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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Win a Ribbon! (long post)
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Showing posts 51 - 75 of 92, (reverse)
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07/21/2005 09:31:53 AM · #51
Maybe a simple name change?

Ólafur Björnsson?

That's gotta keep me in the high sixes...at the very least?
07/21/2005 09:42:17 AM · #52
I learned from the last challenge (worst score ever)...

Why? I did not understand that to most people a "texture challenge" was a macro or full frame concept. I attempted to include a very textured object in an activity scene. The problem, the texture doesn't stand out as strong. And numerous people do not see the relation to the texture. The reason? I tried to incorporate it rather than focus on it.

It's a lesson learned - rest assured...."Wood" will be much more focused.

(I sometimes dislike very focused shots because with a few exceptions...they're meaningless to me. Sure...there are a lot of shots of great texture...but really - what's the point? are you selling textiles or bathroom tiles? sure often I'll like the close up magnified view of a material from a science/geek point of view. But to me if I just put out a "texture" I imagine most people would be like "so". But capture that texture in the light of something (ie: an old wrinkled and tanned man) and it gains a fuller meaning.

But this is a good lesson to force me around my own bend of thought. And force me to take shots I am not prone to - thus make me capable of them - and thus make me a better photographer.

:)

(and I always keep BradP's advice to just have fun and enjoy photography, so where as I am bummed, I'm not flustered this time.)
01/04/2006 11:40:56 PM · #53
Thank you for the great advice...hope to use it in the next Challenge, as I am already stuck in the 5.4 range with this one. :) I think I'll print it out, too!
01/23/2006 05:23:47 PM · #54
Excellent imformation for everyone who is looking to ribbon.
04/10/2006 11:50:08 PM · #55
Great post - thanks! There is a lot of stuff I will be thinking about in depth.

Originally posted by scalvert:

The title is another opportunity to connect with your audience and inspire some feeling or insight. Don't waste it by restating the challenge or simply identifying the obvious. Your title is the icing on your digital cake.


This is one of my pet peeves - it can be hard to come up with a good title but I do like ones that aren't just a restatement.

Message edited by author 2006-04-10 23:54:19.
04/11/2006 12:08:23 AM · #56
happy new year !!!!!

errr - i guess i am a bit late ;}


04/11/2006 12:57:12 AM · #57
Great reading!

I am glad this thread was brought back from the dead!!

~
04/11/2006 01:43:59 AM · #58
Excellent work, I read this several times and really appreciate your effort in compiling this for everyone.

Some really great tips and some common sense we seem to forget from time to time when shooting.
04/11/2006 03:40:46 AM · #59
amen.
i read it also several times and it makes perfect sense to me !
i hope that everyone reads it ...

make it sticky :-)
07/06/2006 03:26:13 PM · #60
Mostly bumping, but also saying this is a fantastic post and thread. :)
07/06/2006 03:46:10 PM · #61
Thanks! I posted a follow-up HERE, but nobody seemed to notice. :-/
07/06/2006 05:13:31 PM · #62
Originally posted by scalvert:

Thanks! I posted a follow-up HERE, but nobody seemed to notice. :-/

that's because this is the best read ;-)

i can't count how many times i've referenced this thread when making comments during challenges...
07/06/2006 05:28:51 PM · #63
Originally posted by scalvert:

Here are five specific tips (just my opinions, obviously):

1. Start with a strong concept. The unusual will ALWAYS outscore the ordinary (unless it's offensive or repulsive). Sure, you have to meet the challenge, but that's the "entry fee," and it really pales in importance to telling a good story or capturing something that also captures the viewer's attention. If the challenge is "Brick" and you just shoot a brick, who cares? With most ribbon winners, the photo would still be worth looking at outside of the challenge topic.

2. Great lighting/processing. I'm going to lump these together under the heading "Make it stand out" because the technical quality of the entry is very important, and it's NOT always evident from the capture alone. Some of the most dramatic shots from Librodo and Goodman were coaxed from surprisingly average captures (I've got one saved as a favorite just because I found the difference so amazing). You should always strive for the best possible exposure, but the bottom line is that your entry must be anything BUT ordinary. Seek out unusual cloud formations, fog, golden sunlight, crepuscular rays, ominous storms... anything that doesn't look like just another day. Vivid colors and moody, muted hues tend to score well. A sharp, slightly tinted grayscale with rich tones and shadow detail (Jmsetzler, Ursula, Nico_Blue, Sher9204...) will outscore a simple grayscale conversion every time. Drab images that lack contrast, and the harsh light of midday sun are both the kiss of death.

As a side note, you'll often see frames on the winners because the photographers ARE paying attention to finishing touches (and also know when to avoid frames), but you can't dress up a bad shot with a pretty frame. Likewise, the "standard" photo orientation is landscape, so you'd expect a higher proportion of non-standard orientations and crops from those who are putting in some extra effort.

3. Simplify. The fewer elements you have, the easier it is to guide the viewer's eye, and ultimately communicate your concept. Tiny details can be important, but everything that doesn't strengthen your image takes away from it, so get rid of anything that isn't essential. Make sure cluttered backgrounds are out of focus, and that none of the extras steal the scene from your star.

4. Look professional. Toys, woodies, miniature models, statues, etc. will only be effective if they look convincing or real (emotive in the case of woodies). Don't even attempt a commodity shot like flowers or cats unless you can do something really special with them. If you're going to have a tilted horizon, tilt it enough to look intentional. Avoid "snapshots": straight on and centered, at eye level, from the most obvious angle.

5. If you've got it , flaunt it. If you live near a beautiful beach or stunning vista, use any excuse to work them into an entry. If you happen to BE beautiful, leave your clothes behind the camera and invest in a wireless remote. 'Nuff said! ;-)

07/07/2006 02:16:07 PM · #64
thanks. this helps with future entries. I think that has been my problem. I think so hard of the challenge, and then end up photographing the wrong idea. I never thought about having my photo, "tell a story."
11/07/2006 07:47:31 AM · #65
definitely a BUMP !!!
i was looking for this post for days and finally found it.

read it.
11/07/2006 07:53:11 AM · #66
Originally posted by frisca:



5. If you've got it , flaunt it. If you live near a beautiful beach or stunning vista, use any excuse to work them into an entry. If you happen to BE beautiful, leave your clothes behind the camera and invest in a wireless remote. 'Nuff said! ;-)


Rigggggggggggghhhhhhtt!! I will put the clothes back on then...that should keep everyone happy...lmao!!
01/09/2007 09:26:18 PM · #67
Shannon, just to let you know that you're getting new mileage out of this for newbies and others looking to better themselves.

Personally, I think you ought to tie in a link to this in a welcome message as general information on how to take DP Challenge pictures.

There's nothing more frustrating than to be a newbie here and feel like a comlete idiot because you don't have a clue how to take pictures for this place.

After six months, I'm starting to feel more comfortable and confident now that I have more understanding of how to go about challenges, but I sure wish I'd seen this a while ago.

Again......thanks so much!

Message edited by author 2007-01-09 21:30:19.
01/12/2007 01:10:40 AM · #68
Thank you for sharing your insight!
01/12/2007 01:15:59 AM · #69
De nada. Some day I'll update this thread. ;-/
01/12/2007 01:32:59 AM · #70
Just saw this post. Nice to share your insights. Even so, I have to disagree with a few things. Some of the shots I put the most work into scored the lowest. My highest scoring shots were basically point and shoot work, with little adjustment or even time spent in post processing. I do believe that the winning photos reach some sort of preconceived standard set by printers of posters, art work, etc. I work with prints in my job and see many of the same type of images scoring high as what I sell.
I also have the perfect example of scoring. Notwithstanding the challenge description, lets say that you take a pic of a person on a bike. You show motion with the image and it has a tilted angle to show movement. If that bicyclist is dressed in biker clothes with helmet and goggles, they score really high. Take the same subject, same person, same image, but change one thing. Dress them in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. The image won't score as well. Probably will be even 1 to 2 points less than the one dressed for the part. Much of the scoring is really based on a preconceived standard set by the industry, which leads people to vote high on images they see as prints, as adds, or on billboards. I also think that people may not vote high on an image filled with emotion if it doesn't meet this preconceived standard. You know, like the little boy and girl holding hands, dressed in old fashioned clothes with big hats and their backs turned toward the camera and having an antique look. Scores high, but only because it has appeared as a print somewhere, not because it is anything special. Just my own opinion.
02/01/2007 03:00:19 PM · #71
Bumping up, well worth the read!
02/01/2007 03:15:13 PM · #72
Wasn't this written by a guy that just got DQ'd? :P
02/01/2007 03:16:41 PM · #73
I heard he cheated! ;)
02/01/2007 03:17:14 PM · #74
Ouch! Got me right between the eyes! :-(
02/01/2007 03:31:08 PM · #75
Originally posted by scalvert:

Ouch! Got me right between the eyes! :-(


You're still a god-like ribbon-hog; and we still love you! :)
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