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07-27-2018, 08:03 AM   #1
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Contest worthy?
Lens: 14mm Camera: K3II Photo Location: Kamloops B.C. ISO: 100 

I've been looking at a few contests the past couple years to enter a couple photo's to. Namely WPPI and the Epson Internation Pano Awards. I have not yet captured an image that I feel is contest worthy. I also don't get much critique on my images from fellow serious photogs, so I have no idea if I'm improving and on the right track.
I posted this photo over in "share your work" last month but I'm open to some deeper critique.


07-27-2018, 08:32 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
I've been looking at a few contests the past couple years to enter a couple photo's to. Namely WPPI and the Epson Internation Pano Awards. I have not yet captured an image that I feel is contest worthy. I also don't get much critique on my images from fellow serious photogs, so I have no idea if I'm improving and on the right track.
I posted this photo over in "share your work" last month but I'm open to some deeper critique.
What is the theme of the contest you want to entry?

Regarding this image you posted, I'll try to be as honest as I can. It's always easier to criticize somebody else's work.

This is the kind of image that I would post in my gallery without too much thought, however I do not feel it's contest worthy. If I would participate at a contest with this entry, I would not expect to have any serious chances (so I might be pleasantly surprised).

Positives:
- very nice light
- gives me a nice serene mood
- it (kinda) respects the rule of the thirds

Negatives:
- there is no clear and well-defined subject to my eyes at least; the flowers are scattered and it's difficult for me to focus my attention on something in particular
- at the bottom of the image there are some dark areas which are not so nice, and there is nothing of interest there
- the sunburst is not so spectacular or well-defined, although this is not your fault and maybe depending on the lens
- that tree on the right is not decided if it wants in or out of the frame
- the sky and the clouds are not so spectacular; yes the sunset color is nice but the sky is pretty much bland with some uninteresting clouds
- colors seem a bit unnatural to my eyes at least; of course this is a matter of taste, but I tend to go towards more natural processing
- there is some ugly lens flare

Overall I think the lack of a clear subject is the biggest downside. I would suggest to try and find a better foreground subject for your composition. I know this is never easy with a wide lens, as things tend to appear small. Maybe you need to get very close and try different angles?

This is one of my pictures which I think shares a lot of the negatives with your picture. I posted it in my gallery but I'm quite unhappy with it. At that time it seemed nice but now that I look at it, it just seems bad. I chose it because it was shot with a similar wide angle (15mm).




This one is a little bit better I guess, still I would not classify it as contest worthy. But it might depend on the theme of the contest. If the theme is bathtubs perhaps I have a chance



I hope you don't mind my criticism and please keep trying and keep shooting! sooner or later you'll get that perfect picture.
07-27-2018, 08:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input. For reference, Erin Babnik is one of my biggest influences. While I appreciate the close up flower photograph, the contests I'm interested in revolve all around landscape, not close ups of flowers. Here is a link to one of her images that inspires my pursuit of this kind of photography.
I had the same thoughts about that tree to the right, I just couldn't frame this location in such a way as to get rid of it. With all landscape photography, location is just as important, and I am trying to find a great location near home.

Arrow Dynamic - Photography By Erin Babnik
07-27-2018, 09:02 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
Thanks for the input. For reference, Erin Babnik is one of my biggest influences. While I appreciate the close up flower photograph, the contests I'm interested in revolve all around landscape, not close ups of flowers. Here is a link to one of her images that inspires my pursuit of this kind of photography.
I had the same thoughts about that tree to the right, I just couldn't frame this location in such a way as to get rid of it. With all landscape photography, location is just as important, and I am trying to find a great location near home.

Arrow Dynamic - Photography By Erin Babnik
That Arrow Dynamic picture is really really nice. Notice the differences between your picture and her picture. Her flowers have an interesting pattern and it's much easier to focus on them. Then the background is spectacular, and the flowers just draw your attention to it. It feels you're traveling through the picture from the near to far. Great dynamic indeed.

When finding locations for landscape photography, one trick that I use when I don't know the surroundings so good is to open google maps. It has a bar in the lower part of the screen where you can see pictures from a lot of people and it shows the photo location. Most of them are regular pictures taken by amateurs, but I look at them and try to imagine how would this place look in good light and different framing? if I find something interesting I go there and see for myself. If I like the spot I will revisit many times and try to get good light. This is how I got this picture for instance, which I like, although is not perfect, I have too much uninteresting grass in the lower left corner.



07-27-2018, 04:50 PM - 1 Like   #5
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It has a lot of nice elements. I would crop off a little bit at the bottom, just below the bigger flowers. The flare is tough one to fix if it bothers you, and most people can not conjure up really interesting clouds.

It's a keeper, but I'm not sure how far it would go in a contest of landscapes.
07-27-2018, 08:51 PM   #6
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Thanks guys
As per the location: Living in B.C., there tend to be a huge amount of locations that don't have any pictures taken at them at all, like this location. I also tend to shy away from photography/tourist hotspots and am in search of a hidden gem.
I really just wanted to find a field of these flowers and find out what kind of soils they grow in. I found this bunch, which was much better, well after we arrived on site. My first images here were not great at all.
Erin Babniks photo is incredible yes, and certainly is what I am aiming for, all your info really helps
07-28-2018, 12:30 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I agree with previous comments and would add one thing. The bright centre of the sun dominates the background of the photo. The scene is generally back lit from the sun but the flowers are lit from the front. (Flash). and dominate the foreground. It becomes sort of two photos in one. Still life and landscape with no middle ground
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