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Doggy Paddle

By justlookingthanks
Really pleased with this image but it got nowhere in camera club comp. any comments?

Tags: Dog Water Black and white Mist Canoe Paddle

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4 Dec 2019 6:02PM
You have every right to be pleased, it's a fine image, with real character. Any modification would only be different, not better.
The fact that it got nowhere in your CC doesn't surprise me ( and it's why I'll have nothing to do with them ).
"Pearls before swine" I think is the expression.

Leave them to their pointless competitive nonsense.... after all, what do you care about, photographic excellence or winning competitions? The two don't always go together.

Your choice.


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pablophotographer 8 1.5k 368
4 Dec 2019 6:34PM
It looks fine to me.

The characters are all there, their reflection is fully in the frame. They appear to be sharp. I see no wrong but I have not seen the other images you competed against. It is a joy to win and a pain to lose. But do you go out to take pictures to please others, or do you do it to please yourself?


Arvorphoto Plus
9 108 4 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2019 8:18PM
Getting nowhere in a camera club competition is not a gauge of a good image I'm afraid. Sadly it seems some judges are not objective enough.

Are you pleased with it? That is what matters.

I would be pleased if it was part of my portfolio.

banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4097 Canada
4 Dec 2019 9:02PM
Looks fine to me. Perhaps they didnt like the tone?
Thanks for the support. When I produce an image that I like then I feel OK. The problem is that I want to progress and for that to happen I need the opinions of others to validate, ie. I can listen to them and see if they measure up to scrutiny in the same way that the image has been scrutinised by them. I can then disregard them or use them to move forward.

Thanks again for taking the time.
chappo1 12 6 12 Australia
4 Dec 2019 11:55PM
A couple of random thoughts from me
I compete locally in camera club monthly comps but do not bother with national salons and so on.
To me, the major buzz is watching my print come out of the printer. I like prints!!
Now to your image- there is no exif so we cannot make any suggestions on settings.
It is often said - put your print upside down on the floor and where does the eye go?
Hard to do with an image on the screen but my eye goes to the brightest and sharpest part of the image which happens to be the paddle not the man and dog.
If I were considering it as an entry, the black blob on the water mid left then pulls the roaming eye also and I would crop inside it. You have made your statement about mist and beyond there is not necessary in my view.
What was the "theme" or topic of the comp? and do not overlook what pablophotographer said, a camera club comp is not a judgement of your image but a relative comparison of your image to others in the comp according to his/her in built bias and interpretation of the topic.
I have seen many instances of an image in different comps getting an entirely different response.

pablophotographer 8 1.5k 368
5 Dec 2019 2:51AM
Amen chappo!
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2172 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2019 7:41AM
I do solemnly swear that I am not and never have been a member of a camera club...

I love this, it's positively dripping with atmosphere, it creates its own world and it draws me in. Be satisfied with having taken a really good shot.

What I am particularly admiring is the balance with the empty space on the left, broken by that bit of debris floating in the water.
pamelajean Plus
14 1.3k 2117 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2019 4:51PM
Hello, Bob, and welcome to the Critique Gallery.
I would make the same declaration as Moira.
It would have been helpful if the camera club judges had said something in the way of critique about your image, which gives you something positive to work on and hopefully also helps you to improve.

I am with other commenters in that it's a good picture, and the misty atmosphere adds impact. I think your title is really good, too. The negative space on the left is well done, with both man and dog facing in that direction and the paddle leading the viewer's eye that side, too. Offsetting your subject makes it a more engaging image.

I have done a simple modification where I cropped slightly, to place your man on a thirds line, and then I mirrored the image so that he is facing to the right. Because we read from left to right we also look at an image from left to right, and it tends to feel more comfortable, but see what you think.


clicknimagine Plus
10 619 100 India
5 Dec 2019 5:22PM
You have not provided any details regarding camera settings, etc. but you asked only a single question regarding judgement of a camera club...

Any kind of judgement is relative in its nature, it depends on many factors:-

1. It depends on the other entries, if there were better images than this, then their selection is good...

2. If the competition was based on a particular theme and this image was not according to that theme, then their selection is good...

3. If there was any technical requirement and this image did not satisfy that requirement, then their selection is good...

4. Personal choices always play a vital role...some persons consider grain/noise as flaws to an image at the same time some add it to their images to increase the artistic value...

5. Genre also plays an important part to find flaws...For example, In avian photography, minimum amount of noise can harm the quality of the image except it is intended for other Landscape, composition plays more important part than in avian...

There are so many other things to come before taking any dicision or before commenting on others judgement...

I can only say it is a good image and if you are satisfied with the result, then it is even better...
dark_lord Plus
16 2.5k 639 England
5 Dec 2019 8:21PM
It's a well taken image. It has a nice calm mood and is simple and bold in composition and content. You could adjust contrast (I personally like to see a bit more) and toning, just differences and not 'better' as such.

If you are happy with it, and many would be, then that's ok.

Camera club judges aren't the ba all and end all, indeed a different judge on a diffent day may rate it higher. A judge who doesn't like mono won't rate any black and white image no matter how good it is.
They may even take exception to the logo on the lifejacket. Really silly i know!

Some good points are made about the topic and brief of the competition, and we haven't seen the other entries. What yopu can do is analyse both and see where, if possible, there are any issues.
Certainly, if no critique or reasoning is given to the antries then it is difficult to understand the judgement. Fortunately that's not the case with epz, so keep posting here!

dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1606 England
6 Dec 2019 7:58AM
The basic problem, I think, is that any club can become a little narrow in the way it works.

A really good club (I believe they exist) will be open to many different styles and possibilities, but it's a rare beastie.

Try joining another club, if you can, ideally with a good reputation - see what happens.

This is a very decent picture, but I can envisage some people saying that the contrast is low, quibbling with the composition, or considering that there's too much digital noise. For me, that doesn't matter if the overall image looks good, as this does. But any one of those might be a killer at a club...
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
7 Dec 2019 8:51AM
A lot of comment! I think Willie makes the relevant comment - the tones are wrong. I realise it is misty but this is very flat and thus looses impact. There is no black anywhere, just a muddy dark grey. Try black point compensation in the histogram tool.

Despite all other comments, I feel sure that is the reason for being rejected.

I suspect a lot of people that do not like camera club competition have been knocked back by a judge at some time and gone off in a huff. There are good and bad judges as in any competitive arena and you need to learn to analyse their comments. This site is very competitive - look at the awards in the main gallery - some of them are deserved, but it depends on the judges!

7 Dec 2019 9:23AM

Quote:I suspect a lot of people that do not like camera club competition have been knocked back by a judge at some time and gone off in a huff.

Probably true, but there are also a lot of people who have no interest in camera club competitions because they don't think of photography as a competitive sport.
clicknimagine Plus
10 619 100 India
7 Dec 2019 10:12AM

Quote:This site is very competitive - look at the awards in the main gallery - some of them are deserved, but it depends on the judges!

I am afraid to say i completely disagree with this remark...

As you say, some of them are deserved, so you agree that some of them are not deserved at depends on the ability of the judges, and their ability of choosing images is reflecting in the award gallery and it is playing havoc on the members who work in the genre which is beyond their knowledge...

So can we call it a competition among a few selected genre or among a few selected members...and others are mere is not a competition, it is a kind of promotion...

mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2172 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2019 9:06AM
It took me a while to track this down, but tonally I see this as similar to this , which I regard as one of the loveliest photos ever taken.
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2019 9:09AM
If you pass comment, you are judging. The main gallery is clearly a competition.

dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1606 England
8 Dec 2019 9:16AM
I will both agfree and disagree with Paul...

In one sense, always, a view is a judgement: but in another, very important way, there's a distinction between a comment can be positive and encouraging, even while suggesting big changes.

It's the difference between listing the ten best rock tracks EVER, and listing thirty tracks that you like a lot....
clicknimagine Plus
10 619 100 India
8 Dec 2019 9:47AM
No Paul, if everyone pass comment judging the images in the main gallery then the best images will always get highest number of comments or you can even find the best images viewing number of comments...often members place their comments on the images of their friends to promote them or to encourage them...any kind of awarding in this site is also the finest form of promotion...

8 Dec 2019 9:53AM

Quote:If you pass comment, you are judging. The main gallery is clearly a competition.


That's nonsense, a logical non sequitur. There are often comments that relate to the content of a photograph and that are in no way a critique or judgement, though they may include a compliment, which is not the same thing.

And if I post an image, it's simply for others to hopefully enjoy, and how it compares ( or as you would have it, competes ) with other people's images that have been posted, whether in terms of technical quality or aesthetic content, is not my concern.

As I remarked earlier, there are many people who don't see photography as a "competitive sport." Perhaps you do. That's your business, but don't assume everyone thinks as you do... I can assure you they most certainly don't.
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2019 11:06AM
Sorry, I stand by my comment, you comment, you are, in effect judging. Positive or negative. And my whole point is that looking at the images in the general gallery with the most votes and/or awards, does not mean they are good in real terms.

You cannot say that I am wrong, just as I cannot say that you are. It is a matter of opinion which you, and I, am entitled to.

I suggest, if you know what good image looks like technically, then you try to sensibly judge 50 or 60 images in two hours as a camera club judge must, and that you look at awarded images in the main gallery, which is rather easier to do, and honestly say if that image is truly fine photography IN ALL RESPECTS, or possibly not?

mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2172 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2019 1:07PM
From ghoulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night
And the camera club mentality
Good Lord deliver us.

(The Cornish Prayer, adapted)
8 Dec 2019 1:15PM

Quote:You cannot say that I am wrong, just as I cannot say that you are.

But that's precisely what you are doing. You are stating a personal opinion as though it were indisputable fact.

" comment, you are, in effect judging"

And in response to your last paragraph-

I suspect the majority of people who vote/award images here do not do so based predominantly on their technical merit, as you seem to prefer to do. There are some who would actually lack the confidence to do so, perhaps through inexperience or feeling they don't have sufficient technical know-how. Very often it could simply be a case of "I know what I like," which is just as relevant a "critical" tool as any other, in my opinion.
And bear this in mind, Paul...

You have often admitted to having no imagination, thanks to your technical background and training. You've often said you struggle to understand images that depart much from what might be described as "factually accurate depiction," and you seem to see little real point in a photograph that either isn't a family album shot, or a scientifically accurate "record" shot, or hasn't been taken for some form of financial gain. So that's a whole area of appreciation and understanding that you admit to being blind to, meaning that the parameters by which you "judge" an image must necessarily be very limited. What, for instance, would your critical eye make of THIS ?

Of course you are entitled to your own opinions, as we all are.
But personal opinions are usually less persuasive when they cross the line into dogma.

mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2172 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2019 5:17PM
Just coming back - to turn Willie's comment

Quote:Perhaps they didnt like the tone?


Quote:… Willie makes the relevant comment - the tones are wrong.

is at best sloppy, at worst downright dishonest.
8 Dec 2019 5:44PM

Quote:Just coming back - to turn Willie's comment

Quote:Perhaps they didnt like the tone?


Quote:… Willie makes the relevant comment - the tones are wrong.

is at best sloppy, at worst downright dishonest.

Quite. It's also complete nonsense.
Mist/fog progressively reduces contrast, which means narrower tonal range.
This is obvious to anyone with normal eyesight.
Willie was of course referring to the "toning." This is obvious to anyone with normal reading skills.
clicknimagine Plus
10 619 100 India
8 Dec 2019 6:07PM
Alan the link you have given, a skilled eye can only recognize it, and honestly speaking i have never seen a photographer like him, he is trying to give an unique approach to the main skill is to recognize the slightest possibilities of abstract found everywhere, the angle, colours and the pov of the shot, that makes it a really beautiful abstract...many people will argue that everyone can take shots like that as it is very simple but the truth is that it is difficult to see a scene in this way unless you have a skilled eye and a lot of practice...

Often, you can see a technically perfect image of a bird sitting in a perch (probably in the garden of the photographer) has got an award...and the same bird on another perch got another award...and the person like your example Alan, who see differntly and try to do something different got nothing...Do you call it a cometition or it is merely a promotion...
25 Feb 2020 8:24PM
At the end of the day if you are pleased with the image that's all that matters, you don't create your images to please everyone else.
Keep getting pleasure from creating your images.

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