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Picture This Photo Contest – June 2011

Written by Josh McCullough

I’m always thrilled when a returning judge graces GGW’s Picture This with his talent, expertise, and energy. Joshua McCullough, whose last stint as a Picture This judge was June 2010, is back once again; without a doubt, he will inspire and motivate a slew of you to come out and play. Josh is the creator of PhytoPhoto, a specialist collection of expertly identified botanical, horticultural and environmental photos; images are supplied to a wide variety of print mediums. His work is magnificent…..Fran Sorin

Subject for this month: SHOW THE MOTION

Motion blur caused by long exposures, or more precisely exposures not short enough to still motion, are often thought of as the enemy of the photographer but may in fact be used for a variety of purposes- everyone is familiar with the look of a waterfall or other moving water source left exposed for enough time to blend the coursing water into a pleasing “mist”. Other opportunities include the dynamic interest added by the sense of motion, highlighting static elements such as a bench or wall in contrast to the motion surrounding them, showing action with the course of a motion trail, or in much longer exposures often measured in minutes or hours, the motion trail of stars or to exclude from showing the surging crowd at a public space.

To accomplish these long exposures the easiest thing to do is simply wait for low light, often near or even after dark and put the camera on a tripod or use the built in images stabilization. If working with the wind even a tenth of a second can show significant motion. For other situations lower the recorded light by first adjusting the camera to the lowest ISO setting (usually 25, 50 or 100), clamping down the aperture to the smallest setting (often f/32 though much lower in compacts) if this will not affect the image negatively and lastly, employing neutral density filters to cut the incoming light (typically a 2 to 10 f-stop reduction but available to much higher levels). Try a second or two or ten, either adjusting the camera or waiting for it to be dark enough for its automatic exposure to pick these longer times. Play with night time mode/slow synchro or first/second curtain flash if you are feeling more devious.

Here are a few examples…

Water flowing over a period of time. In the first six second exposure the Darmera are better shown as isolated within the mass of moving water.

Darmera peltata_9407- Photo #1

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Picture This Winners for May 2011

This month’s contest had a tremendous response.  A big thank you goes to our talented judge, Alan Detrick, who inspired a large number of you, several first timers, to ‘come out and play’. Alan is both a great teacher and photographer….let’s see what he has to say! …..Fran Sorin 

Morning Glory Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue'

Wow!!! Have you seen all the great images submitted? I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful response.

Keeping in mind that this was about lighting, I used four different criteria in the judging. First, I numerically rated the entries. I found a good image and gave it a three. Then I rated every image against that standard. Next, I took all the images that were rated 4 or above and looked for any technical or composition weakness. I then looked for staying power. Each remaining image was viewed multiple times to see if it had ‘legs’ to keep the viewers attention. I waited a day and went through all the entries one final time to see if I missed anything and to make sure I was happy with the results.

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Picture This Contest for May 2011

I’m thrilled that Alan Detrick has returned as our judge for this month’s Picture This. Alan is a well known garden, nature and landscape photographer. He is the author and photographer of Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers and is the sole photographer for 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants, soon to be released and written by Ruth Rogers Clausen. Alan has lectured and led photography workshops for professional organizations and public gardens. In addition to owning a stock photography agency, he and his wife Linda provide photographic services for landscape architects and garden designers. You can see more of Alan’s outstanding work on his website.

Besides his outstanding credentials, Alan is also a gentleman. He has been extraordinarily generous and flexible in working with some scheduling and subject conflicts we’ve had these past few months at Picture This. The subject he has chosen this month is sure to challenge and excite you!  Fran Sorin

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth and you will know the key to photography.” George Eastman

Magnolia sprengeri Sprenger's Magnolia NJ Champion tree

Hopefully, April’s challenge made you aware of the importance of seeing and understanding light in your photography. This month we are going to take it a step further and challenge you to look at light in the macro or close-up world. Many of the concepts are the same but there are important differences.

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Picture This Contest – Winners for April 2011

A big thank you to Rob Cardillo, judge for this month’s Picture This. As always, he has done a terrific job in facilitating, inspiring and teaching all of us!  Fran Sorin

Here’s what Rob has to say:

Five entries deserve Honorable Mention. In no specific order, here they are with a few comments.

A backlit hellebore by Ellis Hollow reveals intricate leaf venation and a rich burnished color that complements the blossom.


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Picture This Contest – April 2011

 Rob Cardillo is returning for another round of judging for this month’s Picture This Photo Contest. It goes without saying that we love having him!

Rob’s latest book in collaboration with Adrian Higgins, Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden, should be released any day now; it can be pre-ordered. It is a rich chronicle over 2 seasons of one of America’s most loved gardens. It is filled with Rob’s sensual, inspiring photos and Adrian’s thoughtful and descriptive words.

And some good news for all of you folks from the Delaware Valley….. Rob’s outstanding exhibition of 40 of his Chanticleer photos at The Wayne Art Center has been extended until April 24th.

You can learn more about Rob and his work on his website and blog….Fran Sorin



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