Photo Assignment Summary: ‘Just One Shot,’ and a New Assignment!

'Angel,' by KALogan.

'Angel,' by KALogan.

Our first photo assignment was simple, but very difficult: go out and shoot Just One Shot.

This was my way of trying to get you to slow down and really look before you leap. Digital photography has radically changed the equation for shooting: no longer is it necessary to BUY expensive film to put inside your expensive camera and shoot, carefully parceling out your supply of precious silver halide. Now it’s all basically free, once you have a flash card and a camera. As marvelous as that has been for the development of our current new generation of photographers, it’s also cheapened the entire image-making process, in a way. So this was about slowing down and really looking.

I don’t know if we were successful or not, frankly. Here are my two favorite images, the first by

Joe Chan and the second by Bernd Limbach:

Don t play if your can t pay_MG_7391 as -1

'Don t play if your can't pay,' by Joe Chan.



Autobahn, by Bernd Limbach.

I think Joe really studied this situation before shooting it; Bernd, on the other hand, states he ‘slowed down’ a bit on his bike before snapping this shot with his camera phone (!) . I think both images would have benefited from a bit of toning: in Joe’s photo, I’d be much happier if the tonal values of the pretty pool shooter were just a bit brighter, to better balance with the light levels coming from the overhead light; in Bernd’s photo, a simple Levels adjustment would have given us a much better, richer result.

Here’s what the images would have looked like with these simple adjustments:

Retoned pool shooter, by Joe Chan.

Retoned pool shooter, by Joe Chan.


Levels histogram adjustment to produce a proper black tone, by Bernd Limbach.

Levels histogram adjustment to produce a proper black tone, by Bernd Limbach.

But both completed the assignment regardless. Well done, guys!


For our new photo assignment, we’re going to go in a different direction: SHADOWS must play an important role in your composition. I don’t care whether a dramatic shadow is your entire composition OR simply an element in an otherwise interesting photo: you must compose and use shadows in your shot. Remember: all photography is dependent upon light. And where there is light, there are usually shadows! So go out and make us a truly great shadow photograph!

The assignment will run for two weeks, at which point I’ll pull it down into the ‘Archived’ group and we’ll take a swing at something else. Remember: you must go out and make a new photograph, not simply cull through your past shots! In the meantime, I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!
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

Posted in: Gallery

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

3 Comments on "Photo Assignment Summary: ‘Just One Shot,’ and a New Assignment!"

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  1. belimbach says:

    Andrew, great to see my image here, thank you!
    I actually had t stop riding my bike to shoot this image. I mentioned I used the ProHDR app to get the result and just ran it through Dfine from Nik Software to reduce noise. I remember the colors of the original fit more the real colors compared to your adjusted one. The Autobahn was not black as you can see in your version. Often I have the impression that colors are too rich like people want to see the saturation close to max. I also think I observe that on my LCD-TV. I need to try, if a bit less applied saturation would fit my taste a bit better. So two people, two opinions. Thank you for your comments and thoughts! I might change my mind somewhen… 😉
    Joe’s image is fantastic and I think that your adjustment makes it even better. Pretty difficult to shoot, I tried a similar scene of playing pool in 2009.

    Let’s see, why the next assignment will bring!

    Take care, Bernd

  2. joe chan says:

    I have always contended that it does not matter much what kind of equipment you use to make a good capture and Bernd showed us how to do it with a camera phone. The other belief I have is that a bad photograph is always better than no photograph of any moment.

    Post processing is an adventure and a travel down the road of creativity. I like to see and read how others may interpret my work, as it gives me a wider prospectus. Even with this image of the pool player, my final render usually is based more on my mood at the time I view the finish work. And I especially appreciate Andrew, or any one else, that would take some time to rework the image.

    The next assignment should produce some interesting images and I hope that all that read these posts and see the assignments, will be inspired to participate.


  3. Joe, I appreciate your comment very much am I am honored by it. Thank you very much, keep on shooting such wonderful images!

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