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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #16  
Old 25th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

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Very well done and well deserved, they are great images in my view. Personally I prefer the ones where the actual subject is more recognisable and less abstract. Can I ask what made you chose that style and subject for your submission? The reason I ask is because to improve my photography I had wondered about having a go myself one day but looking at your images just don't think I have the imagination or skill to come up with anything like that.
There's a whole long saga here, Phill. The short version is that the whole thing is as much about 'figuring out the game' as it is being good at photography.

I went to a couple of Advisory Days (which I would advise anyone considering a Distinction that you NEED to do), and it became clear that the people who assess these panels have seen everything under the sun, and are bored stiff by a lot of it. One chap went along with 20 stunning images of the desolation around Chernobyl, and was basically told "we've seen about 10 similar panels in the last year, so yours won't stand much of a chance". So just being bloody good at the photography won't cut it by itself, they also want to see something 'different'.

I'd gone along with the germ of an idea ... do something with architectural abstracts, as I like shooting that sort of thing. But I went home with my tail between my legs from that first day, realising that wasn't enough. So, thinking cap on.

I've also been learning digital art techniques over the last couple of years, and finally got a grip on Photoshop, but the lightbulb moment was realising that I can also create arty stuff in various iPad apps from my images, and that *this* was potentially that 'something different' to throw into the mix. At my second advisory day, this provoked a lot of interest by the 2 assessors, and it was obvious that they hadn't seen this sort of thing before, so I was cautiously optimistic about some chance of success if I went ahead. And indeed, it worked out for me.

Maybe 2 years from now, some other poor soul will get told "we've seen 10 iPad panels in the last year, yours won't stand a chance", so there's a definite benefit to being the first!

So ... advice...? You *do* need to be good at the technicalities of photography and printing, and have some kind of style or vision, but it's also as much about finding that new slant that will catch the assessors' interest and give you an advantage. *How* you do that, I'm afraid, is up to the individual to figure out, and I've actually come to believe that *this* is part of the challenge too, not just the photography parts.
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Old 25th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

That's great info Margaret, I think i'm too much of a novice to really give it a proper go at any of the levels.
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Old 25th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

That is just FANTASTIC Margaret!

Several members of the Cambridge club have got 'F's, but all of them quite a few years ago and, to a man & woman, they all say they'd never have got them today. I know a couple more with 'A's who have both failed at the 'F' hurdle a couple of times recently, and both are among the very best photographers I have the privilege to know.

The standard today is quite stunning, and I'm absolutely delighted for you.
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Old 26th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

By the way, I love your panel.
Regardless of the way the images were created, it's an artistic tour de force.
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Old 26th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

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That's great info Margaret, I think i'm too much of a novice to really give it a proper go at any of the levels.
Phill, you should be fine for the 'L' distinction, but do take Margaret's advice to attend one of the RPS advisory days before you even think of putting together a panel of prints. The emphasis for the 'L' is very much on general competency and photographic skills but artistic interpretation and presentation are important even at this level.

For example, I was fascinated to see how much time and effort the assessors put into arranging a panel, by changing the positions of the individual prints and swapping some of them for spares to obtain harmony and balance. Something to consider is whether the prints are going to be all portrait or landscape orientation or, if mixed, what sort of pattern and symmetry are they going to form in the panel. Other factors include possibly placing prints with similar colours or tones either next to each other, or at opposite ends of a row, or in opposing corners. The same goes for pictures that are predominately light or dark and even considering the best placement for subjects looking left, right, up or down.

This may sound like arty bollocks but when you see the exercise done by someone who is experienced it is surprising what a difference it can make. Consequently, assuming all your prints are technically competent and contain interesting, well composed subjects, making your final selection should be influenced by what works with your other prints as part of a set as much as anything else. It may be necessary to exclude what you consider to be your best or favourite image if it doesn't fit well with the rest of the panel. Needless to say, you need to include a display plan when submitting you panel for assessment.

There is a big step up from 'L' to 'A' and artistic interpretation around a more solid and tightly defined theme becomes increasingly important and then, as Margaret has demonstrated, the 'F' is a whole different kettle of fish!
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Old 26th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

Well done Margaret!
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Old 26th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
That is just FANTASTIC Margaret!

Several members of the Cambridge club have got 'F's, but all of them quite a few years ago and, to a man & woman, they all say they'd never have got them today. I know a couple more with 'A's who have both failed at the 'F' hurdle a couple of times recently, and both are among the very best photographers I have the privilege to know.

The standard today is quite stunning, and I'm absolutely delighted for you.
Thank you, Mark. I agree, the standard is daunting today ... I'm sure my 'A' (19 years ago!) would never have cut it at that level today. I was all the more surprised, therefore, to succeed at this one! I think definitely giving them something 'new' to look at helped a lot.
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Old 26th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

For those wanting to see some of the original images, here are a few comparisons of before (out of camera) and after (LR, PS and iPad processed). The bulk of the panel shots were taken around the City of London, some around King's Cross, and I think 1 was from La Defense in Paris; pretty sure the 3 here are all in the City.










As John (Zuiko) noted in another post, a panel also needs consistency, and in my case I went for that through taking everything into B&W, so that the emphasis was not on colour, but on shapes and forms; and by printing them all in square format (since I was calling it 'Abstracts Squared').
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  #24  
Old 26th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

The techical artistry is fantatstic and I'm sure that helped a lot. A brilliant idea. It all seems a touch Escher to me. Can't say its my kind of thing but I can appreciate the work you put in. Congratulations.
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Old 27th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

Well done.

I considered the RPS many years ago but decided that what they wanted as images was not what I was interested in.

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Old 27th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

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Well done.

I considered the RPS many years ago but decided that what they wanted as images was not what I was interested in.

Harold
No, I get that. Their exhibitions leave me pretty cold, and I don't warm to the "arty bollocks" (as Zuiko rightly put it!) that surrounds most of their utterances. Certainly this kind of stuff would not be what I normally produce for my own preferences, but I just decided it was a challenge I wanted to take on.

No doubt when it appears in the RPS Journal, there will be someone, somewhere going "Flipping 'eck ... you got an F for *that* load of tosh? "*I* can do better than that.."

Which is where *I* started from, to prove a point, so I hope those folks go on and have a go themselves!
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Old 27th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

It's really good to see the comparisons Margaret. I think it definitely adds to the overall effect. You've certainly produced some impressive images. Inspiration indeed.
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Old 28th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

Brilliant work. I like them in a way I didn't expect to, as normally I like architecture images to be quite representational, and I'm not normally a fan of heavy post processing. (I've sometimes seen images which win accolades and thought "Why bother with a camera, and why call it photography").

It does seem a shame that in the competition world you have to play the game according to the preferences and fashions of the current batch of judges. Lots of very fine work which gets displayed in galleries would be marked very low in competitions. It's a real achievement to be able to play a game so effectively when you're not fully convinced by the ethos, rules and spirit of the game. (Though I suppose that's what many people do to some extent in their working lives ...)

Great images anyway, irrespective of other considerations.
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Old 28th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

Incidentally I took photos the other week of that second building in your "before and after" post. Somewhere near the Leadenhall building; hard to get high enough or far enough back for a good perspective. Mine were nothing like as accomplished as yours of course, but it's nice to see.
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Old 28th May 2018
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Re: When you gotta brag, you gotta brag...

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It's a real achievement to be able to play a game so effectively when you're not fully convinced by the ethos, rules and spirit of the game. (Though I suppose that's what many people do to some extent in their working lives ...)
Sounds a lot like Banking!
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