BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Frank P. Luongo

How do I make this a Prize winning photo

What can I do differently to make these photos potential prize winners?

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3/27/2005 1:16:36 PM

Michael H. Cothran   First, what photos specifically?
Second, why don't you choose just ONE image rather than a whole bunch? Then, those who may opt to respond can be more focused and specific.
Michael H. Cothran

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3/27/2005 3:54:24 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Send to International Society of Photographers

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3/27/2005 11:35:40 PM

Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Greg- be nice!
Frank - if you upload a photo or two we'll try to help you... Or tell us which ones you want feedback on that are in your gallery.

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3/28/2005 3:41:39 AM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  If you're talking about the images in your gallery, you've asked for comments on a number of the them before. Obviously, you didn't appreciate/accept the constructive criticism you've already received.

Let's start at the beginning, however. In a competition, your work is being considered by a judge or panel of judges. It may be being viewed at a stand alone image or in contrast with other entries.

When I look at an image, I first ask myself, " Do I like this picture?" If the answer is no, I drop it from further consideration. If yes, I assess it - using a variety of "checkpoints." These include: sharpness [unless the intent of the image is to sacrifice sharpness,] composition [subject palcement, use of Rule of Thirds or variant, leading lines, etc.,] color [saturation or lack thereof, high key or low key 9generally associated with B&W.] The list goes on and on.

I looked at your gallery - there are some nice images, but I don't think there are prize winners. There's nothing very unique about the various pictures of the bridges, for example. Some of the abstracts are different, but not extraordinary.

I've personally commented on at least one of the flag pictures; again, it's a flag on a pole hanging off a brownstone. So???

Get a copy of National Geographic, National G's Traveler Magazine, in some cases Amphoto. Check out Bryan Petersen's "Learning to See Creatively," First Edition, Kerry Drager's "Scenic Photography 101" and John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide. These are just a few publications that present pictures that "blow one away." [Note, I haven't looked at Bryan's Second Edition of his book.]

Remember, also, that there are many, many people entering the various contests. When I was advised that I was a finalist in last July's contest [one of 500 out of 16,000 entries,] I was ecstatic I'd made it that far. When I was advised my photo won First Prize [Special Effects,] one of about 21 winners [~10 categories and one Grand Prize,] well WOW!

I've entered that image in the Fall Print Competition sponsored by the New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs. It won the Merit Award [second place]- so, I can take pride that it's a good image.

But, all of us cannot rest on our laurels and must continue to strive for the best, to try to create the unique image, assure it's well composed, has intriguing color, captures the light well, is sharp, etc.

Don't give up, but make sure you look at your work more critically before you enter it into competition.

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3/28/2005 5:38:09 AM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Got this from PhotQuotes:

“The difference in "seeing" between the eye and the lens should make it obvious that a photographer who merely points his camera at an appealing subject and expects to get an appealing picture in return, may be headed for a disappointment.”
-Andreas Feininger

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3/28/2005 6:20:09 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
The thing to remember when we display an image to be judged by others, that WE WERE THERE when the photo was taken, so we know what feeling or emotion it (the scene) evoked in us at the time.
When others view the same photograph for the first time, they lack that passion and only see a group of colors, shapes, and patterns which must be interpreted.
I learned something long ago from a world renown outdoor photographer and writer which I've never forgotten:
"Don't take time to explain when why or how you've taken a shot...Just put it up there and let it stand on its own merit"
If a viewer responds immediately, with the same passion, feeling and emotion that was inherent in the photographer on the day he or she re-created the moment,....then the photograph was a success.

A "story-telling" photograph should be able to stand on its own,...without the title.
Quite often, I've seen photos in the Contest where this has been accomplished and I've used the Comment link to congratulate those artists for a successful image. Many of these have made to the Finals or farther.

Finally, this Contest puts a huge emphasis on technical merit, it well should!
The tiniest flaw in sharpness, color, exposure, depth of field control,...etc., will be cause for elimination.
The judges need to be very critical,...given the talent that posts here. So making the Finals, or actually winning is quite a challenge.

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3/28/2005 6:50:37 AM

Frank P. Luongo   Oops! here is the photo.

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3/28/2005 2:54:29 PM

Frank P. Luongo  
Oops! here is the photo.

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3/28/2005 2:54:46 PM

Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Thanks, Bob and John......I learn lots here...:-)


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3/28/2005 7:02:08 PM

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