Here is a big comment, but I believe that all photographers calling themselves professional should be entering at least one professional photographic competition a year. If you are a member of that AIPP then it is a requirement of maintaining your membership to enter into the APPA’s. Why do I say this? We have learnt so much from the competitions that we have entered and we have had a bit of success. We have also had a few disappointments along the way as well so it does balance out. I will admit we have been professional photographers for 8 years, but only started entering the competitions last year. That was definitely a mistake and in the end, slowed our progress. What better way is there than to get people with huge amounts of experience and technical skills to assess your work.
There are however, a couple of problems with the APPA’s. Firstly it is very expensive to enter into the competition and secondly, and my point with this blog, is that you actually need to get the feedback from the judges to really benefit from the competition. That means you not only have the cost of entry, cost of the print and matting and the cost of posting to where ever the location is that year, you also have to travel to the judging. Costly from Townsville and there is also the time factor as well.
This is one of the reasons that I love the International Loupe Awards, (Google if interested). Entry is only $35/image, unlimited entry’s and when you get the result you also get the judges feedback from between one and three of the judges. So here is my point. This is one of the images that has just come back from the International Loupe Awards.
The set up is the location shoot of a wedding at The Brewery, one of my favourite locations. We were photographing using the window light, generally in the narrow range, when I noticed the beautiful rim lighting effect that the light was having on Regina. The light is actually coming from the right and reflecting of the wall and through the window, stunning.
So what are your thought about it without cheating and checking on what the judges said about the image. (I have posted their comments below). I knew that I had problems with the reflections and when I took the image should have bracketed the image probably 2 to 3 stops under the exposure that I used. That would give me details in the highlighted areas that were blown out in the original exposure.
Unfortunately, my Photoshop skills need work and that is one area I did get pick up on. The rest of the comments I completely missed. That being said the image scored 77, enough to score a bronze medal last year, but 3 points shy of award status this year. Still happy with the result and will think a little more about it next time. I also love this image but take on board what the judges have said.
Judge 1: line runs directly through her nose
Judge 2: The light on this is very nice and well handled. There a re a couple of fundamentals here though which weaken the image. Placement of the bride – just an inch back and you would not have that line going through her nose – its very distracting, you have taken the time to set this up so just note small things like this and adjust. She also looks a little stiff but her expression is relaxed. There is a lot of visible retouching which lets this down. Sometimes its good to just leave an image alone..
Judge 3: The line of the window, cut the nose of the Bride.