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Jerry_W._Kelley
03-12-2007, 12:42 AM
Here are some images I'm thinking about sending to SEPPA and/or to PPA competition this year. Please give me a hard, tough critique and any suggestions you may have for improvements, especially in the presentation.

This will be the first time I've entered in the national competition since 1972 and I have a hunch things have changed a wee bit!

Thanks,

Jerry

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/159/418092163_1ce5857fca_o.jpg

Title: We're Not In Kansas Anymore!

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/133/418092135_4e43f283e1_o.jpg

Title: Santuario de Chimayo

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/184/418092072_19a838eed2_o.jpg

Title: Cabizon Storm

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-12-2007, 12:46 AM
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/168/418092046_bcbe4cb371_o.jpg

Title: Rhythms In Nature

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/159/418092102_7e2dd3bb85_o.jpg

Title: The Wall

D._Craig_Flory
03-12-2007, 01:37 AM
Hi Jerry;

One thing I see is accent lines that tend to draw attention to themselves. Turn your images upside down and squint at them. I think you will end up wanting very slim accent lines instead. For clients, those would work well but I don't think they would fly in competitions.

I'll look at them closer tomorrow. We had a very nice, sunny, day here today around 50ºF so I went on Photo Safari and created around 100 images so I'm tired.

Heather_L._Smith
03-12-2007, 01:39 AM
Wow. Wow.

You know, sometimes you see images and think "can I enter this in competition?" and then other times you see images and think "wow"... this is one of those moments for me. Jerry - these are absolutely beautiful, in my humble opinion. I would hang any and all of these in my home, office, anywhere.

The ONLY (and I mean ONLY) comment I can provide is on the third image, Cabizon Storm, the 'burnt' edges on the very outside of the print may be more than it needs - not that it's distracting, but it may just be a little too much.

Oh, and on Santuario de Chimayo, just know that the title could get butchered when it's announced.

Sorry, I know that's not really all that helpful - except that I think these have a 'wow' factor to them.

Jeff_Dachowski
03-12-2007, 02:42 AM
HI Jery,
I love images 1 and 3. On the house, take a look at placing the house in the dead center. It has a haunting quality to it, and would even have more impact if it were in the middle. I actually like them all, but these two speak to me. Relly nice work. I think you will see some 80+ scores from some of these.

Stacey_West
03-12-2007, 06:42 AM
Very nice image of the Sanctuario. It is such a beautiful place you'd think it would be easy to get something nice but I've been there on many occasions and have yet to capture the mood of the place like I think you have done here. On one trip the resident priest agreed to model for me in front of the church but even then I didn't get anything I thought was really spectacular.

I don't know enough to know if it will merit but speaking as someone who knows how difficult it is to take a compelling image at this location I applaud your effort.


One thing I see is accent lines that tend to draw attention to themselves.
I think this is good advise. If I were buying this image to display in my home I would want this border but I'll bet it hurts you in competition.


Oh, and on Santuario de Chimayo, just know that the title could get butchered when it's announced.
I agree. I like the name but there is a good chance heathersmith is right.

One final thought. I was hoping the most recent remodel of the Santuario grounds would eliminate the concrete walkway. With all the tourists, like me (!),visiting I know why it is needed but it just doesn't "fit" the location and is distracting in photograghs there. Is there a way you could tone the sidewalk down or replace it someway in Photoshop?

Thanks for sharing this image and good luck.

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-13-2007, 12:21 AM
Hi Jerry;

One thing I see is accent lines that tend to draw attention to themselves. Turn your images upside down and squint at them. I think you will end up wanting very slim accent lines instead. For clients, those would work well but I don't think they would fly in competitions.

I'll look at them closer tomorrow. We had a very nice, sunny, day here today around 50ºF so I went on Photo Safari and created around 100 images so I'm tired.

Hi Craig,

Sorry I'm so late in replying to you, I've been out all day photographing hundreds of books that will be used for an EBay auction, it ain't creative work but it does pay!

Yes the accent lines was one of my concerns, thank you, I'll have time on Wed. to make the changes and I'll post the changes then. I've got another 250 books to snap tomorrow.

Jerry

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-13-2007, 12:27 AM
Wow. Wow.

You know, sometimes you see images and think "can I enter this in competition?" and then other times you see images and think "wow"... this is one of those moments for me. Jerry - these are absolutely beautiful, in my humble opinion. I would hang any and all of these in my home, office, anywhere.

The ONLY (and I mean ONLY) comment I can provide is on the third image, Cabizon Storm, the 'burnt' edges on the very outside of the print may be more than it needs - not that it's distracting, but it may just be a little too much.

Oh, and on Santuario de Chimayo, just know that the title could get butchered when it's announced.

Sorry, I know that's not really all that helpful - except that I think these have a 'wow' factor to them.

Heather,

Wow, thank you! I think you are right about that edge and I'm considering a name change although when I sent it in to the VPPA competition I was surprised, the announcer pronounced it correctly! I'll post the changes on Wed.

Jerry

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-13-2007, 12:33 AM
HI Jery,
I love images 1 and 3. On the house, take a look at placing the house in the dead center. It has a haunting quality to it, and would even have more impact if it were in the middle. I actually like them all, but these two speak to me. Relly nice work. I think you will see some 80+ scores from some of these.

Thank you, Jeff, for your super comments!

From what I remember, I think I originally photographed the house in the center and I cropped a little off of the left side. I'll try centering it and post it here in a couple days.

Jerry

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-13-2007, 01:04 AM
Very nice image of the Santuario. It is such a beautiful place you'd think it would be easy to get something nice but I've been there on many occasions and have yet to capture the mood of the place like I think you have done here. On one trip the resident priest agreed to model for me in front of the church but even then I didn't get anything I thought was really spectacular.

I don't know enough to know if it will merit but speaking as someone who knows how difficult it is to take a compelling image at this location I applaud your effort.


I think this is good advise. If I were buying this image to display in my home I would want this border but I'll bet it hurts you in competition.


I agree. I like the name but there is a good chance heathersmith is right.

One final thought. I was hoping the most recent remodel of the Santuario grounds would eliminate the concrete walkway. With all the tourists, like me (!),visiting I know why it is needed but it just doesn't "fit" the location and is distracting in photographs there. Is there a way you could tone the sidewalk down or replace it someway in Photoshop?

Thanks for sharing this image and good luck.

Stacy,

Thank you very much for your comments!

I think I will change the title if I can come up with a better fitting one and I'll make the changes in the borders on all of them. I didn't like the concrete walk either, I'll see what I can do in PS. Also only a few weeks after I made this image, they put in a ugly parking lot with big lights and signs all over. I think they ruined the whole atmosphere and made it too commercial, like a tourist trap.

A little story about the Chimayo church. I was photography elementary class groups at a school about 45 min. north of there and I was a little late getting out of there. It was raining off and on and mixed with snow all day. I got to the church about 30min. before sundown and it was very cloudy, not good for a photo. I got back into my truck to head back to Albuquerque and my truck would not start, so I sat there trying to figure out what to do next. The sun broke through the clouds just five minutes before it set, I grabbed the camera and got four frames and the clouds came back! I got back in the truck and it started immediately.

I feel like I was meant to make that photograph!

Jerry

Mark_Levesque
03-13-2007, 01:43 AM
Great story, Jerry! Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

Betty_Huth
03-13-2007, 01:56 AM
Jerry,

Really nice images. You should have no problem hanging them. The comment about the edge borders is roght on.Less is more, and I have sometimes been tokd that even 10 px is too much. Your weakest print is the guitarist (IMO) as there is no pattern of light on his face, but seems to be lighting his right arm.
All the others will do well.

Why has it been so long since you entered? You do nice work.

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-13-2007, 02:25 AM
Great story, Jerry! Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

Thanks Mark, sometimes things just fall into place!

Jerry

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-13-2007, 03:12 AM
Jerry,

Really nice images. You should have no problem hanging them. The comment about the edge borders is roght on.Less is more, and I have sometimes been tokd that even 10 px is too much. Your weakest print is the guitarist (IMO) as there is no pattern of light on his face, but seems to be lighting his right arm.
All the others will do well.

Why has it been so long since you entered? You do nice work.

Hi Betty,

Thank you very much for your kind words, Betty!

I completely agree about the guitarist image and I will not enter it, as much as I would like too, I only photographed two h.s. seniors last year and he was one. I'll try some edge boarders of different sizes and see how they work.

Why, you ask, has it been so long? It's a very long story but I'll try to make it short. I worked for a portrait studio for nine years and after fighting with too many managers all telling me different things to do all at the same time, I decided to take a break from photography for a while and find myself. This was 1973 and I was 28 at the time. Well I needed a job so a friend of mine said, "Come on down to the Sheraton Beach Hotel and we will teach you how to do drywall finishing." Within six months I was making twice as much money for less work than I was making in photography after nine years. And the pay got so good it was difficult to get out of it.

Fifteen years later and blood clots in my legs from wearing drywall stilts made me quit. All along I still did photography on my own so I worked my way back into it, this was 1988. For a few years I was working six part time jobs and one of them was for a company that was bought out by Lifetouch. They wanted me to work full time, so I did. after 12 years I retired from Lifetouch in 2006 where I traveled all over New Mexico photographing at schools and 2,000 seniors, from July to November. Some schools I photographed maybe 6 seniors and others upto 250. I averaged 80 to 100 a week with an averge of four outfit changes each. About all I had time for was work and not much of anything else. I usually had 700 to 800 hours of overtime each year for eight years.

I rejoined PPA four years ago but I did not enter into the competitions, this year I will for sure. I first became a member in 1965 and entered prints in 1971, one received a merit and two went into the Loan, and one in Loan in 1972. I want to make the best prints I can so hopefully I will add another merit or two!

I have officially been in business for myself for one month and I'm working into photographing seniors (I love photographing teenagers!), and retouching and restoration work for other photographers.

Jerry

Betty_Huth
03-13-2007, 03:21 AM
Glad to see you back in photography. You seem to have really good eye. Were you able to keep your 6 merits or did you lose them? It would be great if you only needed 7 more. That would be doable in a couple of years.

Simplify your edges on the prints you enter. Don't take away from the impact of the images themselves. Prints need to look finished, but judges look down on gimmicky things. When teaching classes in print competition, I always teach to present a strong image, don't use "techniques" or filters to hide your flaws. The judges see through that and are quick to score down for it. Almost all prints today have an underlay of some sort, but they should add to the presentation, make the print feel finished, but not over-power or detract.

Good luck and let me know how you do.

Betty

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-13-2007, 04:39 AM
Glad to see you back in photography. You seem to have really good eye. Were you able to keep your 6 merits or did you lose them? It would be great if you only needed 7 more. That would be doable in a couple of years.

Simplify your edges on the prints you enter. Don't take away from the impact of the images themselves. Prints need to look finished, but judges look down on gimmicky things. When teaching classes in print competition, I always teach to present a strong image, don't use "techniques" or filters to hide your flaws. The judges see through that and are quick to score down for it. Almost all prints today have an underlay of some sort, but they should add to the presentation, make the print feel finished, but not over-power or detract.

Good luck and let me know how you do.
Betty

Betty,

Thanks for the info, this and the other feedback here has helped immensely!

Yes I saved my merits and PPA says they are still good. I also have a speaking merit and four education merits, a total I think of 11. If I push very hard, I hope to have my Masters in a few years, which if I had stayed with it way back when I might have had in 1977! Oh, well, learn and live!

Thanks Betty, I'll let you know what happens.

Jerry

Tracy_McGee
03-13-2007, 05:02 AM
I can't even believe this is the first time I've seen any of your work! I LOVE them!!!! Now I see how you got those blue ribbons that were so hard to get at the conference last month! I did look for your images there, but never happened upon them.

Jerry_W._Kelley
03-13-2007, 05:40 AM
Thanks very much, Tracy!

Did you get the email for the Tidewater District Newsletter? We are having or next district meeting on the 24 at Hobbs Studio in Chesapeake. I hope to see you there!

Jerry

Tracy_McGee
03-13-2007, 05:42 AM
Yep, I'll be there! :D Though I wish they had kept it as the originally planned meeting.... being on lighting. But Jim is great, so I look forward to sitting through whatever he talks about!

D._Craig_Flory
03-13-2007, 02:06 PM
Hi Jerry;

Betty said to not use more than 10 pixels on accent lines. I say to start at 5 pixels and see how it looks. (Make sure you view it in "print size") If not enough try a bit more. And, with a stroke, you can move up by less than a pixel at a time. So try moving from 5 pixels to 5½ pixels and so forth. You can also make a dupe layer of the subject layer. Put a different accent line width on both and compare by turning on and off the eyeball on the top layer till you know which to use.

As an example, when I post 72 ppi 8X10 examples on here, I add a stroke accent line of between 1 pixel and 1½ pixels maximum.