Reviewing Listener Images and Judging the Light in Banff

New section, listener submitted images.

Lots of people submitted images. Thank you!

Tim Lawson, Eli Temchin, Linda Maier, Alyce Bender, Jon Whitaker, Colin Mayer, Chris Bartell, Benjamin Stuben Farrar, Mike Sirach, Joe Vargas, John Scane. 

The images I’m choosing are from

Colin Mayer. This image is from St. Kilda, Scotland. I really was drawn to this image because it somewhat made me think of the beehive huts in Ireland. But not really. These are quite a bit different. Anyway, the rock texture really comes through well in the foreground building. The entryway is small and you’d have to nearly crawl in it seems. There’s moss or grass or peat on the roof as well and that’s cool, it gives a certain ambiance that is nice and authentic feeling. There’s buildings that are somewhat blurry in the background. They provide a nice background. And behind them there’s more hovels like this foreground element and then in the mid-ground there’s a rock wall that connects to another little moss-covered room.

Pretty much the only thing I’d change about this image is the heavy vignette. I think this image needs a vignette, but it needs to be less heavy and probably it should have a custom application as well. You can do this in Lightroom or PS where you brush in the vignette right where you want it. The lower right corner feels a bit empty and that’s probably OK. An image usually benefits from having some negative space. The DOF is small or shallow enough to keep the attention on the foreground building that we don’t really need to worry about the background elements distracting too much. They provide a good stage for the whole scene.

Eli Temchin submitted one of an elephant. It’s B&W as well, and it’s quite striking.

I love the texture coming through in the skin of the elephant. We see enough of the creature to certainly know what it is, but we only see a small portion of this beast, and that’s a good thing. By zooming in we’re looking more at shapes and forms to communicate the subject, but they are impartial shapes and forms. It’s not complete. This leaves more for the brain to figure out and work on. It’s good that way.

There’re two things I’d likely change to this image. I think I’d move the camera slightly more to the left. In the view as it currently is, we almost see the second eye. This leaves a bit too much negative space in the forehead/trunk area. By moving it, we’d have more of the shoulder area on the left side of the frame showing and the eye would be pulled out of the center of the frame. It’s almost in the horizontal center and by moving it a bit to the right we’ll create a bit more tension in the image. Also, the depth-of-field feels a touch too shallow for me on this one. The eye feels slightly soft. But we’d want to keep the crustiness on the front of the face too, so a bit more DOF is needed to accomplish that.

Linda Maier submitted one of ice on Yosemite Creek. 

I decided to also add this image because, well, the ice is likely to soon be melting and I’m really glad to see a good image like this coming together, and that the effort was put in to get out there in this weather and be inspired by what we see.

This looks like a mini river flowing from left to right for me. It’s got a great starting point in the upper left corner with some strong elements pointing down and a bit to the right. As the eye travels down the ripples in the ice take over and they bring you off to the right side of the image. There’s a lot of chaos in this image too. I’d say the ice pattern is stronger than texture in this image. But texture certainly does come through nicely. There’s some grasses on the lower portion of the frame that provide context of location. It’s fairly high contrast with lots of highlights and lots of shadow areas and the lines are just squiggling all over the place.

One change I’d make on this image would be to crop the rock element out of the top portion of the frame. I find it a bit distracting and letting the ice go off to “nothing” as it were would suggest a larger icefield. Leaving the edge unresolved like that forces the mind to fill in the blanks. Don’t think of it as lying. Think of it as eliciting the imagination!

Thanks again to everyone who submitted images. I love it. 

Next topic for listener images

The topic this next time is the color red. However red manifests itself in your image, that’s what I’m looking for. 

A Quick Announcement/Reminder

Before we get to the main topic, I wanted to cover something that recently came up in the Master Photography listener group. I’ll likely make a mention there as well to try and ensure everyone is aware of this. That is, a listener asked us why things were so quiet over there at the IP websites. Especially the IP+ website. I’ve also had a listener ask about the rGPS app that was also published by IP. As far as the app is concerned I was able to contact Jim Harmer a while a go and he gave me a bit of info I can share. Basically the question was, “will it get updated anytime soon?” I don’t recall the exact question from the listener, but that was the main point. They liked the app, but wanted to see some updates happening. Jim stated that he’s buried in other projects but he’d “REALLY” like to do more with it. He also pointed out that there’s so much good data in it that has been added by users. But with the other projects it’s not going to receive any attention in the near future at least.

The most recent listener concern was regarding IP+. The biggest thing to ensure everyone is clear on is that there’s no formal business relationship between IP+ and myself, and as far as I know, none of the other podcasters in the Master Photography group either. I contributed one video on camera cleaning and tripod cleaning when I first came on as a contributor. But any videos produced were “one-time” deals and for the last few years I’ve been focusing my efforts on providing my own solutions.

Most of you know about the print course I’m developing. That’s still on schedule for an early April release. I’m striving for April 2. I’ll be spending my spring break on finshing it up and getting it ready for everyone. But I continue to spend pretty much each Friday and Sunday getting content produced either for the podcast or this course. And it’s been about three weeks since I last published an episode, so you know where my attention has been going JMe being quiet does not mean I’m taking it easy, that’s for sure!

If you’re an IP+ member and you want to know more, I’m afraid I won’t have any answers for you.

With that, let’s get on to the main topic. I’m going to blend in the idea of reading the light and making the most out of your shoot as I talk a bit about my trip to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies.

For the details on this part of the show, please check out this blog post on my main site.

[podcast src=”″ height=”90″ width=”100%” placement=”bottom” theme=”custom”]