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Jeff_Dachowski
01-26-2007, 12:57 AM
Again, I am thrilled to see such an interest in this section. I want all of us who are new at this to learn a couple of things before we start entering more prints. What I am getting at is those who have a lot of success in this venue, could you chime in some words of wisdom. Fo instance, Keith and Holly Howe explained to me that my prints are too light in overall exposure as the lights are quite bright, and a print for competition would probably be too dark to hang on your wall. A point I never would have understood unless someone told me. Got any more?
Jeff

Holly_Howe
01-26-2007, 01:05 AM
If your print is mounted on a white core board - black the edges with a magic marker (unless it is a very highkey print) Remember when the print is judged - it spins around on a turn table - so the judges actually see the edge first. It would be like presenting an image to a client with a white strip down one side - not attractive!

When you pack your print case - don't put the prints inside of a plastic bag or wrap them up. Just layer something soft ( we use black felt) between each print. The print crew who unpacks are wearing those awful print gloves. Don't make it hard for them and for pity sake DO NOT tape anything around the prints. Do you really want a print crew member waving a scissors anywhere near your print? trust me - you cannot peel off tape wearing those awful gloves.

Holly

Auralee_Dallas
01-26-2007, 03:29 AM
Print quality is really important. You can have a dynamite image and if the print quality isn't outstanding, it will count against you. It's a bummer that the prints for comp have to be so dark and glossy. It really makes them unsuitable for display, so it's important to get feedback before you spend all the money for a comp print. Also, if possible, work with a lab that specializes in comp prints--and send it back if it's not right--or get a test print before the big one.
Be really careful with that sharpie when you blacken edges--you need a steady hand.
One comment I got recently on a local level was "it's over-presented." In otherwords don't add too many creative effects unless they really add to the image.

Holly_Howe
01-26-2007, 03:32 AM
One comment I got recently on a local level was "it's over-presented." In otherwords don't add too many creative effects unless they really add to the image.

Yeah - I call it razzle dazzle

KirkDarling
01-26-2007, 03:44 AM
Has anyone tried the WHCC "competition print" service?

Jeff_Dachowski
01-26-2007, 03:50 AM
Kirk,
All my prints have been from WHCC.
Jeff

Mark_Levesque
01-26-2007, 03:53 AM
Not yet, but I plan to for this year's convention.

Auralee_Dallas
01-26-2007, 03:54 AM
But Jeff, you said Holly and Keith said your prints were too light. Do ask WHCC to print "competition density?"

Jeff_Dachowski
01-26-2007, 03:59 AM
Ahhh!
Competition Density. Now that would be a term I learned about after my regionals. No with WHCC you give them a file, and they will print it, and mount it, and black out the edges on a darker presentation. I need to print my images down at least 10% in the future. Now I know there are labs who will do all kinds of work to your image, but at only $25 a print, I will take the risk, and own the densities. It may not work for all, but I usally print 7 prints for state, and at least 5 for national. This way I can send an alternate in case something happens.
Jeff

Auralee_Dallas
01-26-2007, 04:06 AM
I don't care for competition density either. I always instruct my lab to not print down that much and even then I think it's too much sometimes. In fact, I even think "competition density" ruined my images chances in some cases. They looked muddy and too dark.....but I'm not a judge either.

Keith_A_Howe
01-26-2007, 04:20 AM
Prints are judged under mini spots metering at 1 sec F16 ISO 100 incident meter. So meter your lights and look at your images in a dark room and you can decide what's too light and what's too dark

Keith

JohnHeckler
01-26-2007, 06:06 AM
Dang ... is it really that bright?!?!

Linda_Gregory
01-26-2007, 10:28 AM
We have two comp lights set up to determine if prints are dark/light enough. The custom printer (now retired) who trained me also always had me add cyan because of the temp of the lights bringing out red.

We stopped doing that a few years ago, I think comp lights changed somewhere down the line since he learned that and got a more even white balance. We still make sure they're not to warm and test them with the lights and yes, they are warmer than normal display lighting.

Holly_Howe
01-26-2007, 02:58 PM
Dang ... is it really that bright?!?!
Yes - that's why you need to print deeper

D._Craig_Flory
01-26-2007, 03:08 PM
If you don't own two Photogenic Mini-spots ... try this. Position two studio strobes and use a parabolic on them. If no parabolics try bare bulb. After you use a light meter and have it an even F16 @ 1 second at ISO 100, as Keith said, sit back 6 feet from the image and study it. See how it looks under that bright a lighting.

Keep in mind that an 8X10 is proportional with 16x20. So try having 8x10's printed of potential images. View them as I said. Then if corrections need to be made it didn't cost you much for the 8X10s and you possibly saved the cost of having a 16X20 re-printed.

It was mentioned about using a magic marker on the edges of the mount board. Do that FROM THE BACK ! Turn the print upside down and work from the back. But, an alternative to that work is to have them mounted on black-core board.

I like using Gator-Foam board. It's nice and rigid and won't bow like regular mount board. Also, regular foam-core only needs someone on the print committee to squeeze a bit to hard and there is a dimple in the print. Gator-foam doesn't have that problem.

TerryMichael
01-26-2007, 04:50 PM
I knew of competition service, but high gloss? As in high gloss laminate? New to competiton, threw a few in a few months ago and they were just under merit. Curious if this would have helped...

Holly_Howe
01-26-2007, 04:59 PM
Terry - yes as high gloss as you can get. If using laminate - in my experience - use the thinner stuff. The thicker stuff tends to shift to cyan and that's not good. I have heard that the problem has been corrected but I don't know if that's the case. I can't tell you what they are called for sure - I just know there is a thicker one that some labs use for competition prints and a thinner one that is more the everyday standard.

Holly

Auralee_Dallas
01-26-2007, 05:06 PM
This is what I learned by experience. Bay Photo prints on Fuji Super High Gloss paper. It requires no spray or laminate. When Millers printed mine and then laminated them, when I blackened the edges, a tiny bit of ink seeped under the laminate. However it doesn't seem that any judges noticed.
On the prints that were laminated, after touring around to the three print comps, the laminate was starting to peel away from the print.

cat_broderick
01-26-2007, 05:43 PM
In your opinion does Millers print correctly for comp density when you check that box?

Jennifer_Brum
01-26-2007, 07:31 PM
What about the gloss or spray? If I use WHCC do I need to spray them with gloss?

JohnHeckler
01-26-2007, 07:37 PM
What about the gloss or spray? If I use WHCC do I need to spray them with gloss?

I'm not sure about this, however, last year when I requested spray on my comp prints from WHCC, they said I did not need it and thus I did not do it.

I have no idea if this was a good thing or not ... they seemed glossy to me, but given my lack of experience with competition, I have nothing to compare them to.

Linda_Gregory
01-27-2007, 12:40 AM
I have done all three. We no longer do the three coats of high gloss competition spray because it's so hard to get all three coats dust free and it takes so much time our customers don't give us. (at least a day between coats)

We have gone to laminate or Fuji's high gloss, whichever the customer prefers.

I did three of mine with laminate and one with gloss. No comments on finish were made.

Auralee_Dallas
01-27-2007, 03:18 AM
Cat--Yes Miller's does print to competition density if you check the box. Sometimes I think it's too dark even under the lights--but I'm not a judge.
In the future I might go for a test print.

Dave_Higgins
01-28-2007, 02:55 AM
Does anyone have any feedback on using Kodak's metallic paper for competition prints?

Jackie_Haggerty
01-29-2007, 08:22 PM
Where do we buy a print case?

Mark_Levesque
01-29-2007, 08:26 PM
Adorama is where I got mine.

D._Craig_Flory
01-29-2007, 08:29 PM
Adorama is where I got mine.

Hi Jackie;

Mark is correct ... here is the path: http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=itemlist&cat1=Cases&cat2=Print%20Cases&cat3=Shipping&searchinfo=Print%20Cases&item_no=2

JohnHeckler
01-29-2007, 10:09 PM
Hi Jackie;

Mark is correct ... here is the path: http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=itemlist&cat1=Cases&cat2=Print%20Cases&cat3=Shipping&searchinfo=Print%20Cases&item_no=2

I take it the 4" is what would be required to ship 4 16x20 prints, right?

Betsy_Finn
01-29-2007, 10:13 PM
I take it the 4" is what would be required to ship 4 16x20 prints, right?

I think on Lori's thread we decided 3" were better (4" left too much empty space). Correct me if I'm wrong though :p

yup... http://ourppa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4497

EllinPollachek
01-29-2007, 11:44 PM
Are you all talking about comp prints for PPA or comp prints in general. I don't mean to sound dumb but I'm reading this thread and I'm trying to figure out if this is for all competitions where prints are required or just PPA?

Thanks.

D._Craig_Flory
01-29-2007, 11:54 PM
Hi Ellin;

State groups generally go by PPA rules. Sub-groups below that also usually do as well. But, it's best to read the packet of rules for each group.

Holly_Howe
01-30-2007, 12:10 AM
If you ever think you will enter an actual wedding album ( can now enter albums on disc) then go with the 4"- otherwise 2" or 3" is fine.

Holly

EllinPollachek
01-30-2007, 12:12 AM
Thanks Craig.

Ellin

MarieLeslie
02-01-2007, 02:49 AM
Does anyone have any feedback on using Kodak's metallic paper for competition prints?

I used it on one a couple years ago did well with it, but I think it depends on the subject matter. Mine was ice crystals and an autumn leaf.

Adam_Squier
02-01-2007, 03:48 AM
I bought a couple print cases from someone (thanks, Holly :) ) a couple months ago. That's the time to buy used. Right now they're hard to find used because everyone wants them.

Tracy_McGee
02-04-2007, 08:55 PM
Can I ask a question? Do you get an explanation of your score back with your entry when it's all over?

I know I'd be lucky and surprised to get above average, and would be thrilled with that, but if I get past that threshold of fear and actually enter something, I'd love it if I could get an explanation of what's wrong with it in the end. Do they do that?

Holly_Howe
02-04-2007, 09:04 PM
Tracy - At national you can request a critique - it comes back on a DVD. It costs an extra $40 or $50 can't remember for sure. I do not know for sure of any state or regional that offers that service. The best way is to attend the event and ask several judges to give you a critique in the print show.

Holly

Tracy_McGee
02-04-2007, 09:07 PM
Thanks Holly!

Keith_A_Howe
02-04-2007, 09:13 PM
Tracy
attend the judging at a regional and ask the judges (individually) after the judging to critique not only your images but others as well. This is a great place to learn as the prints are scored by catagory as well. Keith

Tracy_McGee
02-04-2007, 09:32 PM
I'm having a hard time finding any local photographers who will give me the time of day, I'd be as terrified as an elementary student moving to a new school if I were to walk up and ask the judges themselves LOL! :)

Holly_Howe
02-04-2007, 09:37 PM
I'm having a hard time finding any local photographers who will give me the time of day, I'd be as terrified as an elementary student moving to a new school if I were to walk up and ask the judges themselves LOL! :)

Judges put their pants on one leg at a time - as that old saying goes. Don't be intimidated. Look at it this way - you asking their opinion is flattering to them. Most judges like to walk around the print show with a groupie hanging on their every word! LOL! As far as local photographers - It's hard to want to help someone who is gonna be taking a share out of your slice of the pie. I think you will find a lot more help if you ask someone outside of your trade area.

Holly

Marc_Benjamin
02-04-2007, 10:53 PM
I'm having a hard time finding any local photographers who will give me the time of day, I'd be as terrified as an elementary student moving to a new school if I were to walk up and ask the judges themselves LOL! :)

I've always done the what could I do for the mentor / critiquer (is that even a word) first approach. Ask them out to lunch, dinner drinks... better yet go in for a portrait sitting.

Good luck!

Tracy_McGee
02-05-2007, 01:47 AM
Thanks! I'll just keep at it. :)