Every year the Vermont Professional Photographers holds a couple of print competitions. The first is a mini-competition, a non-official exercise for those of us who wish to get helpful criticism and comments about work that we’d like to enter for the state competition in April, which is very official indeed. The mini-competition was held today at our regular bi-monthly meeting and since this was just the second time I’ve entered a print competition I was a bit nervous as to how my work would score. I’m still learning what makes a good competition print versus what makes a good sale print. The judges look at everything from the basics – composition, lighting, color, and mood, to the physical print quality and even the title. A score of 80 out of 100 is considered to be worthy of a merit. At the regional level merit prints will earn you points towards your Master’s of Photography degree with the Professional Photographers of America. So, getting an 80 or above is quite important to me as I’d like to one day have that “M.Photog.” after my name.
Enough about that. I could go on and on about competition print criteria and such and bore, well, mostly everyone. I do take great pride in my work though. The entire process is fun for me, from seeing the image in the viewfinder, to clicking the shutter, making adjustments to the image, and even printing. The printing, I think, satisfies the scientist in me. You know, there’s a lot of failed experiments, I can record all of my findings in neurotic detail, and sometimes I even manage to make a mess (and you thought gas was expensive!). Anyway, the result of my toiling was that I tied for second place today. Woohoo! “Pierre Extraordinaire” was scored at 81 points and he’ll be making an appearance at the state competition with some minor adjustments for a few more points.
I’ve posted Pierre’s portrait here before, but he is clearly striking enough to warrant another post. I’m sure that JoAnn, his caretaker at Ivana Iguana Wisdom and Rescue, will want to give him a great, big hug!
For the photo nerds in the audience, Pierre’s portrait was made with my Nikon D700 and 85mm PC lens, handheld, using a bounced umbrella for the main light and another umbrella for fill. The print was done with my Epson 3800 on Hahnemūhle Fine Art Baryta with a density increase of 7%.
Peace and Scales,