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04-13-2016, 07:36 PM   #1
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Entering the Fair

Update 5/2 - See post 13, #3 made it through to the fair to be displayed.

I am entering a few photos in the San Diego Fair competition this year. Need help deciding which ones to submit. Deadline is Friday.

Ive posted several of these before, but I need to know which ones would be best for a competition. Its $20 each to submit so I want to limit my submissions to just the best ones.

Looking for opinions on how to improve any of them specifically for competition as well as which ones would fair the best in competition. Previous years judges notes indicate they often judge on reliance on traditional photography rules.

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.



Last edited by bakerking31; 05-02-2016 at 04:35 PM.
04-13-2016, 08:59 PM   #2
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I can see why you have difficulty deciding. Great pictures!
04-13-2016, 09:20 PM   #3
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I prefer both #2 & #3--the subjects are somewhat more compelling--but the colors are also quite nice in #1.
04-14-2016, 02:15 AM   #4
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Most (actually all) seem to be way oversharpened--and most especially 3. Look at the sky-to-earth boundary.

I also find 3 thru 6 to be over the top as regards contrast--but I tend to like subdued more painterly photos. And 2 may be a cliche?

Actually I like #1, although it can be argued it is simply a pretty lanscape, and thus may not stand out. But again the sharpening halo along the right skyline is a fault (IMO). You would know best what photo's did well in the recent past there.


Last edited by dms; 04-14-2016 at 02:36 AM.
04-14-2016, 06:22 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
And 2 may be a cliche?

Not to be cynical, but that's why #2 might make all the money, as the kids say. Photos 3, 4, and 5 continue to be my favorites (though I might level the waterline a bit in #5)--as for processing, I agree #3 and #4 appear to be overcooked a bit for the Web, but printed might not be over the top. I think #3, especially, would benefit from a little lighter hand--the tonal gradations you have in #5 might be what you're shooting for.
04-14-2016, 06:26 AM   #6
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3 is a definite for me, and 2& 4 would probably be popular, but there's nothing much wrong with any of them
04-14-2016, 09:55 AM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your critiques.

I think its narrowed down to 1 2 and 3 (I would like to not submit all 3 in the same category which is why I have 1 in there)

The judging is first done as digital, then the top third or so move on for printing and to be displayed at the fair. So digital apperance is very important. I will dial 3 back a bit and see how it looks for digital and print both if it goes through to see which shows best when printed.


I have printed 1 before and it prints very well, I have not printed any of the others yet.

There will likely be several hundred entrants in both black and white and color landscape categories. Being in San Diego I would bet most will be beach sunset scenes, so I am hoping these pictures may stand out as a bit different ... Which is part of the reason for overcooking a bit.

I am not sure if the toning on 3 will be an issue, a purist may prefer a black and white only version?
04-14-2016, 03:14 PM   #8
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Best of luck--a great portfolio to choose from.

04-14-2016, 08:44 PM   #9
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My first reaction immediately before any comments had been made was that the first two pictures were the ones that struck me. Number 2 is my favorite and I do think it would receive more general interest. I have no experience to know what judges might be looking for in their evaluations. Nice work.
04-15-2016, 01:54 AM - 1 Like   #10
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#3 and #4 are the most striking to me, with #3 being more interesting as well. With both of them you could do with easing off on the sharpening just on the horizon to remove the halo. #4 has a tiny bit of a edge flicker just above the horizon at the right hand side; crop a few pixels off or clone it out as competition rules permit.

#1 doesn't stand out to be honest. Whilst it's a fair enough landscape it doesn't really evoke any feelings. Don't assume that all the other sunsets are of the sea.
#2 is definitely an interesting photo and I really like the layering of mountains in the background. The rocky outcrop that forms the focus of the image doesn't seem to pop out for some reason. I think it could do with a touch more contrast, but there are also the distracting highlights in the bottom right corner. It has all the makings of a really great photo, but needs more work than #3 and #4.
#5 doesn't have elements that draw my eye.
#6 is too soft.

They're all good photos, and I'm not trying to put you down. I'm just thinking about how pedantic the judges might be.
04-15-2016, 09:15 AM   #11
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Thank you for the input, I appreciate it. Getting other photographers opinions I think is the most valuable advice for competition and this is my first competition so I have no experience. I will be happy if my photos get to the second round and I get to print them and show them at the fair.

I did try to make the mountain on 2 pop more from the background but was unsuccessful without compressing the valley in the upper portion. I think I might try to redo it from scratch for myself (I don't have time to redo it before the submission is due).

I agree 5 is lacking a focal point and 6 is not as strong as 2, 3, or 4.

I really liked 4 but I don't think it was generally in others top 3. I ended up submitting 1 2 and 3 last night (today is the deadline and I won't be home until late). I also submitted a photo of mushrooms on a log that was my first "keeper". My wife pushed me to enter and then made me put the mushrooms in at the last minute lol. I only put 1 in because I didn't want to send all my submissions to the same category and I know it prints very well. 2 was the general favorite of most people I asked and 3 was probably the strongest follower of compositional rules.

Thank you everyone for your critiques.
04-15-2016, 09:39 AM   #12
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Best of luck.
05-02-2016, 03:51 PM   #13
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So I got the results back today for the first round of judging (digital).

I entered # 1,2,3 in and only #3 made it. Not surprising, I figured #3 had the best chance since it is fairly strong on traditional photography rules. #2 was by far the fan favorite from other people I talked to.


Anyway, now I need to print it and mat it. Final size needs to be 16X20 with either a white or black mat. Since I went not strictly white, I will probably need to go black mat, but I will probably just cut one of each to see which I like best (I used to be a custom picture framer and have all the equipment still). The big choice here is paper, and unfortunately I don't have a ton of time and I have never printed this particular photo before (but I have done a fair amount of printing in the past year).
05-03-2016, 07:09 AM   #14
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Thanks for the update. Someone asked me the other day if I'd ever entered anything in our county fair, to which I replied, "Not yet." If you had not posted the question my answer would have been, "The fair????"!

Keep us posted on your progress.

Good luck!
05-03-2016, 09:53 AM   #15
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The San Diego fair's competition is pretty big. They published the final list of Tier 2 competitors and there are about 1400 that made it to the final round in 34 different categories. This is after rejecting the majority or entries in the tier 1 digital round of judging. I'm excited to see the entries in person. I really want to see the large prints category.
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