One of my favorite things to do when I log onto the site is to check out the new images that have been uploaded to our Discerning Photographer Flickr group pool. The interests and talents of our members are so diverse—it’s a truly eclectic group of shooters, isn’t it? So while it’s a bit of work to assemble (and some months I’m late, like now!), I really do enjoy our online discussion around the images.
This month is no exception. I’ve picked images I like, plain and simple. I’ll explain what I like and why. I may ask a question or two and hopefully we’ll get some answers from the artists. Finally, please add your own two cents in the Comments below and let everyone know what you think. Let’s get started:
‘Lacey 2,’ by Julian Schroeder.
Julian submits some of the very best animal photos. Frequently they’re of what appear to be house cats. You can tell from looking at these that he’s a very patient photographer! ‘Lacey 2’ is another nice example. I do find the red object in the background is competing for my attention in a negative way, though. It might be worth trying to desaturate that area and see if it brings the focus back on that yellow eye. Also, what would happen if you took the crop a bit tighter and split the cat’s face right at the nose? Not sure, but worth considering. What about it, Julian?
‘For the Women I Love,’ by Jar.
This is a beautiful flower macro. Nicely composed and very importantly, the depth of focusis right for this image. Jar, tell us about shooting this photo: how did you decide upon the focus point? What sort of aperture did you use for this one? These are the kinds of things you must consider in the macro world…
‘Stereo 1,’ by Vitor JK.
This past month or so, Vitor has been shooting some really nice abstractions. This one falls into that category. (I’m reminded a bit of the work of Sean Garrett, who we don’t have represented this month.) I’m not sure what we’re actually looking at here, and it doesn’t matter, does it? But since we can ask, Vitor, tell us about shooting this image…
‘Missouri Sky,’ by Gabriel Hasser.
Here’s a classic, put–your-camera-on-a-tripod-and-point-it-up-at-the-night-sky-and-see-the resulting-magic photo. I’ve always loved that swirl and the not-knowing part of shooting these. So much of digital photography now is instant gratification: chimping to see what you came up with right away. Not with this photo. Gabriel, how many shots did you attempt on this night? And how long was the exposure?
‘Focus on Beauty,’ by Kevin Thornhill.
I’ve really enjoyed getting Kevin’s submissions from London, frequently filled with beautiful young models. Most of this has been street photography but now we’re going into the studio for the first time. Kevin, have you acquired studio space, or made some other arrangement? I like the simplicity and the framing here.
‘Forest Impressions II,’ by Justin G.
This is an appropriate title for this bit of Impressionism. The color palette is wonderful here with the browns offset by the yellows and greens. So Justin, was this intentional or a happy accident? If intentional, what shutter speed did you use to create the effect? Of is this possibly done in post? (I’m thinking now of a way to do this in PS with a directional blur filter.)
‘London Thames,’ by Sandy Biring.
We finish out this set with a beautiful river shot from Sandy Biring. I really like this composition and the gold-green working down from the top right towards the vignette, all of it in counterpoint to the boats in the upper left. This photo, with the visible movement of the water, almost seems to dance! Sandy, what are you standing on to shoot this? Is the vignette natural or something you created? Any other thoughts you’d like to share would be most welcome here as well…
OK, that wraps it up for this month’s Flickr Critique. Now please add your thoughts in the Comments below! I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about my selections.
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog