Diana Magor, MPSA, APSA  

Misty boats by Diana Magor, MPSA, APSA

October 2021 - Misty boats

About the Image(s)

I was playing with various presets to try to create a misty feel for this image. I thought I had done quite well -using 'antique plate' and I've entered it in a couple of exhibitions. Each time it has got a very low mark. So what I want to know is what is wrong with it? Why do judges hate it? Is it because it has a white vignette? Or simply that they recognise it for a preset and therefore it has no value in their eyes because I haven't done a lot of work. I have tweaked the values to get this effect so it isn't just ticking one box.

12 comments posted

Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
I like it, and do not feel that judges have the time to think about if you used a preset or did more work on the image (having been a judge). You seem to have 2 images, the boats and the buildings on the right -- I keep looking back and forth. What if you reversed the image? Then you would have the boats leading you off into the distance that is fading out, and the buildings would show you that it is in a small harbor. Of course you would need to get rid of the lettering on the sign.   Posted: 10/05/2021 11:18:52
Comment Image

Diana Magor   Diana Magor
OK I'm happy to reverse it. Maybe you are right and one's eyes do go back and forth from buildings to boats, but I thought the channel between them helped to draw the eye inwards. Do you think white vignettes work or not? I've never had much success when I have used them and I wondered if they let the eyes wander out of the picture?   Posted: 10/05/2021 12:57:52

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
You chose a charming scene and rendered it well. But therein lies a problem. While I do not compete, I read others commenting about competing, and I often hear people urging others to make their images "pop." This is certainly not an image that "pops," and I wonder if you and Tom and others who have judging experience expect images to "pop." Also, your own preference for "more contrast, more contrast" is not present here, and maybe you are at your best in that world. If you are going to go for misty shots, I have seen good stuff that works with a minimalist approach--a single sailboat or fragments of a broken pier, barely discernable as such, on an unending sea of nearly pure white.   Posted: 10/07/2021 00:49:04
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
Thanks for reminding me that my forte seems to be the contrasty images. perhaps I should have gone for an even mistier feel with less dark areas -my preferences are still showing through. Looking at it again, it appears 'muddy' in the darker parts. Maybe I shall start again and try for a more high key effect.   Posted: 10/07/2021 04:09:42
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Yes, but if you go high key, I think a simpler subject would be best. I am not sure. Maybe the outlines of the buildings, dock, and boats would work. You can only try.   Posted: 10/07/2021 11:10:12

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
(Groups 83 & 87)
Good day, Diana. The basic composition (buildings, boats, dock) within this crop look engaging on their own, but you went further and added special post-production effects to give a more "Misty" or foggy appearance.

For many artist outside Clubs, Guilds and even online institutions like the PSA, added effects like these are the ones that give many patrons of arts and other artists (from any genre) to give pause: here, it is quite evident more than what the lens (and the effects of camera dynamics like Bokeh, for just one example) are being presented.

This conversation will be the basis of a talk I am giving to fine art painters and photographers on Oct 18th in Ellijay, Georgia.

Kind regards,
PSA Black & White Photography Mentor
PSA South Atlantic Area Membership Director   Posted: 10/10/2021 09:45:42
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
OK thanks. I think doing mono is always going to be taking a step away from the original scene/capture. Sometimes I have an end product in mind but sometimes it is the feel of the image which suggests a response. Here I liked the original fade of the scene so I wanted to emphasise it as well as suggest an olde worlde effect. As I said, I thought I'd done that quite well but clearly judges don't agree.   Posted: 10/10/2021 09:52:19
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
I also find that the Antique Wet Plate treatment does well if there is one primary subject, and god forbid: it is centered, but then the center can be made to be very sharp and the rest faded and blurred as with a vintage setup. (If you're going to go over to the "dark side," I think you need to go all the way.)   Posted: 10/10/2021 18:15:26
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
(Groups 83 & 87)
...well, yes, my words reflect how some judges might regard this type of work against other work with less or no additional digital additives. Example: I just spearheaded our 3rd Annual Juried Photography Exhibition at Gilmer Arts, and was careful how I set Category-Genres so work was more easily identifiable for Judging and later for those viewing the work: in this case, we have a very vibrant and engaging scope of work featuring both traditional and conceptual/illustrative photography. In any case, the defining factor for most winners in past years was those with least amount of editing, unless of course, in the second of the two categories, outlined above.   Posted: 10/11/2021 06:02:35

Wes Odell   Wes Odell
I use a Wet Plate Treatment often when attempting to create an image that appears to have been taken when the subject was a contemporary, as in a Vintage Photo. Maybe this is more "Fine Art" than "Monochrome?" In any case, I find the result is well liked and few others do it.   Posted: 10/10/2021 18:00:05

Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
This is a nice image and I enjoy the feeling it invokes. Reversing the image is a good idea as it takes the channel out of the center and leads the eye inward without a harsh stop.   Posted: 10/12/2021 05:57:05

Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
This is a lovely image. There is nothing further than what has been said.

That being said, I would like to congratulate all of the members of this group for all of your suggestions and comments. This is what Digital Dialog is all about. I wish we could get all of our groups to review and comment on the images in their groups as well as in other groups. Well done to all of you.

  Posted: 10/18/2021 19:29:19


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