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Photography Question 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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March 2013 - No EP Feedback Thread


Hello Fellow Bpers!

Due to the recent changes to judging (criteria?) and awarding of EPs, I was curious whether BPers would be interested in a thread discussing why their image might not have made the initial cut, and didnít receive an EP, for the contest. So hereís my ideaÖ

WHO: all BP contest participants are welcome. This is purely voluntary and anyone submitting an image for suggestion here should be prepared for such feedback. We all communicate in different ways (both sending and receiving) so it is expected that everyone who participates be respectful and provide and receive feedback in a way that promotes learning and growth in a positive way. Please be descriptive. Say what elements work and why as well as which elements may not work and why and include suggestions that you feel might improve the image.

WHAT: discussion/feedback thread for images that have been passed over for an EP in the contest and will not be progressing further in the judging rounds leading up to Finalists/Winners.

WHY: There may have been less need for a thread like this before the BP changes, as most all entries received an EP. Since the number of EPs awarded has decreased, some members are now wondering why an image was passed over and are looking for feedback on why and what might be done to improve the submission.

WHERE: Suggestions for images submitted should be left on this thread only. This is due to many members expressing that they would not be happy or comfortable with critique/suggestions left directly on the image's comments. This is understandable because some members direct prospective clients to their galleries and because images are resubmitted to the contest at a later date and those comments, even if respectful and helpful, would remain on the image.

WHEN: BP is still going through changes here in March and, in some cases, awarding EPs for previous images through to mid-March, it appears. The general rule going forward will be that this forum will be for current month images not receiving an EP or for past months images with no EP that you are going to resubmit in the current month.

HOW: I suggest that members refer to BPs own "Photo Contest Guidelines: How to Win a Photo Contest." http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/guidelines.asp
These are the basic guidelines and criteria to be expected from this contest and the judges/editors. When analyzing an image as to why it might have been passed over, the first clues can probably be found here. It might help to remember that we are discussing why the judges at BP, and not other venues, may have passed on an image.

Helpful hints for attaching photos into Forum Threads (h/t to Michelle Frick):
1) Sign into BP completely (name + password.)
2) If you have NOT YET entered the Contest today, you can use the "Photo ID" to pull an existing image from your Member Center into your reply to this thread (avoiding a duplicate image upload.) Get the Photo ID# from your Member Center, come to back this thread, click Respond, enter the text of your reply, then choose "1" from the images-to-attach drop-down. Click Submit; at the next screen populate the "Photo ID" box at the right. Skip the other fields on that screen.
3) If you HAVE ALREADY entered the Contest today before replying to this thread, you can't use the Photo ID method today. You can either wait until tomorrow to reply here (before your new Contest entry!) or, upload a new copy of the particular image (from your PC) into this thread. This produces a duplicate image in your Member Center; however, you don't have to make that duplicate visible in your Gallery.
4) If you're uploading a duplicate, maybe title it "For Forum" so it stands out in your Member Center, for easier housecleaning later... This may also avoid members leaving critiquing comments on the original image in your gallery. Unwanted comments on the duplicate will be deleted with the duplicate, preserving your original entries comment thread.


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3/25/2013 6:51:45 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  For EP Forum
For EP Forum
F5.6, 1/80, 55mm (18-55mm lens)outdoor light.
© Susan M. Smith
Nikon D50 Digital ...
 
 
To all, suggestions for anything I mentioned above are welcome.

Ok, so I'll get the ball rolling with this one.

I tend to like images with dark/moody lighting. The background on this was already dark with shadows so I just darkened it all the way. I'm wondering if that was not a good choice, if the B&W was not a good choice or if the small area of focus doesn't work?


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3/25/2013 6:55:59 PM

 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2010
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  High five to you Susan for starting this thread! I think it's an awesome idea and I hope people participate. Here's my thoughts on your image...first of all the contrast is what caught my eye first (I like it) and next your composition is very appealing to me and the B&W works here for sure. For my own personal taste I think a larger area of sharp focus would work well giving the viewer a little more detail to focus on. Again, I think you have started a great thread and I will upload an image here for discussion very soon. WTG Susan!


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3/25/2013 7:25:14 PM

 
tony w. austin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/28/2010
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  Stop and smell the flowers
Stop and smell the flowers
sometimes you have to stop and smell the flowers, just dont eat them
© tony w. austin
rainfeatherphotograp...
Canon EOS 60D Digi...
 
 
well here is one of mine that was passed over, any thoughts?


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3/25/2013 7:37:16 PM

 
tony w. austin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/28/2010
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  let me say thank you susan for starting this...
I love the black and white and moody feel of your photograph. I dont think it would have worked as well as a color picture..so I do applaude you for taking the b&w approach.
What I wonder is if the 4 prongs on the left side seem to lead your eye away from the flower itself? that is just my opinion.


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3/25/2013 7:43:12 PM

 
Patricia Buenting
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  Winter Garden
Winter Garden
© Patricia Buenting
Nikon D700 Digital...
 
 
Thanks for starting this , I think it will be very helpful. I am still having trouble adjusting my photos from windows to my new iMac. Any info on color will be very helpful.


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3/25/2013 8:07:13 PM

 
Irene Colling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2008
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  Susan your B&W crocus makes a bold statement and the high contrast makes a strong statement. The leaves fanning to the left are a nice counter balance for the blossom.

My only suggestion is that you may have found a more compeling POV. The bloom is a little too centered to make a dynamic impact.


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3/25/2013 8:08:08 PM

 
Patricia Buenting
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  Susan, I am a huge fan of b&w and like this image. To me it might be a little softer and not have a good crop to get the main subject in place. Personally I love the b&w and focus but I wonder if the judges might consider it to soft.

Tony I would crop a little from the top and on my monitor the top white of the dog appears to be blown out. I repeat--on my monitor--I could easily be wrong, as I am having problems with it. Let's see if anyone else has the same opinion. Love the photo!!


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3/25/2013 8:19:26 PM

 
Irene Colling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2008
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  Tony you captured excellent detail in the dogs face. The viewers focus goes right to the eye where it should. I'm impressed by the lovely shade of blue and purple in the photo.

If this were my photo I'd darken the pansies directly behind the dogs head and slightly reduce the saturation. You'd be surprised how much a photo can pop when you isolate the subject from the background this way.

First I would carefully select the dogs head/neck and copy that to a new layer. On a layer under the dogs head I'd drag a black gradient 1/4 of the way down from the top. Adjust the opacity of the gradient so the top flowers are darkened slightly. Then I'd make a saturation layer and reduce saturation just a little. You'll still have pretty color but the flowers won't compete with the dog. Those two actions will keep the eye from wandering up and off of the image.


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3/25/2013 8:24:42 PM

 
Irene Colling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2008
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  Patricia, your color looks fine to me and I really like seeing background buildings reflected in the glass bottles. (Those are really nice plant protectors; unlike my cut off soda bottles.)

Your photographic technique seems fine to me, it may be that your subject just didn't grab someones attention.


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3/25/2013 8:32:23 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  Thanks for the feedback and ideas everyone and I'm thrilled that there is some interest in this discussion! I know that I have scratched my head more than once trying to figure out "what was wrong!" Sometimes we need an outside perspective to see the things that we don't. I think I have some ideas now for reworking the crocus image :)

Tony - the focus and detail on the dog and foreground are great, as are the colors! I also think the composition adds to the emotional impact. That said, the light does look like it was mid-day, which is rough for anyone. I think that may be why the background and top of the dog are too high key and over contrast-y. I'm with Irene and Patricia on minimizing the background so that your main subjects stand out more. It really is worth a resubmit.

Patricia, the color looks fine to me too. The subject seems like it could be more compelling, maybe with a new crop? I'd focus on those interesting plant covers (with the reflections) that tell the story of protecting the garden in the winter.


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3/25/2013 8:52:15 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  oh wow, this is funny! I happened to look at my gallery before signing off for the night and the crocus now has an EP! lol Well, if it goes no farther I'll have some resub ideas :)


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3/25/2013 9:39:46 PM

 
Patricia Buenting
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  susan, I love your Roses shots and Understudied deserves a EP also.


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3/26/2013 4:25:12 AM

 
tony w. austin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/28/2010
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  i am loving this thread.. learning a lot..


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3/26/2013 5:11:42 AM

 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2010
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  Hey Tony, I love this shot! I agree with what was said befor, it's just simply that the dog is in competition with the background and just a little to much contrast. It's a quick fix and this photo is definitely worth a resub. The detail in the dog is spot on.


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3/26/2013 7:49:45 AM

 
tony w. austin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/28/2010
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  Just a side note.. did anyone notice the ant on the bottom flower?


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3/26/2013 7:51:55 AM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  This one was truly forgotten during the EP rounds unless they surprise me and come back to it. It is really a favorite of mine, and I just wonder if anyone sees anything I missed, have a change suggestion, comment, or anything. I like this one enough that I am considering framing this one to hang somewhere in the house! Trying to follow the directions to include a link

Forgotten


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3/26/2013 10:54:20 PM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  I didn't notice that others were just adding the photo and not a link to it. Next time I will upload a version for the forum. If everyone doesn't mind, can you comment here instead of on the image? Not that it would probably matter one way or another, it just makes it easier for me to keep track when the comments/suggestions are all grouped here on one page. Thanks!


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3/26/2013 11:10:38 PM

 
Patricia Buenting
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  I looked at it Carol and can't think of a thing I would have done differently. It looks good to me.


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3/27/2013 6:03:29 AM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  Thanks Patricia! I used Topaz Adjust but didn't think I overused it; it just helped bring out the colors a bit. Anyone else have a different opinion or a suggestion?


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3/27/2013 7:43:13 AM

 
Connie J. Bagot
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
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  I don't really see anything that would keep me from giving it an EP! But if it were mine and I was trying to come up with ideas of what might have held it back... I wonder if it has a slight green cast to it or if it is just that there are a lot of green things in the photo. Could use the neutral gray eyedropper in curves or levels to check that. There seems to be equal visual weight on everything in the photo---all sharp and about the same tonality. You might try blurring and darkening the "background" a little bit--- everything except the main car (and probably the foreground leaves so it looks natural) to make your subject pop out at the viewer.


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3/27/2013 7:59:00 AM

 
Irene Colling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2008
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  This thread can be a helpful learning experience for everyone as we each share our own personal preferences and techniques for photo editing.

But I wouldn't place too much emphasis on the getting an EP aspect. If EP numbers are going to be limited then some photo must be eliminated. There may be no technical errors in an image without EP. Rather when compared to other photos on a given day that photo was not as compelling as the competition. Itís quite possible that an image without EP is a fine photo and needs no modifications at all but the photo just is not winner material to whoever is doing the selecting.


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3/27/2013 9:55:12 AM

 
Irene Colling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2008
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  Carol when I apply a filter such as Topaz I do not apply it equally to the entire image.

ALL emphasis is NO emphasis. By that I mean I donít want my background foliage to have the same attention as my foreground subject.

With a photo like yours I would mask out the background trees so they are more natural and less dominate. I apply the filter to a top layer and then with a mask hide the entire layer. Then using a gradient or a large soft brush I bring back the top filter layer in varying proportions. In your photo I would show the front of the car and headlights 100% of the filter layer. And Iíd gradually reduce opacity of the Topaz layer as the perspective recedes. Depending upon the photo I will apply just a touch of effect on the background.
This gives an image depth and improves perspective.


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3/27/2013 9:55:44 AM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  Tony, I didn't notice the ant...lol.

Irene, I totally agree about EP selection. There is a subjective element that needs to be considered. I feel the same way about finalists, in addition to considering that the competition can also make a big difference in an otherwise worthy image advancing. And I think that is why worthy images should be resubmitted.

Carol - Wow, I really love that picture. Nicely seen and captured. The only thing I can think of that might improve it would be the green color cast that Connie mentioned. Maybe if the rust "popped" a bit more it would add more contrast overall and balance the green. It's definitely worth a resubmit :)



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3/27/2013 7:44:59 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  What Trash Can?
What Trash Can?
Raven caught in the act of trash can raiding. F5.6, 1/60, 18-5mm vr nikkor @46mm, iso100, SB600 flash.

Animals: March 25, 2013
© Susan M. Smith
Nikon D5100

 
 
Entry from 3/24 that was skipped.

This is a sentimental entry for sure. I realized that it wasn't the sharpest focus and that it was a bit noisy. I corrected both as much as I could without overdoing it. Any thoughts on how to make this image better?


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3/27/2013 8:03:23 PM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  Thanks everyone that commented and gave me suggestions! I am playing around with it, but so far have not come up with anything I like as well as this one. I did adjust the tint just a little and removed a bit of the green cast. I will enter that version as a resubmit and if it doesn't go anywhere, I may work on it some more, or I just may print it for myself and enjoy it, EP or not! For some reason I like the color all around the old car, not sure why. When I mask out the Topaz on the surroundings, it looks dull to me. I don't enter the contest that much anymore anyway, so if I am happy with it, then I am not going to let the lack of an EP bring me down. Art is subjective anyway; what appeals to one may not appeal to another. But I enjoyed the ideas!


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3/27/2013 9:56:22 PM

 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2010
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Anybody have any suggestions for this photo? I entered it in the Monthly Theme (showing motion) and it got skipped. I need help!


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3/31/2013 6:28:16 AM

 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2010
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Here's the photo....(hopefully). It wouldn't load last time.


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3/31/2013 6:32:33 AM

 
Patricia Buenting
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  H Dayna,
On my monitor it doesn't have a lot of contrast. With your permission I could dpwnload it and try to show you what I mean. Beautiful photo!!


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3/31/2013 7:35:36 AM

 
Dayna Cain
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  Absolutely! I would appreciate it!


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3/31/2013 7:36:55 AM

 
Patricia Buenting
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  Sunset On The Outer Banks
Sunset On The Outer Banks
© Patricia Buenting
Minolta Maxxum/Dyn...
 
 
Here is one of mine overlooked. Stragely this photo has won a lot of competitions for me. Any thoughts or suggestions. Maybe we should start a thread of what not picked. :)


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3/31/2013 7:38:22 AM

 
Patricia Buenting
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Did the best I could but couldn't download a size big enough to work with. What editing program do you use? I have a action created by a member of a different site (now gone) that I use a lot. It will load in PS3 and up but not elements. It will also load in to any program that you can create a action. I would be glad to send either the action or the instructions.


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3/31/2013 7:51:23 AM

 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2010
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  I use Photoshop CS5. Instructions would be great!


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3/31/2013 7:54:55 AM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  Hi Susan, cute puppy! Looks like a GSD. If so, have you had them before? My family and I have owned shepherds for years. They have one now, but I don't. I really don't know what to tell you about the photo. It's a very tight crop, so not sure what you can do. He/she is certainly cute though and seems to be into mischief!


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3/31/2013 10:26:15 AM

 
Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2012
 
 
  Window Washer for Forum
Window Washer for Forum
© Marcy B. Reman
Nikon D7000 Digita...
 
 
Hi Susan - Sorry that I am just now getting to look at this thread. It's been an incredibly busy 2 weeks at work. I really like the idea of the thread and I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments. My only suggestion would be that we leave comments right on the photo and not in the thread. I find it difficult to comment on many photos at once - much easier to leave one at a time as I click on each photo. Also it's easier to read critique on my on photo if they are all in one place. I know someone else preferred comments to be left in the thread. Anyone have thoughts on this?

The photo I'm uploading is a copy for this forum only so please feel free to leave comments on the photo.

Thanks!


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3/31/2013 3:41:43 PM

 
Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2012
  Tony - your dog photo is very cute. I agree with another BPer that the dog competes with floweres somewhat and I'm not sure wether to look at the dog or the flower. LEss DOF might have worked here. But a really fun photo none the less.


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3/31/2013 3:51:13 PM

 
Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2012
  Patricia - I love the colors in this photo and thegarden setting. My thoughts are that there are a few too many competing elements. I would have liked to see the top of the back jar and maybe none of the basket to the right. Perhaps even just showing 3/4 of the front jar. I think that would make the jars more of the focal point of the photo. Just a thought for a different approach.


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3/31/2013 3:55:45 PM

 
Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2012
  Carol - beautiful colors and a great subject for this photo. My only thought is that the car to the right is a little distracting. I keep looking at it and try to figure out if it really is a car. Other than that this photo looks like it comes from a beautiful picture book.


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3/31/2013 3:58:59 PM

 
Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2012
  Dayna - the water flowing in your photo is really nice adn I like the color palete. For me, I it doesn't seem to have a strong focal point - I'm not sure whether to focus on the rocks or the water. Maybe closing in an the water a little may have helped.


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3/31/2013 4:04:07 PM

 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2010
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  Thanks Patricia and Marcy. I am going to work with the contrast and focal point and see what I can come up with. I like the photo, it just didn't seem to have any "pop" to it. I'm headed back to the drawing board. I appreciate all your suggestions!


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3/31/2013 5:10:57 PM

 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2010
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Here's the photo with contrast added and I cropped it to put the focal point on the rock in the foreground. I think it helps. What do you think?


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3/31/2013 5:18:04 PM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  Patricia, I like the reflections in the pots. I don't know if you could make them the focal point with the plants not in the photo or just not so prominent. And maybe a bit of photoshop work would make the reflections stand out a bit more. Thanks for your comment Marcy. I am planning to enter the car once more and if it doesn't work, I may try to do something with the car to the right. They may have passed it up because it was in that window of time when they were not handing out EPs and then they began. Maybe they just missed it.


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4/1/2013 1:57:04 AM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  Dayna I like the new crop and the more colorful and contrasty water!


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4/1/2013 1:57:53 AM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  Marcy, I know in another forum, giving critiques was the subject and a lot of people were saying they didn't like to have issues with a photo on their thread as they cannot be deleted. Some people worried that BP might read it and not award an EP or finalist, though I doubt seriously they have time to read comments. Others expressed that they didn't want clients to read critiques about their images. I guess if people don't want those on their images, maybe they can post another copy here and don't display it in their gallery. Then others can comment there. I really don't know the best way to do it! As far as your photo, Marcy, not sure what I would do. I wish the guys were actually washing the windows at the time, and I wish the one guy that is bent over was standing up. I don't know if a different crop might work better; I think I would try some different crops to see what happens.


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4/1/2013 2:10:45 AM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
 
 
  Orangutan
Orangutan
for forum use only, not for contest
© Carol Teal
Olympus Evolt E500...
 
 
I will upload a new photo for this one. I like this orangutan; I think his expression is good and the fact he has food in his mouth makes it interesting to me. Also, the eyes are sharp and she is a cute orangutan (if an orangutan cane be cute!). Not sure why they didn't give this one and EP. Any ideas anyone?


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4/1/2013 2:16:37 AM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  Dayna, I like the contrast and new crop for your image. Definitely gives it more pop and more sense of action.

Patricia, I like this image. For me I get the sense of what it would be like to be there (now, preferably!). The color, comp and textures are all great! All I can think of, if I were a BP judge, would be that your foreground elements are all equal-ish in size/presence. No one element really stands out. That said, all the elements together are pleasing, and I can see why this image would do well just about anywhere. But perhaps, against the amazingly grand landscape images at BP, it didn't stand out as well? It's just a theory, and one I try to use when I look at my own images of any subject.

Carol, yes Raven is a GSD. She's our 4th and we also have a shepherd/lab mix. We had a white GSD when I was a kid and I just love them. Our other shepherd right now is a 3yr old male who is mostly tan with the standard black markings, where Raven is the opposite. We think maybe we'll let them get hitched and have adorable pups! lol Hopefully her naughtiness will pass soon - she just chewed my camera's USB cord in half tonite :(

Marcy, I get what you are saying about commenting. I wouldn't mind comments on an image uploaded just for the thread, b/c I wouldn't put it in my gallery. Maybe we could make it clear, in shorter instructions, about uploading a forum only image. Not sure how others feel though. On your photo, I like the composition. I agree the washers could have been doing something more interesting. Maybe you could do something more with the colors? The contrast of orange and blue is a great combo.

Carol, not sure why the Orangutan got passed over. The sharpness and detail are great. What about a closer crop, down on the forehead and more off the right side, bringing a tighter focus to the eyes and the eating action?

I'll start a new thread for April No EPs soon. I sense there will be some :(


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4/1/2013 9:06:48 PM

 
Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/22/2012
  Susan - have you thought about starting a club for this? It might be easier to follow discussions and view images. Just a thought. And maybe have this thread to point to the Club...


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4/2/2013 3:33:44 AM

 
Carol Teal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2006
  Thanks Susan! I'll try a crop and see what happens!


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4/2/2013 3:45:06 AM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  Hi Ken, great idea so I checked out the clubs (haven't been there in 4ever!) and I see 3 clubs started for critique. None of those appears to have seen a lot of participation and fizzled out. I also saw a thread for "Elite Editor Picks" which is/isn't funny as they've now become pretty elite! Anyway, that thread was for the same activity as the thread Cheri runs each month.

If we did a club, posting would be on images, from what I can tell. A lot of people don't want that but could re- upload the image for the forum only so that no critique is on the contest version.

What's everyone think?


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4/2/2013 7:23:26 AM

 
Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2012
  I like the idea. A photo club where we comment on the photo themselves. I don't mind uploading "for Forum only" photos.

Thanks Susan!


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4/2/2013 7:27:39 AM

 
Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/22/2012
  I know in FFFP we don't post on the image but start a new club thread to discuss that image. Images are posted and removed from the thread by the person wanting the critique. The only difference here is the images being discussed are images that have been rejected for EFP. It could work... The issue is managing the membership role and moderating the discussions. This could be tricky especially if a member gets defensive. The goal should always be to elevate creative and technical ability in capturing images.


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4/2/2013 7:53:07 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  Don't throw in the towel yet, people. I just got one for the 24th that was skipped previously.


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4/2/2013 8:37:52 AM

 
Diane E. Deming
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2007
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  Hi everyone,
I have been away from BP for a few months and I did not hear about any changes to judging criteria for Editors Picks. Can someone explain the changes to me? I would appreciate it. Thanks.


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4/5/2013 6:44:02 AM

 
Patricia Buenting
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  I don't think anyone knows what has happened. We have never gotten a explanation.


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4/5/2013 8:55:11 AM

 
Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/22/2012
  Will there be a thread for April EFP's? Not that I've gotten any yet...


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4/5/2013 9:53:41 AM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  I will put an April thread up tonite when I get home from work. Might also try to set up the club to see how that would go.


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4/5/2013 10:58:38 AM

 
Jill Odice
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2005
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  I was going to stay out of this conversation but just out of curiosity I looked through all 75 of my "Favorite Photographers" and noticed that either they had quit posting, had quit BP, had almost no comments on their latest images and not a single one of them had any recent EPs...These are most of the top Photographers here at BP that ALWAYS get winners and finalists... now I don't feel quite as bad about not getting any lately. I was thinking about to put my camera into the closet and quit shooting!
Maybe BP is going to go back to where there just aren't EPs anymore? Sure wish somebody could say a few words to let us all in on what is going on...


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4/6/2013 1:59:14 AM

 
Mary Dimitriw
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/17/2005
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  I agree with you Jill. Feels like we are in some sort of photo contest limbo. I really don't even know what to post because with no EPs lately I'm feeling deflated.
I would rather they go back to the old way before EP's if it's going to be like this.


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4/6/2013 7:33:21 PM

 
Nicholas Semo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2008
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  think spring
Just a test


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4/7/2013 4:48:29 AM

 
Connie J. Bagot
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
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  A friend of mine emailed BP with a question regarding the EPs. Their official response was that there have been no changes in how the Editor's Picks are chose.


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4/7/2013 11:11:47 AM

 
Connie J. Bagot
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
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  chosen.


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4/7/2013 11:12:28 AM

 
Patricia Buenting
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  That was their response, you have got to be kidding, To go from a lot to almost none across the board is a huge change. I keep getting all the emails about the fabulous offers on classes so we know they know how to communicate. Just a random thought, maybe if we signed up for all these classes our photography might improve. ;(


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4/7/2013 11:21:39 AM

 
Diane E. Deming
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2007
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  My thoughts exactly, Patricia. I am bombarded with the same emails about classes and I believe there have been changes in how they chose EP's. I have always loved BP and I hope they don't change too much.


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4/7/2013 12:18:03 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  Hi everyone! My apologies for being AWOL on this thread. I thought work would slow down after Easter but it was spring break this past week with lots of graduates, as well! Six days in a row and often 12 hour days. Great OT tho and lots of experience with portrait photography.

BTW, did you guys know that Sears and WalMart portrait studios closed their doors? Pretty abruptly, I might add. So for any of you independent portrait photographers there will be a good bit of business out there to snatch up between now and Christmas and possibly beyond.

Anyway, I've started an April thread for discussion and critique of images that haven't received an EP for April :)

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=35950


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4/8/2013 4:32:23 AM

 
Craig D. Minton
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2010
  I recently asked BP the question everyone else has..

To the folks at Better Photo,

You seem to be able to make sure your adds run on a prompt schedule, however I have noticed recently that allot of your customers are voicing some discontent with the promptness of your judges to judge photos of others. Do you have any plans to improve this problem?

Regards,
Craig Minton

BP's response...Hi Craig-

Thanks for your feedback on the contest. We can't get into the specifics of contest judging but will look into this. Thanks for emailing.


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4/8/2013 4:14:16 PM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  I almost deleted a photo because nothing happened for over two weeks. Just before the ax, it got the Editors First label. Also, what is the new judging criteria? I somehow missed it.

Harriet Feagin


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4/9/2013 11:17:43 AM

 
Diane E. Deming
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2007
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  We are not getting any answers to your question, Harriet. Wish we knew.


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4/9/2013 5:11:39 PM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  I, like some others who have posted, am getting discouraged. My photos are about the same as usual, some good, some not so good and an occasional pretty good. Yet, the EP's have stopped coming. I don't have a single one so far in April. I joined BP because of the contest and for the family atmosphere. I still appreciate the atmosphere but am very discouraged with the contest.


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4/9/2013 5:32:20 PM

 
Jill Odice
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2005
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  After the last couple photo shoots I have been on with my SoCal Photo Chicks, we all came home excited over all the pictures we took. While we always have a great time and lots of laughs the situation about what is going on here at BP has definitely changed my attitude about posting anything in the contest.
The excitement of posting an image I am proud of into the contest is gone for me. After checking day after day and still seeing no EPs or explanation just disappoints me more and more with BP.
It is some consolation that nobody else has any EPs and it isn't just me...
but is still kind of upsetting to feel like Jim doesn't even feel any need to offer an explanation to any of us.
I met most of my Photo Chick friends here on BP and for that I will always be grateful. Over the 8 years I have been a member here I have seen many changes come and go and it is still my favorite site because of all the great people I have contact with.
I will continue to post my one image a day and just hope that Jim gives us some answers one of these days.


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4/10/2013 11:50:33 AM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  You summed it up beautifully. I travel with some gal friends I met at workshops. It is so much fun to be with "the girls". I think women just see things differently. I do appreciate my guy photo friends and they are very, very talented. Like you, I love the encouragement that an EP brings. Hopefully, we will know something soon. I belong to another site but don't use it too often because of some of the provocative photos posted. I will still be with BP because of the clean atmosphere and besides, I may meet some more traveling buddies.


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4/10/2013 12:32:45 PM

 
Jill Odice
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2005
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  After yet another email about the "Whole Enchilada" from JIm, I finally wrote back to him...not that he probably even reads responses that are not from folks who want to take a class....
"I don't want any enchiladas, as a matter of fact I can't eat Mexican food due to food allergies, so maybe you could quit sending me all these emails???
You know what would be nice, if somebody at BP would let us all in on the secret of what is going on with the Editors Picks? Have they been discontinued? I am really losing interest in posting to the contest to be honest. If that is what you want, you have many disappointed members...Take the time to read the threads in the forum about it."


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4/11/2013 4:47:00 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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PickYourShots.com
  I think this thread is a good idea, but don't tie it to the EP process. There is nobody judging at this level..that's why it's an EDITOR's pick, not a judge's. Many times the only reason something doesn't get an EP is because the dart missed it, the phone rang, it was lunch time, quitting time, somebody turned the page by accident, etc etc etc.


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4/12/2013 4:47:38 AM

 
Allen O. Howard
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2006
  WoW!!! What can I say? Who knows what is going on? Remember when there were token prizes for winners? Well when that changed I was okay. I never got many winners anyway. But they still awarded the badges (and I am not saying they don't anymore)and I was always very proud to get a finalist let alone a winner. I always told my wife right away when that email arrived saying "Congratulations...". After the years of my devotion my wife really did not understand. She told me that I was a published photographer who has also won prizes on other sites and why did I care so much about BP. Well my peers was my reason. Better Photo has been my home when it comes to photography. But I am starting to not care as well. And this is not about having an EP badge every day.


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4/12/2013 4:02:03 PM

 
Jill Odice
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2005
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  WEll said Allen. You stood by me when I almost left a few years ago and because of your generosity I am still here :-) My husband also doesn't get it , when I win or get a finalist he says "Did you win anything, what's the big deal"?...It's always nice to be recognized when we are doing something we love...


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4/13/2013 2:38:02 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  I just get a blank look...what photo contest? LOL


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4/13/2013 2:47:14 PM

 
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  I posting the following on another thread but, because it's important that the truth be expressed, I want to copy it in this thread too.

But before I do, let me just give Susan a pat on the back for starting this thread. The original intent was to get and give feedback. I LOVE that! I always wish members did that more on every photo. We don't have time to offer constructive critique on each photo so it's AWESOME when members do so for each other. I highly recommend that you keep this up on these monthly threads and also do so on each photo. If you're concerned about judges reading it, don't be... the judges don't have time to read all the comments. And they prefer to stay out of it so a) they don't get erroneously influenced and, b) they don't see the member's name... so they can continue to judge without any bias.

Keep the focus on constructive critique...

*******
HERE'S MY NOTE ABOUT THE CONTEST
*******

BetterPhoto friends,

The EP is not gone. Please help me correct the misinformation that is being spread on this topic. The Editor's Picks are still being rewarded for excellent entries.

EVERY round is judged by a human being, a pro photographer. We take great pride in that: we tell the truth, work very hard, look at EVERY photo, and do not take the photographer's name into account (when the contestant watermarks the photo, we of course can't control that.) We look only for photographic excellence, beauty, inspiration, uniqueness... and the qualities of truly amazing photography.

I greatly appreciate the love and energy that many of you have expressed in this thread and elsewhere. Your support means so much to me.

The reason why we don't answer often is that we have a lot of work to do. Yes, we promote our products; that is what any company does. We serve our clients with love and in truth, AND we work to get more clients so we can continue to grow. That's business.

While we read everything, we don't often respond on these threads because we need to focus on work. And it's hard to want to respond when people are unfairly mean. We have a standard here of being constructive, supportive and helpful. Just like you would with a photographer, give thoughtful, encouraging, helpful feedback and live up to the standard of being constructive. If you would not say it about a fellow member or his/her photo, do not say it about me or BetterPhoto.

Now I want to reiterate that:

a) The EPs are still being given out.

b) I love you all :-)

c) I send you my blessings and look forward to seeing you continue to enjoy photography and pushing yourself to be your very best in your art.

d) I really appreciate the comments and energy of helpfulness that I continually witness in most members. You know who you are, and I thank you from the deepest depths of my heart.

If the forums and in your general conversation about BetterPhoto, please help me express what is true.

Don't allow yourself to get sucked into meanness or mini-flaming. Just ignore it if someone lashes out in frustration... that is nothing, especially when compared to the amazing energy of camaraderie, friendly encouragement, and family that shine here at BetterPhoto.

Sincerely,
Jim


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4/18/2013 12:02:28 PM

 
Diane E. Deming
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2007
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  In my opinion Jim didn't really answer the questions we had. All I want to know and I think what many others want to know is did they change the criteria for judging editor's picks or not? With the tremendous numbers of members I can understand why they might want to lower the number of editor's picks for each judge. The task must be daunting. If that is the case that is fine with me. I will just work harder. I just think that the members should be made aware of any changes. This has nothing to do with meanness, or not giving friendly encouragement. The members here are fantastic about giving praise and encouragement. That is why I like BetterPhoto so much.

Diane


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4/19/2013 1:22:48 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/22/2004
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  Diane, I agree. I appreciated the thought that Jim put into his response. And if the EP criteria is stricter, I can live with that and like you, would just strive to work harder and learn more. However, BP has always been mum on anything concerning their mechanisms for the contest. That applies to EPs and historically they've changed them and not given reason or explanation. And everyone just got used to the new "reality." We are probably looking at the same cycle here, again....


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4/19/2013 5:05:01 PM

 
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