The contest has ended, and I’m certainly late in declaring a winner, sharing the photos and doing the critiques.
But alas, it’s raining on the ranch this morning, so none of us are in that big a hurry to get out and get stuff done!
I think we’ll start with showing everyone the photos; I’ll critique and then I’ll share the winner! Please keep in mind, that these are only my opinions and you’re entitled to disagree with me. If you’re the artist/photographer, please feel free to ask questions regarding your photo(s) in the comment section and we can further discuss the details of your shots!
This photo is a good composition- it fills the frame and has an interesting focal point. However, to make it better, I would like to see the background blurred, as that would make the subject matter (Cisco the horse) stand out more. If this was taken with a point a click, it can be hard to have that happen, since the camera chooses all the settings. If it was taken with a DSLR camera, it’s easy change the settings to help get a blurrier background. It’s called the Aperture. We’ll talk more about that as we get into the rest of the critiques.
This little guy sure is cute- and while I love this photo- the same thing is going on- there’s too much to be seen in the background when the focus is on the foal itself. Some of the newer point-and-click digital cameras have a setting which allows you to tell the camera to blur the background.
As for the aperture settings on the DSLR, well, the smaller the number, the shallower the depth of field (DOF). So an f/8 would not provide as shallow a depth of field as say an f/2.8. Now, keep in mind that while you can set the DOF on the camera, it is ultimately up to the lens what the DOF is. A telephoto lens may show an f/3.5-5.6. That essentially means, that when it’s not telescoped out, it can open to an f/3.5 but when you zoom it, the widest it can open is an f/5.6. Clear as mud? Good. We’re moving on! As we continue, we’ll talk about when you want a shallow DOF as opposed to a wider DOF.
I love this photo of the sky. I don’t have a lot to say about this except that it is beautiful!
This is a super cute photo of the pony and the big horse sniffing noses!
I like that the shadows are captured, and the background is pretty too- but again a shallower DOF would make this photo even more intriguing.
Now, this is a great example of why you’d not always want a shallow, DOF:
The background, the line of horses, all of it, has been captured nicely here! It’s a good composition, but what would make it better is if there was a bit more open space in front of the lead horse. It also feels like it’s a tad over-exposed; so either through exposure settings, the ISO or shutter speed, there could have been less light in the shot, which would have captured the layers in the clouds and made the shot extra stunning. That may have captured more of the shadows and differences in the landscape.
I really like how the photo below, focuses on a larger weed, yet there’s lots of colorful ponies in the background!
Here’s a pretty yellow horse, and again, this is a great example of how setting the DOF on the lens would make this yellow horse really pop:
Using the shrubs to frame the dog, was clever, and it’s really a good technique! I feel like, however, the dog is a tad out of focus and the ground cover is a bit sharper. That may have been on purpose or not. It’s just an observation.
The light in the photo below is really pretty!
There’s a couple different ways to make the above photo even more interesting.
1. Again, a shallower DOF
2. Changing the shutter speed to capture the motion. If your camera is set at 1/4000 of a second, you’re not going to get much movement, because, well, that’s opening and closing the lens shutter really quickly. If you set it to 1/5 it won’t take much before you get movement.
Keep in mind that when setting your shutter speed you must also take into consideration the amount of light in the shot, as well as the length of your lens.
This link here, is a really great tool for learning about shutter speeds.
This photo is stunning. The sky pops, the subject matter is interesting, and it makes me wonder what else I’d see around there if I were in that location:
I may have photoshopped out the power line, but it doesn’t make or break the shot, either.
Who doesn’t love a colorful hummingbird?
Short of a focal point change, I’m not sure what I’d do differently in this besides maybe go to a shallower DOF, and even that, is just nit-picking.
And now the shot we’ve all been waiting for- the winning shot.
I love the sky. It actually looks like it’s moving, due to the angle that the photo was taken. It makes me feel a breezy, warm day, and frankly, I want to go explore that barn!
So Hannah, Aka, the Rustic Chick, you need to send me an email with your address so you can be mailed an 11×14 photo of your choice!
As for the rest of you, I hope you’ll enter again in June- the contest will be posted next week, and I hope that you take my advice and run with it. Go shoot some photos. STAT!