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Bonnie_Butler
05-14-2007, 10:47 PM
REPOSTED BELOW.
Deleting post. Thank you David for your help. Out of the 40 views you were the only one who took the time to respond.

David_A._Lottes
05-14-2007, 11:20 PM
Hi Bonnie
I like your images. Here is a thread that might help you show them better.
"Manage attachments" (http://ourppa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6263)

I'll let someone else critic them for you because I love everyones images and that doesn't help anyone earn merits.;)

Tripp_Harrington
05-15-2007, 02:08 PM
As of a few days ago I was new at posting images too. Sorry I didn't get to see your images Bonnie. Thank you David for the link to this helpful thread. Even though it seems easy I too struggled a little with my first attempt.

Auralee_Dallas
05-15-2007, 03:18 PM
Hi Bonnie,
I'm sorry you chose to take your images down. I was one of the viewers who didn't post any comments because there are others here who are masters and are more qualified.

However you did not give it enough time. This is a busy time of year and not everyone reads every day. I suggest you repost your images in a size we can see and you will get some helpful comments on how to make improvements and how to place them on the 16 x 20 to maximize their impact.
Give it another try.

David_A._Lottes
05-15-2007, 03:43 PM
Give it another try.

Please do Bonnie
They were beautiful. I also looked at your web site and your very talented. My advice to you would be to enter them. But don't get hung up on the scores. Pay the extra money to get the critic tape and learn from it. If you do earn a merit or two don't be satisfied with an "attaboy" from the judges. Ask them to explain why. I have seen many people over the years earn merits in print comp and never understand it. In fact it happened to me. I was a red hot big shot my first five years of print comp. I earned 8 merits on 16 entries, a Kodak Gallery Award and am in a Loan collection book. I took a few years off from print comp and haven't earned a merit since. Sadly when I look over my winners and loosers I can't see the difference. I paid allot of attention to what was wrong with my 79s in those early days but never asked a judge to explain what was right about my 96 and my 87. The last print case I entered was in my opinion the best work I'd ever done and my highest score was a 79. Seems I focused too much on my failures and didn't pay enough attention to my successes. It's easy to say whats wrong with a print but don't dwell on it. I'm trying to learn all over again because I was to focused on my weaknesses. Its either that or the booze.:o

Bonnie_Butler
05-15-2007, 05:05 PM
Any help in placement on the 16x20 would be very much appreciated. I am for sure going to ask for the critique from the judges what ever the cost. Thanks David for the tip.

David_A._Lottes
05-15-2007, 05:32 PM
Way to go Bonnie!
They are beautiful. I have sent messages to some Master/Craftsmen to get their attention on this thread. Don't loose your patients with them, they are busy folks. For my sake when you (judges) do critic these images could you also include some comments about whats being done well. I know its important to learn about potential problems but trust me I've got those down. I need to know whats being done right.:D

Jackie_Haggerty
05-15-2007, 06:03 PM
Bonnie,

Congrats to you on taking the steps and considering print competition. Let me ask a couple of questions to you about the images you have posted: Did you shoot these with competition in mind, did you have comp in mind when you chose them from your work, and what about them do YOU see as a competition print? What makes them original? The answer those questions will help you next time you are in a session and are thinking ahead to the next round of competition.

I am also stepping into the comp world just this year, so I will allow my more experience associates to answer detailed questions on image specifics about the images you have posted. I do feel compelled to mention to you that when you are looking at competition images, though they may be a favorite of yours, the client, etc., the judges most likely have seen the image before, and many times before. If you plan on entering an image that is of a subject the judges have seen time and time again, it needs to be exceptionally executed to stand out in the crowd.

D._Craig_Flory
05-15-2007, 06:10 PM
Hi Bonnie;

David Lottes sent me a PM asking me to post my lesson on Step Mounts. You will find that a lot of merit images utilized a step-mount for presentation.

Dave_Prouty
05-15-2007, 06:48 PM
Hi Bonnie!

Now that I can see the images better, I'm certainly able to comment a little better. Very nice images! I think the baby and mother shot has just a little too much dead space at the bottom, but but that's just my old square format days eye getting to me I think. The bride is wonderful! You have a great eye, and I, for one (and probably many others), look forward to seeing more of your work!

Oh, and welcome to the forum!

Dave

Keith_A_Howe
05-15-2007, 06:50 PM
Bonnie - I have taken the liberty of playing around with a couple of your images. I hope that is okay. On the Mom and baby, I feel it would be stronger in B&W. I have here is my idea of cropping and mounting. I have also drawn a grid for rules of thirds so you can see how this composition positions the Mom on one intersection and the baby on another. You will need to enhance the eyes. I have done as much as I could on this low res files. Dodge the catchlights and crescents, burn the dark ring around the iris. You can also dodge the highlights and burn the shadows in Mom's hair to create more depth. I have placed a stroke of a medium gray around the image to frame it but not draw too much attention away from the subject

This image was removed, only because the fact that the name used for the copyright was incorrect. You are more than welcome to recreate the image with the name "Bonnie Butler" Thanks, Admin.

On the bride - I can't tell the light on her face in this small file - but I am guessing it's nice looking at the light on the scene. First I flipped her so that as your eye reads in from left to right, you read into her face rather than the back of her head. Once again I cropped and repositioned the image to bring her into the intersection of thirds. I burned down the lights and ceiling on her right side. There may be other issues that need to be addressed in PS but once again small file size makes it hard to tell.

This image was removed, only because the fact that the name used for the copyright was incorrect. You are more than welcome to recreate the image with the name "Bonnie Butler" Thanks, Admin.

The baby reaching for the ball has several small challenges that will prevent it from meriting IMO. Look at the image and see what has the greatest visual importance - it's the back of the baby's shirt. His face is completely hidden. If the story you want to tell is how he is reaching for the ball, then that needs to be immediately where your eye travels. I have a hard time getting there. I don't feel there is anything that could be done cropping wise to get this to a merit. I feel as it is it will score 73-75.

The babies foot - it's an extremely comman subject done well but not exceptionally. And the bottom half of the foot is out of focus. Compositionally would be better if it wasn't so centered and straight up and down. This is also an image I think will have a hard time meriting. Assuming print quality is exceptional I would place it in the 76-77 range.

Hope this helps and sorry I don't have more free time to elaborate on what is good and right about your images.

Keith

Keith_A_Howe
05-15-2007, 06:52 PM
another thought on Mom and baby - play around with twisting the image a bit. slant the top to the left so Mom is leaning into the baby even more.

This image was removed, only because the fact that the name used for the copyright was incorrect. You are more than welcome to recreate the image with the name "Bonnie Butler" Thanks, Admin.

David_A._Lottes
05-15-2007, 07:04 PM
WOW Keith, great job! (as usual).:cool:

D.Craig mentioned in another thread how important it is to sit in on print judging. This was another one of my oversights. Jackie can tell you that it drives me up the wall. We sat together at a judging earlier this year and I bailed out after about an hour because I couldn't stand watching pictures of parrots being re-scored over and over again. BAD MISTAKE. If you want to do well in these competitions you need to sit through a few of them and learn what the judges are looking for. Not just ship off a case and cross your fingers like I used to do. I never once paid the money for the critic tape. I wish I had now that the game has changed. Jack Reznicki calls this (game) the visual language. Like any other language it has an ebb and flow. Words like groovy fall out of use while other terms become popular. If you want to talk the talk it helps to know the language.

Dave_Prouty
05-15-2007, 07:20 PM
Keith, I reiterate David's WOW! Nice rework. It did prove me right in the bottom space being dead on the original, but the negative space to the left in your rework is defintely not dead space. It adds to the image's impact. The tilt is most appealing!

D._Craig_Flory
05-15-2007, 08:20 PM
Hi Bonnie;

Here is my version of the bride. I hope it gives you some ideas and insight into presentation possibilities.

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i93/DC47/SolitudeStepMount.jpg

Dan_Leary
05-15-2007, 08:25 PM
Bonnie,
The only thing that I want to add is that by putting your images out there for critique and comment you will be getting better. I don't feel it necessary to add commentary to what Keith has said since he has said it so well. Besides, he's a tough act to follow. Keep in mind that Keith and Holly along with quite a few others have helped many of us succeed in print competition recently, myself included, so take what he tells you and use it. Most importantly, print competition is a "game" for lack of a better word... someone made the comment that you can photograph a subject to please the client, please yourself or please the judges but it is very rarely that it will do all three. So don't let emotional attachment prevent you from seeing the image objectively... this is often the hardest thing for us to do... because the judges don't know anything about the subject except what they see on the print in front of them.

And BTW, I would take a lack of comments on here as a compliment... it means that they don't really have anything negative to say and sadly that's when you will see the most comments.

Good luck!

Dave_Cisco
05-15-2007, 08:31 PM
I believe Solitude will merit with a few mods...
I flipped the image, balanced it by copying the doors to the other side of her, placed it on a "16x20" format, and put a stroke around it to give it a finished look. The railing may not be perfectly level...if not, it should be.
The feet will probably not merit, nor will the little ball player. The mom and baby probably won't either because, and this is not meant to be cruel, the baby just doesn't have "the merit look". :)
Hmmm, I see Craig had a similar idea, but, IMHO, I believe the image s/b horizontal and that the viewer(and judge) should read into the print as you would a written page.(left to right)

Keith_A_Howe
05-15-2007, 08:39 PM
I like what Dave did with the bride compositionally - I am bothered by the softness in the doors. I am concerned that by the time this image is 16x20, the doors will be large enough and soft enough to be distracting. An out of focus element that is closer to the viewer than the subject/center of interest is tricky. Might work or might be a problem.

Keith

Bonnie_Butler
05-15-2007, 08:40 PM
Wow! Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to help and support me. Keith you are so talented...you are absolutely right with the baby and baseball. My eyes were drawn to his name before anything else but I guess I was in denial. I see where the 3rd rule really makes a difference as you have mentioned in another thread. David thank you so much for being so kind and generous with you time. If I can attend a competition and view the judges I most definately will be there.

I appreciate all the suggestions everyone has given me and I certainly have learned a few things. Maybe I can find another couple images that may merit better instead of the last two. I totally agree with Keith on those.

Bonnie_Butler
05-15-2007, 08:54 PM
Bonnie,
The only thing that I want to add is that by putting your images out there for critique and comment you will be getting better. I don't feel it necessary to add commentary to what Keith has said since he has said it so well. Besides, he's a tough act to follow. Keep in mind that Keith and Holly along with quite a few others have helped many of us succeed in print competition recently, myself included, so take what he tells you and use it. Most importantly, print competition is a "game" for lack of a better word... someone made the comment that you can photograph a subject to please the client, please yourself or please the judges but it is very rarely that it will do all three. So don't let emotional attachment prevent you from seeing the image objectively... this is often the hardest thing for us to do... because the judges don't know anything about the subject except what they see on the print in front of them.

And BTW, I would take a lack of comments on here as a compliment... it means that they don't really have anything negative to say and sadly that's when you will see the most comments.

Good luck!

Thank you Dan. I really did jump the gun on feeling a little ignored. It is difficult sometimes to jump in on a forum. I will be patient in the future. I agree it is often hard not to get emotionally attached to your images. The judges look at each image with the same intent going in and I look at it differently because I know the person in the photo. The information here has helped a great deal. I won't expect a merit but what I bring away will help me in future competions (I hope!)

Bonnie Butler

Auralee_Dallas
05-15-2007, 08:56 PM
Hi Bonnie,
You got some great feedback from the experts. Here's my take. I changed the mom&baby to Browntone because ofthe differences in their skin.
Listen to the guys above me--they know what they are talking about.

Oh and the light on that dress is awesome.

Jackie_Haggerty
05-15-2007, 09:28 PM
Wow! Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to help and support me. Keith you are so talented...you are absolutely right with the baby and baseball. My eyes were drawn to his name before anything else but I guess I was in denial. I see where the 3rd rule really makes a difference as you have mentioned in another thread. David thank you so much for being so kind and generous with you time. If I can attend a competition and view the judges I most definately will be there.

I appreciate all the suggestions everyone has given me and I certainly have learned a few things. Maybe I can find another couple images that may merit better instead of the last two. I totally agree with Keith on those.


Bonnie,

A while back Mark McCall posted a link to the SWPPA web site, where you can download and view actual print competition. Here is a link to it:

http://www.poeticexposure.com/swppa/index.htm

It will give you an idea of how it works. Enjoy!

Kelly_Dobson
05-17-2007, 02:52 AM
Hey Bonnie, I just looked at your images and for what its worth they are beautiful. I especially like the one of the bride on the balcony, did you shoot that at St. John's in Plymouth, Michigan???