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Staff Posted: Jun 08, 2011 Published: May 01, 2011 20 comments
Follow That Elephant
While on a safari in the Serengeti of Tanzania we were tracking a family of cheetahs when we crossed a dry lakebed with these incredibly large and deepened footprints of an elephant. The asymmetrical pattern that emanated from the portion of a dried piece of driftwood almost looked as though it had been arranged for the shot in the middle of nowhere. Although we never did catch up with that elephant, the recorded scene of what I didn’t see left an indelible impression with me that transcends pretty much many of the animals I did see and document.
—Marvin Seiger
Scottsdale, AZ
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Staff Posted: Jun 14, 2011 Published: May 01, 2011 5 comments

This month’s Picture This! assignment was Painterly Backgrounds, the use of various photographic devices—namely depth of field—to create a field of color and design for a backdrop to the main theme. The technique not only removes what could be a distracting background but also brings the main subject more into the visual attention of the viewer. It also can be used to complement the color, shape, and design of the entire frame, adding to the emotional content of the image. Readers sometimes used their digital darkroom skills to enhance some of the effects (noted in captions), but, as with other assignments, we view image processing as something that can be used to emphasize the image from the camera, not obtain it entirely from software techniques.

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Staff Posted: Oct 01, 2010 0 comments

My wife and I were visiting Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The sun had just dropped below the horizon and we were preparing to return to Little Makalolo, our base camp, when I heard “thrashing” sounds that were unmistakably those of an elephant herd.

We could barely make out the silhouetted movements of the herd on the far side of the river. I knew not to use a...

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Staff Posted: Oct 01, 2010 1 comments

Most every camera sold has a built-in flash but many times we don’t make use of this handy item, keeping the flash on Auto (which with Auto ISO these days might just boost the speed rather than activate the flash) or turning it off for fear that it might ruin the natural light component of our images. The Picture This! assignment this month was using a touch of fill flash to add something...

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Staff Posted: Mar 01, 2010 0 comments

Our Picture This! assignment this month asked readers to submit images made of objects that most likely would not be around next time they passed by. Readers sent in images of falling-down barns, commercial signs, and trucks quietly rusting away in fields. To paraphrase Walker Evans, photographers should shoot with history in mind, and with many of these objects the only evidence of their...

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Staff Posted: Mar 01, 2010 0 comments

I shot this image casually, as a friend and I relaxed in a nearly empty waterfront café after a shoot. I can’t tell you why I shot it, but I can tell you why it gradually has become a sort of personal favorite. Although it contains nothing dramatic, it says something very basic about photography.

We don’t know whose sunglasses these are, how they came to be...

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Staff Posted: Feb 01, 2010 0 comments

The Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968 features 150 vintage photographs that portray the struggles and aspirations of that historic time.

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Staff Posted: Feb 01, 2010 0 comments

Our Picture This! assignment this month covered one of the metering patterns, spot metering. Spot is a great choice when you want to saturate a distinct color, or when you want to get the bright white highlight right, with compensation. Readers sent in a variety of images, some with color in mind, others when they wanted to open up shadow details that would become too dark using evaluative...

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Staff Posted: Feb 01, 2010 0 comments

I made this image during a visit to Prague in 2007. On our first day there my wife and I took a walking tour that passed by this memorial to John Lennon. At the same time we arrived so did several large tour buses, which prevented us from getting a clear view of the memorial.

I like to explore and take pictures early in the morning on trips so that is what I did the following...

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Staff Posted: Jan 01, 2010 0 comments

Our Picture This! assignment this month was Red Rock, and we were treated to wonderful images from all around the great American West. If you’ve traveled the many roads and trails through Red Rock Country you know what a photographic treasure it is; if you haven’t, plan a road trip soon! Readers sent in photographs from the Southwest and parts north that showed the amazing shapes...

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