Some ways to improve this image would be to crop even a little tighter. Perhaps lower your camera angle and shoot more up towards the sky. Although the plant comes to life on the darker background, there is a touch too much wasted space at the bottom as well as the top of the image. It’s not always ideal to have the bright sun dead centre. Well done for a first effort!
Dave Hill was awarded with silver. His ability to capture such beautiful colours in the night sky together with the dramatic trees silhouetted with the moon in the background was well received by all judges. The composition could be stronger by excluding the dark foreground area which doesn’t show any important detail. The horizon runs straight through the middle so remember that “rule of thirds”. The same applies for the moon. Be careful for trees or branches that may clutter your image. Try including only one prominent tree, either to the left or right of your frame with a more clean horizon on the other side.
A brilliant attempt Dave! You should do shots like this again!
You can never go wrong when shooting from unusual angles which is one of the main reasons Sakkie van Aswegen received bronze. Just look at all that pride! By getting down on the same level as the dog, Sakkie was able to portray the image in a way we don’t normally see dogs. Without realizing it, the body shape of the dog forms a line that lead your eye to the face. There is still enough space in front of the face to allow room to “look” into.
The horizon runs at an angle which is not always pleasing but in this case he got away with it. The direction of the sun allowed for good light which also resulted in a complimenting blue sky. Keep an eye on the background as you don’t want stuff to “grow” from your subjects.
Tommie van der Westhuizen was Highly Commended for his achievement with this strong image captured at dusk. His composition is pleasing due to the frame having more of the beautiful sky than the unimportant black foreground. The telephone lines strengthen the composition and Tommie made good use of the “rule of thirds”.
This image would be even stronger if there was less black horizon in the shot. The foreground is just a tiny bit too much and you should try and aim for around two thirds sky and one third foreground. Because there is no detail in this case, you can rather include more sky. And we know you don’t have a tripod so well done, your efforts are noted! Beautiful colours too!
Another Highly Commended award went to Pat King for “seeing the light”. The direction of light is complementing to the subject and highlights all the detail of the subject. Good focus and good use of depth of field to blur the excessive clutter in the background.
Pat can improve this shot by cropping in tighter. The subject is directly in the middle of the frame therefore doesn’t make for a strong composition. Even though the depth of field is blurring the background, it’s still a bit distracting. Keep your main focus on one of the seeds, use the “rule of thirds” and make sure the other seeds are not as dominant as your centre of interest. Currently the whole bush is your centre of interest so rather try to avoid that.
Here are three more images worth showing.
This images was also taken by Angela Stout. Good use of depth of field blurred everything in the background thus allowing the centre of interest to get all the attention. The branch becomes a line that leads you to the subject, which is just a bit too much in the centre of the frame. Try shooting this from a more sideways angle and go get that tripod ;-)
What an excellent shot by Pat King. Her camera has a “super macro” function and she was having some fun with this. Once again, the subject is directly in the middle which doesn’t make for a strong composition. The focus is spot on and the depth of field helps to blur the busy background. Shooting in softer light will offer much better results.
Another creative shot by Tommie van der Westhuizen and a good effort to shoot from unusual angles. This abstract image certainly got some attention! Maybe rotate the image vertical for a stronger composition. The “out-of-focus area” is a little too big and becomes a bit distracting but nonetheless, it got noticed. You should do some reading on visual design!
Congratulations to all the winners and thanks so much for your interest to enter the competition! Who can resist winning tickets to the totally amazing Photo & Film Expo.
Be sure to send me the required details to claim your prize. It’s going to be awesome :-D
Do you have any other reasons to point out what works for you and what not in any of the images above? We would love to hear from you too.