I am attending the 2016 Shutterfest image competition. I am a huge proponent of image competition and for the past several years have been competing on a pretty regular basis. I don’t compete to win per se; I compete so that I may gain valuable feedback on my images. This feedback is necessary to growing and becoming a better photographer. I will be attending the live judging to listen to the critiques and suggestions another photographer gives on the images. This is just as good as being inside that photographer’s head for a bit. It provides incredible insight into what makes an excellent photograph and also, even if the photograph scores well, what could have made it even better.
Later this month, I am attending the 3rd Annual Shutterfest in St. Louis. This will be my second time attending this “unconference” and my second time entering images into the competition. Last year, I entered four images into the high school senior portrait category. The images scored a 76, two 77’s, and a 78—still not the 80 I’ve been chasing, but close. The competition at Shutterfest claims to follow the same scoring methods for other international competitions like WPPI and PPA—the world’s most renowned and competitive image competitions. If that’s the case, then all four of these image were of an average professional standard. The good news is that they were not below a professional average. My work is, at least, considered professional. The reason that I hope for at least an 80 is because it merits (not necessarily at this image comp) and it means that my work is above a professional average.
Shutterfest Image Competition
These are the images I have entered into the Shutterfest image competition. I chose this image because it has a slight sense of mystery to it. I liked that my subject appeared confident, beautiful and grown. It demonstrates use of off-camera flash. The loop lighting is soft and wraps around her face and body nicely. I did do some burning in post and also cloned out a few of the small limbs from the shrubbery to the camera right. I opted not to title my images in this competition because I’m not very good at that and may have mislead or confused the judges in past competitions.
I chose this image because of the sense of playfulness. I entered a similar image into the WPPI 16×20 image competition, but wanted to also get feedback from a slightly different pose. I also used off-camera flash in the making of this image with the the same techniques mentioned above.
Maybe one day my goal will be to win a competition, but for now, I’m still chasing that 80.
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