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Heather_L._Smith
03-29-2007, 10:17 PM
Okay, give it to me! I can take it!! This area has been pretty quiet the last week or so, so I thought I'd stick my neck out there!

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s37/heathersmith75/Kaitlyn_comp_sm.jpg

D._Craig_Flory
03-30-2007, 12:30 AM
Hi Heather;

I'll look closer tomorrow. For now, the background is too strong. If you want the eyes to be the focal point, you don't want a blue background. You want one close to the image colors.

Heather_L._Smith
03-30-2007, 02:35 AM
I knew I was in trouble when I saw 34 views and only 1 response :-)


http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s37/heathersmith75/Kaitlyn_comp2.jpg

It 'pops' more before I post it... it loses something in the translation.

Heather_L._Smith
03-30-2007, 03:29 AM
I'll try this one, too

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s37/heathersmith75/comp2.jpg

(yes, I know, bordering on obsessive)

Liz_Vance
03-30-2007, 03:54 AM
Hi Heather -

If it were me, I wouldn't use any of those colors... the pink makes the baby look ruddy, and the tan makes her (him?) look pallid. Maybe try one that is the lighter white of the background? I can never tell with the border colors until I play around with them all for a while.

Pretty baby, btw!

Liz

["Bordering on obsessive"? No pun intended, eh? :) ]

Dave_Prouty
03-30-2007, 09:24 AM
I don't want to be intrusive here, but perhaps a solid background isn't appropriate on this. Perhaps a cropped portion of the background would look better.

A smaller stroke might be better, but this may give a better idea as to what I mean. YOMV. Just my insight for what it's worth!

Liz_Vance
03-30-2007, 01:28 PM
Yes! I like that a lot.

Keith_A_Howe
03-30-2007, 02:23 PM
Heather - This is a beautiful image of a cute baby and I am sure her Mom is pleased. For competition it has several issues that will probably keep it out of the merit catergory. The first that it is broad lighting. Not to be condescending - but I don't know if you are familar with that term or not. What it means is the light is striking the broadest side of the face as presented to camera. Next - it is uncomfortable tight cropping - almost like she is in a box. You need a lot more room around her - especially with small children and babies - to keep them looking small. It is good that you are keeping the image small in the presentation - so that she is not larger than life size - but IMO that's not enough to compensate for the tight crop.
Lastly - while this is a very nice image - it is a common subject treated in a fairly comman manner. There is nothing unusual about the pose, camera angle, expression, presentation etc to create impact.
I feel the image would score in the 75-77 range- an above average score. If you will be saitisfied with that - then by all means go ahead with the image. If you are only going to be happy with a merit - perhaps you might want to select a different image.

D._Craig_Flory
03-30-2007, 02:38 PM
Hi Heather;

Your new versions are much better. I agree with everything Keith said. And ... the baby is WAY too big in the presentation. "Kids Need Room to Grow" in a portrait. You will get rewarded with higher scores on images where the size of the child, in the presentation, makes them look tiny and young. So lots of space is a good thing.

Heather_L._Smith
03-30-2007, 02:58 PM
Once again, very good feedback, guys. I seem to be caught in this vicious circle where I can create something that mom loves, but can't create a merit image - and I really need to change that!!!! Grr! I've got a ton of 78's and 79's in a case behind me and I'm just not okay with that. Maybe it's time to go back to portrait lighting school, because, clearly, I'm doing what's easy and not what's great.

Keith - you weren't condesending! Unfortunately, I DO know what broad lighting is (which makes it even worse!), and, like I said earlier, I have a tendancy to do what's easy, and not what's great (which is why I'm stuck in a not-quite-merit rut!). Mom loved the image, so of course, I felt good about it, too... but once again, mom's love does not make a judge's love! Oh, and it's funny that you should mention the crop - I had a tough time with that because there is a LOT more room in the original image - but I didn't like the way baby's tummy came up off her chest, so I cropped in tight to focus on her face.

And, Dave - thank you - I like that background better - I was having a heck of a time with a solid background - I couldn't get anything to look right, but I couldn't a textured one to look right, either!

Anyone know some really good, top notch, hands-on lighting workshops?

You know, it's interesting, I can pour through my copies of PPA Showcase and Loan books and look at those images and go "wow... that is BEAUTIFUL" and I know that that is where those images belong. Then, I look at my own (completely biased, of course) and thing, "wow... I really love this image, I wonder how it would do?" I've never gone into a competition thinking I had a dead-on brilliant piece that would wow my judges - maybe that's my underlying issue! (well, that and lighting, of course)

Signed,
Yet-another-unmerited-print

Back to the drawing board!

D._Craig_Flory
03-30-2007, 03:16 PM
Hi Heather;

Post this everywhere you can ... "I will create extra images on every session for ME and possible competition prints". Then even if a Mom objects about backing up and not having her precious child close up ... back off quite a bit. Even if a Mom doesn't like a nice 3:1 or 4:1 ratio, change the lighting and try some with more snap'. Change and try new things. Tell the client you are just trying to let your creative side out and it costs them nothing but a few extra minutes. They might surprise you & say "gee, I thought I wouldn't like them but I actually love your creative side images".

Now create a hard drive folder and call it "Potential Competition".

Keith_A_Howe
03-30-2007, 07:17 PM
You know, it's interesting, I can pour through my copies of PPA Showcase and Loan books and look at those images and go "wow... that is BEAUTIFUL" and I know that that is where those images belong. Then, I look at my own (completely biased, of course) and thing, "wow... I really love this image, I wonder how it would do?" I've never gone into a competition thinking I had a dead-on brilliant piece that would wow my judges - maybe that's my underlying issue! (well, that and lighting, of course)

Signed,
Yet-another-unmerited-print

Back to the drawing board!

And I can sit on a panel and confidently pass judgement on what should merit, not merit or go loan - yet I cannot figure out where my own prints will score. Last year I had an image I wanted to leave out - I thought it would fall about 76-77. Holly talked me into including it. I got a 92 and went loan. A print I was positive would get in the mid 80's - recieved a 79. It's terribly hard to choose your own stuff. You can't help but be emotionally involved with your own work.

Keith