Friday, April 11, 2008


This was not the picture I went out looking for when I sat under the tree in the front yard this evening.

I was hoping to catch a bird or one of the many rabbits in the neighborhood.

Only after I saw this bump on the tree trunk and snapped it, did I realize how much I have been thinking about (and struggling with( my body image.

Subtlety is NOT my strong suit.

Canon EOS 30d, shutter 1/200, f5.6, 300mm, iso 125
Bonus feature - what happened at Camera Club last night:
I entered these three shots - Cagney, Bird in The Hand, Love Stinks
none of them placed at all, even though the field was small. But I did request and get critiques for two of them, Hand and Stinks (their choice).

, I was told that cons: the colour was a little too red in the print, there wasn't enough light in the bird's eye and I should have shot more from the side to improve that.
pros:that the focus on the bird was nice and sharp and that was a good contrast to the softer focus of the surrounding hand which kept the eye on the bird.

Stinks, con: the building in the background distracted from the stuffed animal on the dumpster and I should have tried to shoot it so the building was not in the shot
pro: it was funny.

Actually getting there and entering was the most harrowing part of the experience...once that was done, I was able to settle down a bit - the waiting for the judging just about drove me crazy though! Despite my best intentions and constantly reminding myself to stay grounded - I did hope that I would win everything and be DISCOVERED!!!!!!!! But, I survived that not happening quite well and happily. After that, the withstanding the critique was really not all that hard.

I also realized that I like the pictures I entered anyway for what they were, just as they were and I will try to think about some of what was said when I am shooting in the future and keep what I like and let go of what I don't.


Sharon said...

LOL! Well, I see what you're seeing, but when I first looked, I saw a pig. :) I LOVE the pictures you entered. "Bird in the Hand" is definitely one of my most favorite out of all your shots, but I love "Cagney" too. He is a darn cute bird.

The thing about critiquing - People see what they want to, and they all see something different. If I notice a picture I like, it's because I like it and I rarely notice the technicalities unless they are just glaringly obvious. :)

Karin said...

Good for you for putting yourself out there! Constructive criticism is always a good thing if you can learn from it. :)

my15minutes said...

Kudos to you for entering and for submitting to the critique. An artistic critique can be gruelling, but can be so constructive. The technical aspects are the first aspects considered, along with the design elements. Only then is subject matter considered, which is more in the realm of what most people consider first.

I know in our critiques, saying things that begin with "I like..." are completely verboten. A critique isn't about people liking your work. It is about how successful your piece is in the criteria of what makes a good photograph. It really isn't as much of a subjective thing as folks imagine.

You have a great eye for photography, but the only way you can build upon that eye is to concentrate upon your technical and design elements. My critique of all of the ones you posted would be your centering of the subject matter and your contrast. Try framing your subject in a more compelling way (use the rule of thirds to compose the shot) and do keep in mind the background material and what is going on in each corner (for instance the telephone wire in the last one).

Because of your artistic eye, I think a few more critique events would really help you finesse your photography to the level you want from it. I hope you'll keep doing it!

BouBou's said...

*L* I saw a pig, too!

Good for you, for submitting the photos. I found it interesting that the building was said to be distracting on the one. I had to look again - I hadn't even "seen" the building until it was mentioned.


AmpersandToo said...

yay for you for going through with it!!

and i like this image. ;)

Sandie said...

Putting yourself out there for critique is hard! It takes a a lot of courage. I hope you continue.

Cloudscome said...

You are very brave and passionate so your photos will only get better and better. I love what you are doing now and I admire you for working harder to keep improving. Thanks for sharing your experience and the critiques they offered. I'm gleaning a bit of wisdom for myself through you.

Isn't is something how looking back at what your camera caught tells us something about what we are thinking and feeling?

bsouth said...

Well done for recognising that what you shoot is sometimes what's in your head. No, not subtle, but it says so much.

Well done for entering your photos and for asking for a critique. I think you're very brave. They were complimentary in the pros and not too harsh in the cons, I thought. Quite a positive result and one that you deserve. I think your photo's are amazing.

david mcmahon said...

VERY clever!!

Moi said...

i do a post on this frd who's running a marathon this june raising funds for cancer research; his mother is a breast cancer survivor and then i come here to comment and this post greets moi.....don't they say, life's stranger than fiction :)

i know you are gonna benefit the most through the educated expert critiques but may I add my two (illiterate) cents: in getting all the technicalities right, please never ever lose your sensitivity. To me photography is more about sensitivity than objectivity..i guess, everything in life is like that. I loved the bird in shot the first time i saw it. and i continue to admire it :)

this comment's beginning to look like a post in itself :DDD
take care! :)

Scrivener said...


I'd also like to chime in with congratulations for submitting your work for critique. Even the act of resisting criticism and justifying for yourself what you've done will push you to be a better photographer.

About Me


Photo Quotes
When I ask to photograph someone, it is because I love the way they look and I think I make that clear. I'm paying them a tremendous compliment. What I'm saying is, I want to take you home with me and look at you for the rest of my life.
- Amy Arbus