Picture This

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Staff Posted: Mar 06, 2017 0 comments

There’s nothing quite like red to catch the eye, whether it dominates the photograph or is a spot of bright red within a complementary color field. In fact, one travel photographer we know always carries a red umbrella in his travel kit, just to add some visual spark when he’s on assignment and gets stuck with a murky, overcast day. For this “Red!” assignment, we wanted shots that popped the color as well. Boosting saturation a bit was permitted, but we asked that you kept it as close to the “real” red as you could.

Staff Posted: Feb 03, 2017 0 comments

Anyone who has walked the streets with a camera (or a smartphone) has witnessed scenes of everyday life that seem too good to pass up for a photograph. But how often do you stop and actually capture them? That’s the trick to great street photography: you’ve got to be ready and you need to have no fear of shooting candid images of people on the street, most times without their permission. But there’s another type of street shooting that can be a little less stressful and that’s urban landscape photography. For this assignment, we asked you to think of your town or city as an urbanized Grand Canyon and to look for unique angles and great lighting to capture the architecture and setting.

Staff Posted: Jan 20, 2017 0 comments

Outdoor photography is a favorite with Shutterbug readers so this was a very competitive assignment. But we were looking for more than just your summer vacation photos at Yosemite: we were seeking something both beautiful and different. We also asked you to keep your mind open for what’s considered “The Great Outdoors.” We were looking for everything from images of the majestic wonder in Denali National Park in Alaska, to the delicate pink-hued skies of Key West, to a stunning vista as seen right from your backyard. Most importantly, we asked you to remember to keep the “great” in the Great Outdoors with your photography submissions for this assignment.

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Staff Posted: Dec 16, 2016 1 comments

For this assignment, we wanted you to go all dark and moody and share images that recalled classic “film noir” movies. For those readers who skipped Cinema Appreciation class, film noir is a French term used to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas from the 1940s and ’50s. But we weren’t looking for crime scenes (necessarily). Here’s what we asked you to shoot for: gritty, high-contrast images, preferably in black and white, captured in low-light conditions. Of course, color photos were eligible, too, but we wanted them shadowy and mysterious: more Edward Hopper than Walt Disney.

Staff Posted: Nov 29, 2016 0 comments

Today’s camera gear is faster than ever and much of it is tailor-made for capturing any sort of motion or movement. So then why do so many photographers struggle to shoot compelling images of action? Part of it has to do with timing and part of it has to do with composition. Your camera and lens can only do so much and there’s more to a great action shot than simply capturing the moment and making sure it’s in focus. For this assignment, we were looking for images of anything from basketball to dance to wildlife, just as long as there was some kind of action in the scene. For the winning images, we were looking for great composition, effective use of backgrounds and scenery, and powerful emotion: human, animal, or otherwise. Here are our six favorites.

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Staff Posted: Oct 25, 2016 0 comments

Despite all the advancements in imaging—including the advent of color and the now dominance of digital—there’s something about classic black-and-white photography that will never go out of style. That’s not to say that just because a photo has been shot in or converted to monochrome, it’s guaranteed to be a great photo. The choice to go black and white must have some meaningful relationship to the subject matter or scene to be effective. For this assignment, we were looking for your best black-and-white photos that use the dramatic impact of monochrome in a powerful way. Here are our six favorites.

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Staff Posted: Sep 13, 2016 0 comments

While it’s true that black-and-white photography presents a classic look that will likely never go out of style, if you want to create an immediate impression with an image, some stunning color certainly doesn’t hurt. This Dazzling Color assignment proved just that. We wanted Shutterbug readers to show us images of a variety of subjects as long as they included a stunning use of color. Photos could include everything from landscapes to still lifes to portraits or action shots.

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Staff Posted: Aug 16, 2016 0 comments

Shutterbug readers were ready for their close-ups with this month’s Picture This! assignment.

Staff Posted: Jul 12, 2016 0 comments

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Ok, maybe not tigers this month but the other two made the cut in some of the winning photos for this assignment. Wildlife and nature are favorite subjects for Shutterbug readers and, as expected, we reviewed a ton of amazing images from readers in these categories. The tough part was narrowing it down to just six favorites but we think we’ve picked some fabulous images to spotlight here.

Staff Posted: Jun 07, 2016 0 comments

We’re a little surprised—but maybe we shouldn’t be—that Fine Art Photography was one of our most popular and most competitive assignments yet. Maybe it’s because fine art photography, as a category, can encompass so many different subjects, including landscapes, cityscapes, macros, wide angles, long exposures, abstracts, portraits, nudes, semi-nudes, black and whites, color photos, surreal photos, hyperreal photos, nature photos, and on and on and on.

Staff Posted: May 06, 2016 0 comments

What makes a great travel photo? Many things, of course, but we’ve found the best images always tell some sort of story. For this assignment, we weren’t simply looking for pretty pictures from a vacation. Beautiful photos are all well and good but they’re a dime a dozen these days. Instead, we were seeking unique travel photos that included some interesting elements in the frame to give a sense of place or context. We wanted to imagine we were standing right beside the photographer, whether they were taking a photo on a dusty street in Marrakesh, or turning their camera toward a vast plain in Montana. While neither of those locales are featured in our 10 favorite images from readers, the places that are presented here look pretty awesome.

Staff Posted: Apr 12, 2016 0 comments

If you think about all the people snapping shots of their favorite meals with their smartphones these days, you might say food photography is one of the more popular imaging genres right now. But while many of these phoned-in food photos end up on Instagram and other social networks, most of the images are downright unappetizing.

Staff Posted: Mar 22, 2016 0 comments

For this assignment, we were looking for your best wedding, portrait, and boudoir images and while Shutterbug readers submitted many good wedding and boudoir shots, it was the portraits that really stood out. Overall, we were looking for interesting angles on these popular photography genres and we got them. We didn’t want those standard “grip and grin” group shots from your Aunt Sally’s wedding reception and we weren’t seeking cheesy boudoir images that look like they should be on the cover of a romance novel from the 1960s.

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Staff Posted: Feb 16, 2016 0 comments

Photojournalism and documentary photography is a tough assignment but Shutterbug readers performed well by capturing gripping moments of real life. There are stories all around us just waiting to be told with our cameras and readers did a fine job telling theirs. For this assignment, we asked you to capture a scene or a situation that relayed a story without manipulation. We were looking for unstaged images that documented real life in a revealing way. Or to bend the old cliché, we were looking for pictures that were worth a thousand words. And we got them. Here are our 10 favorites.

Staff Posted: Feb 05, 2016 0 comments

We love outdoor photography but we like it even better when there’s some element of the “extreme” involved. Yes, extreme is tough to define but for this assignment we were looking for images of dizzying mountaintops shot from harrowing angles, exploding volcanoes, dangling ice climbers, kayakers barreling through rapids, or stunning displays of weather. We didn’t get all of those things but we did get some amazing images from Shutterbug readers. Check out our favorite 10 outdoor images that made us see the awesomeness and danger of nature in the extreme.

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