Here Are Our Photo Award Winners

During my recent photo webinar which you can see here. I announced a photo contest. 

Below are several of the submissions plus the award winners. I also included my thoughts and suggestions on the photos.

Jasmine Grubb scaled large

Jasmine Grubb: 1st Place (GoPro Hero 3) – One of our winners; this image features a few things we look for in a quality image. 1. Features a landscape. 2. Foreground and background. 3. Good colors. 4. Not too much, not too little sky. A few things that could have made this image perfect; take a few steps back and use the zoom to get a little tighter in on the flowers in the foreground. This will help drop out the background a little more and really make the detail in the blooms pop.

Marilyn Johnson large

Marilyn Johnson: 2nd Place (SmoovE Gimbal) – Another one of our winners – this image is a good representation of focal plane usage. By using the camera’s aperture, the shooter was able to drop the background out and draw the viewers’ attention to the water droplets on the blooms.

Andy Belingheri large

Andy Belingheri – This image has good framing, notice how the action pulls the viewers eye from left to right. The mountain, frame right, also presents good angles up into the frame corner. The subject framed in the blue sky is an added bonus. Anytime the subject can be separated from the background with the sky or a solid color is ideal.

Tina Kremer large

Tina Kremer – This image has great color – blues, greens and yellows always look good on film. What can be difficult sometimes is getting all the landscape in an image but also drawing attention to certain parts of the image. Using the focal plane (aperture) we can drop out certain plants in this shot while still showing everything. This will help add some depth to the shot.

Tina Gray Teague scaled large

Tina Gray Teague – There are some great rust colors in this shot. Anytime you are shooting a multitude of items there is even more importance to drop focus on certain aspects of the frame. If I remember correctly, this image was submitted simply to showcase the valves so understandably creative liberties were not taken into account. That being said, to add a story to this image the shooter could show the valves in the foreground and perhaps the field in the background.

Andy Zonneveld 1 scaled large

Andy Zonneveld – This is a really pretty image; it definitely makes the viewer “want to be there”. I really like the depth of the image, however there may be a little too much depth! Using the lens’ zoom the shooter could possibly tighten in on the fields in the middle ground and eliminate the darker areas in the foreground that tend to pull a viewer’s attention away from the best part of the image, which is the vineyard.

Chandrashekhar Kothwade 1 scaled large

Chandrashekhar Kothwade – Roses are one of my favorite flowers to shoot! With a single rose in frame the shooter could get a little lower and frame the bud in the sky, this will help eliminate cumbersome backgrounds.

Joe Schiazzano scaled large

Joe Schiazzano – This is good stuff, good depth, good color, good time of day to shoot. A lot of times this is the case, it’s hard to take a bad photo of certain parts of this planet. Create luck by shooting during the right part of the day and shooting interesting things.

Vikki Vignesh scaled large

Vikki Vignesh – These are super cool looking spores, with a touch of green for added drama. The shape of the mushrooms makes centering acceptable, typically a centered subject can create a flat image.

Joseph Dunn scaled large

Joseph Dunn – Panoramic photos are always fun! Long lines or horizons can be difficult to shoot with a panoramic shot. Newer iPhones actually do a better job of compiling imagery to eliminate the lineage issues you see in this photo.

Richard Restuccia 1 scaled large

Richard Restuccia – This is a really cool image of a great Southern California landscape. Lighting wise everything is really consistent, typically we’d shoot a site like this a little earlier in the day before the sun dips so low. The difference in light will draw attention to different parts of the frame and produce a story. Perhaps the viewers’ attention is drawn from the front gate to the front door of the house for example.

Phil McRae rotated large

Phil McRae – While this may be a beautiful meadow the sun is a little too high in the sky to get the depth these rows of trees offer. Shooting a little closer to the ground and up towards the sky earlier in the day will bring the viewers’ eye through the meadow.

Kathy Munson scaled large

Kathy Munson – Shooting a dark scene with a flash can be incredibly difficult. In this image, the tree splits the center of the frame and draws the attention from the bottom of the frame to the top. Anytime an image moves a viewer’s eyes around a frame is a bonus.

Leslie Hart 1 scaled large

Leslie Hart – Another example of consistent lighting, capturing this plant for a specific use is executed perfectly here. For a more creative storytelling perspective we’d want the shooter to uncenter the plant and eliminate any close backgrounds.

August Walls scaled large

August Walls – There is a lot of sky in this photo, which is probably on purpose to showcase the clouds. However, the foreground or ground in general is lost in darkness. To remedy this the shooter can meter the light off of a more neutral surface. This will even out the light and allow the shooter to find some image context.

Lisa McCullough scaled large

Lisa McCullough – Very cool image of a vineyard having some frost issues. Shooting water can be difficult as we covered in our webinar, shooting water from below can be even more difficult. The best advice for this image is to shoot horizontally. This will allow the lineage of the vines to move the viewers’ eye from one side of the frame to the other.

Gunther Vecpuisis scaled large

Gunther Vecpuisis – Good use of backlight here. The petals really allow the light to move through them. The lens flare in the middle of the image is a burden to this image though. If possible, try and keep light sources out of frame.


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