The Challenge… shoot something red! Entry #1

The latest monthly challenge was to shoot something red.  Red is one of my favorite colors as it evokes such emotion.

Thanks to those of you who submitted photos.  All will be featured on the blog and I encourage all members to comment on each photo as well as anyone else who might be seeing this blog.

It has come to my attention that we have not yet discussed how to critique a photo.  A good critique includes more information than “I like it” or “I don’t like it”. .. or worse yet, no comment!   After all, we are here to learn.  We want to improve our photography… and bit by bit we will indeed do that; however, it is a learning process and part of that process is to recognize our successes and our failures.  What are we doing well and where are our short comings and how can we improve?  If we do not recognize these things, our photography will remain static and not improve.

I personally have critiqued my own photography through the years and what is interesting is to look back to see what photos you liked years ago and then revisit them a year or two later and see if you feel the same way.  I venture to say that your critique of the photo may well change as your knowledge base expands and as you view more and more photos on the web.  There are zillions of great photographers out there.  Get in the habit of regularly looking at photos to develop your eye and to see which photos excite you and why.  Check out the links on the blog of favorite photo sites and study the photos presented.  Try to emulate what other photographers have done.

Examine the photo for the subject matter and any emotion it may conjure up.  Look at the composition and decide if there is too much information in the photo or not enough.  Does it follow the rule of thirds?  If not… does the composition work?   Is the photo in focus or is there an artistic blur or was it simply not taken properly and how can that be corrected?  Does the background compete with the subject of the photo or does it enhance the subject.  Is the color accurate or are there color casts from tungsten light or fluorescent light.  Does this take away or add to the ambience of the photo?  Would that photo be better presented in black and white or sepia tone?  Lots to think about.

Also look for underexposed or overexposed images… as in too dark or too light with blown out whites having no detail and how could this have been prevented?  We will learn more about this later.  Does it improve or take away from the image?

In giving a critique, pick out both positives and negatives.  Please understand that this is a part of the learning process and it goes both ways… for the photographer as well as the one giving the critique.  Do not allow your feelings to get hurt.  Photography is very subjective.  You may well not like a photo that I love, and that’s OK… and vice versa.  Please see “Photo Critique Guidelines” under helpful hints to the right of the blog for more information.

I challenge each of you in the club to give a thoughtful and fair critique of each of these photos.  Let’s talk about what we are doing here and let’s support each other in our quest for improving our photography.

Favorite Quote:  “ Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take  tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham

So I present to you our first entry in “Shoot Something Red”… by Kristen (J.) one of our newest members.  She says that red is her son Kyle’s favorite color!  Thanks Kristen for your red entry… and it is VERY red!  OK crazy wimmin… what is your critique of this photo?

All Stuff Red
(Photo by Kristen J.)



6 thoughts on “The Challenge… shoot something red! Entry #1

  1. Kristen,
    I really like the sports theme idea you chose! In the spirit of “critiquing”….I am very new at this……but think that if you selected one item to be the subject and used a dark background or worked with the lighting you could make the subject stand out from the other red items. Also,,,I like whip cream with my strawberries! Ha

  2. Kristen,

    I really like the arrangement for the red challenge. Red is one of my favorite colors. I especially liked the the wide variety of subjects and one of my favorites – Texas Rangers. Keep shooting. Your doing great!!

  3. If I may be so bold as to offer a critique from an amateur … I sincerely hope that my comment will inspire rather than deflate, and spur Kristen to create even better images. Your ideas are good, but I feel that they need more work.

    I tend to agree with Lorraine and find the picture rather contrived … as though the author wanted to include anything and everything red. There is just too much. Concentrating on one of those images – such as the strawberries, would have been enough.

    As I stated in the first paragraph, I am no photographer, but I do appreciate fine images. My fear is that I have gone too far in my appraisal and that this will scupper any chances of me infiltrating this elite group.

    If there was a tree … I’d hide behind it!

    • Aha! It seems we are being infiltrated by the men’s auxillary! And that’s OK. And wouldn’t you just know it… he wants to concentrate on the strawberries. I say… take out the strawberries and leave the sports stuff ’cause Kyle likes sports.
      I like this photo because it screams red and sports. I liked the idea of placing the objects on the red jacket to make the background less busy and yes, a dark background may have looked better but then again the challenge was “red” and there is no doubt about that in this image. Way to go Kristen!

      And there is no need to hide behind a tree Mr. W. because you know we will find you one way or another!

      There will be a surprise at the end of this challenge, so all of you wimmin join in and give your critiques!

  4. I like the idea that your son was the inspiration for this photo. As the mother of only boys I appreciate all the objects in your photo. However, I may have approach it a little differently, focusing on only a couple of red objects that were related, such as football stuff or red food he likes etc…and possibly grouping the objects in a more meaningful fashion. This has given me an idea for a photo, grouping my sons band stuff together including his jacket as an homage to his high school years. Thanks for the great idea, I challenge you to do the same!

  5. Kristen,
    First of all welcome to the club. I know that this is your first entry to the photo challenge and you did a good job. As what others mentioned that you could have minimize the red color, yes I agree with that. As Lorraine said “adding a cream cheese” would add color to the strawberries. I know that you want to include all the sports team on the picture but removing some of the extra red would have make the picture less busy. Having one focal point helped me with my photos a lot. Then you can focus on one focal point and play with your depth of field. I know that I’m only 6 months ahead of you in the photography world and I know that I still have a long way to go, but I’m working hard and trying to learn new things and improve everyday. As I’ve grown and improved upon my photography, I’ve come to learn more aspect, techniques and learn to have that critical eye.
    As you go along with the club you will really notice how your photograph will improve in just a short period of time.
    I think overall though you did a good job! Way to go Kristen.

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