April 26, 2010

We have a treat in store for today!! I’m so stoked to introduce our guest judge: Sara Beth Raab of Southern Design Studio. Sara Beth and I go wayyy back to our equestrian days in knoxville. I could post pictures of her in her equestrian glory but she’d probably then refuse to entertain our contests from here on out. 😉 She is a professional photographer in Memphis and without her help and guidance, I’m afraid that this passion turned business of mine would not exist! Sara has an awesome eye for this art and she’s extremely experienced (daughter of photographers…she photographed her first wedding at the age of 16!!) I will feature her work here this week for my “Inspired” series so stay tuned for that. You will LOVE her work!!

Sara Beth took a great look and spent time going through your entries carefully. She addressed each photo offering some tough but helpful critiques to encourage you and help you with your photography skills…an invaluable tool that we all get to learn from! Thank you SOOO MUCH, Sara!!

Alright. Here we go!!….

4. Kristen Andrade
1. This image is cute. To add to the creativity, think of a way to photograph it in a more dynamic way.. taking a different angle shooting up through the key’s maybe? And be careful… that big line on the desk is confusing to the eye. When photographing everyday objects do your best to photograph them from different angles to make them interesting to the viewer.

5. Beth McMahan
2. I do like this image even though the bee is slightly off center to me. When composing your picture with something centered, make sure it is DEAD center. I would have liked to see the whole flower in the shot as well. I do like how you can see the detail of the creatures “fur”

6. Jeffri Wright
3. Though a cute shot, it could be much more photographically interesting by concentrating on your composition. I’m distracted by the falling board in the fence in the background and at first glance I’m unsure about what the subject is in this image. All of the space around and graphically distracting things in the background draw the viewers eyes to that instead of the dog swimming after the goose. Changing your angle (get lower to the ground) and zooming in would change the whole look of this image. Small changes can make huge effects.


1. Symantha Evans

4. Water falls are very traditional forms to study photographically… but i feel this one seems too far away to really know what the subject and/or what makes this image important to the viewer. If you hone into what it is in the situation that you find interesting, the viewer will know what to look at and that will naturally create a more interesting photograph. If the goal is to make a landscape of the image, make sure all of the elements help in the composition of the image. Try also shooting from different angles, get down, get up, get sideways… whatever can help you make a different angle to help the viewer feel what it is you feel. Is the waterfall magnificent to you? Make it larger than life by shooting up on it.. use what you have to make the image 3d… in this case the photographer could have gotten down and use the water in the foreground to make the 2D photograph look more 3D. Also, water is an interesting subject matter to play with shutter speed on.. speed it up to freeze the drops in the air… slow it waaaay down to cause a ghostly blur.

2. Erica Wombles
5. I really like this one. With the short depth of field and the graphic lines of the house actually helping point the viewers eye to the subject, it is a very interesting shot. Add in the water on the flower and the “april showers” idea.. super cute. I also like the coloring of the whole shot. Though i do wish that it was more dead centered seems like it may be a tad off. If you are going dead center, it needs to be there.

4. Jeffri Wright
6. Ok, here at first, the subject appears to be the splotches of goo in the water, but i see that the subject is in fact the adorable puppy! This image would be more dynamic and interesting if you really showed the viewer exactly what it was you were shooting. The lines of the bank are nice, but by going so far back it confuses the viewer to play a “where’s waldo” in finding the subject. Zoom in or get closer to really capture the subject and direct the viewer’s eye straight to the dog.

3. Teresa King
7. This is another situation of mistaken subject matter. If the photographer loves the sound of the bubbling over the rocks, then make sure that is the true subject of the image. This image appears to be about the grass growing in the water instead of the intended purpose. When composing your shot, make sure you notice where the auto focus is hitting and adjust accordingly.

1. Teresa King

8. Here i didn’t see the little birdy at first so I wasn’t really sure what the image was all about until I studied it a bit. So make sure to go ahead and compose your shots with your subject in mind. Zooming in if possible.

Symantha Evans

9. I do like this shot…. BUT what would it look like from different angles? Why do we care about the fire? Moving around a bit, going closer/farther up/down… moving the subject around the framing to find the most dynamic way of photographing the subject. Also in this situation speeding up the shutter speed and/or slowing it down could really change the images feel.

So i do believe my personal favorites are 5 and 9! :-)

Yeah! All in all everyone keep shooting those things you love! Shoot from a ton of different angles, experiment with your depth of field and shutter speeds to change the dynamic feel of your images. And remember your “rule of thirds” when photographing… don’t always feel like you have to put your subject dead centered, but if you are going to– make sure it is DEAD centered. Take into account everything in the background when your composing your shots. Sometimes distracting things come in strange forms (i.e. goo in the pond or falling fences)!


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7 Comments to Sounds of Spring RESULTS

  1. Elizabeth – I love the guest photographer idea, I love to know more about what I’m doing and learning from the experts! I was laughing about the changing angle comment on my waterfall because I was precariously balanced on a rock in the middle of the stream. Unfortunately if I had squatted I would probably have ended up on the waterfall. I love these contests for the critiques. A local photographer here in Knox has started offering group critiques, I think its around $150 a session, maybe you could do something like that for your locals. Sorry this post is so long!

  2. That’s a good idea, Sam! Perhaps one day I’ll do something like that. Its fun, I know. Feedback is so valuable and I’ll take it whenever I can get it. You learn SO MUCH from it….you know, once you get over the fact that your picture, though perfect in your own eyes, actually has room to improve. 😉 that’s the hardest part. LOL. The humbling part too!

  3. ps- I said “your picture” but I was using that generally!! I was talking about my own work of course.

  4. hehe, if you could have only seen me taking my picture you would probably see why i was off center …my neighbor was honking at me as she drove by while i was in the garden with a hose and a huge camera and the kids waiting in the car to go to work =P…I love the guest judges critiques! Very helpful!

  5. I liked the guest comments Liz, very helpful. Soooooo what’s next for us?

  6. I agree, the critiques are very helpful to hear. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the next round!


  1. Tweets that mention oh look, I'm an "expert" :-D -- Topsy.com

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