It’s the time of the year when competitions start to pile up one after another. We have the Master Photography Awards, which I’ve been a part of since 2007, Canon Creativeasia, WPPI and AIPP, spread out over the year.
IMO, photography competition should be a print competition, especially for wedding photography section. My approach to photography is always about the print and print quality is such a neglected concept amongst wedding photographers, especially when most just want to deliver images on a CD. Also, what looks good on screen, doesn’t necessary means it can be printed out nicely. Yesterday, I attended a workshop by
To be honest, print quality has never been in my vocabulary until I joined the Master Photographer Association (MPA) from UK. And trust me, I learnt it the hard, hard way. First lesson I learnt, you need time to do a good print; knowing how to prepare an image for printing requires discipline. Before anything gets printed to 8″x10″ or 10″x12″ for the competition, the lab needs to print out a set of proofs on 4″x6″ on the paper of choice. Choosing the right kind of paper is another hairy part of the print making process that even my own printers have problems grappling with. Some of the prints are obvious candidates for Kodak Endura Metallic paper or Fuji Pearl paper, some are slightly more artsy that looks great printed on fine-art matt or textured paper, some are safer on lustre paper because of the high dynamic range compared to the former. Oh wait, don’t even bother about metallic or glossy paper for competitions like WPPI, having your prints viewed in a room lit by just 2 strong light source at 45 degrees to the print means you’re probably better off with matt paper…. these are power tips that are shared by veterans as well as judges from WPPI.
For example, this is one print that I did on metallic paper for MPA because of the shimmer in the image itself and the grass textures is brought out really nicely on it. Matt or lustre paper somehow looked a little too safe for this.
The Missing Link
As well as this piece, Tangled
The next one that I photographed in Morocco, entitled Hand-some, was printed on lustre paper.
Also, all these works were shot on my Hasselblad H4D-40, a digital medium format setup which gives incredible details and tonality when we print it. It’s really about how effortless and how smooth the details are being drawn, and this is something that make me wish that all competitions are at least 16″x20″ in print size!
We have consolidated over 100 prints from 6 photographers to share out the freight cost. Trust me, a 5.4kg parcel ain’t cheap, but sharing it among 6 photographers makes it really affordable at USD$17 per pax. Good luck Team Singapore!