First print competition and lessons

It’s not easy putting your work out there and have it judged. But for me, it was great. I didn’t do as well as I did last time at the Sierra Camera Club in Sacramento, but this was for the print division and a different judge. I entered into the Monochrome and Color categories. We are allowed two images per category. The other category is artistic–I’m not ready for that!

Here’s how my images were judged on a sliding scale of 8 – 12. I’ll give you a hint: 3 were 10’s and one was 11. I’m not upset, but I’m excited. I learned terminology I’d never heard. The judge not only graded, he explained why and gave ways to correct the problem he saw. He was teaching. He was surprised and said at one point that he hadn’t  seen any eights or nines!

Here’s one that got me a 10.

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He thought the figure was too dark and got lost. He suggested I work with the dark and light to add more depth, and that the scale was not that impressive. Well, I can disagree with the scale not being impressive. I guess you had to be there.

Here’s the one that got me an 11:

people (14)Here’s the one that I got an 11 on: Well, it’s not exactly the one. I couldn’t find the one I had printed. I cropped off my copyright for the competition image and he said he would have liked to see his whole foot. He also said that the guy was centered–another distraction, and I agree. He suggested that I could have shot the picture from the other side and then the guy wouldn’t have been centered. Who knows what it would have looked like. I did learn not to put a copyright on an image that I might submit, but make a virtual copy. Also, take a candid, which this was, then ask if I could take his picture. Then I could have taken several shots and moved around. However, he did say that the tonal values were right on. That got me the 11.

I’m loving this camera club and learning a great deal. I took 3 1/2 pages of notes at this meeting, and I’m looking forward to once again putting my work out there and have it judged.

PS: The top image rated a 10. I submitted it without the copyright.

 

Shopping and shooting: The Romanian Festival and more

I love farmers’ markets mainly because the vegetables are so much fun to shoot. But this one was closing and was in our way of gettting to the Romanian Festival. As we walked around, I did my best to catch whatever vegetables left. I didn’t do well. However, they had the water spouts on for the children to run through. I got a couple of good pictures there.

We stopped at a very special bench, and I tried to get a group photo. I didn’t have a tripod so it was without me. The shot I’m posting was the best. Jim, I think you have a habit of closing your eyes!

We finally made our way to the Festival. It was very small but people were enjoying the vendors, entertainers and food. Ron and I did some shooting while the others walked around.

I enjoy capturing people candidly; however, sometimes they just aren’t in the right position or their expression is not good. Then I will ask if I can take their picture. I’ve never had anyone say “No!”

This group of images is the last I shot before Richard’s back surgery. So it may be a while until my next post. Maybe I’ll do some fantastic, improved editing of already posted images and show them to you.

We’ve got to be creative and have fun!

The 2nd annual trip: Apple Hill, El Dorado County, California

A spiced apple donut with thick chocolate icing–yum! I should have taken a picture, but I was in the midst of having an “I need sugar attack.” We were in Apple Hill, El Dorado County, enjoying apple anything and taking in the sites. This was my second time up above Placerville shooting apple orchards, vineyards and vendors. I think it will be an annual trek up the mountain.

During autumn, growers belonging to the Apple Hill Growers Association open the area to everyone, selling pies, pastries and wine. Vendors of all sorts are on hand to sell their crafts or products.

This year I went with more photography knowledge and confidence. California is still in a drought and the scenery showed it. The vineyards weren’t as green. It just looked dry after having a great deal of triple digit days this summer. So, I shot close up, with a few landscapes.

I do enjoy shooting close up, and the old farm equipment provided color and texture–just what I love. I used to spray shoot without a direct purpose. This time it was different, and I was happy.

Of course I’d have been happier if I bought another donut and brought it home! (This will be a 2-part post.)

 

 

We’re having a heat wave: The pirate festival, Vallejo California

Triple digits–for two weeks! What’s a photographer to do? Go out early? Shoot indoors? Don’t shoot? The last is not an option! So one day Linda and I drove to Vallejo early in the morning to visit the 10th Annual Northern California Pirate Festival. Well, it’s cooler in Vallejo, we got there soon after it opened and left when the heat turned up.

I guess I was expecting something like the Highland Games we went to last year. This festival was on a much smaller scale, but didn’t lack pirate enthusiasts. The vendors were in costume, but what caught my camera’s eye were the visitors. They were the show.

There were kids activities, games, food, and more family fun. But, Linda and I didn’t bring grandkids, so we observed.

We were in and out within two hours, missing the fine festival food. Instead we enjoyed lunch in nice air conditioned restaurant! So, avast ye mates, and join me at the Pirate Festival.

Do you have any other ways to avoid the heat and still get out and shoot? I’d welcome suggestions because it’s going to be a hot summer.

 

Candid

You know how it is, you take your camera to a party and there you go getting in everyone’s face. Some don’t mind it. Some do! I took some candid shots at my grandson’s birthday party and at my friend Julie’s surprised birthday party. I was please with some of the shots.