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View Full Version : Okay, I'm Slightly Infected...



KirkDarling
06-05-2007, 04:13 AM
...by the competition bug. I could recover, but here are four possibilities that I'd like a critique on. I've shown these on the forum before, so I'd appreciate the worst (that means you, Keith :D ).

Image One: A Heavenly Arrangement

http://www.lord-and-darling.net/tech/images/A Heavenly Arrangement.jpg

KirkDarling
06-05-2007, 04:16 AM
Knowing the Risks This Time

http://www.lord-and-darling.net/tech/images/Knowing the Risks.jpg

KirkDarling
06-05-2007, 04:17 AM
Power in Repose

http://www.lord-and-darling.net/tech/images/Power in Reposel.jpg

KirkDarling
06-05-2007, 04:18 AM
The Love he Fought For

http://www.lord-and-darling.net/tech/images/The Love He Fought For.jpg

Dave_Cisco
06-05-2007, 05:22 AM
Power in repose is very powerful...I believe your earlier title provided some insight to the ruggedness of his hands..I believe I liked the previous connection of the hands/title better. Is there any detail below his waist?

Heavenly arrangement is strong also, but three things concern me:
1. The hair light on both seems a little strong.
2. Her eyes are a little too white.
3. The vignetting is a little heavy...

I'm not seeing the other two going over 80...could be wrong.:)

Jackie_Haggerty
06-05-2007, 09:37 PM
Kirk,

I also enjoy 'Power in Repose' though I didn't apply the title to the image very well, and am not sure of the previous title..... The kicker from camera right in that image bothers me a bit- it seems really strong. I like 'The Love He Fought For' a lot, and it could be a personal preference, but I love it for the body language of the subjects and the title you gave it. I don't know that it is a strong comp image though....

Knowing the Risks has some issues with their hands, IMO.

A Heavenly Arrangement is very nice also. Ditto what Dave said on the kickers and vignetting- especially the vignetting....

I am happy to see your interest in competition, Kirk. Are you thinking about Nationals?

KirkDarling
06-06-2007, 01:52 AM
Okay. Here is another try at A Heavenly Arrangement with the highlights and vignetting under better control.

What do you see as the weak points of "The Love He Fought For?" How should it have been better done?

http://www.lord-and-darling.net/tech/images/A Heavenly Arrangement2.jpg

Dan_Leary
06-06-2007, 02:31 AM
Kirk,
Personally speaking, I've always enjoyed "The Love He Fought For" and I remember the story. I'll let all the other competition gurus go over the finer points... but I will comment that even thought I get the title, it's because I heard the story. THe judges won't know the story behind the print. Three years ago I did a shot and called it "WIngs of Faith"... I knew the story and grew emotionally attached to it. But the judges did not. I think it scored a 78. I do think it's a good, solid image... I just wanted to point out to think about those things when you're choosing titles.
Good Luck!

KirkDarling
06-07-2007, 04:09 AM
"La se├▒orita en la contemplaci├│n"
http://www.lord-and-darling.net/tech/images/vanessa.jpg

KirkDarling
06-07-2007, 04:10 AM
I am happy to see your interest in competition, Kirk. Are you thinking about Nationals?

Jackie,

No, possibly the regionals this fall.


but I will comment that even thought I get the title, it's because I heard the story. THe judges won't know the story behind the print. Three years ago I did a shot and called it "WIngs of Faith"... I knew the story and grew emotionally attached to it. But the judges did not. I think it scored a 78. I do think it's a good, solid image... I just wanted to point out to think about those things when you're choosing titles.

Dan,

Yeah <sigh> I understand what you mean, but it's kind of the only way I can think of to underline both of their postures.

Jackie_Haggerty
06-07-2007, 04:12 AM
Starting early, huh? Good idea!!

We could all learn from that!

Keith_A_Howe
06-07-2007, 04:56 AM
"La se&#241;orita en la contemplaci&#243;n"


Kirk, You need to consider that the person announcing titles may not know any spainish and butcher the pronouncation. I understand why you are thinking of that as a title but foreign words are never a good idea because of the problem with mispronuncations. When your title comes out garbled, it takes attention off the print and instead makes the panel think about what the title was supposed to be. Instead try something like "Estrella in Reflection". Use an obviously spainish name to get the same idea across. Of the prints you have shown here, this one would have the best chance at a merit. You will need to fix the two splits in her hair. Also for a woman of spainish descent, she appears quite pale. You might think about printing this a lot darker. But make sure not to lose detail in the shadows - especially in her black hair.

I notice that you seem to favor a heavy and very soft vignette. In particular on the print "The Love He Fought For" it has created quite a tunneling effect, which is now also causing an issue of mixed keys because the corners of the image have gone so dark. I agree with the other comments about the title - no one on the panel will know the back story so pick a different title. The man is quite stiff in his posture which normally would be a negative against the print, but here it is a reflection of his culture. I would pick a title that refers to the idea of honoring that culture. You will need to remove his fingers where they show on her back.

In "Power in Repose" - next time smooth out his shirt, the way it is bunched up has created "man boobs".

I also notice that you seem to like a high ratio with a specular light source, which is not a bad thing, but when you mix that lighting style with soft focus, you need to be careful. The highlights can easily appear blown out because soft focus creates halliation on the highlights and makes you lose detail. Generally a crisp light source works best with a crisp image. A soft focus image generally looks better with a soft light source. These are just general guidelines not hard and fast rules. There are always exceptions.
( Anybody that doesn't know what I mean by specular, halliation, high ratio etc. please just ask.)

As a general observation, you have a very traditional style. But as it is a timeless style, it does not create impact through uniqueness. The impact will have to come from technical perfection. Are you familar with the work Charis? Tim Kelly from Florida is also another photographer who has a great timeless style - however his images are more casual clothing and a little more relaxed pose than Charis. Both of these photogs are the top of the class in technical excellance ( also great artists, but that's not what I am getting at here). Their images are impactful because they are perfect. So what I am trying to say is for your style to do well in competition, your skill level has to be much higher than with an image that is a new and unique style.

Congratulations on deciding to take the plunge.
Keith

Mark_Levesque
06-07-2007, 05:28 AM
I really like the new one, Kirk, best of all!

KirkDarling
06-09-2007, 02:39 AM
Since this was the one which appeared to have the greatest potential, another version of "A Young Lady in Contemplation."

http://www.lord-and-darling.net/tech/images/vanessa2.jpg

Dave_Cisco
06-09-2007, 03:17 AM
"A Young Lady in Contemplation."
Looks too "smushed" here.

Dave_Cisco
06-09-2007, 03:20 AM
In "Power in Repose" - next time smooth out his shirt, the way it is bunched up has created "man boobs".


Keith

...not that there is anything wrong with "man boobs" .........:D

Stacey_West
06-09-2007, 07:32 PM
Kirk, for a title on your last image - which I like very much - what about just plain "Contemplation"? This year, for the first time I entered portraits. I too struggled to come up with names that added to the storytelling I hoped to accomplish.

KirkDarling
06-09-2007, 07:43 PM
"A Young Lady in Contemplation."
Looks too "smushed" here.

You mean too much soft filter?

Dave_Cisco
06-09-2007, 10:34 PM
You mean too much soft filter?

Yup. I think it's just too soft everywhere.

Mark_Levesque
06-09-2007, 11:54 PM
Me too. You should have some selective sharpness, IMO.

D._Craig_Flory
06-10-2007, 02:35 PM
Hi Kirk;

I used to own, and use, a lot of different soft focus filters. The one thing I didn't like was not having sharp features on the faces - especially the eyes. That is why I love using Photoshop. I have total control of what gets softened, how much, and where - using layers masks.

With what has been said ... if you had used a layer mask and painted back in sharpness on her eyes it would have been much better. With a layer mask you can have different degress of softness ... more on one part and less on another and none still other areas.

KirkDarling
06-10-2007, 03:25 PM
Sharpness on the eyes is easily fixed (I always do "soft filter" as a layer mask), so I'll do that. I usually do, anyway. Muchas gracias, senores. Muchas gracias, todo el mundo.