It has now been a few weeks since my trip to Covington for Photo Pro Expo 2013. I had a great time again this year! One of my prints scored 79 in competition which, unfortunately, is just out of the merit category. That print was “Misty Morning”, my beautiful peach-toned landscape of sunrise on Lake Nevin in Bernheim Forest.

Crop of Misty Morning

My portrait of Ian, aka “Mister Elegant” scored a 76. I submitted a different photo of Ian than what I used for the digital competition last summer and that might have been a mistake. The image from last summer scored higher.

I signed up for the portfolio review and was fortunate to get 2 reviews, instead of just one. The first was my official review and I got some good feedback from her, but she admitted that portraiture and landscapes are not her genre. My second review was by the incoming President of KPPA, Jennifer McCarty-Palumbo. She does beautiful children’s portraiture, so I was very happy to hear her thoughts. She taught me a neat trick for finding hotspots on your images. Here’s the trick. Hold the print in both hands, close your eyes and turn the image upside down. Open your eyes. Where is your eye drawn? If your eye goes somewhere other than the subject, you have a hotspot that needs to be dealt with.

In addition to the wonderful feedback that I received during my portfolio reviews, I learned a lot about creating classical portrait lighting. There was a special 4 hour lighting workshop on Thursday by PPA President, Tim Walden. I love his relationship portraits and he was so generous to share with us how he accomplishes them. Not only did we have Tim Walden, but also noted National Geographic photographer Joe McNalley, Kevin Kubota and Tim Meyer – all talking about lighting.

I’m still pretty much reeling from the almost weeklong experience. Of course, it doesn’t help that I came down with a raging cold once I got home. I’m really looking forward to practicing some of the great lighting ideas I picked up. Now where did I hide those 48 hour days?

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