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04-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #1
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First PPG attempts denied. Critique?
Camera: K10D ISO: 100 

One thing I don't like about the PPG is the lack of a reason for rejection. I've found 1x.com to be really good for getting critique, but you're very limited on how many submissions you can do and their standards are very high.

Anyway, I thought I had a good shot with these but all 4 were rejected. If you can just tear apart 1, or all, that would help tremendously. I don't personally know any other photographers so I'm always struggling to get an honest critique.

All were shot with the 18-55mm, except the red sunset (shot with an SMC Tak 200/4)





Note: in the submitted version of this shot I'd cropped out the power line in the top left and boosted the contrast a tad more.




04-17-2009, 12:39 PM   #2
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First off, I should stress that I'm a rank amateur and may well have no clue what I'm talking about! I have 4 images in PPG, all of which I got in before peer voting was begun, and I imagine that they might not get in now.

All four of your photos are competent, pleasing images - and I think that's the problem. There's no wow factor. I suspect that it's getting harder to get into PPG because they already have many, many very lovely sunsets, cityscapes, etc. and to get votes, yours have to knock the viewers' socks off.

It also seems to be a bit of a crap-shoot sometimes - there are some in PPG that are quite ghastly, and plenty have been shown here as rejects that I would happily have voted in.

The B&W bridge doesn't do much for me, and I don't think it's because of the low contrast. I find my eye drawn out of the frame by the line of the bridge - I look at the large structure on the left, follow the bridge, hit some dark, featureless trees, and fall out of the frame.

Both the sunsets are nice, but sunsets are a dime a dozen. I quite like the red one, the sun and container ship are nicely balanced against one another, but it makes me say "ah" not "wow". Also my attention keeps being drawn to the sharply focused foreground, which is pretty boring. If you cropped it just above the pale streak in the water it might work better, but I don't think it would make PPG. Remember this is a showcase of Pentax cameras, so they want sharp, crisp images. The red sunset works looking a little blurry, but they won't like it. The other sunset is certainly crisp, but it lacks an obvious subject. Too bad you don't have, oh, I don't know, a fisherman, or a bird or something, to give it a focus and a story.

I like the cityscape, and I don't normally like them much (I'm a country gal). It looks a little flat, and lacks drama - I want those dark clouds in the distance to be dropping great sheets of rain, or something.

Okay, there you go, uninformed blethering about your photos from someone who hasn't taken a decent shot in months! Keep on trying, these are certainly good enough technically, you just need something that will set your image apart from all the many, many other competent images of the same sorts of subjects. And most importantly - don't take their rejections personally, PPG is notoriously capricious.

Julie
04-17-2009, 02:29 PM   #3
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I do think Julie makes a good critique of these shots.

I too like them - each having some potential but just missing a bold subject and perhaps some elements that would make the shots more interesting. The last one ain't bad. I think it's the best of the bunch - and with a little more colour contrast may well have a better chance of getting in next time.

PPG can be like that - keep trying and keep shooting!
04-17-2009, 04:57 PM   #4
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Thank you! Very good points all around. I'll try maybe a more panoramic crop of the red sunset to cut out some of the foreground, though I don't think I'll re-submit it.

I think I really need to work on the "wow" factor in my shots in general. Maybe a little more patience for something to happen would help. I'm always feeling like a need to run around and find as many shots as I can before the day is done, especially as dusk approaches.

04-17-2009, 10:58 PM   #5
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I agree with the competent but no wow factor comments.
I think #2 is just too blown really and is my least favourite.
On the first one, I think the problem is the 'fuzzy' area over to the right in the bottom half of the picture. I think the best way to crop it is to crop out the water altogether. Those trees at the skyline would then create a beautiful silhouette across the bottom of the picture.
#3 I like but the perspective isn't dynamic enough.
#4, there's just too many pictures like that out there.
04-19-2009, 12:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
I agree with the competent but no wow factor comments.
I think #2 is just too blown really and is my least favourite.
On the first one, I think the problem is the 'fuzzy' area over to the right in the bottom half of the picture. I think the best way to crop it is to crop out the water altogether. Those trees at the skyline would then create a beautiful silhouette across the bottom of the picture.
#3 I like but the perspective isn't dynamic enough.
#4, there's just too many pictures like that out there.
Thanks! Good advise on #1, I'll take a look at it.
04-19-2009, 01:55 PM   #7
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I see beatifull pictures, but being good is not good enough, you should do better then others in the same category.
Keep on trying, check out your favorite category and see what gets selected.


Guido
04-21-2009, 02:50 PM   #8
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All very good points so far. One thing I think the voting members and the official judges are looking for at this point is "difficult subjects shot very well." I know this is true when I go in to vote anyway and seems to reflect what has been getting in. Naturally, in the early days of the gallery, standards were less stringent (I will not say lower). Average or easily accessible subjects must be shot extremely well or in a unique way to get thru the process nowadays.

also, at the risk of beating a dead horse, here is an explanation of the voting and approval process that craftsmansky managed to get out of Pentax...

QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley:
In a real old thread...

QuoteOriginally posted by craftsmansky Quote
today i got a reply from pentax on process and why two of my photos have been in the "ready for review" status for so long...

"You are correct that this has been a longer wait time than usual.
Pentax office close from Christmas eve through the new year so this is
our first day back. Images that are declined quickly are in the bottom
38% approval rating after 40 votes. Those with greater that 38%
approval get passed on to the Pentax review team."

so, i am assuming i passed the 38% test and am waiting for the REAL test...

time will tell.
This means it takes 25 NO votes out of a possible 40 total votes gets a photo rejected. Of course if the first 25 votes are NO then the photo will be rejected at that point. If the first 24 are NO and the next 15 are YES and the 40th vote is NO it still gets rejected. You can, however, think of it another way, if the photo gets 16 quick YES votes during the peer review it goes straight up to the official Pentax judges. Once it gets there they have their way with it. They've been pretty mum on their criteria and have also been rather "uneven" in their judging but what are ya gonna do... This factor goes a long way toward explaining "quick rejections."

Another thing to watch for is "attention to the rules".

IMHO the main reason that some photos are rejected is that they are submitted at less than 600 pixels tall. Photos MUST be at least 600 pixels tall.... If they are less than that they are rejected almost automatically. Anything over 600 is resized down to 600 anyway but I often think that ones that are exactly 600 pixels tall run into a bug and get rejected on size so I size mine at 603 pixels tall just to make sure.

Btw, they didnt used to accept panoramas, but I've been told they do now.
Hope this additional info is useful...

Mike


Last edited by MRRiley; 04-22-2009 at 06:46 AM. Reason: typos
04-21-2009, 05:30 PM   #9
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All great points and I agree Totally with you Mike. If you look at the images that do get in they are clearly a step above and I have not seen one there that should not be there. We are always tougher on ourself as we think everything we do is worth being there. After 30-35 rejections, [so far] I can honestly say.. I see why the image did not get in! As hard as it is to take sometimes, they are ususally dead on, IMO. Even some of the best photographers on this forum have had rejects, so I should feel bad about getting mine rejected. I think not and really one should think about how the shot could have been better and not think that Pentax may have blind people reviewing our photo's Cheers
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