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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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: 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: 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.

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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: Dec 04, 2015 0 comments

Shooting sports and action can really put your gear and your timing to the test. But there’s more to a great action shot than simply capturing the moment and making sure it’s in focus. Shutterbug readers showed their fast action shooting skills this month with winning photos that captured a variety of sports, from bike racing to baseball and surfing to rodeo. For this assignment, we wanted to see sports and action images that had great composition, effective use of backgrounds and scenery, and powerful human emotion. Shutterbug’s sports shooters delivered.

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