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Making a comeback

Discussion in 'Exhibition Lounge' started by RovingMike, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Ah well, not your problem at all, I'm sadly forced to agree with you. It is not "Mike" and it is not even good photography as I would term it. I saw nothing that everyone else would not have seen and did nothing more than get what was already beautiful in focus and well exposed. So what gets that mark in a club context is a. It is a bit exotic (ie not a bird on a stick) and b. it is almost perfect.
    So yes on that occasion I am picking something that I think a judge will like, but it didn't win and one that beat it was also India and a guy burning off land for some reason. It had atmosphere and interest and a story, so no complaints.
    TBH after being away from comps for 12 years, I think I wanted a few points to get me started. The monk is far more me, in Travel mode, that is.
    Judge for the next print comp is an FRPS, so I'll be trying out something a bit more adventurous and back to mono.
  2. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Thanks Mike. I'm very glad that you have (more or less) described my opinion.

    I had an ulterior motive for asking. I've said before that I worked and lived in India and, as a result, have dozens if not scores of similar pictures. I too was thinking of 'making a comeback' (although I've left it a bit late for this season) but I wanted to test myself in some field other than NH. As I've also said I'm not too hot in genres other then NH so need to learn.

  3. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Mick, well when I decided to rejoin, it was with no intention of doing comps again. I had about 50 wins and 250 certificates in the 10 years I was doing it and felt I had passed on. It was to try to get my wife interested in a hobby we could share. But she didn't take to it and Rosemary Wilman (well known in such circles) was asking me for stuff the club could use. So I decided to lob things into comps, so I could get my mind around what stood up alone from all my travel and project stuff and what didn't (answer: most doesn't).
  4. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Ms Wilman has given me top marks on several occasions.

  5. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    If getting high marks makes you feel better about your photography then that's good.
    I entered many Salon competitions for a couple of years and gained 50+ Acceptances, but my reaction was quite the opposite.
    I felt I had 'lost' my photography and also the fun and spontaneity I need from this hobby and the fun of tweaking and making images afterwards into the art I used to do and enjoy.
    Each to his own, I know, so good luck and if it makes you happy - then it's a good thing for you.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  6. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Well I'm in the fortunate position of not having to choose. I can do both. Can't say I will go out of my way to do "club" images, but they do come up when I'm out and about, especially on holiday. And I have a 12 year back catalogue of at least a thousand to pick from.

    Certainly won't be entering the stuff I like best, it is far too subtle to work in a club, but one thing it has already done is to sharpen up my prep of images. I had got so sloppy. I'm sure I'll tire of it quite quickly, but for now it is a little challenge and I like challenges. High marks don't make me feel good about my photography and that's not the point. Doing those People's March shots makes me feel good, as does the 3 boroughs worth of sculptures I have done for Art UK, but they won't be going into any competitions. The books, shooting all an artist's works for his website last week. Covering events at work and doing mugshots....all has a good feeling one way or another.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  7. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Mick, just to reassure you I'm not compromising (too much) with the "club" scene, here are the two Rosemary whipped off me for the national print championships, before I'd had a chance to put them near a judge:

    [​IMG]Cafe Nero mono for print by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Kings Head Smoker mono by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr

    An one she grabbed for something else:

    [​IMG]Seafront shelter Paignton by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr
  8. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I'm similar to Mike. I can do what I want - and in the past have done.

    I've done well in the field of NH - but did you notice I said in the post above that I wanted to test myself in other genres?

    You should also realize that mentioning a mark is in fact (at least in my case) shorthand for describing the comments I got. Those comments are often but not always useful and typically come from a person who has vastly more experience than I do. We've beaten the club judge subject to death so all I'll say on that topic is that some judges are fools but most are not. I appreciate the comments and always try to learn something from them - even if a comment seems stupid I tend to think that there was something in the picture that prompted it and try to learn.

    In terms of salons I've done my share and had more than a few acceptances - but never any comment. I gave up because in my chosen NH field it was getting harder and harder. If a salon has an NH section I've known up to 75% of the acceptances be birds. Then underwater has become fashionable and there's always a reasonable sprinkling of exotics. There's not much space left on the wall for my British Insects - however good!!!.

    What really turns me on is being asked to show my pictures and to talk to an NH society. They don't care about the odd missed focus or the burnt or blocked shadows or highlights. What they want is something interesting. Either something they have never seen before or something presented differently (my close up insect stuff fills the bill nicely).

    Then there's the stuff I try that shows even the NH experts something that they have never seen before. That's rare, very rare, but so, so stimulating if it happens, I've told you the story of the Dainty Damsel before - that was a real high.

    No, club comps are just an opportunity to learn and as I said sometimes the teacher is good and sometimes not but I'll never find out by sitting at home and thinking that I know it all.

    RovingMike likes this.
  9. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I'd rate all of those way higher than your Indians. It's the sort of stuff that I wish that I could do. Being a bit simplistic and rude I find the 'Indians' a bit 'snapshotty'. The bride especially - not so much the Sadhu if that's what he was. Sorry.


    PS Ms Wilman was judging our NH competition some few years back - don't know how many years. I've entered nothing at all for quite a while now.
  10. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Well Mick I can't entirely disagree. I do like the Monk and the framing adds a lot I think. But now the confession; the beach shelter got 8.5 in the same comp and as only 9+ get held back for comps, I went to grab it and Rosemary already had it in her bag. I said to her "I hate to break it to him, but the shelter is in a different league from the monk" and she replied "Yes it is". So we seem to be on the same page.

    So some that are probables for a run out sometime:

    [​IMG]Back Home by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr

    [​IMG]The Guru 2 by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Budapest Express mono by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Boy in the shade by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr
  11. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    If I were the judge your number 1 would get the prize. (The staircase). I love it.

    Has she died and is passing from the world to the beckoning bright lights of paradise? Why does she need the bike? Or maybe she's just coming home and upstairs is her sanctuary and the light again is a welcome sign. There are so may interpretations and so much to think about.

    Then photographically (it seems very wrong to begin to speak about technique) it does exactly what it should - holds shadows and highlights, sharp where it should be and the one 'blown' bit with the flare adds to the story and one has to think that you did it deliberately.

    Above all you saw something, a story, and you interpreted it so that the (various) possible stories come over to the viewer. 10.

    Sorry I became a club judge for a while but I can't be bothered to change it all.:)

  12. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Thanks Mick, I love No1, but it just won't print. I had two goes via The Print Space (who are expensive) and it and all of them are far too dark and losing detail. Had a dry run last night with some tame judges at the club and the guy commenting on Back Home described exactly what you see on the flickr version, but lamented that I had failed to deliver it, so close but no cigar. He was on about seeing more of the stairs and carpet pattern, which was almost gone. I'm looking at other printers, but if anyone has a fave?

    Boy in the Shade was also lauded, but just too much ink. If all else fails, I'll switch to doing colour for prints and mono on PDI, which is about opposite from what I intended. I'm not too proud to use the nice colourful things for these purposes, even if they don't provide a view into my soul ;) But I do begrudge the cost of having to print them.

    [​IMG]Headband Girl by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  13. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Sorry missed this comment. Yes it was always going to be contre-jour and I wanted to hold the inside detail, so the door and window were going to burn out nicely. I did nothing in pp to help that. Only had a second to decide how to do it. Wish these things jumped up at me more often. You can't plan them really.
  14. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    So results time and not great news. At the national print champs, Kings Head smoker went up in the first lot and got 12/15, which is OK, but not outstanding. In round 2 they subbed it with Café Nero, hoping for more and the thing bombed with 10/15.

    At same time Rosemary's Bobcat in Snow and Simon van Orden's Chinstrap Penguin breaking waves were notching 15s. Reported that sports with high profile athletes (implying special access) and Mountain Hares were faring very well.

    So really only confirming what we know; these things are essentially for conventional "clubby" genres and as ever "street" and seeing eye doesn't do well. Fact is it just works too slowly and there are no yardsticks. So brave of Rosemary to try them, but a bit futile. Really would not expect better for any of above monos, but there are courses for horses and they shouldn't go over jumps if they are flat racers.

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