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Declined in the Pentax Gallery (gallery members only, please).
Posted By: HowLowCanYaGo, 09-26-2007, 01:18 PM

Hi, I submitted a few shots for pentaxphotogallery.com. All of which, were declined. Since the official gallery doesn't offer an option for critics to share why it was declined, I figured I would post here. Here are the photos that were declined:







And what I felt was the best of the bunch:


All I'm looking for is suggestions on improvement, and your honest and brutal opinions on the quality of the shots. The above shots were exactly as submitted to the gallery.
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09-26-2007, 02:03 PM   #2
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Very, very nice photos.

Can't understand why they would turn those down.
09-26-2007, 03:16 PM   #3
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Well I have over 20 photos declined.
They are looking for photos with a special touch like a "wow" thing.
Dont get dissapointed. Keep shooting
By the way I think yout photos are great !
09-26-2007, 04:16 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. kyramas, I added you on flickr...I think I've look at your stuff before (probably through one of the pentax groups).

But, I'm looking for more detailed responses/critques on the declined shots posted here.

09-26-2007, 04:32 PM   #5
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Let's see:

On the first one, it is a pretty flower but unfortunately the background is too close to the flower and it makes the shot busy because you don't have the nice blurry depth of field. For me, this would be why I would vote it down. The flower is beautiful and should be the focus but it really isn't.

The second shot is a nice shot but it doesn't have a "wow" factor. It is grass or weeds and that's pretty much it. Why do you think it stands out among the rest is the questions you want to ask when you submit it to a gallery.

The third shot is very nice but again doesn't jump out and grab you. It is a great shot from a set of vacation photos but for a gallery maybe find a way to make the angle different or something to make it jump.

The fourth shot I like. I think these abstracts are subjective and it really just depends who's looking. It is artisticly nice but some might wonder what it proposes to say. Again, purely subjective.

I hope this helps and doesn't sound too harsh. These are just some of my observations. I've submitted about 20 photos to the gallery and only two have been approved so far. I think its about par for the course now that Pentax is paying a lot of attention to it. Before the first week I think shots got in because people were given unfettered access and now they're judging pretty harshly so that what gets in is a cut above...
09-26-2007, 05:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaulAndAPentax Quote
Let's see:

On the first one, it is a pretty flower but unfortunately the background is too close to the flower and it makes the shot busy because you don't have the nice blurry depth of field. For me, this would be why I would vote it down. The flower is beautiful and should be the focus but it really isn't.

The second shot is a nice shot but it doesn't have a "wow" factor. It is grass or weeds and that's pretty much it. Why do you think it stands out among the rest is the questions you want to ask when you submit it to a gallery.

The third shot is very nice but again doesn't jump out and grab you. It is a great shot from a set of vacation photos but for a gallery maybe find a way to make the angle different or something to make it jump.

The fourth shot I like. I think these abstracts are subjective and it really just depends who's looking. It is artisticly nice but some might wonder what it proposes to say. Again, purely subjective.

I hope this helps and doesn't sound too harsh. These are just some of my observations. I've submitted about 20 photos to the gallery and only two have been approved so far. I think its about par for the course now that Pentax is paying a lot of attention to it. Before the first week I think shots got in because people were given unfettered access and now they're judging pretty harshly so that what gets in is a cut above...
no, PLEASE!

I'm asking for people to be harsh - you won't hurt my feelings...you'll help me.

Thanks for the criticism
09-26-2007, 05:23 PM   #7
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I agree with Paul(andaPentax) on all points.

For the last one, I'm wondering if you could have included something to anchor the image - as it is, there are random letters/words under some (admittedly neat) decaying metal. Perhaps there is more of the door/wall/whatever that could give this some context and allow me to enjoy the unique textures without wondering what the heck it is.
09-26-2007, 05:56 PM   #8
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First image, from a macro shooters standpoint...

I agree with Paul's points on all of the images. No sense in repeating that - I do like the interest in #4, and it's a great image, but not everything makes it. I do like it very much!

#1 is waaaay too busy for me. Shallow DOF would've helped. Do you ever shoot in AV mode? As a macro shooter, I would be trying to make the background support the image, not take away from it.
I am not trying to hijack your thread, but here's a few samples of what was accepted into the Gallery - they are not good enough for the Premiere Collection, but I am happy with them:





Disclaimer: I've had roughly a 75% success rate (30 images accepted), although I've not tried submitting anything for a while.

Regards,
Marc

09-26-2007, 06:21 PM   #9
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Agreeing with everything PaulAndAPentax said above, especially the lacking in 'wow' factor.

The first two could do with a shallower DOF; they're just too busy. In the second one, it wasn't immediately apparent that the middle plant was the main subject; it didn't just 'pop out' against the rest of the photo. Also, the more I look at it, the more I am distracted by the brown branch (with the four light brown, rectangularish parts) on the right hand side.

The last one, and this is my own personal opinion, just doesn't do anything for me. It was probably, once again, too busy. Maybe I'm just not one for those abstract/artistic shots, but once again, that's my own personal opinion.

Last edited by pop4; 09-26-2007 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Whoops, sorry. I'm not a Gallery Member
09-26-2007, 06:32 PM   #10
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Unfortunately you are doing nothing wrong haha. Just exploring your creativity. I agree with the other suggestions posted here though that pentaxphotogallery is probably looking for exotic + bokeh.

If I was to judge, I'd say the first photo would have been a sure shot but it feels a bit too "dead center". Like the photo speaks "botanical documentation". You wanna spice it up a bit haha. Try an angle or shifting the flower to the left/right. Add some variety to the photo.

The second photo...those 3 or so plants in the foreground seem a bit lost in the background. So lack of contrast is an issue.

#3 - Same issue of centering. I'd zoom out a little. You'd given a good sense of scale but when I look at the photo, I feel like the statue's kinda cramped in the frame. Zoom out a little and maybe shoot it again with the statue to the right a bit.

#4 - Punchy colour and sharpness but these are like general forum stuff right? The rusted letterboard feels ..just there. It is but I'm not quite sure where the focus is. Like theres some lettering but theres a lot missing and it becomes a wall of rusted Wheel of Fortune. Also its very straight and perpendicular.

Give it a bit of a story. I see alot of "SOU_" on the board. Is it from a chruch? Cuz I'm thinking its "SOUL" and those numbers could possibly be prayer times. If it is, maybe you can shoot low looking up. So picture the sign at the lower left corner. Sunlight is coming from high right. With this angle, see if you can capture more of the church. Say the bell tower high right with the sun. Might be hard to expose the sign with the sunlight. But say it works out and you photo would speak volumes more. The view and identify what building the sign is on...say the church and this rusty sign would be the 'headline'..the chruch in a state of neglect.

Just give the scene a bit of thought for a second first. Especially static scenes because they won't run away. Try to make the photo speak on its own. Don't lock yourself to the vertical and horizontal.

(Haha I just saw the "Gallery Members only, Please". Oops. Anyhow I hope it helped. I should send something to the gallery sometime but my photos are meh..lol.)

Last edited by FotoPete; 09-26-2007 at 08:58 PM.
09-27-2007, 09:03 AM   #11
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I've only had a reason given for one rejection from the pentax gallery, and that was "distracting elements in frame". I think that's your problem with the first one. It's a stunning blossom, but the background is too busy.

I know that's repeating what everyone else has said, but I did get that criticism from the gallery itself, so I think it's something they're looking for. Two of the four of mine that they accepted are very clean and simple, the other two are dramatic clouds which I didn't think were worthy, but was encouraged to enter and didn't they go and get accepted!

This all suggests to me that they're looking for drama or simplicity. I'd test the theory if I had time to take a decent photo, but I've been crazy busy and everything lately has been more or less of a snapshot. Ah well, we all have slumps. Keep at it, think drama and simplicity, and I bet you'll get one in. Good luck!

Julie
09-27-2007, 03:00 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies.

The rusty sign is actually from a train car. I would also say this is more of a subjective shot.

Thanks again.
09-28-2007, 06:43 AM   #13
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After a long drought I finally got my third image approved (out of about 30 submitted).

When voting on images, I typically give a thumbs up to no more than about two per page of five.

I love the third and fourth images just as they are, and would have unhesitatingly voted to approve them. The first I would have passed on because I'm not all that big on plant photos and because of the way the image gets cut off at the bottom. The second is very intriguing and I would lean toward approval, but think it would have been a more impactful image were the left and right 1/4 cropped off.
09-28-2007, 06:30 PM   #14
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Love the colrs of the first 2 shots. The third was nice, but nothing special. Can't say what really draws me to the fourth, but it grabs my interest.
09-28-2007, 06:43 PM   #15
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I like the 4th one for its colour and mood it carries.

As Julie had mentioned, Drama or simplicity are probably what the pentax gallery people are looking for. It is really what the stories are hidden behind the photos ...

Last edited by roentarre; 09-28-2007 at 06:50 PM.
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