Fair Feedback


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Jun 22, 2012
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Sioux Falls, SD
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So I decided to throw some photos out there at the local county fair photography competition (first time really putting anything out there other than here). I put in 8 photos in different categories and ended up with 7 blue ribbons and one red ribbon. I'm not entirely sure about it as I don't have any clue who the judges were or what their thoughts were. I like feedback.

So here's the one that got me the single red ribbon. I would like to know your thoughts on it in lieu of feedback from the judges. I certainly didn't feel it was the weakest of my set, but oh well. It's just the county fair.

Thanks for the comments.

IMG_4057a1 by breckmiller, on Flickr
The green area does not serve to advance the composition, and the odd-looking reddish thing growing out of the center of the flower is a bit disruptive...it breaks the expected pattern, and makes the bloom look like, well, a mutated or imperfect one, which in floral photography is not really a positive quality, but a negative one. The open, green area, with the strong downward diagonal-and-outta-the-frame feeling is really hurting this shot. No offense intended, but this is not a blue-ribbon FLOWER bloom, nor a blue ribbon photograph. The bar is actually set pretty high these days on these kinds of photos; the subjects do not move, and with small-sensor digicams or focus-stacking with d-slr's, this type of photography is one in which many hobbyists have become really,really GOOD at, so the criteria for judging can be pretty tough. Also, your photo might have lost out to a prettier bloom, or a more-exotic species, or a more mundane bloom but one that was photographed nearly perfectly.
Darrel, no offense taken. It's legit feedback - more than I got from the judges. Actually, at this fair, the bar is not set all that high - I would prefer it higher myself. About half of the shots get blue ribbons. The odd petal in the middle is actually what caught my attention. It was taken at a public garden, so moving it to a better background wasn't a possibility.

Regarding the downward angle, is there a better crop to reduce that (I've got some room left and right, but it is full height of the original)? Flip of the image?

I just messed around with this image, trying various crops and tilts and am not really able to make this one sing.

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