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owenn01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Club Competition Entries
    Posted: 01 October 2020 at 14:30
Hi Ian,

One can never, ever, second guess what a Club Judge is going to score for your entries - I gave that up a long time ago and see it just as another outlet for getting my images seen these days (though sometimes it is hard to sit there and listen to what seems like unrelated comments and suggestion - the famous 'two steps to the left' type thing!). By way of comparison, this week sees the closing date for the first PDI competition; just two entries allowed and these are as follows:

Foot of the Falls:



A Dream of Summer:



I'll let you know how I get on!

Take care and best regards, Neil.
My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!
 



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IanC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2020 at 13:21
Originally posted by owenn01 owenn01 wrote:

Hi Ian,

Good on you! I like the three extra images - the pit head one I could see what you were trying to show with that and I think a '16' is about right. The high mark for the liner is justified - yes; there is noise in the sky granted, but I think the crispness of the liner outweighs that and you have a very generous lead-in from the light along the water to help you as well.

If I'm honest (I hope I usually am!), then 15 through to 17's is what I would expect to be a 'normal' night for me at the local club - a lot depends on the judge (clearly) and whether they are brave enough to properly distribute the scores. If there were some 11/12's and then one or two 19/20's then that's a good outcome and distribution of marks, especially for a first go - seems you sit middle to above middle which is fine (someone could come along and give a completely different range of marks after all!). Where issues arise is when a judge looks at these 'off the cuff' and gives a 19 or 20 early on, then there is a series of absolute brilliant images later on which makes everyone feel a little uncomfortable...

You now need to keep us updated on future submissions and marks - oh; the demands of Club photography (which reminds me - I have to do 2 submissions before Friday for our first league competition!).

Take care and keep up the good work!

Best regards, Neil.


Thank you Neil,

I was perfectly happy with the outcome. I didn't have any expectations and if my extras had all received the lowest score it wouldn't have come as a surprise. The three I originally asked for comments for did as I expected. They were ordinary photographs that all the previous comments helped me to improve where possible.

On this occasion the judge had been able to look at the entries in advance so had already scored them. I do think a broader range of scores would have been better, unless possibly all the entries were of a similar standard? As I enter more competitions I will no doubt find out. Pleased to hear from another club photographer. An experienced one too. Thank you for the praise and encouragement. Good luck with your entries. I'm already thinking about my next competition. Entries will need to be submitted soon and judging will be two weeks later.

Kind regards,

Ian
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 September 2020 at 14:41
Hi Ian,

Good on you! I like the three extra images - the pit head one I could see what you were trying to show with that and I think a '16' is about right. The high mark for the liner is justified - yes; there is noise in the sky granted, but I think the crispness of the liner outweighs that and you have a very generous lead-in from the light along the water to help you as well.

If I'm honest (I hope I usually am!), then 15 through to 17's is what I would expect to be a 'normal' night for me at the local club - a lot depends on the judge (clearly) and whether they are brave enough to properly distribute the scores. If there were some 11/12's and then one or two 19/20's then that's a good outcome and distribution of marks, especially for a first go - seems you sit middle to above middle which is fine (someone could come along and give a completely different range of marks after all!). Where issues arise is when a judge looks at these 'off the cuff' and gives a 19 or 20 early on, then there is a series of absolute brilliant images later on which makes everyone feel a little uncomfortable...

You now need to keep us updated on future submissions and marks - oh; the demands of Club photography (which reminds me - I have to do 2 submissions before Friday for our first league competition!).

Take care and keep up the good work!

Best regards, Neil.
My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!
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IanC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 September 2020 at 14:06
The judging finally took place on the 29th September and as promised here is my feedback.

The club guidelines state a maximum of three entries, but on this occasion the judge agreed to look at up to six, so I submitted a further three. I felt they were just making up the numbers. Sixteen photographers submitted a total of 69 pictures. Here are the three additional pictures.

#1

4_Pithead Winding Gear through a Dirty Window by Ian Chapman, on Flickr
#2

5_An Exhibit at the Catalyst Museum by Ian Chapman, on Flickr
#3

6_The Queen Visits Merseyside by Ian Chapman, on Flickr


Firstly of the three pictures some of you were kind enough to provide feedback for they all scored more or less the same. The swans and Liverpool waterfront scored 16 out of 20 and the Warrington rooftops scored 15. The scores on the night ranged from 14 to 20, with most being in the 15-16 range. 20 was rge top mark. The feedback I received on here about the plumage on the swans was spot on. The judge felt there was not enough detail, but despite my efforts to improve the swans there isn't any detail on the RAW file so I went with it as it was.

Unsurprisingly as predicted by everyone the rooftop picture didn't do too well. It only scored 15 despite my changes. Interestingly the judge did tend to like landscapes where there were view blockers to the left and right which my original picture had in the two towers. Knowing judging can be subjective I wonder if it would have done any better than my revised picture? I accept there wasn't much central interest though.

I had to smile at the comments about the Liverpool waterfront. The judge firstly said he liked the picture and the amount of water was exactly right, He added that was inspired to try the shot for himself so went and tried to copy it, but his effort wasn't as good as mine. That comment made my night.

Of the three 'extras' I submitted one scored my lowest mark, 14 placing it in the bottom with 5 others In hindsight I should have included a little more of the barrel to tell more of a story. The pithead winding gear scored 16 and the judge felt it couldn't be improved on because of the size and location of the winding gear in relation to the window.

The biggest surprise was what I thought was my weakest picture scored my highest mark, A 17. It was my picture of the Queen Victoria cruise ship. That was despite the sky showing what appeared to be grain or noise whilst the rest of the picture was praised for being sharp and interesting. Probably down to my poor post processing. I tried to use the burn tool to enhance the sky but obviously failed.

I had no illusions of winning, but I did enjoy the taking part and value the feedback both from those on the forum who commented and the judge on the night. Thank you again for all those who offered wisdom and advice. I am not disappointed and did better than I expected. A great learning opportunity. Now for the next competition.

Ian
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 September 2020 at 20:41
Is the horizon straight in that remake? In my eyes, that tower leans a wee bit towards right.
I also wonder if it would be possible to get the clouds bit darker since the sky looks boringly white...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 September 2020 at 14:11
Ian, I think if you crop from the bottom just above the windows of the nearest building and from the left just to the right of the two big air conditioning fans/condensors I think you'd be left with a pleasing picture.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 September 2020 at 12:49
I've re-taken #2. It's very different to my original picture. Apart from the fact that one of the towers has been demolished and new flats being built on the site, the conditions and equipment have created a very different image. I'm not convinced the subject can be transformed into a good competition entry so I may not enter a picture of the rooftops.


Warrington Roof Tops by Ian Chapman, on Flickr
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 August 2020 at 13:08
Originally posted by owenn01 owenn01 wrote:

Originally posted by IanC IanC wrote:

I don't know what the judge's background is. I am assuming he/she is a photographer, but I don't know what genre. The point I was trying to make was no matter how good the entries are if they don't appeal because of the judge's own interest they may not do well.
Ian


Hi Ian,

By way of defending Club Judges, if the Club has selected then from a local or Regional accredited list then they will be up to a particular standard - by that, I mean they should not show any great degree of individual bias (though it is human nature to like what one specialises In I guess) and will demonstrate a good grasp of photographic standards and skills etc. They usually tend to also have some RPS Accreditation as well. You shouldn't worry too much about this for the moment! I did think of trying to become one myself but the amount tf time needed to train; show you are of a 'standard' and then get out to Clubs that need you wasn't compatible with working for a living!

Good luck and best regards, Neil.


Thanks Neil. I'm not too worried about the judge. I have no great expectations just yet. I'm hoping to submit two or three pictures of a good standard. The judge's feedback is more important than winning (unlikely!). The club is affiliated to various regional bodies so I'm certain the judge will be impartial. I'm going to see if I can re-shoot #2 this afternoon. If not, I may look for something else to submit, or just go with #1 & #3. It's all good experience and the comments from fellow Dyxumers has already been very helpful and useful. Yes, back to work for me too tomorrow.

Ian
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owenn01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 August 2020 at 09:19
Originally posted by IanC IanC wrote:

I don't know what the judge's background is. I am assuming he/she is a photographer, but I don't know what genre. The point I was trying to make was no matter how good the entries are if they don't appeal because of the judge's own interest they may not do well.
Ian


Hi Ian,

By way of defending Club Judges, if the Club has selected then from a local or Regional accredited list then they will be up to a particular standard - by that, I mean they should not show any great degree of individual bias (though it is human nature to like what one specialises In I guess) and will demonstrate a good grasp of photographic standards and skills etc. They usually tend to also have some RPS Accreditation as well. You shouldn't worry too much about this for the moment! I did think of trying to become one myself but the amount tf time needed to train; show you are of a 'standard' and then get out to Clubs that need you wasn't compatible with working for a living!

Good luck and best regards, Neil.
My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2020 at 16:06
Thank you Basil, Neil Sashi and Angora for your further input.

I accept that no #2 is the weakest image of the three presented. (It's now historic as the tower on the right has since been demolished!) My plan is to re-shoot the image so I can't include both towers even if I wanted too! When I photographed it I used an A200 and a Minolta lens. It was a hazy day too. I'll be using my A77 and a G lens this time. I'll take several pictures from different angles and perspectives.

#1 I'm reasonably happy with.

I can dodge and burn in Paint Shop Pro so I'll see if that improves #3. Paint Shop Pro can do almost everything Photoshop can do, probably not quite as well or easily, but it's a fraction of the price. I have had a go with Gimp, but I wasn't overly impressed. The learning curve did put me off a little!

I don't know what the judge's background is. I am assuming he/she is a photographer, but I don't know what genre. The point I was trying to make was no matter how good the entries are if they don't appeal because of the judge's own interest they may not do well.

I agree many great pictures follow the rules of composition. I've heard of most of the rules, but up to now I've tended to take pictures "for the record" or simply to please me. My reasons for joining this forum. and my local club is to improve. The comments I've already received have been useful and invaluable.

Regardless of how well I do, I'll post the final images I submit and report on how well, or badly, I get on.

Ian

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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2020 at 09:29

my 2 cents? (for what it's worth? ;)). reading some very valuable advice here.
what I'd like to add is that it's a fact that people tend to have preferences, and judges too. ;) you'll see many examples of that on Dyxum with any presented set of equally strong images.
what strikes me though is that you say that the judge will be a sports photographer. (I read that he is a photographer, thus familiar with photography? ;-)).
however, the people that responded to your Q happen to be seasoned photographers and they all agree #2 is the weakest of the 3.
and Neil explained exactly why!
despite its popularity on Flickr... I think I can see why you obv. haven't ruled it out (yet? ;-)). I actually like it too, the buildings are very attractive. but... pls try to look at it from our PointOfView? bet your eyes will go from the tower on the left to the tower on the right. and vise versa. because you actually managed to create a very strong composition here, that forces the eyes to go directly to an 'empty' center, or the 'big gap' as Neil calls it. see it?
it doesn't 'work', because it makes the eyes wander. which is obv. the only way to view it.

I like the improved #1, much better! (because it simply showed too much Mersey, a river without interesting patterns, lines or anything surfacing. i.e. without anything to draw the eye).

you said you moved the building centrally... an improvement indeed! in this case. makes me wonder though to what extent you are familiar with the rules of composition? called 'rules' (are meant to be broken? ;-)), because they 'work'. not just for painters, photographers, they work for everyone. for every viewer you'd like to present your pics to. the only difference is that photogs know precisely why they work and how to apply them.
if I were you, I would go over the old dreaded rules of composition. the leading lines, framing, focal points, foreground interest, the rule of 3rds, the golden ratio and so on? and on. forgive me if you're already quite familiar with those, but going over them again never harmed anyone. yet?
and Dyxum could be a great help. viewing great pics, wondering what makes them great? you'll find masters of composition here!

great suggestions from Basil and Sashi! dodge and burn! made Ansel Adams famous!
not familiar with PSP (easy in PS, don't forget to set the new -non invasive- layer to 50% grey).
and the Nik suite! is free -and outdated ;) -. contains Silver Efex for b&w conversions. but most important are the 'control points' that will allow you to make local adjustments, based on colour(s). or to brush them in.
both will add drama to that sky, etcetera.

best of luck! hope you'll keep us posted!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2020 at 21:20
I've never used PaintShop Pro so have no idea of its capabilities.

I do recommend DarkTable. It's a free/open source product with a rather intuitive user interface and easy to work with. Almost all the tools in this product work based on sliders and hence easy to learn/operate. Rawtherapee is similar. They're both RAW editors that also work well as JPG editors.

Other option is Gimp. A rather powerful tool with a strong learning curve, but simple tasks are simple. Use the Nik suite of filters with this and your pics will improve drastically.

Sashi
More Dyxumer, less photographer.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2020 at 17:25
Hi Ian,

Much improved on #1 - the loss of the expanse of water hasn't harmed the image at all and the cropping of the buildings at either side work out nicely here.

Good luck in the competition and let us know how you get on!

Best regards, Neil.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Basil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2020 at 17:08
Ian,

I like the rework of #1. Thanks for posting it.

If Paintshop Pro has a doge/burn tool, that may help on the swans. Adding a little burn to the bright white may tone down the harshness. You might not get any detail if none is there, but it will help it be less of a distraction.
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