Thursday, September 13, 2018

Things I learned today ~ Photo Judging

I didn't plan on spending much time 'watching' the judging of the photos. But 3 1/2 hours later, I was riveted to my seat listening to the judge talking about the photos she sorted through.

Okay, if you aren't into photography at all you wouldn't have been very interested in it.
But it was the first time I'd ever listened to a 'judge' look over photos and explain why she would place them as she did.

I must say that I am glad I did. I learned that I'd made major mistakes that were so basic. I wanted to slap myself for not knowing that each section had a description of exactly what they were looking for in each category.

So. I took this photo and labeled it 'water scene'.
Now to be honest this is probably one of my favorite shots that I've done in the past year.
When I took it, my heart fluttered and I felt it inside of me.

I did not read the description of this category.
After all, it is a scene, and it has water in it right?
The Judge said she loved it and would give the photo and "I" for Ingenious.
However according to the definition of a water scene, the water had to be the main subject of the photo.

Water Scene- this category includes such things as waterfalls, ponds, lakes etc. Water should be the main focus. 

Obviously the flower being plucked or dropped into the water is the focus.

Well, I felt like smacking my forehead and if I had not been there and listened to the explanation I may have been a bit offended wondering why this shot was discarded.

I had read 'un' edited photos literally and questioned it out loud when the Judge talked about cropping photos for better effects. It was explained to me that no photo can be expected to come out perfect straight out of the camera so as long as it was not "photoshopped" it was deemed okay.
I asked if HDR was okay. And that caused the Judge and the Super to pause.
They did discard a photo that had been super edited and had halos around the clouds so yes. HDR if it is not extreme.

I learned that "Action" could have been something other than what I thought it was. I had several "Duh" moments.


This would have probably worked. I think she would have cropped it down quite a bit. And her mind, this action doesn't really tell much of a story.
It really does go back to basics.

This action would have made her happier, however it is a rather old photo.

Domestic Animals.
I searched and searched high and low to find a good shot of a Dexter cow or a mule.
Shots of peoples' dogs were in there too.

Winter Scene.

Well I nailed that!
Winter is my thing and I love love winter!

How interesting that the Judge and the Super assumed that the photographer had been to Apostles Islands for winter photography.

I did let them know that this was in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and not way up north.

I also met a fellow named John and he had just started out in photography. He was rather disappointed in some of his photos not getting any notice by the Judge.

At lunch break I asked if he'd like to grab something to eat and we could chat. And we did. John had been bitten by the digital photo bug and he was hit hard. He told me that he bought lessons from someone in another town to learn what his camera functions were.

I told him to start to experiment, not to be afraid of taking mistakes and that I always made mistakes and was still experimenting after years of using a camera.

He told me he lived by one of the county parks I love so much. I said if we can hike there you can go with our gang sometime! Or I can text or call you for when I do go out.

John and I sat down in the Lion's Club area and I guess were so engaged in conversation the guy that took our order assumed we were a couple. Both of us were duly embarrassed.
However that didn't stop us from talking photos, cameras, scenes, artistic visual ideas versus the strict rules of thirds, depth of field, and photo editing programs.

Before we knew it, the break was over.

I had to leave before the Judge was done. I had learned so much.

I didn't agree with her idea of macro shots, but did see her point. When in doubt, she did stick to the rules of photography. Focus on the subject, rules of thirds, and composition.

I could see that I am more artistically creative in my shots and she was judging on the technical side.

I learned a lot.

I would have liked to stick around and see how my winter color shot did. All ice and water. I won't know how she viewed it, but then again I couldn't stick around all day.

I'll do it again next year and perhaps I can watch the Judge from start to finish this next time.

Besides. I think I made a new photography friend too.

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