel at IPC and if enough of them feel the story it may tip it into a merit. I would choose something different then the daffodil print.


04-24-2011, 05:42 PM
So we are pretending I am choosing for you. I went to your website. Under Cool Pix portfolio there is a panel of three images. The middle one, head and shoulders, a red haired girl in a white top on a white background. Can you post the unworked file of that for us to look at?


04-24-2011, 10:31 PM
::choke:: Ok?

Here you are, sooc, un-cropped, not color corrected, as shot...


If this were my little girl I'd be all over it to hang in my home but as a judge it's not what I would pick to hang at IUSA.

What I want to know is, how did you know she was mine? Yep, my baby. Doesn't she look just like me? ;) (yes, that really is me in the avatar - she is adopted). I totally get everything you're saying, but I also know that it would be totally impossible with a three year old to say tilt your head the other way, now stare at this spot 2 feet in front of you and get that genuine "I'm totally in my own little world" expression. Actually, let me rephrase that - it would be impossible for ME. I'm sure there is some magician out there that could do it. That is why I stick to seniors. They listen and do as they're told :D

As for the DOF, it was shot with an 85mm @ 1.2 so it is just razor thin. My vignette has a gaussian blur built in. It probably got a little too close on the right side and blurred the flowers there. Broad light is officially the bane of my existence. I think every.single.image I've ever made is broad lit. (not really, but it sure does feel like it!)

04-24-2011, 10:38 PM
I'm assuming the sun totally kills this one, right?

04-25-2011, 12:15 AM
I didn't know it was your daughter. If it were my daughter I would love the image, that's what I was going on. As to how you get a 3 year old to look where you want, you trick them. I might toss a pebble so they look where it lands. I might ask them if they saw the purple bug on a particular flower. Indoors I might stick a smartie candy where I want their eyes to go. Give them a motivation to do what you want. If I want them to peek around a corner, I find something to peek around at them so they start playing that game with me.

As far as the red head, this isn't the image I saw on your website. I like this one too so keep it in a possible file for next year but I like the other one better. It's the one where a few strands of hair are blowing across her face. It's on the screen with the label "fresh". The other two images on the same screen are a dark haired girl in blue sitting in tall grass and a girl in a white formal standing in an open field with trees in the background.

There is no doubt in my mind looking at your website that you have merit quality images. You just need to learn how to pick which one to use. That's the hardest part. I still rely on my wife's advice.


04-25-2011, 12:42 AM
The girl in the red dress - same girl as the one I like isn't it? Yes the sun would be an issue but could be cropped out. What you can't change is the broad light and the body straight on to camera.

I think by your "choke" comment you think I was being brutal in my first post. This is what I have learned in my 4 years or so on this forum. I have to tell everything that is a challenge with an image right up front. If I try to make nice and only mention one issue that will keep it from meriting, invariably the maker will fix that one thing, re-post the image and say "OK now will it merit?". So then I have to come back and say - well no it still won't merit IMO because of this other thing. So then they fix that and we go through the whole process again and again. That's not pleasant or encouraging for anybody. Plus it's not very real because it's seldom one thing that keeps an image out of the merit category. The other thing is just because I think an image won't merit doesn't mean it won't. I am just one person on a panel. And even when I am not in favor of a merit- all that means is I don't think that one image is a merit worthy. It has nothing to do with how I view the maker as a person or as a skilled and talented photographer. I probably trip the shutter 10's of thousands of times in a year, yet I struggle to find 4 images to enter every year - and I've been doing this for over 30 years. So if I were to post possibles on this forum to get feedback, most of the time I would expect to hear "no it won't merit".


04-25-2011, 01:11 AM
Ohhhhhhhh! I looked down the portfolio page for a triple frame. This was the one in the center and since she's strawberry blond, I thought it was the one. Yes, I know the image you're referring to. That was taken the very first time I shot in the studio and (dummy me) I shot it with a 70-200 at about 150mm f2.8. Only her face and the few strands of hair across her face are in focus. From her ears back is quite blurry due to dof. I just assumed that would kill the image. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong because it is one of my FAVORITES. I have a 24x36 of it hanging in my studio. That image, and the one of the dude in the suit and hat that I shared HERE (http://www.ppa.com/community/forums/showthread.php?t=22271) get comments from every single person that walks through my door.

The picking of the images is what gets me. I just can't figure it out. I have been dumping every non-smiling image I take in a file and sharing with a couple of other photographers and letting THEM pick (one is a Master, the other a print judge). The one I submitted to SEPPA that we all thought was a sure fire winner (dude in the suit) bombed. Against the advice of the Master Photog that has been helping me, I pulled the gal in the red dress I posted above at the last minute and replaced it with the picture of the dog with the kid's feet. Good decision since it was my single merit at SEPPA this year.

My "choke" comment is due to sharing a SOOC image. Studio work is still VERY new for me. I've got a grand total of about 12 months experience with any kind of flash - be it studio or OCF (which I use faithfully in 95% of my images now because I'm totally hooked thankyouverymuch ;) ). My first two merits were natural light. The third was studio lighting. I've not had any education on studio light per se, just reading, studying excellent imagery, and asking questions of people who know more than me. I was really expecting you to say, "what were you thinking? Why did you light her like THAT?" I'm a quick study, and I think I'm learning fast, but I still feel sooooooo dumb sometimes! Broad light is #1 on my "no, no" list for senior season this year. Feel free to point out a 2, 3, 4... I do appreciate the guidance :)

As for the "play games" suggestion for little ones - works great with other people's kids. I've done the peek-a-boo game several times. Never in a million, billion years would it work with my own. They just get mad at me LOL!

I appreciate the confidence that you have in my images. I guess the merits are hiding in there somewhere. Doggone if I can find them though! Thanks again for your time. You're a great help!

04-25-2011, 01:59 AM
Only her face and the few strands of hair across her face are in focus. From her ears back is quite blurry due to dof. I just assumed that would kill the image.

Send me a big full res file of that image to imager410@hotmail.com It might be a problem but I don't necessarily think so.


04-25-2011, 03:13 AM
I just emailed the SOOC to you Keith. BTW, I was wrong. I was shooting with the 24-70 on that image (switched to the 70-200 in the next frame). That's what I get for trying to remember what lens I used a year ago :rolleyes: