View Full Version : First competition - no NE judges please!

02-13-2012, 07:53 PM
Hi Everyone. This is my first competition and I would like some imput on my images. Also, I don't really know what I am doing with the matting, so any imput on that would be great also. Please don't hold back, I really want to learn how to make my images better for competition. Thanks!


02-14-2012, 10:07 PM
Hi Jaime - I'm not a judge, and only participated for the first time last year, so take this with a grain of salt ;) But here are my thoughts...

#1 I like this, and I like the expression - I'm not sure if the shadow on her left shoulder though, would be problematic for competition? In my (albeit very limited) experience, I'm just not sure that this would be considered proper lighting?

#2 I really like your lighting on this, and the processing on the skin is lovely too. My only CC, and it could just be me being picky, is that I don't particularly like the distortion you get when you look at her legs - they kind of trail off and look very tiny in comparison to the rest of her body.

#3 So cute! Love the expressions and title to go with it... It looks a little soft, but that could totally just be from upload - I have a thread open as well, and all of mine look soft on here, but not at all on my PC.

#4 This is my favorite of the set! love the lighting, love the expression! The only CC I'd have is to maybe add some fill light to the black in his pants. From watching some critiques last year, I know there was a lot of discussion on the blacks being clipped as problematic.

Again, I'm not a judge, and have only participated in competition once... but I hope that you find this helpful. I have a thread up just below yours and would greatly appreciate it if you could return the CC! :) Thanks so much!

02-15-2012, 12:23 AM
I know it is your first competition, so please don't be discouraged by my comments. Critiques for competition are always more critical.

#1 - The foreground edge of the pool is a little bit bright and distracting. The lighting on the face looks like there may have been an additional flash or other light source placed camera left low (possibly an on-camera flash) since there is a nose shadow going directly to the side instead of following the direction of the sunlight. The image would have been stronger if the head had been turned to the opposite direction into the light instead of into the broad lighting direction. I feel that this will fall in the Above Average category around 76.
#2 - I feel that this image could have been improved if it had been lit from the opposite direction. The use of the wide angle to minimize body size is a good technique, but coupling it with broad lighting defeats the technique by making the face look larger. I don't feel that the negative space below and to the right of the image helps the composition. Possibly recrop the mat placing the image a bit lower and to the left leaving blank space to the right and above. Above Average - around 77
#3 - Great composition, nice lighting, good background set. That yellow plastic duck head is very distracting and pulls the eye away from the two faces. I would suggest trying to tone that down a bit. The off center mat doesn't help this one - since the composition is centered, try centering the image on the mat. A borderline image depending on how distracted the jurors get with that duck - around 78.
#4 - The broad lighting doesn't help this image - head should have been turned to the other direction. The skin tones on the highlight side are just about blown out and are showing nearly white on my monitor, and his pants are a black blob - may want to tone that side down a bit and lighten his pants so there is some detail there. High end of the Average category - around 75.

02-15-2012, 07:07 PM
Thanks for the input! I will double check the highlight and shadows. I wish the duck head wasn't there too, I don't know if I can remove it myself! I may try, or will just try to make it darker, so it's not such a distraction.

02-16-2012, 01:52 AM
Jaime -

Not sure why, but my thread is being completely ignored - I'd greatly appreciate it if you could return the favor and CC for me as I did for you?

Thanks so much!