Lighting Standards
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    400

    Default Lighting Standards

    I stopped entering print competition ( which is something I would never recommend to anyone else ) after becoming uncomfortable with how dark prints had to be printed for competition lighting. I tried to find out why by asking a number of knowledgeable photographers and was never given an answer. I felt that anything I submitted for competition should be printed the same way that the work I delivered was. In my last year of entering the National I hung three prints. I've always gotten more satisfaction in winning my customer's praises than those of the judges anyway.

    http://www.photographybyearl.net/

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Lighting Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Pro
    I stopped entering print competition ( which is something I would never recommend to anyone else ) after becoming uncomfortable with how dark prints had to be printed for competition lighting.
    PEC over the years has expermented with different light levels to evlauate images for this very reason, prints have to be about 20% darker than normal. But what PEC has always found is that for the judges to see the real quality of the image the lights have to be at curent levels. At lower levels many imperfections are not seen from the viewing distants of six feet. That distance was determined by needing to have six judges view the image and score at the same time.

    Many, not all, who submit prints into competition rarly use their competiton prints for display because they want them in larger sizes for promotional porposes. The prints created for competiton are only used for the competiton itself.

    Intresting that you wouldn't recomend not entering print competition but competing didn't provide you with enough education to continue. I hope you reconsider.
    Dennis D. Craft PPA Certified, M.Photog, Cr., F- ASP
    Marshall, MI
    craftphoto@aol.com
    craftphotography.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    400

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Craft
    PEC over the years has expermented with different light levels to evlauate images for this very reason, prints have to be about 20% darker than normal. But what PEC has always found is that for the judges to see the real quality of the image the lights have to be at curent levels. At lower levels many imperfections are not seen from the viewing distants of six feet. That distance was determined by needing to have six judges view the image and score at the same time.

    Many, not all, who submit prints into competition rarly use their competiton prints for display because they want them in larger sizes for promotional porposes. The prints created for competiton are only used for the competiton itself.

    Intresting that you wouldn't recomend not entering print competition but competing didn't provide you with enough education to continue. I hope you reconsider.
    Actually, this is the first of any kind of explanation I've ever heard of. I've asked people at color labs, at Kodak and in the PPofA. It's too bad that there can not be a better way of viewing prints because the way that they are printed for competition degrades the quality of the print. It's been decades since I've entered competition. My career in photography can't go on for too many years longer. I'm 58. The digital factor is another thing I'm not enamored of. Maybe there should be separate categories. Many of my customers come to me because I don't shoot digital and they can see the difference.

  4. #4

    Default Why enter at all?

    It seems that we enter prints to win merits, yet our customers do not buy these images. We settle for "green merits" from our clients. I hung a print this year in International that was so digitally corrected and unlike the original customer's print that I felt deceptive. THis was a family of 33 I met five minutes before I captured the image. All 33 were looking at the camera, relatively pleasant, color-grouped by family and outfit, etc. The fact that I pulled this off merited a score of at least 95. One judge who scored this print at another competition groused about one man's head being above his wife instead of to the side, so the best he would do is give it a 76. He berated the other judges on the panel who felt it should scored higher. I later went to this judge's website to view HIS work and was aghast at the quality and style of family portraits shown (best work?). Another print at this same competition was of a sunset in Venice featuring boats. This was a master print because of the cropping - it was underexposed with a red filter, yet garnered a 95. Why? Because it was by a "master?" Did he/she score high because it was an exotic location?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Brandon, FL
    Posts
    24

    Default

    BamaPro ...Interesting comment, particularly in this time ... your clients don't WANT digital? My clients pick me because I do shoot digital .. and can deliver quickly ... and retouch quickly ... and most of them have no clue as to what good photography is. I am a commercial shooter and I turn out the quality level I do because I WANT to, not because my clients demand it. And photography is still photography ... capturing an image by recording the light reflected off a subject. It matters not if you "remember" it on a piece of film or a digital chip ... good photography is still good photography. Shooting digitally allows me more chance to produce a great image ... and I love the fact that I can fix all the problems that I had to accept with film. Digital capture is like rock and roll ... here to stay. Embrace it, accept it and move on. And my comments are not based on my youth. I have been shooting for more than 40 years, I am almost 61 ... and it IS where we are today. I love it! I think you will too once you take the leap.
    Al Audleman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Brandon, FL
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Gathright
    It seems that we enter prints to win merits, yet our customers do not buy these images. We settle for "green merits" from our clients. I hung a print this year in International that was so digitally corrected and unlike the original customer's print that I felt deceptive.
    Another print at this same competition was of a sunset in Venice featuring boats. This was a master print because of the cropping - it was underexposed with a red filter, yet garnered a 95. Why? Because it was by a "master?" Did he/she score high because it was an exotic location?
    Seems I said the same thing once. You're right ... our cleints determine our success by awarding us "green merits." But the journey to the Master of Photography degree is well worth the effort. While you may not agree with the judges evaluations (spelled scores!), being able to compete successfully means that we have learned certain "rules" and have worked within those parameters. You WILL be a better photographer because of it, whether you earn the Master's or not. And as far as the judges, well, you're right. Not all of them really should be judging other's work based on what they produce for clients. The competition committee (PEC) really does try to weed these out over time based on comments like yours. And as far as "masters" scoring higher because they are masters ... well they are usually held to a higher standard. But images are primarily scored on IMPACT and if an image has that, it will score well. But it is still okay to complain about the judges!

    Now about the fact that your image was highly edited ... fixing all the problems. Ain't it great that we can DO that now rather than having to settle for less than perfect images. As hard as we try, we still find problems with images ... and with 33 people in one image, it is a miracle if you can get a great image in one frame. Digital capture allows us to do it at home later even if we didn't get it when we shot it. That's kewl!
    Last edited by Al_Audleman; 08-06-2005 at 02:25 AM.
    Al Audleman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API

  7. #7

    Default

    the journey to the Master of Photography degree is well worth the effort. While you may not agree with the judges evaluations (spelled scores!), being able to compete successfully means that we have learned certain "rules" and have worked within those parameters. You WILL be a better photographer because of it, whether you earn the Master's or not.
    Great reply Al,

    It is not the destination (though it is nice when we receive the merits) It truly is while on the journey that we learn so much. Entering competition forces us to take long hard critical looks at out work. Dissect the good from the bad. Check our composition, our lighting and our technical skills. What a great opportunity to learn.

    Judging is subjective. A blend of 6 different personalities, 6 different visions. This scenario is not unlike our business. Each client is different. We please some of our clients but possibly not all. Does that make the client wrong? Not in my opinion, it only speaks to the fact that everyone has different desires, different tastes. I guess what I am trying to say is that you may never please all of the judges all of the time but this too is a lesson you can apply to your business. You probably won't please all of your clients all of the time. Would you throw in the towel because of a few?
    Last edited by Mary_Mannix; 08-07-2005 at 12:04 AM.
    Mary

  8. #8

    Default

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Gathright
    It seems that we enter prints to win merits, yet our customers do not buy these images.
    I frequently compete with client images. In my first PPA print case, three out of four images were client prints. All of these prints hung, and two of the three went loan. All three are the images the clients chose to hang in their homes. The market is saturated with photographers. Our cleints come to our studio because we can produce award winning artistic images. Competition has only enhanced my range as a photographer. With each image that I produce for competition, I learn something new that I can apply to client work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,479

    Default Good for you Michelle!

    In pursuing my Masters, all 13 of my images are all client images, five in loan. I got a lot of flack for doing things "the hard way" - especially during the film days The PEC taught me a valuable lesson:

    If you can put as much effort in your finished product for you clients, the same way you put your efforts in your print comp images, your Green Merits will be so much bigger than you currently think is possible!

    If you think your green merits are great, consider how much greater potential you have in sales if you "do that extra step". The biggest complements your clients can give you about your work is when they plunk down 2,3, or more thousands of dollars for your work. All other compliments like, "the images you did for me are great! Can I order them later?" are empty promises.
    Last edited by Michael_Gan; 08-06-2005 at 11:59 PM.
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    400

    Default Digital Vs. The Real Deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Audleman
    BamaPro ...Interesting comment, particularly in this time ... your clients don't WANT digital? My clients pick me because I do shoot digital .. and can deliver quickly ... and retouch quickly ... and most of them have no clue as to what good photography is. I am a commercial shooter and I turn out the quality level I do because I WANT to, not because my clients demand it. And photography is still photography ... capturing an image by recording the light reflected off a subject. It matters not if you "remember" it on a piece of film or a digital chip ... good photography is still good photography. Shooting digitally allows me more chance to produce a great image ... and I love the fact that I can fix all the problems that I had to accept with film. Digital capture is like rock and roll ... here to stay. Embrace it, accept it and move on. And my comments are not based on my youth. I have been shooting for more than 40 years, I am almost 61 ... and it IS where we are today. I love it! I think you will too once you take the leap.
    Most of my customers can't tell the difference between digital and traditional imaging. It amazes me that some are so discerning! And they're right! Color film based imaging is a little crisper and the colors are generally better. There is no comparison between BW film imaging and what substitutes for it digitally! ( I sometimes use a sheet film camera with a 70 year-old 8 inch Voigtlander lens. ) Yet, all of the images on my website had some digital work on them. It was more convenient to use images that I had digital files on already rather than scan negatives or prints. The end results of using a digital file are sometimes disappointing. One customer was upset because the 24X30 portrait of her child in front of red tulips didn't have the brilliance of the non-digital proof. ( The wind caused a few strains of hair to be out of place, so digital work was required. ) Everything depends on the particular camera used, how the image is manipulated, etc.; I know. But I noticed that on digital prints the colors aren't usually as true. I recognize that non-digital photography is soon to go the way of the Dodo bird, but there will be a diminuition of the photographic image as a consequence. But who would, on the other hand, want to forgo the head swaps, body swaps, eye openings, etc. that digital manipulation makes possible? It's really just a matter of "the good, the bad and the ugly." On another tack, I've always felt that a true competition would be like those that chefs engage in. It might not be practical; but what if the photographic skill of photographers was based on a contest requiring the same equipment and subject matter? So much of competition is based on the uniqueness of the subject matter that posing and lighting skills often take a backseat. This sort of "level playing field" approach would certainly be demonstrative of basic photographic skills. It might be only a part of general competition. I'm not suggesting that the factors that go into creating a competition masterpiece aren't praiseworthy. http://www.photographybyearl.net/
    Last edited by John_Earl; 08-08-2005 at 03:43 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Live Chat is closed