First today, we’re going to take a look at the winners of the Low Perspective assignment, and then we’ll get into what the next assignment is going to be on. I have to say before we get started that whether or not your photo was voted in the top three, the standard for this first Assignment of the second years’ batch was absolutely astronomical. Each and every one of you that entered can be really proud of your achievements.
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OK, so without further ado, as usual, in reverse order, we’ll go through the top three Assignment winners. In third place, we have gjographic with “Giraffe”, which is image m4839. Remember to view member’s images by punching the number into the top page at martinbaileyphotography.com, you need to prefix an “m” for member, so that’s m4839. Apparently this was shot through a fence with the camera about 5cms from the ground. The sun as we can see is behind the belly of the left giraffe, and the bright sky has thrown both animals into silhouette. With those long necks and the crooked framing, it really makes for an effective shot. The colours are beautiful with the warm oranges around the horizon gradually fading to a blueish-purple towards the top of the frame. The positioning of the giraffes is excellent too, and for me the thing that adds so much to the shot is the fine detail in the tails of the giraffes as the hairs blow in the breeze. Excellent shot gjographic. Well done on third place.
In second place, the winner of last year’s grand prize is back, with image m5269. This is hqsbud, or Forrest Tanaka’s “Standing Tall”. Again, a very low perspective, people have really worked hard to stick to the theme for this assignment. It doesn’t say in the images’ comments, but it looks like Forrest has also positioned the sun behind the animal here too, with this magnificent white horse standing proud in the middle of the frame. Again, great gradation in the sky and beautiful detail throughout the shot, because of the amazing depth-of-field afforded by such a wide angle lens. The tree and additional horse in the distance also offer us an additional element to focus on as we move back into the shot looking at the texture of the soil. Nice work again Forrest. Congrats on second place.
And in first place for the second time in a row, congratulations to Edwin C for another great image titled “Crystal Drop”, which is image m5140. Edwin once again has blasted us with vivid colour in this amazing shot of a stream of droplets falling from a tap or faucet in a kitchen sink. I’m not sure how Edwin got that shocking blue that forms a backdrop for the droplets running down the bottom two thirds of the image, but it is amazing. The depth-of-field is perfect for this shot, and I don’t know where to start with regards to the droplets themselves. I’ve been trying to think how this would be done. I thought maybe a strobe effect, where the flash fired multiple times in quick succession, stopping the drop each time it fired. Also, I thought maybe Edwin might have spent some time getting just the right amount of water to form a constant stream of individual droplets. Either way, this is another truly excellent image. Hopefully Edwin will share the truth behind the image with us later. So congratulations to Edwin. Masterful work as usual. You know the form now, but I’ll mail you again for details of the print you select as your prize.
Thanks once again to all those that entered and to all of you that took the time to vote. With such a high standard of entries, it was once again really difficult to decide how to vote. With the new voting system we can select up to three places, which is better I think, but it seemed to make the process even longer for me, as it was so close, even between the three images that I chose to vote for. Anyway, thanks again to everyone for getting involved at one level or another.
So, moving on, the next Assignment theme is “Movement”. With the exception of longer exposures, it’s common for photographs to be a capture of a small slice of time. In this slice of time we usually see images that are static, and without movement. Of course, we can give the impression of movement by capturing action that could not happen without the subject being in full swing, in the middle of some kind of movement. But still the movement itself is not registered. Now, I’m not going to restrict this assignment to shots that contain motion blur of some sort. I’m thinking of any image that just shouts out Movement at some level.
Just by way of example, let’s take a look at a few shots from my gallery shot over the last few years. First let’s look at image number 1101, from last summer in Hokkaido. You might recall this image from episode 49, in which I spoke about this and a few similar shots of the same scene in depth. I’m not going to go into detail about it today, rather than just skim over them. My intension in this shot was to show movement by using a slow enough shutter speed to capture some movement in the barley, as it seemed to be being blown towards me, in the same way that those clouds seem to be coming in my general direction emanating from a point just left of the centre of the frame. Not a dramatic movement shot, but I think you get the picture.
In the next shot, I spoke about way back in episode for in which I discussed panning, and that is image number 148. Taken some five years ago with my old trusty D30, I shot this young boy riding his bike through a park. I’d found a spot that people seemed to be regular passing on bicycles, and thought I’d give it a try. Again, I’m not going to go into detail. This is just to throw out some ideas. If you want to hear more about panning, please listen to episode 4 again.
The last image, number 137, I picked out of my gallery is another pretty old one, shot one morning in Tokyo train station before boarding the bullet train. Again just for ideas, instead of panning with the people and letting the background blur, I propped myself up against a signboard and used a slow shutter speed with my old Canon PowerShot G3 to allow all the rushing commuters to blur, emphasizing their movement.
There are lots of other ways to show movement in photography, and I’m hoping that you’ll surprise me and the other members with some great new ideas as well. As usual, the theme is open to interpretation, but I’m thinking that the closer you stick to the theme, the more likely you are to win votes. I’m sure that the other members also bear this in mind when voting, and not just basing it on the merits of the image itself.
Before I finish, I’d like to stress that you read the guidelines before shooting your Assignment photograph. We seem to have a few people each month that enter images shot before the start of the assignment. Remember that this is not just a photo contest. The idea is to get you shooting with a purpose. As many who partake say, the prize is very secondary. The main goal and benefit of getting involved is to get you thinking about something that you might not have already thought about and hopefully spark a new way of seeing or some creativity that may have otherwise lay dormant. I can appreciate that many of you will have come up with the same idea in the past on your own bat. I’m not trying to start a whole new school of photography here. So there really is little point in just going back through your stock images and selecting one that you already have stashed away.
Also, there was a little controversy about the rules around merging images in this last Assignment. Remember that the merging of images can only be used to overcome limitations of the technology, as in the dynamic range. This is pretty much as you would shoot with a gradual neutral density filter. When you merge shots, you cannot add any additional elements that were not there in the other shots. I’ll put a link to the guidelines in the show-notes for this episode, so that you can all brush up on them before spending any time shooting. If there is anything in the rules that you feel unfair, by all means raise this in the forum. If the majority think any change is necessary, I’ll go with the flow, as long as it’s not too far from my own photography ethics.
With regards to the schedule for the Movement assignment, all entries should be shot after this point in time, which is Monday the 25th of June, 2007, up until the end of the Assignment on August the 5th, 2007. You’ll be able to upload your entries to the assignment album on mbpgalleries.com until the end of Sunday the 5th anywhere in the world, so no need to worry about time-zones. That means as usual you have six weeks to get all creative with Movement. From August the 6th, voting will start for two weeks, until the end of Sunday the 19th of August, again, that’s anywhere in the world.
Remember that the prize for each individual assignment is a print of your choice of the photo of your choice from my online gallery, printed on the paper of your choice, even that expensive Epson professional paper. Then at the end of one year of assignments, which will be around next May, I’ll be awarding a prize from a sponsor that will hopefully be as cool as the Lowepro camera bag that we gave away at the end of the last assignment as the 2007 grand prize for the member that accumulated the most votes.
So, thanks again to all of you that entered or voted for the last assignment. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you make of this next one. Please do enjoy shooting for it, or at least be in some way challenged by it. On another note, I’ve noticed a few new listeners recently. I’d like to quickly welcome all of you that have started listening since I last said this. Remember that this Podcast is available in both M4A, Enhanced Podcast format, and MP3 audio format. These are made available by separate feeds, both available for subscription in iTunes. A link to the feeds can also be found at the top of the Podcasts page at martinbaileyphotography.com. Just click on the Podcasts link in the menu at the top of the page. The menu’s open up when you put your mouse over them, but if you just click the top button itself you’ll go to the top of the Podcasts page. There’s also a lot of different ways to view the images I talk about each week, but if you haven’t figured out which way is best for you, then search out episode zero, which I released towards the end of last year to explain it all. If you have any feedback about this Podcast please do contact me. I’m always happy to hear from you and I do try to reply to everyone that mails me. If you have any questions or suggestions for topics and you have a microphone on your PC, then it would be great if you could record your message using the MobaTalk applet on the top page at martinbaileyphotography.com. It’s really easy to use, and it would be great to hear from you. Even if you just want to record a greeting for me and the other listeners that’s fine. I’ll include it in a future episode for all to hear.
Finally, it’s been a while since I asked this, but if you do enjoy this Podcast, I’d really appreciate it if you could go locate the Podcast in iTunes and write a review. And mailing your friends with a link to the Podcast is also a great way to support me. The more people listen to the Podcast the more likely I’ll be to get a sponsor on a permanent basis or to get us a great piece of equipment for the 2008 grand prize. So that’s about it for this week. Good luck with the assignment, and have a great week, whatever you do. Bye-bye.
Note: Due to site changes, the scores page and forum are no longer available.
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Posted on behalf of Martin by Michael Rammell, a Wedding Photographer based in Berkshire, England. Michael also has a long-standing passion for Nature & Landscape photography. To catch up with Michael, visit his Web site, and follow him on the following social networking services.