As long as we're on the subject...

TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grinsPosts: 2,220Registered Users Major grins
edited April 18, 2012 in Street and Documentary
I'll take a chance on this being an inappropriate post for this
group, but camera clubs and judging has been discussed
recently.

I entered this photo in my cc's monthly competition. It didn't
fare well. The score was 74 out of 100. (The lowest score
I've ever seen given (not to me) was in the low 60s, and
a score in the low 90s usually gets first place. Each of the
three judges gives up to 33 1/3 points.)

Below the image, I'll relate the judge's comments. (A wedding/portrait
professional photographer)


The-Boxer-X2.jpg

We are required to give each image a title. My title was "The
Boxer". The comments, paraphrased as best I remember them,
were:

I thought I'd see a photograph of a boxer, but this isn't someone
boxing.

That red thing on the right should not have been included if this
is a photograph of a person. It draws the eye to it, and detracts.

The background is too cluttered.

When you photograph a person, make the person the central
point of the image. Get tight.

The person isn't doing anything that makes him interesting.

End of comments. I thought I'd get rapped on the face in
the poster between the heavy bag and the boxer, but it
wasn't brought up. (Yes, the subject is a professional
boxer)

I didn't expect a particularly high grade because I know
this isn't the type of photo that does well in this group.

How would you rate the image and the comments?
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/
«1

Comments

  • DemianDemian Major grins Posts: 211Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2012
    Oooooohmygawd, I hate my laptop. Typed the whole thing and then exited the page. Ugh. Anyways, those comments are hilariously awful. "That red thing"? Rofl

    This speed bag makes this photo work. A shot of simply a reflection is usually a bad use of a mirror, IMO. The cluttered background works too, as it contrasts with the sparsity of the area outside the reflection.

    The "needs tight crop" and "not doing anything interesting" is simply... bad? If he really wants something that cliche, no need to shoot it: "boxer punching bag" has about 2,590,000 results on google images.

    Yeah, the poster is kind of distracting. I thought it was another guy at first :X A little unfortunate, but besides that I like the picture. Sorry about the lame judge.
  • RSLRSL Streeter Posts: 839Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2012
    It's a reasonably good shot, Tony. I don't know how I'd rate it, since I can't see the competition, and therefore don't know what the club's standards are. A few years ago I judged an annual contest down the road in Clermont. In fact, I judged it two years in a row. A couple weeks before the first contest I gave a lecture to the group on the history of photography. I explained to them that I never enter juried shows because the judge always is insane. I still feel that way, and I suspect they do too.
  • toragstorags Major grins Posts: 4,014Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2012
    Is it too late to join a different club?
    Rags
  • TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grins Posts: 2,220Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2012
    torags wrote: »
    Is it too late to join a different club?

    Ahhh, c'mon. It's a good club and the judging is fair. It's just that
    I don't normally shoot what the majority of the members shoot.

    If I would jump up to the Wildlife forum and post this image there,
    I wouldn't expect it to be interesting to them. Yet, many of the
    images submitted in the monthly competitions at my cc would be
    well accepted and receive plaudits.
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/
  • toragstorags Major grins Posts: 4,014Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2012
    TonyCooper wrote: »
    Ahhh, c'mon. It's a good club and the judging is fair. It's just that
    I don't normally shoot what the majority of the members shoot.

    If I would jump up to the Wildlife forum and post this image there,
    I wouldn't expect it to be interesting to them. Yet, many of the
    images submitted in the monthly competitions at my cc would be
    well accepted and receive plaudits.

    Good point.

    It's just that your Orlando is showing... :D
    Rags
  • damonffdamonff film Posts: 1,894Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2012
    I think it's cool.
  • black mambablack mamba Major grins Jacksonville, FLPosts: 6,085Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2012
    I remember, Tony, when you first posted this picture...or a variation of it...a little while back. I liked it a lot then and I still like it a lot. You seem to have a very realistic / pragmatic perception of how things work at your club, relative to this whole judging issue. I think every club has its own idiosyncrasies you have to acknowledge.

    Tom
    If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
  • TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grins Posts: 2,220Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2012
    I remember, Tony, when you first posted this picture...or a variation of it...a little while back. I liked it a lot then and I still like it a lot. You seem to have a very realistic / pragmatic perception of how things work at your club, relative to this whole judging issue. I think every club has its own idiosyncrasies you have to acknowledge.

    Tom

    In the original, there was part of a duffle bag and a weight in the lower
    left corner. People noticed them as a distraction, so I took them out.
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/
  • YaflyyadieYaflyyadie Major grins Posts: 558Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Tony:
    Visual perception varies from one person to another.
    What is good to me, might be not as good or pleasant to others.
    Your photography style is personal, such as mine and others, that will never hinder the quality and meaning of your picture to you and the ones that feel alike.
    Everything is subjective to the eye of the beholder and this apply to all of us.
    There should be always a way to make things better, but, if you are comfortable with your composition, if the story to tell is present, then I will say, there is nothing to change.
    I simply like it as is.
    JMHO
    Y.
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL Posts: 8,957Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    It is a good pic...but maybe the title was a not so good a choice...my only problem is his ego is poking out over his left shoulder...
    Your camera club like so many all over do not leave their egos and preconceptions out of the judging ... ... ... ... they simply did not
    judge on merit or quality of image or even maybe category properly .... ... ... now take this lesson and go make images that will be
    judged well by your club contemporaries ... ... ... ...if that is truly what you want and need or go create images from your heart and just shrug it off when they give unfounded biased opinions...
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

    A ZENFOLIO 10% Discount Coupon CODE - A8K-Q2K-VPG
  • scritchscritch Grinnifier Posts: 23Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    I like many things about this shot
    My visceral reaction to this photo is clear. I don't find it confusing, I like the setup, perspective, the depth, the detritus/wear (the grime behind the torn red bag; the soot on the outlet, etc.). I find it well-composed, and--without thinking too much about it--I simply like it. I like the punch of red (pun intended) in the foreground. I like the expression, the fatigue that isn't static, just taking a break and regrouping.

    I like. Thanks for posting it.
  • Bend The LightBend The Light Bend The Light Posts: 1,887Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    I find judges to be very interesting in just how wrong they can be...or how biased by their own preconceptions of a good photo.

    I have witnessed a judge saying a photo of a marine worm was all fuzzy and looked like it was taken underwater!
    I had another judge look at one of my pictures and wonder how an owl could be in focus at the same time as a signpost...he suspected photoshop trickery, when in fact the owl had just taken off from the sign and was therefore in the same focal plane.

    So, judges are human, and sometimes can be considered strange or even a bit "away with the fairies" :)

    To your image, I like it. it takes time to take it all in, which may or may not have been a problem for the judge. But once the scene is recognised, it is very good, and it is clear from the "red thing" that he is a boxer, and that just because he's having a rest doesn't detract from that. Only think I would do is remove the part of the support for the punchbag on the left...I didn't notice the poster/head particularly, until someone mentioned it. :)
  • bdcolenbdcolen CaptureReality Posts: 3,804Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 16, 2012
    TonyCooper wrote: »
    I'll take a chance on this being an inappropriate post for this
    group, but camera clubs and judging has been discussed
    recently.

    I entered this photo in my cc's monthly competition. It didn't
    fare well. The score was 74 out of 100. (The lowest score
    I've ever seen given (not to me) was in the low 60s, and
    a score in the low 90s usually gets first place. Each of the
    three judges gives up to 33 1/3 points.)

    Below the image, I'll relate the judge's comments. (A wedding/portrait
    professional photographer)

    We are required to give each image a title. My title was "The
    Boxer". The comments, paraphrased as best I remember them,
    were:

    I thought I'd see a photograph of a boxer, but this isn't someone
    boxing.

    That red thing on the right should not have been included if this
    is a photograph of a person. It draws the eye to it, and detracts.

    The background is too cluttered.

    When you photograph a person, make the person the central
    point of the image. Get tight.

    The person isn't doing anything that makes him interesting.

    End of comments. I thought I'd get rapped on the face in
    the poster between the heavy bag and the boxer, but it
    wasn't brought up. (Yes, the subject is a professional
    boxer)

    I didn't expect a particularly high grade because I know
    this isn't the type of photo that does well in this group.

    How would you rate the image and the comments?

    To be honest, this was never my favorite photo - but the comments are inane - especially the comment about the title. As I said in response to your last post about the camera club judging, in which you described the wildlife photographer's judging of the street photo - this is my problem with (the vast majority of) camera clubs.

    And forgive my maiming of the image, but...allow me to suggest this. I wish the speedbag wasn't red, so...
    The-Boxer-X2.jpg
    bd@bdcolenphoto.com
    "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

    "The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
  • lizzard_nyclizzard_nyc Zygote Grinner Posts: 4,056Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 16, 2012
    bdcolen wrote: »
    To be honest, this was never my favorite photo - but the comments are inane - especially the comment about the title. As I said in response to your last post about the camera club judging, in which you described the wildlife photographer's judging of the street photo - this is my problem with (the vast majority of) camera clubs.

    And forgive my maiming of the image, but...allow me to suggest this. I wish the speedbag wasn't red, so...
    The-Boxer-X2.jpg


    Holy cow!
    The power of a good black and white conversion. iloveyou.gif
    Liz A.
    _________
  • toragstorags Major grins Posts: 4,014Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 16, 2012
    +1
    Rags
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,938Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 16, 2012
    I nwas just about to suggest BW with more gritty process. And yeah..if I saw title with "boxer" in it..i would expect to see some guy with boxing gloves or wrap or something. the guy in the mirror is too ambiguous.
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • bdcolenbdcolen CaptureReality Posts: 3,804Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Qarik wrote: »
    I nwas just about to suggest BW with more gritty process. And yeah..if I saw title with "boxer" in it..i would expect to see some guy with boxing gloves or wrap or something. the guy in the mirror is too ambiguous.

    Sorry - But there is absolutely nothing ambiguous about the subject of this photo. rolleyes1.gif
    bd@bdcolenphoto.com
    "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

    "The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
  • DemianDemian Major grins Posts: 211Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Mmmm, I love the B&W treatment. I think it's mainly because I associate boxing with B&W films and the Rocky Marciano era... but I dunno if anything else thinks that way :p
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,938Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    bdcolen wrote: »
    Sorry - But there is absolutely nothing ambiguous about the subject of this photo. rolleyes1.gif

    okay..so tell me about the guy. what's he doing, thinking? I don't think you can claim to know. I like the shot but it's mistitled..more to the point it should not have a title at all.
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • toragstorags Major grins Posts: 4,014Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Qarik wrote: »
    okay..so tell me about the guy. what's he doing, thinking? I don't think you can claim to know. I like the shot but it's mistitled..more to the point it should not have a title at all.

    I don't get it.

    If you don't like the shot, say so.. pick it apart if you like

    If it were titled untitled, would you know more about the image than having the original title

    Hey Qarik, I apologize for the post, I'm a little cranky today
    Rags
  • TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grins Posts: 2,220Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Qarik wrote: »
    okay..so tell me about the guy. what's he doing, thinking? I don't think you can claim to know. I like the shot but it's mistitled..more to the point it should not have a title at all.

    Perhaps you did not read the entire thread. All photos submitted to
    for club's competition night must have a title. Club requirement.
    Since the post was about judge's views, the title issue is germane.

    Not that it can be discerned from the photo, but the subject is a professional
    boxer who trains at the Christie Martin gym in Apopka. The gym waives
    some of his training time fees in return for him opening up in the evening.

    I happened to stop by there before the gym was open, but when he was
    there. I was photographing a rack of gloves (not shown here) and happened to
    notice the guy's reflection in the mirror and snapped it.

    I don't particularly care for BD's black and white rendering. I like the spot
    of color the red in the speed bag provides in an otherwise appropriately drab
    setting. In BD's version, the bag is just gray blob and isn't really a needed
    part of the composition.

    That's OK, though. If there's one thing you learn in this group, it's that
    not everyone likes the same thing in a photograph...and that's the way
    it should be. We post to see the reaction of others and to see what
    they like and dislike about our photos.

    For the black and white affectionados, here's the same person in a
    shot taken later:

    2012-01-25-312BW-XL.jpg
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,938Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    torags wrote: »
    I don't get it.

    If you don't like the shot, say so.. pick it apart if you like

    If it were titled untitled, would you know more about the image than having the original title?

    Some advice; attend some seminars, webinars, whatever...

    If not... Pack up your equipment and sell it on ebay.. get another hobby...

    :hide

    I said I liked it but the title is misleading. what's with the flame?
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,938Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    TonyCooper wrote: »
    Not that it can be discerned from the photo, but the subject is a professional
    boxer who trains at the Christie Martin gym in Apopka.

    that was my issue. maybe this kind of photo was not best suited for that kind of critiquing/forum..or maybe you could have submitted with the title "untitled"!
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Tony, this is what I see when I look at the image:

    A guy wearing work boots, cargo shorts, and a baggy shirt in a gym. The punching bags and red speed bag clearly tie to the sport of boxing, but the man looks ill-prepared to engage in the sport as it appears he is not wearing any equipment usually associated with the sport. The man appears to be slightly overweight based on the modeling of his belly. I have a sense that he is tired, or really bored. The mirror grounded to the floor helps me see both walls and gives me a sense of the gym size. One wall is white, cinder block, and dirty. It looks very old or poorly maintained. The wall in the back has an old refrigerator and I can see the open ceiling. Those elements add to the sense of the place being run down. There is that blue and silver thing near his waist that keeps catching my eye without it doing anything. There is a face over his left shoulder that leaves me with a feeling the guy is being watched by someone. I'm left wanting to be able to read the main subject's face more so I can try to understand if he is tired or not. The mirror seems very dirty and it is making it hard to read the face and details of the person in the image. Also, he takes up a small portion of the image adding to the difficulty. Because of the position of his arms, and because he is looking to the left of the frame, I keep searching there for something which I don't find. There is a bright light above one of the punching bags that keeps attracting my attention as well. The emotion I get is one of being unprepared for something. LIke, being asked to perform a task I'm not capable of.

    BD's version eliminates the distraction of the blue thing by the person's waist. It also adds clarity in the reflection making the face of the subject easier to read. The conversion really makes the mystery face in the back pop and grabs my attention even more. With the crop, I think it makes it a little stronger, but losing the bottom of the mirror disconnects me from a sense of room size. This version really drives home the sense of the subject's ill-prepared nature to engage in boxing. Because the subject takes up more of the frame I can read his face a little better. He looks winded or tired due to his out-of-shape looks. Re-enforces the same feeling.

    So, that's what i see & feel. Others probably see something different. I take a rather literal interpretation of it. It is hard for me to get any shapes or lines out of it, but I did try to see them. The title of "The Boxer" makes me think you were trying to tell a joke or make a sarcastic statement about the guy who looks like the anti-boxer. I can relate, because if I showed up for boxing I'd probably look about the same, or at least a poorly equipped boxer. Not sure if that helps or not, but I feel you deserve my best attempt at total honesty.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grins Posts: 2,220Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    RyanS wrote: »
    Tony, this is what I see when I look at the image:

    The mirror grounded to the floor helps me see both walls and gives me a sense of the gym size. One wall is white, cinder block, and dirty. It looks very old or poorly maintained. The wall in the back has an old refrigerator and I can see the open ceiling. Those elements add to the sense of the place being run down.

    .

    Any comments - good or bad - are appreciated. They make me see things
    in my own photo that I didn't see before.

    I won't comment too much other than sticking up for the boxer's shape since
    my photograph didn't do him justice. You should be so fit! I saw him, later,
    in the ring. You could bounce marbles off his abdomen.

    As for the conditions of the gym, they are worse than you see, and you
    don't even get the smell...and believe me, that was strong. The smell
    of sweat rolls out like a fog over the bay.l

    The ratty gym kinda personifies what the life is like for a professional boxer
    who hasn't made the big time. They fight for small purses, pay their own
    expenses to train, and have to have a job to support themselves. There's
    nothing glamorous about it.

    The gym is owned by Christie Martin, a female professional who fought
    Ali's daughter, was a champion in her weight, fought undercard to
    Holyfield and Tyson, was promoted by Don King, and and was on
    her way until her husband stabbed and shot her in a domestic dispute.
    Google her...it's interesting)

    I would like to do a series on the boxers, but I can't use flash when
    they are in the ring and I don't have a lens that works well in the
    lighting without flash.
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/
  • TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grins Posts: 2,220Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    The "blue thing" is a cooler.
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/
  • lensmolelensmole Major grins Posts: 1,548Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    TonyCooper wrote: »
    Any comments - good or bad - are appreciated. They make me see things
    in my own photo that I didn't see before.

    I won't comment too much other than sticking up for the boxer's shape since
    my photograph didn't do him justice. You should be so fit! I saw him, later,
    in the ring. You could bounce marbles off his abdomen.

    As for the conditions of the gym, they are worse than you see, and you
    don't even get the smell...and believe me, that was strong. The smell
    of sweat rolls out like a fog over the bay.l

    The ratty gym kinda personifies what the life is like for a professional boxer
    who hasn't made the big time. They fight for small purses, pay their own
    expenses to train, and have to have a job to support themselves. There's
    nothing glamorous about it.

    The gym is owned by Christie Martin, a female professional who fought
    Ali's daughter, was a champion in her weight, fought undercard to
    Holyfield and Tyson, was promoted by Don King, and and was on
    her way until her husband stabbed and shot her in a domestic dispute.
    Google her...it's interesting)

    I would like to do a series on the boxers, but I can't use flash when
    they are in the ring and I don't have a lens that works well in the
    lighting without flash.

    I would look forward to seeing your series. I think Miguel Cotto is training on the beach somewhere in Orlando Florida for his upcoming fight with Floyd Mayweathers soon. I wonder if their are any possibilities of getting any shots of him? ne_nau.gif
  • toragstorags Major grins Posts: 4,014Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    TonyCooper wrote: »

    I would like to do a series on the boxers, but I can't use flash when
    they are in the ring and I don't have a lens that works well in the
    lighting without flash.

    Have you tried spot focus and spot metering?

    If you spot meter on a subject within a spotlight, the background may be underexposed, but you can get a decent exposure at 5.6 or so while shooting at ss125.

    Set iso @ 200 to reduce potential noise and shiney flaring
    Rags
  • lensmolelensmole Major grins Posts: 1,548Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    torags wrote: »
    Have you tried spot focus and spot metering?

    If you spot meter on a subject within a spotlight, the background may be underexposed, but you can get a decent exposure at 5.6 or so while shooting at ss125.

    Set iso @ 200 to reduce potential noise and shiney flaring

    That might work out .I might try wide open crank up the iso,but you have to nail the focus,the flare comes from the light bouncing around inside the lens with a narrow aperture .
  • bdcolenbdcolen CaptureReality Posts: 3,804Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Qarik wrote: »
    okay..so tell me about the guy. what's he doing, thinking? I don't think you can claim to know. I like the shot but it's mistitled..more to the point it should not have a title at all.

    Look at his pants. Look at his shoes. Look at the heavy bags. Look at the speed bag. We are in a boxing gym. He is a boxer, taking a break. Anyone who has ever seen any boxing images, or boxers, or boxing gyms, does not needs road map or encyclopedia do know what the title of this image means. I realize I am on the verge of being rude - or I have already crossed into that territory, but come on.headscratch.gifscratchheadscratch.gif
    bd@bdcolenphoto.com
    "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

    "The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
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