Picture This

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Staff Posted: Feb 05, 2013 Published: Jan 01, 2013 0 comments
Our Picture This! assignment this month was “In the Forest,” and judging by the number of images we received it’s clear that readers love to spend time and photograph in the forest as much as we do. As you’ll see, the photos ranged from mystical to magnificent, with patterns, color, and light and shadow play all playing a part.

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Staff Posted: Dec 16, 2011 Published: Nov 01, 2011 4 comments
Our Picture This! assignment this month was Industrial Design. While nothing can beat the variety and beauty of nature, where patterns and designs have their own rhythm and pace, certain objects have a beauty and grace that speak to an aesthetic that is inherently human. Products of handmade origin or the Industrial Age that satisfy the need for function while maintaining a beauty of form are sometimes taken for granted, and sometimes, with a photographer’s keen eye, transformed into sculptural objects that seem to transcend their utility. We can contemplate them less for something we would use as a tool and more as objects of wonder or beauty that appeal to a deeper aesthetic sensibility. That’s what we sought, and found, in this month’s readers’ images.
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Staff Posted: Jan 08, 2013 Published: Dec 01, 2012 4 comments
This month’s assignment for Picture This! was “Made in the Shade,” photographs made solely in the shadow thrown by tree canopy or roof or even under overcast sky. While light levels might be lower, there’s nothing quite like the soft, diffuse light of shade to bring out every nuance of color and detail in a subject or scene. Using appropriate white balance and exposure settings, shade cast shots can look as if they were made using a large diffusion tent, all using natural light. And while HDR can help with excessive contrast, shade shots have the advantage in that they work entirely with one exposure and the most natural sense of light. Readers sent in a wide range of images covering nature, urban, and portraiture, all of which have a quality of light that bright, contrasty sunlit shots could never display.
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Staff Posted: Jun 14, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 0 comments
Our Picture This! assignment was multiple exposures, combining two or more images either in camera or later in software. Multi’s take planning and exposure execution, and readers sent in images that show both that previsualization and the final work that was applied. Images ranged from bursting fireworks to imaginative constructions to tricks for the eye and mind. Some show careful alignment; others count on the seemingly random layering of effects and images that can always reveal a visual surprise.
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Staff Posted: Apr 02, 2013 Published: Mar 01, 2013 2 comments
While it’s true that photography is “writing with light,” shadows often play an equal and important role. They define form and space, create dimensionality, and concentrate the viewer’s eye on the main subject of the scene. Our Picture This! assignment this month was “negative space,” and we asked readers to send us images that use this important tool of the craft to good effect. We received portraits, landscapes, still life and abstract images, all of which display a thoughtful use of the “dark side” of aspects of the image. Exposure plays a key role in creating this effect, as does a strong scene contrast that allows the photographer to “read the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may.” All this stems from the old days when photographers were often forced by their use of slide film to create deep areas in their images in order to keep the highlights from burning up. Now that we have HDR and other contrast-fighting exposure tools it is a conscious exposure decision made to add so much to an image’s effect.
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Staff Posted: Jul 01, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
Our Picture This! assignment this month was Night Light, and readers sent in a wide variety of images from places around the world. The great photo ops of night lead to some unusual images: those made with long shutter speeds and high ISO settings to capture the often dim light; those that show a combination of still and motion, some subject and some photographer produced; and most of all the way photography allows us to see “into” the night in a way that no human eye can.
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Staff Posted: Apr 14, 2015 0 comments

For this month’s assignment, we asked you to post images that exemplified what famed French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson called “the decisive moment,” i.e., real-life subject matter that’s captured neither too early, nor too late, but at the peak of emotion and expression. We got some beautiful moments from Shutterbug readers, including everything from a breathtaking goal line flip during a football game to a poignant kiss between a bride and groom with several unexpected onlookers sharing the couple’s “decisive moment.” Here are our 10 favorite examples of decisive moments from Shutterbug readers.

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Staff Posted: Mar 17, 2015 0 comments

This month’s assignment was “bokeh,” which is the beautiful background blur you get when you capture an image with a shallow depth of field. Bokeh, which is derived from the Japanese word for “blur,” is typically achieved by using a lens with a wide aperture (f/2.8 or faster is ideal) and a nine-bladed diaphragm, to create an almost painterly background with highlights broken into soft glowing forms. Just as critical to creating a great picture utilizing bokeh is the sharp subject matter in the foreground, which draws the viewer’s eye in like a laser beam. Here are our 10 favorite examples of bokeh from Shutterbug readers.

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Staff Posted: Jul 24, 2015 0 comments

Shutterbug readers got super artsy with this month’s Fine Art Photography assignment and the results were stunning. While it may be hard to precisely describe what fine art photography is, the 10 images we chose this month all struck us as being gallery-worthy. These shots display a firm vision, a great eye, a keen knowledge of forms, and, overall, an appreciation of the abstract beauty of the natural and man-made world.

The Editors Posted: Sep 22, 2015 0 comments

This assignment was simple but it was also highly competitive. Yes, we received many lovely landscape photos in our Picture This! gallery on Shutterbug.com, but we were looking for something extra special. And we got it, with these 10 images from readers offering incredible and unique vistas.

Staff Posted: Oct 16, 2015 0 comments

Beautiful lighting, in many ways, is what photography is all about. And as our readers proved with this month’s submissions, if you want great lighting, all you need to do is look outside your window. While it’s not entirely surprising, our 10 favorite photos from this month’s assignment are all bathed in natural light. The results are simply radiant.

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Staff Posted: Jun 09, 2015 0 comments

We didn’t know what we’d get from Shutterbug readers for this month’s Low-Light Noir assignment but we knew it would be interesting. And it certainly was! Readers gave us what we asked for, posting a range of dark and moody images that recalled classic “film noir” movies. There were so many great shots, most in grainy black and white but a few in crunchy color, that it was hard to choose just 10 low-light noir favorites but we did. Here’s looking at you, kid!

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Staff Posted: Nov 20, 2015 0 comments

Despite all the advancements in digital imaging, classic black-and-white photography never goes out of style. Shutterbug readers proved that this month with a stunning array of monochrome images submitted for this assignment. Our 10 favorite photos weren’t simply black and white just for black and white’s sake, they all used the dramatic impact of monochrome in a powerful way.

Staff Posted: Aug 18, 2015 0 comments

Without a doubt, this month's Wildlife and Nature assignment brought out the best in Shutterbug readers. There were so many excellent entries, we could've easily picked twice as many favorites and still felt we left some great shots out. In the end, we narrowed it down to 10 wildlife and nature images that truly stood out.

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Staff Posted: May 19, 2015 0 comments

For this month’s assignment, we asked you to think outside the box about winter photography. While photos of snowmen and sledding are nice, we were looking for images that captured the true splendor of the season’s power and beauty. We wanted to see photos of winter with a sense of wonder and you delivered. Here are our nine favorite images of winter from Shutterbug readers.


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