View Full Version : New to PPA - would LOVE CC

02-04-2012, 08:38 AM
Hey ya'll. I'm sort of new to the PPA and am hopefully going to take advantage of every amount of help and information available. I'd really like some CC on these images.

02-04-2012, 06:20 PM
Welcome to the PPA forum.

I don't want to discourage you since it's your first post, but you did place this image for critique in the Competition area of the forum, so I will critique it as if it were an image placed before me in a print competition. I can see from the statistics that you've had a couple of dozen people look but no comments yet, so even though I don't want to offend you, someone has to comment, so I'll take it...

First Image - The horizon line is tilted and the shadows appear blocked up (on my monitor - there may be detail there, but I cannot see it) The road directly in front of the camera is brighter than the road behind it making it look like an on camera flash may have been used, making the foreground bright and with the bright sky behind, there is a dark band of roadway in the middle - the road leads off with something slightly brighter in the dark band of roadway on the right side, but I cannot make out what it is. There is no clear center of interest - I would place this in the Average range (72).

Second image - There are a lot of competing highlights in this image with no focusing of attention on any one area. My eye keeps bouncing around from the face to the arm to the foot to the dog's face, to the highlight behind the guitar. The lighting on the man's face does not have any clear direction but appears to be coming from overhead while being partially shielded by the hat. There is a distracting hot spot on the top of the hat and in the white styrofoam cup in the middle. The highlights are blown out and the shadows are black with no detail. This would lower the category in which it would be placed. The image looks more like a snapshot than an intentionally crafted portrait since the lighting does not appear to have been well controlled. I would place this image in the Average range (72).

Please don't be discouraged by my comments. Competition has higher criteria than what is salable to a client - it's a totally different kind of animal...

02-05-2012, 02:24 AM
No I definitely appreciate the CC - is it okay that I sort of tried again? The road image was not with a flash - but I think I overdid the contrast and blacks. I also straightened the horizon line.

With the second image - as much as it wasn't a "snapshot" it wasn't a controlled light situation either. It was a guy and his dog on the side of the road in New Orleans - not exactly the area to break out the equipment. I also realize there's a lot going on there so I cropped out the distractions and burned some of the unnecessary highlights.

02-05-2012, 09:51 AM
Hi Jennifer,
Kudos to you for your bravery to not only ask for a cc, but to ask for one on a competition level. That is how you grow much better quickly.

I will share what was helpful to me- spend a lot of time looking at images that are great and yours will follow. If you are really interested in competition, then study those images.

Again, I can't give you enough props for asking for help and being willing to listen to the help when you get it.

02-05-2012, 03:01 PM

When I began competition, I was asked over and over again...what's the subject?

I'd have great scenics, no one would deny they'd win in a juried art competition but in PPA competition, it's different. It makes you look at things in a totally different way.

Your road makes me want to head on down the highway but for PPA comp, it's got to have something there for you to head toward. Does that make sense?

The guy with the dog is another one I can appreciate but for competition, there are some of the same issues. What's your subject? The dog? They guy's eyes? His arm?

The arm is closest to the camera, light and looks larger than what it probably is, making it grab all the attention.

Another valuable piece of advice I was given, turn the image upside down. walk away, go back and glance at it. What is the FIRST thing you see? If it's not what you intended, it's time to rework it. Now, this isn't ALWAYS true but the majority of time, it is and will give you a beginning of understanding.

I hope this gives you a bit of an idea for when you're looking at those images Diane suggested you see. It's a fantastic process.

02-05-2012, 05:08 PM

You already got some amazing critiques from more seasoned members than myself but I wanted to say congrats for jumping in the pool. I started competition last year and my photography has improved so much. It is a great experience.

Have fun!

02-06-2012, 06:46 AM
Thank you so much everyone :)

The looking at the image upside down idea is pretty great actually - I may try it.

I've been ignoring what I consider my art prints for a while now - starting a portrait business to try and make a name for myself somewhere - and it wasn't until recently when a friend saw my art prints and fell in love that I started pushing them a little more. I jump into everything with a level of tenacity that can probably be to a fault so asking for CC is something I just consider necessary.

I hope to improve as I know I even have since last year. Do people try other images as well? Like should I see if maybe I have something even better to be CC'd? Or is that annoying haha

02-06-2012, 01:36 PM
More! We want more! But do study some of the other images and critiques here to learn and apply to your images. Then if you hear the same thing, you'll know you're on your way. You'll also be stunned to hear those thoughts when you look through the viewfinder the next time! I know I was!