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Tripp_Harrington
05-11-2007, 02:34 AM
Hello,
Thank you to so many who have posted such helpful ideas and suggestions regarding the print competition. I entered for the first time last year! The two prints I sent in did not merit; however, it was a good experience and the video critique was wonderful. I would like to try again this year but I'm having a hard time deciding what might be good for the competition...what do you think about these images? Thank you so much for your thoughts.

Dave_Cisco
05-11-2007, 03:56 AM
Hello,
Thank you to so many who have posted such helpful ideas and suggestions regarding the print competition. I entered for the first time last year! The two prints I sent in did not merit; however, it was a good experience and the video critique was wonderful. I would like to try again this year but I'm having a hard time deciding what might be good for the competition...what do you think about these images? Thank you so much for your thoughts.

I'd like to hear you critique them...you know you have arrived when you can honestly evaluate your own images.:)
What are the good points and the weak points?

Tripp_Harrington
05-11-2007, 05:53 PM
Yes sir, that makes sense. Well, in referring back to the 12 elements I’ll give this a shot! Starting with the girl in the woods, I think the thing that impacts me the most is the scattered light falling through the leaves and onto the girl. It was exciting to see these values and colors transformed in Painter. Her expression also adds a sense of tranquility for me personally. The painterly style associated with this image and the feathered light crossing the girls face seem to work in tandem. Compositionally, I think the canopy of leaves serve well to frame the girl. I am less sure about where she falls in the frame…being more or less in the center. The print is presented on canvas and framed in a decorative Larson with gold accents…although for the sake of this discussion I suppose that should not be taken into consideration? When I step back from the image, I’m somewhat conflicted over the center of interest. At this small size it is difficult not to notice her white stockings (even more so than the pattern in her dress). At a larger size I am more drawn to her eyes and the flow of her hair around her shoulders. At the time of capture I knew the hands would be of great importance…I can’t help but think that these also become a center of interest…for better or worse- I’m not completely sure…my obsessive side could probably continue to reposition them. Again, the color balance and technical aspects of the exposure and print are the elements that tend to draw me to this image. To me the story remains simple- a portrait of a young girl.

The image of the girl on the beach reveals another look at a “painterly” style… impressionistic in nature. Creatively, the beach theme is carried further due to the impressionist style of this image. The print is presented on Hahnemuhle photo satin and Lexjet textured fine art which work equally well in promoting the texture/finish of this image as a “painting”. I say this with caution as one of the items mentioned in my last critique was the use of a textured finish and the lack of a “glossy” substrate…to make the images really pop! Compositionally, I like this image full frame. I have tried to crop to 16x20 but I miss the roll of the landscape behind her. I find my eyes following in a counterclockwise circular motion from the dunes around her dress back to the center. A part of me struggles with the straight arm (“if it bends, bend it philosophy”). I don’t think this image is necessarily a good example of the use and control of light as it is relatively flat with no modifications- but potentially work for what it is. Overall, I sense greater potential for the story telling with this image than the first.

What are some other things that work, or don’t work, for these images? Thank you for your responses! (sorry for the lengthy post- there are a lot of elements to cover)

Keith_A_Howe
05-11-2007, 07:39 PM
Tripp - It's great that you are trying to analize and critiqiue your images for yourself. Now that you have made your comments, I'll add mine.

Girl in the woods, this image has a believability issue for me, a little girl all dressed up sitting in the middle of the woods. And she is in a very stiff formal pose. It doesn't seem real to me. Her clothing is very distracting from her face. You mentioned the white socks, but the pattern in the dress yoke and sleeves is also a major issue. These images are too small for me to really see the light pattern on her face, but I disagree with you on the light in the background. The speckled light (hotspots) on the leaves in the background are brighter than her face, once again drawing attention to that area rather than her. I am sure this is a very nice portrait of this young lady, but all I get from it is what she looked like on this particular day at this particular moment. I call these kinds of images "record keeping photographs". Nothing wrong with them, I create and sell many of them, because that is sometimes what the client wants. However record keeping images usually do not score well in print comp. There needs to be that elusive "impact" something that tells you more about the subject that just what their appearance is. It could be the expression (which I really can't see in this small file), it could be the pose or the environment you choose to photograph them in. If as a judge I can sense a story in the image, a feeling, emotion etc I will score it higher than a simple portrait that just tells me what the subject looks like. I am not saying a simple portrait cannot score well but it's a lot harder to accomplish impact.

Girl on the beach - You are right, the straight arm is a problem because it creates a leading line that draws your eye away from where it should be going. I understand what you are saying about keeping the tops of the sand dunes, but there needs to be more room above them or crop out the white sky entirely. This little sliver as presented here just creates a distracting light area, again drawing the eye away from the subject. Also as she is positioned her face is centered in the image and if she were to stand up, she would "bang" her head on the top of the image. You are right in your evaluation of the light - it is flat. IMO it does not work for this image or evn most images. However the greatest challenge I see is her awkward pose. The way she is bent over is creating a hunchback and that with the full loose dress has made her look deformed and blocky. You can tell she is slender by her arms. Tie the dress in at the waist with a sash and have her bend at the waist or hips instead of the shoulders. It will create a more flattering shape to her body. I think this image has potential, but not in this particular exposure. If you can redo the image with a better pose and more room around her, created at a time of day when the light skims across her face, then I think you might have something.

You mentioned cropping to 16x20. Just in case you are not aware - the image does not have to be full bleed 16x20. You can take your full frame as photographed and make it small enough to fit on a 16x20 and then have an appropiate color fill in all the empty areas. Outline the actual image area with a very fine border.

Keith

Tripp_Harrington
05-11-2007, 08:03 PM
Keith,
Wow...that was great! I sure do appreciate your time in reading my personal critique and then passing on so much more helpful information...very cool to read. I must not be posting the image correctly? The website limited me to 48K I believe?

Thank you again.
Tripp

Dave_Cisco
05-11-2007, 08:25 PM
Keith nailed it...:)