Does the image have impact and a strong first impression? If
the image “slaps” the judges in their faces so much so that they will
never forget it, then chances are you have one of the key elements
to an accepted photograph.
Lighting creates mood, drama, texture, depth, dimension and
shape, and helps communicate a desired message to the viewer. Is
the brightest light visible on the desired point of interest? Is there
evidence of a direction of light and catch lights? Does it flatter the
subject? Poor lighting will adversely affect an acceptable image.
POSING/PLACEMENTS OF ELEMENTS/DESIGN
You wouldn’t see a Michelangelo painting or sculpture with a
subject that is poorly posed. Effective posing is either flattering or it
helps communicate the message of the artist to the viewer.
COMPOSITION/CROPPING/POINT OF INTEREST
How you bring the viewer’s attention to the desired area of
the image is paramount. Remember, the brightest part of the image
should be the artist’s desired point of interest.
POST PRODUCTION/DETAIL IN HIGHLIGHTS AND
SHADOWS/ COLOR BALANCE/RETOUCHING
At first glance and a prolonged view, the quality of your entry must
be refined. Poor post production is usually the first negative thing
judges notice, including lack of detail in highlights and shadows, flat
black tones, over sharpening, unreal HDR, poor color and poor skin
retouching. “Invisible Photoshop” is usually the best approach. As in,
evidence of what you have done in post production is not apparent.
Adapted from wedding photographer and WPPI Print Comp director
Jerry Ghionis’ “ 10 Steps to an Award-Winning Entry.”
STEPS TO AN AWARD-WINNING ENTRY
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v1_Half.indd 1 2/12/15 5:01PM
Clarkson edited not for any particular
shot list, but to connect the dots
between the themes James’ images
“When I was editing, I was
thinking about big ideas like scars [and]
isolation,” Clarkson says.
The theme of scars is most evident
in the essay’s center spread. Cochise, a
playful low-content hybrid (more dog
than wolf ), quick to jump in a human’s lap, was attacked one night
when a high-content hybrid named Midnight after her pack broke
into his pen. Across two pages, Cochise’s scars are juxtaposed with
James’ poignant portrait of Tanner Brewer consoling him in the
veterinary hospital after the attack.
NEWARC’s story is far from over, even if James’ embed is; he
admits that “if I didn’t have that deadline, I’d probably still be
there.” And there are still plenty of hybrids—and veterans—that
aren’t as lucky as Midnight, Cochise, McDonald and Brewer.
When McDonald talks to James about the importance of the
sanctuary, he’s talking about the hybrids, but he may just as well be
talking about himself.
“Without us here, these animals are going to die,” he
told James. “And the fact is, we do not have the right to let
those animals suffer. We do not have the right to let them
suffer because we didn’t do something. They are completely
dependent on us.”
LEFT: A dog named Icea
is transported for burial.
At the age of 15, she
had stopped eating, and
was euthanized by a
veterinarian. Hybrid dogs
living in the wolf rescue
center have a longer life
expectancy than those
living in the wild.