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Susan Stripling Photography
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I'm prepping my new engagement session gallery today, and found this wonderful gem from a few years back. I loved every second of working with these two, and now they're extraordinary parents to an extra-extraordinary little boy.

Nikon D3s, 70-200mm f/2.8 at 200mm and f/4.5, ISO 200, aperture priority, exp comp -0.3, 1/1000 sec, matrix metering, no flash.
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Another from the WPPI 16x20 print competition past entries series, still on the “well, this didn’t do what I thought it would” category. Entered in 2012 in the Bridal Party category, this image had everything I thought a perfect competition image needed! Gorgeous clients! A natural moment! Every face engaged! A lovely bride, in a lovely dress, with a lovely gesture! A delicately handled black and white print!

Alas, it was not to be. This image scored a 78, branding it as simply “average.” After years of print entries, years of heartbreak, and years of judging myself and listening to judges, I can see mistakes with the print itself. The window to the left of the frame is far too bright, drawing the eye of the viewer away from the moment. The blacks/shadows to the edges of the print are far too dark, blocking up and losing detail. If you’re going to enter a PRINT competition, you have to make sure your print is spot-on….and this one wasn’t. Do I still love the image? Absolutely. If I could have done it again, I’d have fine tuned that print until it matched the beauty of the moment captured.

Shot in 2011 at Pleasantdale Chateau. Nikon D3, 1/160 sec, aperture priority, 24-70mm at 40mm and f/2.8, ISO 5000, matrix metering, no flash.
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Another from the WPPI 16x20 print competition past entries series, from the “ouch, this one hurt” files. Entered in 2012, in the Bridal Party category, this image scored a 77. In case you’re wondering, a 77 falls into the scoring realm of 76-79, meaning that my skills are “average.”

Now I’m not posting this to have Facebook tell me that it’s not average. Not at all. I’m posting it to show that a wonderful image can also be a bad idea as a competition print. The huge glaring hot spot on the floor is one egregious mistake : not a big deal in a client gallery, rather beautiful in an album, but tough for competition because it’s simply too bright. The huge hot spot on the ground drew the eye of the viewer away from the subjects, bringing my score down. In hindsight, a better print job would have really helped me here.

Shot in 2011 at Trust in Philadelphia. Nikon D3, 1/100 sec, aperture priority, 24-70mm f/2.8 at 40mm and f/4.0, ISO 6400, matrix metering, no flash.
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Another from the WPPI 16x20 print competition past entries series, this 2014 entry was in the Bride or Groom Alone category. It scored an 85, which somewhat surprised me - I thought it would have gone higher. While print scores may upset you, I know that’s just the nature of competition sometimes - you win some, you lose some!

Shot in 2013 in Cape Cod. Nikon D3s, 1/1250 sec, aperture priority, 24-70mm f/2.8 at 24mm and f/3.2, ISO 200, no flash, matrix metering.
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Another from the WPPI 16x20 print competition past entries series, this image was a double entry for me. I entered it first in the Bride or Groom Alone category in 2013, and it only scored an 81. Bummed and ready for another round of competition, I entered it into the new In Camera Artistry category in 2014 (we were allowed to pull from old images that year, images that had been entered before). It scored an 85 that year - much better!

Shot at Holly Hedge Estate in 2012. Nikon D3s, 1/60 sec, aperture priority, 24-70mm f/2.8 at 70mm and f/11, ISO 8000, matrix metering, no flash.
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As we lead up to WPPI and the annual 16x20 print competition, I thought I’d share entries of mine from years past.

First up is a lovely, wonderful, kind couple from 2012. They were married at the Chelsea Lighthouse in New York. Before the ceremony, we went to the Highline for a few portraits with their vintage cab. Entered into the Bride and Groom Together category, this print scored an 82.

Nikon D3, 1/250 sec, aperture priority, f35mm f/1.4 at f/4.0, no flash, matrix metering.
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Today on The Dynamic Range, it's Alien Skin Exposure 7 time!

I'll cut to the chase - if you bought Exposure 6 after June of this year, you're eligible for a free upgrade. And if you buy Exposure 7 now, you'll get Exposure 8 for free when it comes out in late 2015.

We're also back with the 30% off discount code again : just use SSM1412 at checkout until midnight this Friday, 12.19.14!

https://www.thedynamicrange.com/alien-skin-exposure-7-tutorial/
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Check out Rob and Angela on the blog today!

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at 48mm and f/4.0, 1/160 sec, ISO 5600, no flash, aperture priority. Processed in Lightroom, Alien Skin Exposure 6, and with Totally Rad Pro Retouch in Photoshop.

http://www.susanstripling.com/blog/grand-historic-venue-wedding-angela-rob/
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From the archives : The Lake House Inn, Perkasie, Pennsylvania, 2010.

Nikon D3s, 70-20mm f/2.8 at f/4 and 135mm, ISO 900, 1/320 sec. Reprocessed in Alien Skin Exposure 6 for contrast, clarity, and color correction. (And why yes, you can still use that discount of mine : 30% off for just a few days more, just use the code SSM1410 at checkout! alienskin.com - enjoy!)
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From the archives : The Inn At Erlowest, Lake George, New York, 2010.

Nikon D3s, 1/100 sec, 60mm macro at f/8, ISO 2000, no flash. (Punchy color achieved in Alien Skin Exposure 6, for which I awesomely still have a discount for you : it’s 30% off, just use the code SSM1410 at checkout! alienskin.com - enjoy!)
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