View Full Version : I'm SICK of 78/79!!

02-12-2007, 12:16 AM
I would *love* some advice here. Today was our local print comp. I really thought in my 3rd year out I was going to do better...nope.

I would so appreciate any thoughts/suggestions, etc so I can rework for HOA.

Thanks in advance!

Under Sea Bouquet: 78

The Ruffian: 78

Closed for the Season: 79

A Dream of Possibilities: 79

02-12-2007, 12:17 AM
Presenting Emma: 78 (there IS detail in the arms holding her, in case that doesnt show well online)

Love, Discarded: 78

02-12-2007, 03:13 AM
Susan On Presenting Emma, You said there is detail in the arms, I wonder if there was enough detail. It would be hard for me to tell without the real print. I do feel the lighting is not "presenting" Emma, it is striking the forarm, elbow and knee. Otherwise it is a bit flat. It would probably have scored better if the main light was coming into her face and there was a bit less fill light. JMO

Love Discarded
Nice Idea here, It appears on this file that the whites may be blown out a bit, again not sure on these low res files. Also the red doesn't look real to me. If you look at the lighting on the cup above the bear and the fabric under the bear the light is coming in from the L. but the Bear looks a little more flat. This may be the colorizing doing this. Try dodgeing the highlights on the bear (dodge - highlights - 5%) and burn (shaddows - 3%) to add more demension to the bear. Also was this on metalic paper? I wonder if the image was printed dark enough... especially if it is metalic as the whites blow out a lot easier. Again hard to tell without seeing it but maybe the bear in a tan color may have struck a more normal cord with the judges, I don't Know.

Undersea Bouquet
I can't tell is this sharp all the way through? Is the fushia color natural, it almost looks painted in. I like the feel of the image but I think it could have been helped with a different placement on the board. I like the lead in from the Upper L with the lighter jelly fish but by enlarging and movin the image I placed the larger jelly fish with the fushia color closer to the upper R thirds intersection.

The Ruffian - I'm sorry but this is not going any higher in my opinion. First the title the ruffian doesn't fit him, He looks mild mannered, it is flat light and the setting of the collums doesn't fit the title or the presentation. The skintones in the face and background look too light and if it was on metalic I think they would blow out under the lights. The blacks look good but over all the rest of the image is too light so it will look like a weak exposure to the judges. JMO

Closed for the season - Printed too light, add a little saturation. Crop to make the horz. not in the center of the image. In this image you have to concern yourself with the skyline placement and contrast, the water horizen line and the beach line. How do you control all of them and get anything close to the rule of thirds. First crop off the sky, It adds nothing to the image. This moves the water horizen line up out of the center. Place the image lower in the presentation to give it more balance. It could go to the top as well but for this image keep it out of the center. Here is a view of what I am suggesting.

A Dream of possibilities - Title doesn't help the image in my opinion. This image is flat lit again. It may have a chance with a bit of artwork. I changed the image to a oval to eleminate the stomach line. I flipped the image to place baby's face in the lower third. I dodged the highlights on the mask of the face to give more defination. I moved the angel to the upper third so the angel is watching over the babe. I lightened the background so it did not distract so much and removed the cloud. Good Luck at HOA I will be there and will check out your images. Look me up. Keith After posting this the babys skin looks ruff to me. It didn't look like this when I was working on it. It is probably from enlarging a low res file too much. Keith

02-12-2007, 03:31 AM
Couple of things I would like to add to Keith's comments. On the Ruffian - The border is very distracting. It draws you eye away from the image to the edge of the board. Also - while not a fan of spot color personally - if you are using it in a competition print there should be a reason for doing so. Why is the tatoo left in color? If one element is colored and the rest of the image is B&W - it's like saying here is the most important part of this image - look here first. ( Like the teddy bear in the garbage) Yet the tatoo is not the most important element of this portrait. So the spot color hurts the image rather than helps.

Now to go on to the Teddy bear - I understand the story - but I just can't get past the image of the dumpster. Looking at it - you know it smells, you know it's disgusting. It is so unpleasant to look at and think about I just can't get my mind to the real story - love worn out, used up and then discarded. You could tell the same story by having this worn out bear left behind on a playground or disgarded in the gutter or on the floor of a closet filled with obviously grown up girl stuff. It's a good story - I just think the dumpster is too unpleasant and too busy. Just my opinion though - maybe some would feel different.


02-12-2007, 03:37 AM
Keith and I were just standing here and I was reading him my comments and I thought of something else. The big challenge of Closed For The Season is there is not a strong enough story or center of interest. Imagine if there was a little old lady sitting inthe far lefty chair - looking towards the other two chairs. then the title could be "Missing My Sisters" and pow - you have a story with impact. The panel can read into it that her sisters are deceased or just far away. They can identify with the feeling of lonliness and the obviously fall time of year ties in with the theme of loss and leaving.


02-12-2007, 03:46 AM
P.S. - I'd take out the boat dock - doesn't add to the image and competes for attention with the chairs.

02-12-2007, 03:53 AM
Thanks for posting. I have learned so much from your sharing and Keith and Holly's response.

02-12-2007, 01:55 PM
Thank you Keith and Holly! It is so much more helpful than hearing "78", then "next print please", LOL That tells me nothing!

I really appreciate your responses, and your assistance with the positives and negatives of these choices. They have solidified for me something I have been struggling with, and that is more important to me than I can ever tell you.

So, thank you :)

02-12-2007, 03:19 PM
Susan - something to remember. When you have a score of 78 or 79 - that is an average. You could have had 3 judges at 80 and 2 judges at 78 and got an average of 79. At National it is thumbs up/down. So a simple majority of thumbs up will get the merit. Be sure and send your work on to National!


02-12-2007, 04:52 PM
I don't want this to sound snobish, but I believe judges are the last holdout for lighting skills. It seems that flat light or total disregard for light has become the norm in much of today's photography. To compete effectively, competitors are going to have to move fundamentals back to a place of importance...at least until the get their Masters.:D

BTW, I have several 4" thick cases full of 78s-79s.

02-12-2007, 08:57 PM
I don't want this to sound snobish, but I believe judges are the last holdout for lighting skills. It seems that flat light or total disregard for light has become the norm in much of today's photography. To compete effectively, competitors are going to have to move fundamentals back to a place of importance...at least until the get their Masters.:D


Well stated Dave. I don't want it to come off wrong either but with the influx of new photographers it is important. Do you remember back when we would attend a conference and all there was was posing and lighting. Then the occassional business program would come along and put most people to sleep. Now in the past several years it has been mostly business programs. We need posing and lighting for the class of photographers that started in the last 6-8 years.

BTW I have more than my share of 78-79s as well.

02-12-2007, 09:33 PM
Can we start a new thread? I too have my 78-79s and I also have some 74-75s and the comments were usually about "flat lighting." So I'm going over the portrait section and posting two. (in a minute)

02-12-2007, 09:54 PM
Ok, I'll be the first to admit, I am one of the new photographers and would benefit trememdously from posing and lighting classes. I always look for and attend those at conferences. That and photoshop classes :-)