This year will mark my first entry into competition. I'd like to submit this image, which I love in its full-frame version. I'm not sure about cramming it into 16x20 format - I'm not a big fan of this type of positioning within the frame that I see in many Competition Images, but I see the need.
Any comments or suggestions for a first timer?
I like the presentation as you've posted it. I think the monochrome presentation works too.
You've asked for comments and this is in the print critique area so I'll offer my comments as far as competiton is concerned....
If this image appeared on a panel I was judging on I would be inclined to score the image in the 75-77 range. Depending on print quality it might be at the high end of that range. The primary reason (for me) that I would not merit the image (score 80 or higher) is because of her hair. The hair is flying in a bunch of directions, taking away from the beautiful mask of her face. The broad lighting doesn't bother me at all (I think it works here).
I think you should enter the print and use whatever score/ribbons you get as an opportunity to promote yourself as an "award winning photographer".
Thanks for the feedback, Don. I really appreciate an informed opinion on the types of things that would be appropriate for competition.
Honestly, I love the fact that her hair is blowing in her face, as it was a nice caught moment at the time that it was shot. I really like the expression on her face, which was her more "normal" face, after she thought the "real" photography was over.
So, even though I love it, partly because I know the model and the story, it may not be appropriate for competition. Is there a place within competition for shots like this, or is PPA looking for very (trying to find the word...) structured images?
Thanks again for the advice and any other thoughts.
Todd - sponteneous images are just fine in competition. However as judges we are looking for professional skill even in those candid serendipitous moments. The hair blowing in her face is fine by me- adds to the story of this girl - but I agree with Don about the hair on her shoulder and neck - just too messy and unattractive. Where I disagree with Don is the broad light. I think it makes this young woman look heavy in the jaw - creating a less than flattering image. The camera angle is a little low - which increases that heaviness through the jaw. You will definately need to retouch/soften the bags under her eyes. A little PS to enhance the eyes would also be a good idea. There is a bright spot in the background - even with her forehead - which creates the impression ( true or falsely) of a lot of burning in the background. I would score this print about 75 assuming the print quality is good. Don't take this as a negative against candid type images. Just realize that PJ or candid style does not provide a reason for lack of technical excellance. Actually this image looks very much like portraits we see entered fairly often. I agree with Don - enter the print and use the results for marketing as well as a learning experience.
Haha - does this look like the good images that you see or the bad ones? Just kidding - I definetly appreciate the comments.
Originally Posted by Keith A. Howe
I've posted a couple of other favorites. I'm trying to get of sense of whether what I like will fly in competition. Again, all comments welcome.
Much better ...
Thanks for your reply, Craig.
Can I ask what your thought process was is placing the images? I'm trying to understand what is expected in presentation. Are you mainly relying on a rule of thirds determination?
Also, am I better off with a black background and a matching stroke, or maybe putting these on a white background? I'd prefer the white, but I tend to see the black w/keyline in most competition prints.
Thanks again - any other comments welcome.
Definitely not ...
Oh, definitely not a white background. You want to try to stay in key with your subject layer. If you had used a white background it would have screamed for attention away from the subject layer.
With accent lines, I go with the skinniest possible that is still visible.
With placement, I did use rule of thirds. I put my composition grid on top, cropped, and moved the subject layer till it worked. On one of the two I moved it down to a bottom quadrant for better placement.
You used the lines in Photoshop but ... you can't turn down the intensity. With my composition grid, I take it down around 20% opacity so I can barely see it but see the subkect layer much better. So I like that a lot more.
Todd - Imagine a dark room - no lights except what is shining VERY brightly on the one image. Image that image has a bright white mat around it. What do you think will be the first thing you see? The white mat of course! I know white mats are kinda standard in art shows - but the circumstances for viewing are different.
Thanks Keith, I didn't think of it that way. I really like the "Art Show" white matte look, but I can see how it would rarely work for a competition image, especially one that's darker.
I really appreciate these comments, any others welcome.