View Full Version : Let's get some new images up here for critique !

12-09-2007, 04:07 AM
In an earlier thread, we were wondering why Mary had pulled her images. I was just thinking and proffered a hypothesis that maybe she had gotten enough critiques and pulled it to limit the number of judges that would see them. A couple of comments were made about my comment and suddenly it looks like the image posting dried up. I hope that my comment didn't discourage anyone from posting or competing. Everyone who really knows me knows that I am the biggest supporter that our International Print Competition has! And I feel that this forum is a fantastic way to stimulate interest. This is a great resource for those who want to learn and to grow.

I guess I'm just a little too close to the judging and just want everyone to know all of the ins and outs of the whole process in the hope that it would give them a better understanding of the process and maybe a little extra edge in print competition - I love seeing prints go merit - even when they're not mine!!! Now to clear up my comment - A judge recusing themselves is never a problem, since there are always the alternate, the room captain and the Jury Chairman who will vote in his place, so you will always get a fair appraisal of your image. Our national jurors are just too good and too darned ethical to allow anything else, or to allow anything to bias their judgement - that's why they were invited to judge - because they are just that - the best, and a bunch of really great people. In fact I encourage you to meet them by volunteering to be a print handler at the national judging. It's a great educational opportunity - You do have to cover your own expenses, but just imagine spending a week watching the best of the best judge the best by the best. You can't help but come away with an incredible nearly free education... But I digress...

So I don't want my earlier thread comments to discourage anyone to post their images - In fact I encourage everyone to do so - where else can you get an absolutely FREE one-on-one critique by some of the best in the world. And that is how we learn to improve our art.

That said, I want to help start the critique ball rolling again by posting one of my images that I am planning to send to Southwest in February.

Hey Keith - tell me what I gotta do to put this one in the Loan !!!

A little comment on the image - This was an image created of one of our members after one of our all night parties at our PPLA State Convention, down here in N'Awlins - hey we party hard down here... (That was just a joke y'all - so let's not have any LA people gettin' offended)

I named it "Down and Out" since he's obviously down on the ground, outside, and down on his luck, I ran it through a high pass about three times to get a higher contrast, grittier feel... Please feel free to RIP IT TO SHREDS, 'cause for me, the more negative comments I get, the higher my scores go after I correct the problems...

Let the games begin !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12-09-2007, 04:27 AM
How about a little bigger version...

12-09-2007, 05:34 AM
Rick -
I am new to figuring out print competition, but I would crop most of the foreground out. Somewhere above the darker oval shape on the driveway. I don't think the foreground does much for the image and removing it would place the person into the bottom third of the frame.


12-09-2007, 03:34 PM
Hi Rick;

I like the title. And, I agree with Julia. In the presentation, now, the back of his knees intersect the 4th quadrant.

Here is more how I see it. I think it may work even better with some texture.


12-09-2007, 04:04 PM
Thought-provoking image. I like the new crop very much. Is there some kind of texture on it? Lucis?
By the way, the folks who posted here and got critiques did very well in print comp last year.
Calif. has their western states really early and I'll be looking for feedback as soon as the holday rush is over and I get a chance.

12-09-2007, 05:12 PM
I have been recommending that the gallery area is a place for critiquing. I know you can photobucket larger images here in the forums but the bloat is getting quite horrendous. I personnally spend my time in the gallery area when someone wants me to critique their images because of the following:

1. The gallery images can be slightly larger than whats allowed in the forum.

2. If you use photobucket, you give up your copyrights to the extent that anybody can copy your image and use it in their website, and you may never know it. Posting through the PPA conventions will protect you a least a little bit because PPA uses a "bot" program to sniff out images that have been copied off this site. Thus, they can alert you to a misuse.

3. There is a 10 point raiting system there. I use it to rate the person's image on the PPA scale (7 thumbs up is a 70-80) then I will give the person my score, and my critique for why I gave them that score)

4. It's practice for me for my affiliate qualification. I need two more states. Anybody out there interested?

12-09-2007, 05:28 PM
There's been no texture added to it, and I don't have the Lucis plug-in. I ran the file through a high pass sharpening filter I think it was three or maybe even four times to add a high contrast grit and that's what gives it a little bit of that over-sharpened Lucis feel. After looking at the suggested crop, I think I like it better that way. The reasoning behind my original crop was to bring the frame edge and the street into a point in the lower right corner to turn the curve of the driveway into an arrow pointing upwards to help lead your eyes back to the man. I also darkened the shadow of the alleyway on the right hand side and compositionally placed the guy all the way to the right in the composition to accentuate that he was "up against the wall", or "at a dead end" and had no place to go.

12-09-2007, 05:33 PM
I have been recommending that the gallery area is a place for critiquing.

I don't really care where they post them for critique, I just want to get the requests for critiques and the resultant educational interaction flowing again. The gallery is fine with me, it's just that I haven't seen many asking for critiques in the last couple weeks, so I was just trying to jump start things...

12-09-2007, 05:36 PM
Understood. I do get requests for critiques in the various "Masters" threads. All those interested, put your images in the gallery, and write us in the forum. Ever so often, I PM other Master Photographers to give their critiques for you.

12-09-2007, 05:48 PM
Great, thanks for that suggestion for getting our critiques.
Edit: Michael, can you delete or replace images from the gallery? Last year folks posted varying iterations of each image after implementing the suggestions.
Edit #2: Anybody interested in what?

12-09-2007, 07:12 PM
Ok, I posted mine in the image gallery. Looking for competition critique feedback. I am guessing the image lacks impact for most. Since the image is of my children, I am a little bias that department :-) but don't mind at all if others tell me that is what it is lacking.


12-09-2007, 07:20 PM
Posting them in the gallery may be the best way to go but I'd really prefer that conversations go on here. It's easy to get lost in the gallery when you're looking for comp images only. Please?

12-09-2007, 07:29 PM
I fully agree. The conversations about the image are what are most valuable. What is said about one image can apply to a multitude of other images in our files that were never posted. The learnings are the key, and the avenue to that is the conversation!

12-10-2007, 12:57 AM
You can have just as many conversations in the gallery, its just that people seem to be allergic to the gallery (a habitual thing I would surmise).

As of yet, the replacement of images is a bit of a bug-a-boo. I'll ask and see if that is possible. One of the advantages that the gallery is supposed to have over here is that it used to show metadata. I used to be able to see where the photographer might have gone wrong in their camera settings (ie, too fast of a shutter speed with flash, or too short of a lens for a head and shoulder), I'm trying to get this feature back, as well.

12-10-2007, 02:28 PM
I visit the gallery ... once in a blue moon. I still remember when it took over a week for an image to show. Much better images get posted here in the forum. I, for one, will not respond there very much. This is 1000% better.

12-13-2007, 08:01 AM
It may be a problem with my browser (America on Line), but once I leave the forum and enter the gallery, in order to get back to the forum I usually have to back out of the forum completely - go back to my home page then reselect the PPA form - and sometimes, I have to get out of aol altogether and re-log back in to the net, which is a pain, so I don't go to the gallery very often...

12-13-2007, 08:50 AM
OK, it looks like everybdy is total;ly bored with my partied out PPLA member - so how about somebody posting some NEW and exciting images for critique - All of you guys and gals out there have got to have something more impressive than my partied out and wasted friend. So hey, how about a fresh post or two, or do I have to put another one of my images out here for critique???

Just for fun, since it's getting to be Christmas time, how about some fun images for critique ?? I've spent way too much time working this year and want some fun - so again - how about some really FUN images for critique - believe it or not - these can hang too !! As a a matter of fact, at the last two PPLA state conventions, the prestigious PPLA "Peoples Choice Award" has gone to an eminently humorous entry. Also - don't send in a ton of snow images, that only depresses us New Orleaneans since we never get snow down here in N'Awlins, and we never get a chance to create these kinds of images that you northern folks take for granted... In fact, we couldn't handle snow if we got it - an inch of snow would turn this deep south town totally upside down.... We see one flake and we go crazy...

The only thing that you take with you when you leave this life are friendships, everyting else in life is rented. So "Keep Grinnin" - In Memoriam of a friend.

12-13-2007, 12:45 PM
Rick For the Record you Can put the Images On photobucket and use the image link to post In the Thread!
Here's a Large Bride I Photographed this week.


You can make your image as large as you Like, This image is 8x10 @ 100dpi Save it to photobucket, once you Post it there Click the DIRECT LINK
to Copy the url and Paste it in the Image Link Box!

12-13-2007, 01:21 PM
Hi Derek;

You always get the gorgeous ladies Derek. She is stunning and has terrific captivating eyes !!!

12-13-2007, 01:23 PM
It may be a problem with my browser (America on Line), but once I leave the forum and enter the gallery, in order to get back to the forum I usually have to back out of the forum completely - go back to my home page then reselect the PPA form - and sometimes, I have to get out of aol altogether and re-log back in to the net, which is a pain, so I don't go to the gallery very often...

Hi Rick;

AOL doesn't like the rest of the internet. You do know what those letters stand for, don't you ? A.O.L. = Always Off Line. :p

12-13-2007, 03:10 PM
Rick, the best way for you to solve your accessability problems is to not use the AOL interface for cruising the web. One you hook onto aol as your ISP, run OurPPA through your internet browser of choice. My Dad has the same problems with AOL and once I got him to start using the regualr browser, all problems dissapeared (and I even got him to get rid of all those darn resident programs that AOL installs as well (speeds up your computer quite nicely).

12-13-2007, 06:46 PM
Here are some that I'm thinking of putting into comp. I do NOT have any titles - love some ideas about those as frankly I stick at titles!

12-13-2007, 06:48 PM
more images (and feel free to take and recrop, play etc - you can't hurt my feelings!)

12-13-2007, 06:53 PM
nother one - my style tends towards the real vs the fantasy - you'll see very little if any skin plastic...

12-13-2007, 06:56 PM
last one for now...

12-13-2007, 06:57 PM
oop - couldnt do more than two before...

12-13-2007, 07:36 PM
Hi Alegra;

Image #1 NO / #2 Leaning towards No / #3 Yes / #4 No / #5 Possible / #6 YES / #7 Yes / #8 No / #9 No.

I hope Jack gets a chance to see these. Numbers 7 & 8 remind me of the images in a book by him I've owned for 20 years. He does a terrific Norman Rockwell story telling style illustration. In a competition you will only be able to enter one or the other.

I hope more chime in on these.

12-15-2007, 03:56 AM
My Opinion: You have some images here that I believe would be good candidates for competiton - too many images for me to give a detailed like/dislike of each, so here's a quick opinion of each...

First Image - Boy with the yellow background:
The lighting looks flat, the yellow background fights for attention with the face, the eyes look overworked and the image does not convey any kind of story.

Second Image - B&G with what triagular buildiing in background:
There are a lot of distractions - the hot pots of the traffic lights, the taxi, the blurry arn on the right. I don't find that the dead center composition adds to the image.

Third Image - Behaviour:
I think this one has real possibilities if handled correctly and with the right title. It has story telling and the location with the sign in the background could be used to enhance this.

Fourth Image - Girl on Tracks:
This one has possibilities, but I find the hand pose a bit awkward and the bend of the arm is a bit too extreme giving you a "chicken-wing" look.

Fifth Image - Pregnant Couple:
This has become a popular pose lately adn only works when extremely well lit. The lighting is a bit flat and I find the highlight along the man's right arm and on his cheek distracting.

Sixth Image - Polka Dot Dress with stove:
This image has real possibilities. I like this one. I like the Black and White motif with the one red towel placed to pull your attention into the image. I think you need to get rid of the little sliver of red on the right side of the image.

Seventh Image - Group of girls wearing B&W dresses:
This one is also a strong contender, with the right title. I do think that the window and the foreground floor are both a bit too light and need to be taken down just a bit - but not too much.

Eighth Image - Four Girls:
The lighting is a bit flat, and although it has an interesting '50's look, the white shirt and all the shoulder skin in the foreground is distracting. I would shy away from this one.

Ninth Image - Boy with Orange Background:
The lighting is flat, there is no real story, his head is chopped off and the tunnel burning of the corners is distracting. The high camera angle and apparent short focal length of the lens distorts the boys head making his head look too big for his face. If you print this at 16x20, the image of his head may be bigger than life size, which is seldom a positive.

12-15-2007, 04:07 PM
Hello Rick
Will you comment on the story telling aspect of this image as well as color and composition? Thanks in advance.


12-15-2007, 06:39 PM
Where's the image - I can't get it to come up - I see you're from Hurricane, WV - maybe it just blew away? - I know, that was lame, but being from New Orleans and post Katrina and all, I couldn't resist...

12-15-2007, 08:35 PM

you may want to check your settings, I see it just fine! Am letting others critique it, though.

12-15-2007, 09:02 PM
a painting I was thinking of competing with... The saturation isn't what it should be here though. It really is much brighter!

12-15-2007, 10:53 PM
Have you considered shopping out the straps?

12-15-2007, 11:13 PM
A couple from a late Christmas session



12-15-2007, 11:35 PM
I thought about it, but wasn't sure if I could get her underarm to look normal as it's completely covered by the strap and I also wondered if doing this would take away from the "realness" of the scene and take the image too far into the the "fantasy" realm as that's not what I was going for... If it's not comp worthy, that's ok, just thought it may be worth putting out there...

12-15-2007, 11:54 PM
Hey Cindi,
I don't know too awful much about competition, and this is just me thinking out loud, but I was looking over your site and this is far, FAR from your strongest image. I don't know what you have entered or are looking to enter, but you definitely have some strong stuff on there. To me, this image is very weak in comparison. But like I said, I'm no expert. Just my .02 cents.

12-15-2007, 11:55 PM
Cool images.

12-16-2007, 02:06 AM
Thanks Dan, you just made my day... I recently passed the CPP test and I'm still trying to put together what will hopefully be a winning set of images for review and I really needed to hear that!

12-16-2007, 02:33 AM
By the way, the website is new.... I just posted the new version yesterday! I was going to wait until I finalized a few more minor "tweaks" until I officially announced it, but I suppose the cat's out of the bag now anyway! So, have at it, but only if you're willing to post a friendly blog comment while you're there (if you like what you see of course)!!!!!!!!

12-16-2007, 03:12 AM
Cindy, your new website is beautiful!

12-17-2007, 12:03 AM
Where's the image - I can't get it to come up - I see you're from Hurricane, WV - maybe it just blew away? - I know, that was lame, but being from New Orleans and post Katrina and all, I couldn't resist...


12-17-2007, 05:16 AM
would like to get your comments - thanks.

12-17-2007, 01:58 PM
Hi John;

Before any of us make comments about your image, are you posting this as a possible competition print ? In competition, a head and shoulders will never do well. Look at the Dirty Dozen of Competition ... there is no impact or creativity to a head and shoulders image.

If you are simply looking for comments on it as a portrait ... I'll come back and post my thoughts.

12-17-2007, 02:58 PM
Hi John;

... there is no impact or creativity to a head and shoulders image.

I will disagree with that statement as a generality. Just the other day I looked through last year's Loan and Showcase books and there are a fair amount of head and shoulders images. However, there does need to be something unique or unusual about it to give it the impact.
Could be the subject, the lighting, the enhancements, the story.

12-17-2007, 03:26 PM
I was looking for comments on this one as a portrait. I have posted it in the portrait section if you care to make a comment there. Should I delete the image from this thread?

The question about head & shoulders images in competition is interesting. I suspect that D. Craig is right and this image is just too ordinary to score out of the 70s. Most of the ones I remember where old subjects with deep wrinkles - more impact, story telling, etc.

12-17-2007, 03:39 PM
Hi John;

Ok ... as a portrait. There is a separation problem of her hair, and top, from the background. It is an excellent background for a low-key top but it needs a kicker light to give a rim light to the top & a little bit more output from your hairlight. I'd also like to see a little more detail in her hair.

I would have liked seeing lighting with more impact ... a rembrandt or a nice loop lighting. I would take out the 2nd catch light in each eye.

I like serious expressions and she has an intense look but if she had just a hint of a smile it might work better. (an expression as if she had a secret)

12-18-2007, 02:08 PM

This image has impact because of her natural beauty. However, for competition it will (imo) score in the mid 70's.

First thing I notice is the catchlights dead center in her eyes. You might consider moving the main away from the camera to create more of a narrow light open loop pattern or even a narrow light Rembrandt light pattern (as Rembrandt can be done in broad light way too!). She needs a bit more engaging expression too. Her eyes & mouth need to compliment that expression.

If you had an interesting hat (well lit) and a more dramatic lighting pattern, I could see an image with her in it scoring 80 or higher.

It is a nice image as it stands, just not one that will score over 80 in competition

12-18-2007, 02:32 PM
Here are a few that I was considering entering this year. Let me have it! I'm afraid I haven't even though of titles yet either...

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Thanks a million,

John K.