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Photography Question 
Nancy J. Putman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/13/2003
 

How Do You Win A Photo Contest


 
 
"My Friend"
Lens Used: 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF AF Zoom-Nikkor. Exposure Time: 1/400 sec. F-stop 3.3, Exposure: Aperture Priority. No Flash. Focal Length 40.0mm Taken on September 26th in the afternoon on the front porch of our home. She even put on her "lipstick" before we took her picture.
© Nancy J. Putman
Nikon D100 Digital...
 
 
I took this picture in September and submitted for the photo contest. I didn't win anything and would like to know what I did wrong. I recently took a photo class at the Botanical Gardens in Huntsville, Alabama and took the photo with me. The teacher there said he would give me an A+ on it. Can you tell me why I was unable to win with this photo? I would like to know what I need to improve on. Thank you!

Photo details: Lens Used: 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF AF Zoom-Nikkor. Exposure Time: 1/400 sec. F-stop 3.3, Exposure: Aperture Priority. No Flash. Focal Length 40.0mm Taken on September 26th in the afternoon on the front porch of our home. She even put on her "lipstick" before we took her picture.


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12/2/2004 8:04:10 AM

 
Laura J. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2003
  Hi Nancy,
This is the first question I've ever answered! thank you very much coz what I know is it's very competitive on this site, there are thousands of pics entered and the tiniest imperfection, especially some not visible on my computer screen = elimination. THere's a good section here describing what to do to get more winnable photos. Practicinig critique, I'd say your subject is terrific, the green in the background is distracting a little, maybe it should be eliminated or made straight, and I'm not sure that the ligting not on the beautiful child's face is the way to go. I've read criticisms that say dog and friend should be looking in same direction. Focus on eyes has to be super sharp which I have trouble seeing on the screen. Just some ideas. My 2c worth. I think winning contests is a little like selling...or baseball sometimes: the more you pitch it, the more strikes you can get. Hope you submit more, I think it's fun and educational. (I've gotten really positive feedback from instructors, but the pic doesn't win any contests).


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12/2/2004 10:28:56 AM

 
Laura J. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2003
  PS Nancy, I think everything in the right corner- the pole, chain, and greenery needs to be cropped out.


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12/2/2004 10:38:34 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Unfortunately, a competition implies a judge who has a pre-disposition toward any image he views. In this instance, Laura's on target - everything in the upper right is distracting.

Further, though it's hard to confirm on my monitor, the little girl's eyes are not as sharp as the pup's. A judge might ask, "What's the real subject of this picture?" Dog or little girl?

Finally, the white sheets may have fooled your camera. As such, the little girl's shin tone is not as bright as it could be. Spot focusing on her face would have helped.

Don't give up. Remember there are a lot of pictures taken; there are comparatively few winners!

Also, and this is one of the hardest things to learn, you must be ruthlessly critical of your own work. Don't expect judges to approve "almosts," especially if you have even the slighest doubts.


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12/2/2004 11:58:50 AM

 
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