Sunday, April 26, 2015

About Salons

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

Today, we’re going to talk about salons and photographic competition.

Let’s start with the basics. A photographic salon is usually an exhibition of photography where entries are accepted based upon a competition. You may enter 4 photos, for example, and the photos are judged alongside other entries. Once all the entries are judged, a determination is made of entries. Normally the numbers run around 20% of entries being accepted. Many times, prizes are awarded, including medals, ribbons, certificates, trophies, and of course, cash.

The coordinators generally cull the images that don’t meet the rules, the category definitions, or didn’t include the right information or fee. The remaining images are judged by the specially selected panel for photographic, technical, and artistic merits, and those accepted entered into the exhibition.

A circuit is generally several salons with unified coordination. An example is the Trierenberg Super Circuit. It’s comprised of 4 salons, with 4 separate judgings by 4 teams of judges. Each image is judged 4 times, once for each salon. One group based in Austria coordinates the circuit.

Each salon has different requirements. Some are print only, some only accept digital entries, and some allow both. Within each are categories, including a general color and general monochrome. Other categories include things like nature, landscape, portraits, and themes, like China or Africa.

A reputable salon is generally affiliated or sanctioned by a large photographic organization, like the Photographic Society of America (PSA), or FIAP. These are the 2 largest, but others exist like UPI and VOAV. By being a member of one of these organizations, you can earn credits toward recognitions within these bodies. I am a member of the PSA, and each acceptance is credited toward star ratings, honors, and listing in the Who’s Who of Photography. Honors in the PSA are valuable recognition of your work and your efforts to improve and grow as a photographer.

I suggest every photographer enter a salon, the experience is quite wonderful overall. The joy of getting your images ready, the anticipation of your report, and finally the joy of seeing how many acceptances you receive is quite exciting. You also get valuable feedback by knowing whether you photos were well received. Knowing what worked for one, though, doesn’t guarantee it will work for another, as each salon has different judges. That allows for your work to be seen by real photographers, and to be judged on the photographic merits, rather then sentiment of a random audience. The feedback is more useful that way.

Another great advantage of salons is that everyone is on the same footing. When a salon is recognized by one of the larger bodies, rules exist concerning the presentation area. You images are all viewed in the same lighting, on the same devices, by all the judges. As a result, images of the same quality appear the same quality. As a general rule, the monitors are sRGB in 6500K lighting. Your prints are viewed in the same lighting as the monitors, so the comparisons are easier to make concerning the overall quality of your image. SRGB is the standard for monitors and most commercial printing, so nothing extra is needed to achieve good results. That is, beyond calibrating your monitor to sRGB standards. The White balance for sRGB is 6500K, so each photo is viewed in a proper environment. If your monitor is calibrated properly, it will look the same on the judge’s display as it does on yours. Your prints, of course, should therefore look the same as they do on your display.

This year, I made my first foray into the world of salons by entering the Trierenberg Super Circuit and Special Themes Circuit. I entered 16 prints. 4 were selected, 3 in 7 PSA recognized categories and exhibits, and one into all 4 shows of the special themes. This event is the largest circuit in the world, to my knowledge. They receive 20000 to 50000 each year, and the acceptance rate is about 20-25%. Some of the best photographers in the world enter. Having images selected is a reward itself. They put out a printed catalog every year of about 1000 of the best images. Even though I didn’t win, there’s still hope to have an image or two included in the catalog.

The following images were accepted:

Hohenfels Volks : Donau Boater
Donau Boater. Accepted into the Trierenberg Super Circuit general color print category. This one had 3 acceptances.

Hohenfels Volks : The Light Funnel
The Light Funnel. Accepted into the Trierenberg Super Circuit general monochrome print category. This one had 2 acceptances.

Hohenfels Volks : Reflection
Reflection. Accepted into the Special Themes Circuit landscape prints category. This also had 2 acceptances.

Hohenfels Volks : Zugspitze
Zugspitze. Accepted into the Special Themes Circuit mountains print category. This was accepted overall, rather than on a salon by salon basis, so will be shown at all 4 showings as I understand it.

I hope everyone reading this will try their hand at entering a salon or 2 soon. There are too many for me to list, but a quick search on Google for PSA recognized salons will bring up a long list.  The experience, even if it's only once, is not to missed for anyone serious about photography. There is even an annual one run out of Kallmunz, the Bavarian International Circuit. Their circuit was digital only this year, I hope they'll have a print section next year. I didn't make it in time to enter this one, which I had hoped to enter.

I would also recommend you consider joining the PSA. They offer free image and print evaluations, and other great services to help you prepare. I didn't have time this year to take advantage of them, but for my next entries, you can be sure I'll try to get some prints in for evaluation.

We want you to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted!

Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Share your thoughts here or at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Greetings

I hope this post finds you well and making great photos! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Local wedding photographers
Image courtesy of: SnapKnot - Local Wedding Photographers

I hope everyone finds time to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page, and we’ll get them posted here! Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Submit them and we’ll get them posted, also. We also welcome any tips, tricks, and ideas. If you’d like to write an article about something photographic or some place of interest, we’d be happy to post it here! You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted! Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Express or Selfie?

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

Ansel Adams once said, “We must remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it, and no one has ever approached the full possibilities of the medium.”

Given the self absorbed state of the world around us, evidenced by the "art" of the "selfie," it's time to start looking back and moving toward approaching the full possibilities of our medium.

The best "selfie" is made using the external to express something of the internal, allowing a fuller expression of the individual self than a cell phone at arm's length. When we make our photography expressive, as well as creative, we can approach closer the full possibilities of the medium.

Of course, that's just my two cents.


The lodge wall. Antique sleigh on the wall at the lodge.
ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/30, digital

A photo doesn't have to be fancy or artsy to be expressive, creative, and artistic. Look internally, and find the expression in something external!

Well, that’s enough for today. We want you to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page, and we’ll get them posted here! Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Submit them and we’ll get them posted, also. We also welcome any tips, tricks, and ideas. If you’d like to write an article about something photographic or some place of interest, we’d be happy to post it here! You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted! Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

National Camera Day

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

Here's an item from the good Volks at SnapKnot to celebrate National Camera Day.

SnapKnot
Courtesy of: SnapKnot

I hope you have your passport and get some great photos this week.

We want you to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted!

Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Share your thoughts here or at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Daylight

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

Today we’re going to talk a little about light. Hohenfels and our surrounding areas are home to a wide variety of light, and lighting conditions. For most of us shooting outdoors, we’re using what most volks think of as natural light. Really, though, any light can be natural if properly incorporated into our vision.

Generally speaking, we think of daylight as our source of natural light. Natural light really is made up of several components. First, we have sunlight, which is just that, light from the sun. Sunlight is warmer than plain white light, although we don’t perceive it as such until we examine our photos. Then we have skylight, which light reflected from the sky itself. This light tends toward the blue end of the spectrum. We also light reflected from clouds, which is more neutral than skylight. The last part we’ll look at is light reflected from environmental objects, such as buildings. This light picks up the colors of the reflecting source.

We can generally count on most daylight running between 5000 and 5500 k in color temperature. Photographically speaking, daylight is standardized for most applications as 5500 K. We generally, though, think in terms of warm or cool light.

Having covered both the general color temperature and make up of daylight, we can move on to some thoughts when shooting in it.

When using daylight as our source, we want to consider more than its intensity and temperature. We also want to consider its direction, or its diffusion. Diffuse daylight makes for some wonderful portraits, having a lower contrast. With a little help from a reflector, some nice shadows can be formed. This allows for marvelous shape and depth to a face. Less diffuse lighting makes for some very nice landscapes and detail shots.

The lower the sun is in the sky, the warmer the light we see. This can add some nice effects to an evening shot, bringing some golden highlights into your scene. Even later, during the blue hour, the light becomes incredibly cool, almost a pure blue!

Natural light can be used indoors, as well. Using only an open window and a reflector, an amazing portrait can be made. It’s also great for product or detail shots, with a little planning. Another great use for natural light indoors is for architectural shots. Churches, ruins, palaces, and the like can be a source for great photos when you shoot with natural light, as evidenced by the photo below.

Hohenfels: Bayreuth Schlosskirche, natural light
ISO 1600, f/3.5, 1/30
The Schlosskirche in Bayreuth. The only light inside the church was from the windows. Being large and reasonably open to the light, an adequate image could be made. Using only natural light, even indoors, can make for a sense of openess in almost any image if done right.

Well, that’s enough for today. Don’t forget that we're having a "Thanksgiving means..." feature. You can submit your photos on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page, and we’ll get them posted here!

We want you to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted!We also welcome any tips, tricks, and ideas. If you’d like to write an article about something photographic or some place of interest, we’d be happy to post it here!Of course, comments on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!