April 2005 ~ Vol. 5, Issue 4
In This Issue:
~Editing your Photos for Competition
~Spotlight: Behind the Camera
~This Just In
DEADLINE REMINDER:May 15th , 2005 for the Spring 2005 Equine Ideal Online Photo Contest: http://www.equinephotocontest.com
Editing your Photos for Competition
By Susan Sexton
Any way you look at it, good editing is a crucial part of being a good photographer. Learning to distinguish between good and not-so-good pictures can be what distinguishes you from everyone else.
Some of the stumbling blocks to competent editing are personal; ego, emotional involvement, lack of knowledge, and pride, to name a few examples. You've heard that old hack, "Love is blind." Well, it's true. Most of us are in love with our images and blind to reason. This is why it's hard to edit our own images; because we can't really see them with uninvolved eyes. One way to avoid this kind of blindness, is to learn all we can about image making and then apply that knowledge to editing, as well.
All our senses are involved at the moment of exposure. We are keenly aware of everything else that's going on at the time, too, which makes us emotionally involved. Then seeing the picture involves them all over again. Try to keep your senses and emotions at bay when doing your editing. Otherwise, they can keep you from judging your own pictures for what they really are (really good or really bad). Senses, feelings and emotions have a way of coloring opinion, and that is not helpful in these circumstances. Try to look at your pictures with clear, uncolored eyes.
Try this when selecting submissions for a competition. Try to look at your images from a new point of view: the judge's, rather than your own. There are certain criteria they are following, and you should follow them, too. It's just hard to do because it's way too easy to be a little forgiving when judging your own pictures, and you have to guard against that instinct. Judges look at pictures with one purpose: how do they fit within the parameters that are set for this competition? Learn what the judge is looking for--the good, the bad and know the difference.
Apply the picture making rules when editing. If you know the basic rules of photography--composition, clarity, contrast, content, balance, harmony, movement, angles, diagonals, thirds, depth of field, focus (and there are plenty more)-then you know how to edit. Look at each picture for flaws, but be honest about it. No fudging. No saying, "...but it's so pretty!"
Leave your "self" out of the decision making process. Be sure that "self" goes into the picture when you make it; but be equally sure to keep "self" out when you edit.
Look at each picture for its strong points: light, composition, contrast, color, clarity, content. Give yourself some credit and recognize what works. But be honest about it!
Look for flaws: merging, no point of interest, glaring white areas, closed eyes, no subject, centered or "bullseye" subjects, branches growing out of the ear, etc., etc. Continue learning what the flaws are that you should avoid. Get to know them, and then never let them in the door. Get rid of them. Cull them. Do whatever it takes to present only your best images. Be tough about it. Be firm with yourself. It's to your best advantage to do so.
Spotlight Behind the Camera: Kirk Schlea
Kirk Schlea has been a freelance photographer for about 25 years with travels taking him twice around the globe. Kirk moved from Southern California to Central Kentucky in 1998 and became captivated by the beauty and grace of horses. Now that he is surrounded by them it is only natural he turns his lens their way. Kirk’s photo "Wild Horse Rainstorm" was chosen Best of Show in the Professional Division of the 2004 Equine Ideal online Photo Contest.
Visit Kirk's Member Profile at http://www.equinephotographers.org/kschlea
With three showcases this month there are lots of great pics to see!
Draft Horses (Vote for your favorite!)
Image Assignment: Pasture Scenes
There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
~ Ansel Adams
This Just In!
Latest Covers by EPNet Members
Jennay Hitesman: March/April Western and English Today
Sue Thygesen: March Issue Gaitpost
Zita Strother: Spring 2005 Riding Instructor
Terri Miller: April Dressage Today and March/April Hunter & Sport Horse
Congratulations to all!