Monday, February 14, 2011

Thanks Rustine, that was flattering.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Good stuff on LIFE

Check out the LIFE magazin series about taking great pictures. I found it today and liked it very much. Full of good tips about triangular composition, leading the eye, and how to take photographs in Hitler's bunker.
Not kidding about the latter. What might be even more interesting than war correspondents studying blood stains on the Führer's sofa is that they included some of the original captions in the gallery, where the photographer describes what's on the film rolls. A good reminder that self-administration is as much of a part of photojournalism as is taking pictures. And how hellish it must have been to do this on typewriter... but then we all know that war is hell.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Selection criteria in photo competitions

My entries to the Portrait and People Contest - The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards made it into the second round (I suppose most of the participants did, because now it's time to pay for getting admitted into the further rounds - $75 in my case and I still don't know if my vanity is worth it). Since the only title I hold in photography is A.P.W.N.W.A.C. - A Photographer Who Never Wins Any Competition - the whole thing weren't worth a post. However, contrary to the majority of competitions, they were kind enough to describe their selection criteria. I find their list very useful - it's nothing new really, but aptly structured and clearly written. Enjoy.

1. What is the main thing we notice when looking at the image? (the primary visual impact of the viewer)

2. What are the main formal causes of this primary effect? It’s just the formal design or the subject? How do lines, shapes, tones, volumes, textures and patterns interact with the viewer?

3. Which was the intention of the photographer? Why would this photo be made and how would it be used?

4. Is there any creativity and innovation in the photo? What do we see as the most innovative and creative aspects?

5. Is there any meaning or any symbols underlying in the photo that give it a special meaning?

6. Finally, we analyzed the technique of the work:

6.1. Is the light (not the exposure) the right one in terms of direction and quality?

6.2. Is the camera angle the most appropriate?

6.3. Could the photo be improved by cropping it?

6.4. Does the depth of field and focus help to the visual impact?

6.5. Is the contrast the right one; should it be lowered or augmented?

6.6. Burn in or dodge parts of the image enhance the formal design of the image?

6.7. If some special technique (like Photoshop art filters, textures or color saturation) are used, does really help to the overall impact; does it add any special meaning or creative approach?