The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Hello Photo Club Members!  Unfortunately we have a whole week to wait for our next meeting but the good news is we have a perfectly rainy Saturday to pick out our pictures that we want to talk about next week.  I have already picked out mine and I will post them up as an example.  Feel free to post yours up too in the comment section so we can get a good look at the before hand.  Remember just pick one photo you really like or something you aspire too, one picture you like but wish there was something different about it, and one picture that for some reason just irks you.  I found the last one to be the hardest because there are so many great pictures on Flickr that I just finally had to make a  decision.  You don’t have to get your pictures from Flickr but it might be easier when we get together if we can just find them in your favorites.

The Good
I like this photo for obvious reasons, its just beautiful. The thing is the photographer still had to work to get this effect. The ISO is set low at 50 which means a lot of life is required to get the right exposure and the camera is set at f-13 with a 30 sec exposure. Even still, with that long of an exposure the day was highly overcast allowing very little light. The combination creates a great background effect. The two subjects are also perfectly placed. The tree in the background along with the horizon follows the 1/3 rule where fits exactly a third of the way down the picture. Any other placement would have made the subject look awkward or unnatural. Don’t know why this is but its a great rule! The log in front also is placed a third of the way up the picture giving the picture a nice even flow. The colors also work well with the dark brown in front with the beach leading up to the lit horizon and then back to the dark overcast day. The tree in the background helps break this flow by adding contrast and a break to the flow making it the real subject of the photo and the first subject your eyes are drawn too.

The Bad
This photo is not really bad in the least, in fact I think its really great. The problem I have with this photo is the focus point. All focus is set in the center where the background and the subject are in focus but the outside edges of the photo are completely out of focus. The main subject is the mans face but even this is not fully in focus and makes me think that this blur was created with a quick post processing job. With a little more work, the complete background could have been made to be out of focus while the subject can remain completely in focus. This would have also followed the 1/3 rule since the focus point is now not in the center and the eye is not immediately drawn away from the subject.

The Ugly
This picture just bugs me. The main subject are the smokers in the background while everything else is completely out of focus. I have tried taking pictures like this where there are closer subjects out of focus then the main focus and each time I have found it is very difficult to create a picture that is worth it. This one certainly doesn’t cut it for me. The subjects are almost completely hidden by the waiters tray but worse then that they are broken up so the two things in focus are the knees and the faces. If the waiters tray wasn’t there then the picture may have been better or even if the subject was the waiter. Either way, this is a really difficult to achieve a great photo in these conditions and if it does happen it would be entirely by chance.

Alright, thats it for me. There are some other great photos I picked out in my favorites section of my flickr account so check those out too if you like. Can’t wait to see you all next week.

The Japan Earthquake and Us

I know I talked a bit about this at the last meeting and I could tell a few of you were a little skeptical but this article from Photofocus.com helps explain it a little better than I could.
The Japan Earthquake – How It Impacts the Photo World
You should check out the Photofocus site and their podcast is really great too. Also, sorry I haven’t been posting as much as I should. Its can be tough with a fuller than full-time job and a semi-dysfunctional life to boot so if anyone else comes across anything they would like to share with the group, please send it my way and I will post it for all.

Great new find

Just found a great new site for all you photography lovers out there. Some of these pictures are just amazing and really bring out the artistic side of photography. A lot of these pictures help me remember that sometimes the art of photography cannot just be found with a keen eye and a finger on the button but, like the painter at his easel, a photographer needs to use hands and a variety of skills to manipulate the object to fit the dream of the final outcome.
Check out the site:
1X
The site is also posted in the new links section on the side panel with other great sites that we find so come back anytime and check out the collection. There is also a new members tab at top with links to our members photos. I highly suggest you check those out too! Please remember that the photographs are the sole domain of the photographer and if there are any you really love or want to use all you have to do is send in a request with your email address and I will send your questions on to the right people.

Great day for the Photo Club!

For those of you that couldn’t make it to the first meeting today but have shown interest, know that it was a complete success! The Photo Club now has a base core of interested photographers all wanting to better their hobby to the next level… and not only that, we are gonna have A LOT of fun doing it. A few very simple corner stones were established and I can’t wait to see the next building blocks fall in place.

A few things that were discussed were where we are gonna take the club, and it all revolves around helping each other learn, having a workshop after every meeting, and taking a lot of pictures!

We are looking for a list of names for the club so anyone with any ideas please post them. We are looking for something professional and not specific to any town because we will be moving around to different areas to make it easier for all members involved.

Our next meeting is set for April 30th! If you want to participate we will be having a workshop directly after the meeting. The workshop next week is “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”. Go onto Flickr and look for a photo you love, a photo you hate, and a photo that has potential but there is something that strikes you as wrong with it. We will be using laptops and a projector and going over the photos to determine exactly what is making each photo work or not work and then discuss what the options are that could have been done differently. The meeting after that, we will be trying to get out and take some pictures as a group so make sure you get in the action now!

Black and White

Here is a great site I love to check out every once in a while. There is something very smoothing about black and white photography that, to me, is kinda like the feeling you get when you stick your head under water and drown out the cacophony of sounds that invade the moment and makes you feel the pressure of time. Black and white photography has a great way of excluding the visual cacophony and pauses you in the moment. I believe you can add your own photos to this site but I have not tried it yet myself. Check it out:
Black and White

Also, one more day left till our first meeting. Everyone write down your ideas today, big and small, and bring them in tomorrow!

The Other Side of the Photo

I know some of you have shown interest (or disinterest) with Photoshop. Well part of being a group dedicated to photography we should have knowledge (or knowledgable members) in all mainstream programs such as Photoshop, lightroom, aperture, iphoto… whatever. I’m ok in Photoshop and lightroom, but never used aperture so I am looking forward to find someone to show me whats so great about that. Anyway, check out this link for you Photoshop beginners and see if this helps:
Learn the Basics of Photoshop, the Complete Guide
Remember, the first meeting starts this Saturday, 3:30 at Champions in Biddeford. Hope to see you there!