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Sue_Ellen_Tuttle
06-13-2007, 03:55 AM
thoughts? feedback? title?

Mark_Levesque
06-13-2007, 04:21 AM
What made you choose to do the step mount bottom justified rather than top justified? Not sure whether I'd like it better the other way; sometimes it's better to just try it and see.

title: Staking His Claim

Sue_Ellen_Tuttle
06-13-2007, 04:34 AM
but wasn't happy with it... what do you think?

Dave_Cisco
06-13-2007, 04:53 AM
I'd first put a stroke around it...that way it doesn't "fade to black". My concern, however, is whether there is any detail in the sillouette(sp)....if not, the print will suffer. The difference between detail in the dark areas and none is probably 6-10 points.:)

Stacey_West
06-13-2007, 08:58 AM
Nice photo.

I like the image best when it is step mounted at the bottom. This puts the bird closer to the rule of thirds "power points" in the lower right.

I agree with Dave about the stroke. It does just fade into nothing at the bottom. I gave it a slightly tighter crop and a stroke. I'm not sure about the color I choose but with a nice stroke it would be better.

I also cloned out the hole on the fence post - I think the sun shining through under the bird is distracting.


My concern, however, is whether there is any detail in the sillouette(sp)....if not, the print will suffer. The difference between detail in the dark areas and none is probably 6-10 points.:)

Is this always true? I thought that for a true silhouette - which I'm assuming Sue Ellen is going for here - it was important that there be very little detail in the black areas. Am I wrong about this?

D._Craig_Flory
06-13-2007, 01:00 PM
Hi Stacey;

I am sure that Dave meant detail in the bird when he said there should be detail in the silhouette. Any of us who have ever been a print judge are used to walking right up to the print to check sharpness. So you can't count on them not noticing a lack of sharpness from the normal six feet.

If any part is less than sharp it might help to blur everything but the bird evenly which will make it appear that much sharper.

Keith_A_Howe
06-13-2007, 02:34 PM
IMO, this print will not merit. It's a pretty image to decorate your home or studio, but it just doesn't have anything that makes me want to keep looking at it. The greatest images - again IMO - are those that make me think about something, where I can read a story or feel an emotion from looking at the image. Or maybe the image draws me in because the design or color harmony is intriguing or the lines and patterns keep me looking. Here I see a bird on a post and nothing makes me want to look at this again. I think that lack of story to get me involved would be the greatest challenge to this image meriting.

On the technical side, maybe it's the low res file and small size but the bird and post doesn't appear tack sharp on my moniter. I don't agree that there needs to be detail in the bird in order to merit. Some silhottes are a totally black shape and will merit, some have detail visable and will merit. It just depends on each print. The other major challenge is that the setting sun, or brightest part of the image, is behind the center of interest, rather than centered behind the bird, drawing the eye down and back.

If you want to go ahead with this image here are my suggestions. Make it a long narrow slim line - like 4"x20". Extend the background on the left if you have to, to get that long slim line. Sharpen the image so the outline of the bird and post is crisp. Be wary of over sharpening. In PS create a rim light along the top edge of the bird, everywhere it would naturally appear in a back light situation. Mount it so the bird falls at the lower left intersection of thirds. Choose your black mat around the image from the darkest area of the print. Stroke it with a very fine line from the mid orange of the sunset. Title needs to be something to create a story line in the judge's mind because this print doesn't create impact from design and composition, so story needs to carry it. I would call it "Stood Up Again". I am still doubtful that it would merit but I think it will get in the mid to upper 70's with those changes. If the panel has several guys who have been stood up at some time in their life, it might just slip over.
Keith

Dave_Cisco
06-13-2007, 04:55 PM
Is this always true? I thought that for a true silhouette - which I'm assuming Sue Ellen is going for here - it was important that there be very little detail in the black areas. Am I wrong about this?

It has been my experience that judges consider the image area to be a pallet for "presenting" your work. Total loss of detail is total loss of information. I don't mean the following to be harsh on ANYONE, but total loss of detail is EASY to do. Retaining detail, even in the darkest areas, is very difficult, but highly rewarded.:)

Sue_Ellen_Tuttle
06-13-2007, 07:18 PM
Thanks to all for comments.


IMO, this print will not merit.

As a beginner, I approached competition wrong from the beginning...in that I never ever expected to merit the first time, so I just entered my best or favorite images to get experience and feedback. So, when one of my images did merit (deservedly so...I can tell why it did and others did not) I found my personal expectations rise sharply: If I can do it once, I have no excuse for not doing it again. and again. and again. But while my expectations have changed, my level of experience has not...and while I create some strong images, I understand that they are not yet merit worthy.

So...I missed the original deadline because I continued to try to create merit images....I didn't want to send only one print in the case, and I didn't want to send less than merit images. I think my adjusted expectations are getting in the way of just entering and learning.


Sharpen the image so the outline of the bird and post is crisp. Be wary of over sharpening.

I have never sharpened an image. I see how to do it. I have experimented with it. I am apparently not in tune with what constitutes good sharpening. Can you offer any more description, either in the forum or by phone?


In PS create a rim light along the top edge of the bird, everywhere it would naturally appear in a back light situation.

it looks to me like the bird is rimmed in light all the way around the body...so I am not sure what you are telling me here.???


Mount it so the bird falls at the lower left intersection of thirds.

Lower left?

Linda_Gregory
06-13-2007, 07:32 PM
Sue Ellen,

I'm not going to comment on the technical stuff but I WILL tell you to pay the extra to have the video critique. INVALUABLE!

Mark_Levesque
06-13-2007, 07:40 PM
I have never sharpened an image. I see how to do it. I have experimented with it. I am apparently not in tune with what constitutes good sharpening. Can you offer any more description, either in the forum or by phone?
Wow. I consider sharpening to be an essential step for most (of my) images. Here's what I do, and it's a little bit dependent on my workflow. I usually duplicate the background layer, and do any cloning, healing or whatever on that layer. I call it my base layer. Next will be the sharpening layer, which is a copy of the base layer, with the blending mode set to luminosity. Adjustment layers come above that. Sharpening, which is the last thing I do, is accomplished by running either the smart sharpen or unsharp mask filter on the sharpening layer. Smart sharpen often does a better job, but may introduce noise to an otherwise blurry background that you may want to mask out. But let's say we're running USM on this image. My settings are usually something like radius .7px, amount 300%, levels 4. This is for a full size 20D image. Smaller images usually need less amount. Oh, and I usually have the zoom set to 50% when I do my sharpening as it does a better job of approximating what the print is going to look like, unless it's a web sized image, in which case I view at 100%. hope this gets you started

Keith_A_Howe
06-13-2007, 09:32 PM
I have never sharpened an image. I see how to do it. I have experimented with it. I am apparently not in tune with what constitutes good sharpening. Can you offer any more description, either in the forum or by phone?

Oversharpening is when it starts to look artificial, almost like you took a fine pen and drew an outline around the image - don't know how to expl;ain it other that that. Play around in PS and see how it looks. Try various levels of sharpening, you will soon see when it looks overdone. Sharpening is like spice- a little great - too much and you might as well throw it away.



It looks to me like the bird is rimmed in light all the way around the body...so I am not sure what you are telling me here.???
Rim light is that fine fine fine almost white highlight that traces or outlines a subject when it is backlight. Maybe this image does have that rim light. I can't see it in this low res file. Back in the days of traditional artwork, I would enhance rimlight by taking a very sharp white pencil and drawing a fine line along the edges of the subject that was backlight.



Lower left? Oops - I meant lower right as you are viewing the print.


Keith

David_A._Lottes
06-13-2007, 10:31 PM
Hi Sue
I just want to second what Linda said about the critic, Pony up!
Mark's post is going to take me several hours to digest but I'm 100% sure it's worth the hours to understand.:o
As for rim lighting it is a tiny bit of spill onto the subject that creates a third tone. Bird/black, Sun/orange, Rimlight/deeper orange, on and around the bird not the sun. Hope that makes sense. :)

Sue_Ellen_Tuttle
06-15-2007, 02:53 PM
This is the print I am entering.

I really appreciate all of the input, here.

Sue_Ellen_Tuttle
06-15-2007, 02:55 PM
around a little bit with the backlight/sunset but felt it looked manipulated. Was I off?

D._Craig_Flory
06-15-2007, 03:19 PM
Hi Sue Ellen;

I like it ! What title did you end up with ?

Sue_Ellen_Tuttle
06-19-2007, 09:14 PM
D. Craig - Keith's suggestion really struck a chord with me...I'm filling out the paperwork this afternoon, so will have to decide soon...

QUESTION: since it's past the deadline, do we still ship the cases to the NE address? or should we send them to FLA/somewhere else??? I can't find this nifo...