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Sunset at Whiterocks

By Bajob3
I want to know if it is possible to make changes to the processing/cropping to create an image that would be accepted in Exhibitions. I have a lot of photos but struggle with

1 Selecting photos that have the potential for being accepted into an exhibition/competition

2 Getting the best out of the photo when processing

I have had a number of photos accepted for exhibitions but do not have any level of consistency. I am hoping that by getting the photos critiqued it will improve my photos and give valuable pointers as to what to look out for.

Thank you

Tags: Landscape and travel Exhibition2020 Exhibitions 2020 Whiterocks Sunset



dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
15 Sep 2020 12:54PM
What type and level of exhibition or competition do you have in mind?
Read the rules carefully and look at the entries that have been submitted to previous exhibitions to give you an idea of the type and style that get accepted.
Much is down to the organisers and judges and that, I'm afraid, is a very open book. Some surprising entries can win and some superb images can get nowhere.

However, 'getting the best out of a picture in processing' is definitely important, so in my mod I did a Levels adjustment for a full tonal range (this is a type of image where a deep black through to full light tones is needed) followed by a (small) Curves adjustment to boost the brightness and contras in the lighter tones to give it more 'pop'. This helps make the figures more prominent. I cropped out the empty sea on the right. While it gave a sense of openness, the main subject is the figures so I wanted to concentrate on those.
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
15 Sep 2020 2:04PM
Hi trevor, welcome to EPZ.

Youve just joined, so we dont have other images from you to help us get an idea of how you shoot and process images apart from this one.

Do you still have an unprocessed version of this image? If you do you can upload it here by clicking the modifications button, then select Upload, and upload it; it will show up as your modification. It would be useful to see it so we can understand how youve processed this.

When you say the photos done have any level of consistency, what do you mean?


Bajob3 2
15 Sep 2020 7:12PM
Many thanks for the feedback and the welcome. As regards the Exhibitions I have entered some of the BPE Exhibitions and had a few acceptances, I have also entered a few of the International Exhibitions with varying degrees of success.

What I meant by no real level of consistency is that in the same exhibition I can have a range of marks from 7's to 13's. I am either choosing the wrong images to start with or my processing leaves a lot to be desired. By getting feedback it will hopefully show me if it is one the other or both.

I primarily use lightroom for processing and NIQ Collection. I rarely use photoshop. I will upload the original image after this post.

Thank you

dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
15 Sep 2020 8:24PM
Thank you for the original
I see there's not much processing been done, and nor should there be. Straightening a horizon and doing a colour balance or levels adjustment is often the little things that need adjustment, unles you're after an extreme result of course. My mod is just a suggested alternative.

Quote:What I meant by no real level of consistency is that in the same exhibition I can have a range of marks from 7's to 13's

That just shows the variability of the 'judges' opinions, likes and dislikes that's what it comes down to.

For example if you'd been using the Bad Tonemapping tool (aka HDR 'effect') I could understand it but from what I see you're not doing anything 'wrong'.
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
16 Sep 2020 11:20AM
Hi Trevor and welcome from me too.

Quote:That just shows the variability of the 'judges' opinions, likes and dislikes that's what it comes down to.

Acceptance into exhibitions is very dependant on the judge(s) on the day of judging, one judge will probably see things very differently to the judge sat next to him/her. Much the same as entering camera club competitions, one judge may score the image 7, whilst the next judge to look at he same image may score it a 20 for very different reasons.

I don't see that you have done anything 'wrong' as such, yes, the horizon has been levelled , there has been a little cropping involved and possibly a couple of other tweaks here and there. Sometimes the rules for entering competitions and exhibitions state that no 'alterations' are allowed and they state their exceptions ...generally. Reading and understanding the rules is really important for each entry.

Getting the best out of an image is purely down to individual taste, yours will possibly be different to mine for instance and mine will be different to the next person.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
16 Sep 2020 11:36AM
And welcome from me, too, Trevor.

I'm going to talk a bit about my own approach to competition: I see it as one way of judging success, among several. Others include making money from an image, and personal satisfaction, either for you or for someone else.

I think that if you see success as being a high proportion of acceptances, or high marks, you need to approach things as a professional athlete: there will be tricks, dodges and even cheats that many participants will use without scruple. And you would possibly do well to study form and judges - then, like a footballer, play the man, not the ball. If that sounds distasteful... Well, it is, but it's the route to that form of success. You also need to keep tabs on what's currently fashionable, and shoot and process to a brief in the same sort of way as an advertising photographer. But that might not be much fun...

Shooting for money is simple: and it's about marketing as well as tailoring the product to the buyer. Again, it's doing what someone else wants to gain something you want...

Shooting for personal satisfaction is different, especially if it's your own delight you seek. You can shoot what you want to, in the style you want: no need to bow to fashion. And then you can enter the results in competitions - sometimes you will do really well, when you strike a chord, and on other occasions it'll bomb.

All of this amounts to 'the problem may not be in your own shortcomings'!

Practice, practice, practice. Read voraciously about technique and art. Maybe go on a course, which often stimulates and broadens horizons. And, of course, look at pictures - on Ephotozine, in magazines, on exhibition walls, and in monographs. And at the end of it, you may not get more acceptances, but you will, I think, be a better photographer.

And nothing above is a complete answer - please post more images, both in the Critique Gallery and in the main gallery, so we can see the breadth of your work, and understand how you roll...
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
16 Sep 2020 2:18PM
Thanks Trevor for the additional information and the original, its very helpful.

I like the original a little better as far as crop is concerned,

I used it for a modification which Ive uploaded.

Whats Ive done: Reduced magenta a lot, and increased yellow a little in white balance.

added a clarity adjustment at +20

Pulled back level down to 6; increased white level to 200, and removed this from the brightest sun using a layer mask.

The adjustments increased contrast which increased saturation, so reduced saturation -9

Level of course, cropped as you see, and a simple frame. The results tens to appear a little crisper and more vibrant.

Hope this helps.


Bajob3 2
16 Sep 2020 6:11PM
Thank you all for your feedback, it has been extremely helpful. I have been taking photos for years and when the transition from film to digital happened, probably relied more on the post processing than getting the photo right. I know I haven't got there yet with the post processing so the feedback has been brilliant. I have been trying recently to be less lazy at the taking stage so there is less to do in processing..

I'll try to get a few more images posted so you get a feel for my work.



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