Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dick's Winning Photos

June 1, 2010
Dick received good photo news today. About three months ago, a juried competition was announced inviting entries to be selected to hang on permanent exhibit in the newly expanded fitness center here at The Landings. All photos had to be 8" x 10", black and white, and fit with the theme of "nature with a tranquil, spa-like feel." Each photographer was limited to no more than three entries.

With his usual thorough scientific approach, Dick converted many of his existing color photos to black and white, hung them on the walls of our gallery hall, and passed out rating ballots to all of our guests over the course of about a month. He modified the gallery selection, dropping photos that did not garner consistent high ratings, and replacing them with other candidates. (Notably, a couple of my favorites were losers using Dick's method.)

Based on his test market results, he finally selected the three photos with the consistently highest rankings, and submitted them to the juried competition about six weeks ago. The results were announced today. There were over 60 entries (we are not clear on if it was 60 photos or 60 photographers), and some of the competitors were professional photographers. The judges chose 16 photographs for display, judged on a "name blind basis." All three of Dick's photographs were selected.

Dick says, "I am quite pleased, especially as I found black & white to be quite different from color, and I had to try many conversion techniques and do a fair amount of tweaking. All of these photos were taken in color, all have been cropped, and all have been 'enhanced' by adjusting the contrast, sharpness and a few other changes, like blurring the background on the Nuthatch as it was nothing but a very distracting tangle of twigs."
Based on my sideline observations from the laptop next to Dick's photo processing computer center, this would be an understatement of the amount of effort and the steep learning curve he dedicated to this project. We both learned a lot about the differences between good black and white and good color photography through this process. Don't expect to see many more black and white images in this blog—it is just too difficult to compose a pleasing image!

Here are the pictures, so you can see how you would have rated them against the judging criteria which were: Overall quality (e.g. pixel resolution) Light/Dark contrast Subject matter Consistency with the theme Overall beauty (Contestants were not given these criteria in the call for entries.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm late to the party. While all three are wonderful shots (and I can't imagine the time it took to convert them to B&W) I must say the egret is stunning.

    ~ Jim