Usually there isn’t a salon in December, but they added one after a bunch of us whined about wanting more opportunities to compete. So I had another chance (like October) to enter pretty much anything I wanted.
Prints: Open monochrome
Of course, I still haven’t figured out how to do good monochrome prints. . .
I took this photo of Inuit artist Pierre Aupilardjuk’s hands creating a pot earlier in the fall. At the time, I cropped it square and posted it on Instagram. It looked fabulous that way, so I figured it would make a good print as well.
For once getting the color balance right wasn’t a problem. However, my prints have to fit the mats I use, and that limits my cropping options. A square is not among them. I absolutely could not find a crop I liked as well as the square one, but finally chose one that at least seemed reasonably balanced.
The judge liked it, but wasn’t crazy about the crop. (Cropping seems to be the bane of my existence when it comes to competition!) He suggested cropping in much tighter than I would have ever considered. Still, he gave me a 9 on the image, giving me an award.
I had planned to enter this shot of hay bales last year, but I couldn’t get the color right on my printer. I finally sent it in to a couple commercial printers to see how it looked. (You don’t have to do your own printing to compete. However, I do because I can see exactly what I’m getting and I learn a lot in the process.) I got a lovely print back from White House Custom Color but it didn’t fit my mats, so I set it aside and never entered it.
After trying at least a ½ dozen images and not liking any of them I went back to the hay bales. After many attempts to print it using my printer, this was the best I could do:
It wasn’t exactly the sepia tones I wanted, but it was ok.
Or, at least, I thought it was ok. I thought it was nostalgic. The judge thought it was flat and lifeless and his score reflected that. Ouch.
Digital theme: Open
I generally hate the digital competition for two reasons:
- I don’t like trying to guess how the judge might interpret the theme and
- I don’t like not knowing exactly how my image will look on the judge’s screen compared to mine (I have a lot of trouble calibrating the brightness of my screen, so I’m never sure how an image will look when viewed on another screen.)
Having no theme eliminated the first of those problems.
I love photographing the rides at the fair at night and I went out shooting a couple of times this year using both my Nikon and my new Olympus.
The Olympus has a feature called composite that builds an image by taking multiple shots, but only adding in new light sources. It makes it a little easier to do a long exposure without the brightest spots getting over-exposed. And you can watch the image build and stop it when it looks the way you want it to, which is really cool and not something you can do with a regular long exposure. The final image has a slightly different look than a regular long exposure, but it’s really hard to tell them apart.
This is one of the shots done using the composite feature on the Olympus.
The judge didn’t think it was a single shot. He assumed it was a multiple exposure layered together. He really couldn’t believe all those things could be happening in the same space, but he liked it enough to give it an award as a 9.
These moose were in a pen in Sweden. In the original shot you can see there is a fence way in the background where the pine trees are. I went into Photoshop and took the fence out and did some other work to soften the trees and darken the cloudy sky.
That effort paid off. Everyone laughed at the image and title and the judge gave it an award as a 9.