View Full Version : first attempt at competition

11-26-2007, 06:36 AM
I'm rather new to PPA but I would like to try my hand at print competitions. Attached is my first candidate for competition. Please give me some feedback as I have no idea what to expect in competition. I have attached it in color and B&W.


11-26-2007, 07:02 AM
Can't comment on competition- since I haven't been there yet. I do compliment you on posting and being willing to learn. Welcome.

11-26-2007, 01:56 PM
Wonderful shot. Looks great.

But to me the hand is way too predominate. Along with the knee. Me? I would crop into the second finger, losing the knee, and then darken the top of the hand that's left (the top finger and a half) so the face was the brightest tone.

In the end, the story is the face and the cross.

11-26-2007, 03:18 PM
Hi Ryan;

This is a powerful image idea. I worked it quickly & am posting how I see it being presented. I have the cross at the 3rd quadrant since it's the linch pin to the idea. I suggest a title like The Power of Faith.


11-26-2007, 03:36 PM
Jack is right about the hand being too bright. The other issue is the focal length choice and the distortion it has created making his hand and knee bigger than his head. The face is also broad light, which is usually a no no. BUT! I think this might be one of those prints where you can break all those "rules" and still have a great image. I would like to see a title that suggests this is the makers grandpa as he remembers him from childhood. That explains the unconventional camera angle - down low looking up. It also explains the short lens- to accentuate the feeling of a small child looking a long way up to his grandpa (and also looking up as in admiring him/hero worship). If you can come up with the right title, then I think leave it cropped as it is and just tone down that hand and knee so the face is the brightest thing. As far as if it will merit - it is impossible to see some of the hundreds of things that can hurt a print, just from looking at a low res file. Print quality in the final image can really make a difference too, but I would certainly encourage you to go ahead with this image. I definately would do the b&w over the color. It reminds me of an old magazine image from the 60's and the b&w perpetuates that idea. Your white stroke is too wide - 3-6 pixels at most. Make sure you have a strong b&w - not muddy. Take your background color and your stroke color from somewhere in the image, so if you do not have a trure black or true white, thoe stroke and background are not either.


P.S. Holly just suggested "Faith of Our Fathers" for a title

11-26-2007, 09:50 PM
I agree with the BW image over the color! The color red/yellow color is the predominant element and where the eye goes first before the gentleman and the cross. With the BW image, you see the subject first

11-26-2007, 10:54 PM
Man this place is a wealth of knowledge ...

I just kick back and learn ... :-)

11-27-2007, 01:21 AM
Now, my opinion is probably worthless, as I have no experience with print competition, but somehow, I'm drawn more to the color image than the black and white. I'm also shocked at myself for saying this, because I am a true lover of black and white photography. I probably burn more Tri-X than a war photographer in Vietnam.

I usually find black and white images of this sort much more powerful and dramatic than color. Generally I feel, like Cheri and Keith pointed out here, the color distracts. Even more crazy is that I find myself disagreeing with Keith (I generally always resonate with his advice, maybe I had a stroke today or something).

BUT, somehow I think the golden light at the cross is important to this image. Maybe it's a connotation with a "heavenly light," but the color, warmth and atmosphere created by the light in this print makes me like the color one better. Yes, for sure, it draws the eye back away from the subject. However, for this I think it's okay. To me, it creates a real dramatic tension and causes me to keep going back and forth, which is working here. The cross and the man turn out to both be critical for this image and that's why it seems fine to me to go back and forth between both.

Finally, as usual, Holly nailed the title.

11-27-2007, 02:49 AM
WOW! Thanks to everyone for all of the wonderful advice! Keith, do I have permission to use Holly's title? I have been struggling to come up with a great title and I think "Faith of Our Fathers" is right on!

I value everyone's opinion here and I thank you all. I definitely agree that I need to tone down the hand as it should not be a focal point.

Just a side note. This is an older gentleman at my church who is very respected and wise and my intention was to shoot up at him to convey that feeling (someone to look up to). The respect and wisdom is rooted in his strong faith (hence the Cross). I intended for the gentleman to be the main subject but have found that when I look at the image I am drawn to the Cross first (color version). This was not my intention but I think it is rather fitting.

If anyone else has any advice I am certainly eager to hear it.

Thanks so much

11-27-2007, 02:55 AM
Keith, do I have permission to use Holly's title? I have been struggling to come up with a great title and I think "Faith of Our Fathers" is right on!

Of course you can use it. We wouldn't have suggested it if we didn't want you to use it.


11-27-2007, 02:42 PM
If anyone else has any advice I am certainly eager to hear it.

If this man is in your Church then consider photographing him again. I bet he would be willing....

Incorporate all the suggestions here... such as use a different focal length lens, get a bit more light on the shadow side of his face, etc....

If you continue with this one..., I like the color version. I think the idea of the "Heavenly Light" in color helps (for me) make the image work. That's also why there are 7 members on the judging panel. :)

Holly has suggested an excellent title.... Better get her some chocolate!!!