Photograph of an Interesting Tree

Herb

Active member
It was bound to happen on this trip. Always interested in horticulture, and different species of plants that I am accustomed to, I fell in love with a tree. I believe this was in the Serengetti. f 11, 1/100, ISO 200, 18 mm (27 mm cropped)interesting tree .jpg
 
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JGaulard

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This is an interesting tree. I wonder what caused all of the irregularities in the bark. It looks like it's dripping or melting. Very nice.

By the way, how did your photo competition go last night?
 

Herb

Active member
This is an interesting tree. I wonder what caused all of the irregularities in the bark. It looks like it's dripping or melting. Very nice.

By the way, how did your photo competition go last night?
Ha , I was afraid you were going to ask. I got 3 honorable mentions, and one seven . I was upset that I didn't get top scores on the 3, and the seven pointer floored me. I don't think I'll ever get used to one particular part of competition. It really irks me when a judge lauds over a photo, pointing out so many great parts of the photo, and not once mentionning anything that he fthought detracted from a photo. He pretty much said that eacjh photo was perfect. I am not too upset with the honorable mentions, but the way he critiqued the gull, I thought he was going to give me a top score, and he shocked me by giving me 7.
At the end of the meeting, talking with the others there, they all agreed that the judging was terrible. A lot of people were talking about my gull, and some other photos that he awarded top scores to that were really inadequate.
I have to explain. I go into competition because I feel it helps me develop my photo skills. Through competition, I have learned what makes a photo, and what makes a great photo. I really appreciate when I get a low score, or for that matter even honorable mentions,that the judge explain what he found that hurt the photo. So, when a judge praises my work, and finds nothing to say that deteracted from it and scores low, I scratch my head.
As I once said in an earlier post, I welcome criticism. I really can take it without being insulted. and I would welcome critiques from someone especially like you who really knows what photography is all about.
These are the photos I entered, and the scores are as follows.
Cape Buffalo- 8 (B&W)
Yellow legged stork -8
Masaai children -8
Herring gull - 7 (B&W)
8 Cape buffalo crop copy.jpg8 yellow leg stork.jpg8 Maasai mom watching kids.jpg7 American herring gull .jpg who
 
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JGaulard

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I totally understand where you're coming from Herb. Honest feedback is critical, especially when you plan on using that feedback while in the field. I guess some competitions will give you that while others won't.

The funny thing is, when I look at images, I focus much more on the technical aspects of it, such as colors, clarity, tone and those sorts of things. I've never been one for the actual content itself. I mean, obviously that's important, it's just that I find myself gravitating towards how someone did what they did during post-processing rather than how they took the original photo. Well, that's not exactly true. I also love learning about the camera settings that were necessary to capture a certain image. I guess I want to know about the hows rather than the whats, if that makes any sense. This most likely has to do with some sort of selfishness on my part because I like to use others' ideas in my own photography.

I think all of your photos look great, by the way. I know, not very helpful. You probably won't get many critical reviews out of me.
 

Herb

Active member
I totally understand where you're coming from Herb. Honest feedback is critical, especially when you plan on using that feedback while in the field. I guess some competitions will give you that while others won't.

The funny thing is, when I look at images, I focus much more on the technical aspects of it, such as colors, clarity, tone and those sorts of things. I've never been one for the actual content itself. I mean, obviously that's important, it's just that I find myself gravitating towards how someone did what they did during post-processing rather than how they took the original photo. Well, that's not exactly true. I also love learning about the camera settings that were necessary to capture a certain image. I guess I want to know about the hows rather than the whats, if that makes any sense. This most likely has to do with some sort of selfishness on my part because I like to use others' ideas in my own photography.

I think all of your photos look great, by the way. I know, not very helpful. You probably won't get many critical reviews out of me.
Jay,
I have learned through the years of competing in 2 different camera clubs that not all judges are the same. Some of the members of the clubs have come to remember certain judges, what subjects they like, what subjects they do not like, what technical stuff they look out for, and whatever else they can remember about the judge that will give them a better chance for a higher score. The clubs have prostituted themselves by announcing beforehand which judge will be at the next competition, so the photographers can prepare beforehand. I do not pay attention to these notices from the club. I don't care which judge is going to be there. I go out shooting for myself, and not a judge.
All of these judges have to take some sort of training, and pass an exam of some sort to register themselves with clubs as licensed judges to get hitrd for an evening of judging. I have through the years seen some weird or bizzare judges. I have seen judges look at a photo, and say "oh no ! Not another cat photo, I don't like cat photos ", and judge accordingly. I have seen judges look at a photo and use this photo to launch into a monologue about how great they are. (As I mentioned earler) .
My advice to anyone starting out in a photo club is definitely go into competition, but do not ( hard advice to follow)take one man's opinion too seriously. It is my opinion, that competition is great because it definitely hones one's skills. If you pay strict attention to all of the judges comments about the various photos submitted by you, and other contestants, you have to pick up important pointers. What was difficult, and still is for me to get used to, is a judge assigning a score to a photo he has failed to offer a critique to. I feel he has copped out on his responsibility by just assigning an arbitrary number, without explanation.
Lastly, I find you to be an amazing sort of guy. To find time to run such a wonderful site such as yours, and yet to find time to correspond with bloggers is wonderful. You have very successfully brought the human, or personal element into all of this, and I for one appreciate this . I am truly envious of those such as yourself who can really make sense out of all of the technology involved in photography, including the post processing. I am always trying to learn as much as possible regarding this. I am simply fascinated by this topic, and really admire the people who have mastered this stuff.
It took me quite awhile to learn my camera, and whenever we go on a trip, weeks beforehand I start rereading my manual, and spending oodles of time with SONY online tech help support. This stuff does not come easy to me, but I think I finally have my camera mastered.
I really appreciate the remarks you make regarding photos I submit. You are very qualified in your field, which is why your remarks give me inspiration.
One last thing before I close. Something I somehow missed in my cape buffalo photo that the judge picked up. He pointed out how the horns of the two buffalo made a complete circle. He thought that was really cool.
 

JGaulard

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Hi Herb - I totally agree with you. I wouldn't be able to focus on what a particular judge is looking for while chasing an eagle around the forest trying to get the shot of a lifetime. That's really no time to be thinking of what someone is looking for in a photo. Plus, sometimes the best shots are completely random and unexpected. You're right for not paying attention to which judges will be at any given competition.

Also, thank you for the advice for those who may want to join a photography club and compete in the future. As you know, photography is a hobby so many of us love and it's great to get the perspective from someone such as yourself, who has years of experience with this sort of thing. I'm sure everyone will appreciate this.

And finally, I think you're making me blush a bit over here. Thank you for appreciating the website and my correspondence. It's folks like you who make, and will make, this whole thing come alive. If it were only me, things would be boring and I'd be writing for myself. Just like you, I look for some back and forth between others who are interested in the same topics that I am. Luckily, photography and post-processing are bottomless pits of goodness, so I don't think I'll ever run out of things to study and learn. There's something new every day.

Keep up the good work Herb and I'm going to go check out your buffalo picture again!
 
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