FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Contest entry

Author
4paul View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 26 July 2011
Country: United States
Location: St Petersburg
Status: Offline
Posts: 1109
Post Options Post Options   Quote 4paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Contest entry
    Posted: 23 January 2014 at 03:06
Last night the local photo association Tampa Area Professional Photographer's Association hosted a lecture by Marty Grivjack, who does the projection/webmastering for photo salon / contests for Florida. He went through what judges look at and discuss, and since I have no inkling of what photo contests are like it was eye-opening. Here is a first attempt to create what I think a local contest entry looks like; it's enormously different from what I would normally post. The picture itself is pedestrian (it's a horse's rump) but I thought it would be a good candidate for a 'contest entry' treatment.

This has jpeg compression artifacts I guess I'll have to start from scratch to get rid of - I already spent 3 hours (!), I guess I need to practice computer skills huh? Do people really spend this much time on a picture??

Almost all of the contest pics had borders and/or strikes, border color and luminosity are apparently a deal breaker, as are blowouts/burnouts.

Tampa member Randy Van Duinen won a silver medal for category Commercial at the World Cup of Photography at Imaging USA in Phoenix last week; he brought the medal to the meeting.

I thought I'd get some feedback from people with whose opinions I'm more familiar before branching out into the local club / contest scene.


DSC00365_PSburn GIMPv lay_cr3x2 GIMPlaybordersmudge PSradialblur2_half_half by 4paul!, on Flickr




camera jpeg (a900, style=Deep +1/+1/0/+1

MLKparade201448 by 4paul!, on Flickr
There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks. - Schrödinger
 



Back to Top
ifreedman View Drop Down
Alpha Eyes group
Alpha Eyes group

Joined: 24 January 2012
Country: United States
Location: Hudson ValleyNY
Status: Offline
Posts: 4766
Post Options Post Options   Quote ifreedman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2014 at 05:10
I don't have time for a thorough critique now - but honestly, I'm not sure what contests are looking for in their submissions. I actually like the sepia-like processing. The border is fine - honestly, I don't really care if it has a border or not, but I'd trust the speaker if he said to include one. The little bit of motion blur is nice IMO, too. It adds some energy to the photo. There's an interesting contrast in settings - cowboy vs. city.

I'm honestly not sure if the image is strong enough to win in a contest - it probably depends on the categories and the other submissions. I'm not a fan of vignetting that you added. It's too strong for me. The crop looks good.

All in all, I know that 3 hours is a lot of time, but it's worth spending the time sometimes. It'll improve your skills, so future editing will go more quickly. I don't know if I've ever spent that long on a single photo, but possibly. I've certainly had photos where I've spent an hour or two. I've also had single pages of writing where I've spent 10 or 20 or more hours editing a single page. Editing is good (to an extent).

Good luck in the contest!
A77ii, A6000 + various alpha, homemade and adapted lenses
Articles: Tilt-Shift Lenses
Back to Top
stresskiller View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 24 November 2009
Country: Netherlands
Location: Nijmegen
Status: Offline
Posts: 1461
Post Options Post Options   Quote stresskiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2014 at 21:32
Originally posted by 4paul 4paul wrote:



This has jpeg compression artifacts I guess I'll have to start from scratch to get rid of - I already spent 3 hours (!), I guess I need to practice computer skills huh? Do people really spend this much time on a picture??




i do believe some people spend that amount of time to create a "perfect " picture.
Sometimes i even think it's not about photography skills but it's all about how good you are with photoshop, and since the software is getting better and better in covering the tracks it's harder to tell what is real and what is not.
I never spend more then 5 - 20 minutes on one photo, i can't stay focused on it long enough or i simply end up deleting the file .. again.

The other thing is do you want to make your picture look the way you like it or the way they like it.

if you make it the way you like it the judges might find it original and pick you as a winner.

if you make it the way they like it you might be judged as not being original enough.

so make sure there will still be a enough of your own creativity in it



That said i like the motion in the picture it's to bad that they don't face the camera, and some how the building on the right is pulling my attention.

since i'm not that good in digital development myself i leave the technical talk to the "pro's "   
happy a6000 and A7II user and bokeh lover :)

Back to Top
MichelvA View Drop Down
Alpha Eyes group
Alpha Eyes group
Knowledge Base Contributor

Joined: 26 April 2008
Country: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Posts: 17632
Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2014 at 08:57
To me it is not clear if you want critic on the photo or the conversion from the second to the first, so i'll concentrate on the second case now.
For me the strong vignetting is not so attractive, as is the strong asymmetric border - although i like the idea itself. The idea to give the photo an older look is good, but the strong mustard color is not very attractive to me.
Further i can only say that creativity in a shot works for me, whatever method has been used.
Back to Top
waldo_posth View Drop Down
Alpha Eyes group
Alpha Eyes group

Joined: 01 August 2012
Country: Germany
Location: Potsdam
Status: Offline
Posts: 5111
Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2014 at 10:38
Your image has gained substantial attractiveness by your treatment - compared to the original. The color shift obviously works, as do the fake "old album page" borders and the cropping. Vignetting is adding to this style positively IMO, although the transition from the darker periphery to the center for me is a bit to harsh.

What you achieved is a removal of distracting elements in the image - what is now left is "riding" (there are still some distracting elements left, like the high-rise buildings). This has become a clear and much more easily readable message (the basis for this, IMO, is the motion blurr of the background by moving the camera during the shot - that's the basic technical quality of the image).

"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." (Walker Evans)   http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo_posth/
Back to Top
4paul View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 26 July 2011
Country: United States
Location: St Petersburg
Status: Offline
Posts: 1109
Post Options Post Options   Quote 4paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2014 at 02:11
Thanks -
I like Dyxum, which is very much "Representative Photgraphy", the picture should look like the thing in real life. I like Dyxum because I value "Journalism" in photography, the picture looks like the thing in real life.

It is eye-opening to see different philosophies on pictures and art, like stresskiller said, you do it for yourself or you do it for someone else, you pick a look and make it.

Like ifreedman said, some things I like, some things I don't, here I don't really like the processing more than the original other than the crop and the sense of motion it conveys with more open space to the right.

MichelvA doesn't like the color, which was an experiment, "too much" I think everyone agrees, like the vignette. Although another photog at the seminar said "I add a vignette to all my photos", he likes a strong vignette on everything.

What waldo_posth said is exactly what I struggle with, all that computer work doesn't change anything in the picture, it makes it easier to see. Motion blur was created by small aperture which is a technical choice at capture; unfortunately a small aperture means distant high rise buildings are in focus, which distracts from the rider and horse, but ifreedman saw "cowboy vs. city". So I spent all that time making it EASIER to see what was already in the picture - the picture is about motion of the rider and horse, and the city and people in the background. You can see that in the original picture, all the computer work made it EASIER to see at a glance, computer work did not change the meaning only make it clearer.

So is that what an artist should do, make it EASIER to see, or should a picture make the viewer look closely? Many times here on Dyxum the criticism is "I don't know what to look at" but in this picture it should be obvious in the original (though the horse and rider face the wrong direction, which is confusing), look at the motion of the rider and horse with the city and people in the background.

If I photoshopped out the buildings the focus would be on the rider and horse, but it would lose "this is a parade in a city and here is a cowboy rider on a horse which you never see in the city except in a parade".

Whenever I spend time on the computer I always think the picture would be better if I had spent more time capturing the picture, not with processing the picture afterward. With this next picture I think it is much 'better' than the original, but not enough to justify the effort; if I had shot it on film it would be close to this with a click of the shutter: I left off a border but the processing is similar (red rather than orange):

DSC01174_DxO 7D150_cr4x3_DxOFP Ekgen50 GIMPlayerV2gaus_DxOFPv_1024 by 4paul!, on Flickr

There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks. - Schrödinger
 



Back to Top
Dyxum main page >  Forum Home > Dyxum Photographs > Dyxum Critics Corner

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.

Monitor calibration strip

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer

In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Feel free to contact us if needed.