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Cindi_Penrod
05-16-2007, 12:41 AM
I'm my own worst critic and I'm afraid I've defeated myself again.
I didn't enter print competition last year because I really didn't think I had anything good enough. I told myself the same thing year before that, etc.
This year I decided to just suck it up, pick 4 and enter!
So I picked 4 images that, though not my favorites, were ones I thought would compete well. I procrastinated and re-edited a few times and finally rushed them off for printing.

Today I got them from Millers.

This one is much darker than my monitors see it. The background should be a mid-purple, but its near-black. Not very attractive.
http://images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15266/orig/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_512654.jpg

For this one, I choose white as background for a "crisp clean look", but in the print it makes the grayscale image just look dingy. And I wish I hadn't chosen this one in the first place.
http://images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15266/orig/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_512655.jpg

Also a bit dark and another "what was I thinking?" moment...
http://images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15266/orig/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_512656.jpg

and finally, one I like, both image and print, but I don't think it could merrit....
http://images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15266/orig/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_512657.jpg

So there I am. Weeks from the deadline and I have squatt. Do I start the sorting / choosing process all over and rush even faster to the deadline or just call it a year and try for next year? Tough choice.

I shoot a jillion shots every year, but I don't know how to choose comp prints, obviously.

Keith_A_Howe
05-16-2007, 01:02 AM
Cindi - look at your images under competition lighting 1 second F16 100 ISO incident meter reading. You may find that those images you feel are too dark and muddy may actually be appropiatly printed for competition lighting. Just a thought FWIW.

Keith

Anne_LeBouton
05-16-2007, 01:09 AM
Are you viewing your prints under competition lights? When Gary's competition prints come back from the lab, they often look very dark under regular lights, but our lab prints them that way because competition lights are very bright.

You never know what is going to merit until you send it in. We've often been suprised when something we thought was a sure thing only got a 78. One of the things we like about belonging to our local and state affiliates is that we have print competitions at them where we can try an image to see what a group of judges think and hear their feedback on how to improve it. This forum is serving the same purpose for many people.

By the way, I really like the second image.

Dave_Cisco
05-16-2007, 01:19 AM
I knew a lot of photogs who bragged about waiting until the week before comp before starting... I tried to send to state summer seminar(Kerrville) first to see how they would do there. Kerrville was not an affilliated judging(no merits), but you could still see how a print would do. Next opportunity to resubmit the best from Kerrville came at the State convention(Texas or Southwest). Right after State came the submission to Nationals. It worked best if you kept on that cycle, but it was about 12 months from Kerrville to Nationals...had to keep looking WAY ahead.

Cindi_Penrod
05-16-2007, 01:37 AM
I hadn't thought about competition lighting and I know how bright it is. Just didn't think about it. That would certainly explain the darkness of the prints. But I'm still feeling defeated. I've ordered a new print case anyway. Not sure which way I'll go.

Anne_LeBouton
05-16-2007, 01:39 AM
Gary just sent 3 images to the lab yesterday to get printed for National. He already has one that scored 87 at our state convention so that one is good to go. He had 2 others that were high 70s that he redid and a new one he is going to try.

Picking images for competition probably leads to more fights in our studio than any other topic. Photographers can get very emotionally attached to certain images and it can be hard for them to hear that others don't think it's their best work, especially when it's a spouse saying it. :rolleyes:

Cindi_Penrod
05-16-2007, 01:43 AM
Gary just sent 3 images to the lab yesterday to get printed for National. He already has one that scored 87 at our state convention so that one is good to go. He had 2 others that were high 70s that he redid and a new one he is going to try.

Picking images for competition probably leads to more fights in our studio than any other topic. Photographers can get very emotionally attached to certain images and it can be hard for them to hear that others don't think it's their best work, especially when it's a spouse saying it. :rolleyes:

LOL I wish I had a spouse with a strong qualified opinion! Unfortunately its just me and I really think I choose emotionally rather than logically.

Anne_LeBouton
05-16-2007, 01:45 AM
I hadn't thought about competition lighting and I know how bright it is. Just didn't think about it. That would certainly explain the darkness of the prints. But I'm still feeling defeated. I've ordered a new print case anyway. Not sure which way I'll go.


Cindi, do you know who Fuzzy Dunkel is? He consistently scores in the 80s and 90s but it took him years to even enter print competition for the same reasons you are hesitating, he never thought he had anything good enough even though other photographers he knew were always telling him how good his stuff was. The first print competition he entered here in Wisconsin, all his prints scored over 80. He hasn't looked back since.

You just need to do it and not worry so much about whether your work is good enough. You will never know until you enter! And if it doesn't score as well as you hoped, try a different image next time or find out what you can do to improve the one you entered. Print competition is a learning experience, not a test.

Liz_Vance
05-16-2007, 01:48 AM
Hi Cindi,

You know, I really like the pic of the woman with the flowers. I saw it and immediately thought, "You did what?!" for a title. How will it do at comp? I have no idea. I've only started entering. The image I loved, one of the judges hated and no matter how much the other guy fought for it, it only got a 79. And my throwaway print, the one I printed two years ago, was dinged and I had to fill in a scratch with a sharpie - that got my highest score. So I'm the last person to tell you what to submit. But I like that one. It's got personality.

Liz

Cindi_Penrod
05-16-2007, 03:00 AM
nevermind... rambling of an uncertain artist.

Mark_Levesque
05-16-2007, 04:02 AM
Cindi-

Don't overthink this. It's a visual medium. Let the images speak. Those are all good images. At least in the 76+ range. Some of them may merit. Let it be. You will learn from each of them.

BTW- I feel your pain. Just checking out images from tonight's shoot that are not quite as I envisioned them. Looking for a sharp desk corner upon which to pound my head. There are probably a couple of ok images, but I'm underwhelmed, and frankly, irritated at myself.

Anne_LeBouton
05-16-2007, 01:11 PM
And apparently Mark, you managed to get so upset you turned into a frog!

Mark_Levesque
05-16-2007, 02:05 PM
You don't think that's my good side? Maybe I need a new photographer to take my portrait for my avatar. These self-portraits are a {female dog}.

Cindi_Penrod
05-16-2007, 02:26 PM
Thanks for the encouragement, guys. I'm feeling a little better today, though I have decided to reprint one of them. I sure appreciate the input.

Mark, for your kindness, I'd happily shoot a new avatar pic for you. Coming to Florida any time soon? :D