Our Favorite Reader Photos from the "Fine Art Photography" Assignment


Playa de Oro
Photographer Rich Helmer describes this image as a “warm summertime beach abstract” and it’s quite lovely. He shot it with a Nikon D7100 at 1/320 second, f/4, 40mm, ISO 100.
© Rich Helmer

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. Or maybe it’s also because Shutterbug readers are art lovers at heart. (And what’s wrong with that?) For this assignment we were looking for beautiful or striking images that showed your vision as photographers and we got them. In fact, we could easily see the nine images we picked as our favorites for this assignment hanging on the wall of a gallery or a museum.

MB Straight
Martin Hamm shot this 113-second long exposure under the pier in Manhattan Beach, California, with a Nikon D610 and an 18-35mm lens at 18mm, f/8, ISO 100.
© Martin Hamm

Ice Crystals
“I was on a visit to Yosemite National Park in February,” John Pettus says about this image. “When I arrived at my car early one morning on my way to photograph the sites, I discovered beautiful ice crystals on the car windows. I didn’t leave the parking lot for about another hour. This shot was taken from the inside of the car with the sky as a background.” He shot it with a Canon EOS 100 (aka EOS Elan) film SLR and a 100mm macro lens, handheld using Fuji Provia 100F film. The film was scanned with a Nikon Super Coolscan 8000 ED film scanner and then edited in Photoshop.
© John Pettus

Stowe Fog Clearing
“This image was captured on October 15, 2015, at an iconic location in Stowe, Vermont, but the light was special as the mist was clearing on a cold morning and the sun was about to shine through,” Jim Whetstone writes. “I used a Nikon D810 and a Nikkor 24-120mm zoom set at 31mm. Exposure was 1/30 second, f/10, ISO 64, with a polarizer and MeFoto carbon tripod.”
© Jim Whetstone

Hummingbird Dance
“This is from a series of images taken perched on my back, pointing toward the sky,” Harvey Morgan, II explained. “I later merged the hummingbirds and replaced the plain blue sky with the cloudy version. This was done using Lightroom, Photoshop, and onOne Software.” The image was shot with a Canon EOS 7D and a 100mm macro lens.
© Harvey Morgan, II

Sunset at the Devil’s Golf Course
“I was ensconced between the salt crystals at the Devil’s Golf Course in Death Valley National Park for an hour and a half waiting for the proverbial break in the clouds. And then it happened,” Michel Hersen recalled. “I captured the scene with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens and a Cokin 3-Step Neutral Density filter. I used a Gitzo tripod and an Arca-Swiss head. The ISO was 200, f/13, 1/2 second exposure, and a focal length of 18mm.”
© Michel Hersen

Winter Light
“This small stand of cottonwoods in Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Meadow had always intrigued me but I couldn’t make it work till this cold day in December when things finally came together,” Douglas Croft said. He shot it with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikkor 18-300mm lens at ISO 400, f/8, 1/250 second.
© Douglas Croft

Purple Fire
“This photograph was taken with a macro vintage lens at the Botanical Gardens Koi Pond at Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida,” Lorenzo Cassina explained. It was shot with a Nikon D80 and a Kiron 105mm Macro lens at 1/200 second, f/8, ISO 100.
© Lorenzo Cassina

Light Painting By The Setting Sun
“Had an amazing day by the lake in Kumarakom, Kerala,” Abhinash Jena noted. “People here are very welcoming and have a big heart to appreciate nature. As the sun was going down for the day I could not resist myself to get a snap of the colors it was leaving behind.”
© Abhinash Jena

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
The Power of B&W

Why is it that 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 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, post your best black-and-white photos that use the dramatic impact of monochrome in a powerful way.

Stark Reminder
This photo is from a town in Spain called Belchite that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Rather than restore the town, it was left in ruins as a memorial to the horrors of war. It’s an amazing and terrifying place that has been well documented by photographers over the years and has even been used in two major motion pictures: Terry Gilliam’s 1988 film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. I shot the image in color with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II but then converted it to black and white using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro software to create a photo that reflects the starkness of the location.
© Dan Havlik

How To Submit Online
1. Go to www.shutterbug.com and register. Scroll down the page and on the right side you will see a box for entering your username and your password. If you have already registered and/or submitted images for the Galleries you can skip this step. Respond to the activation e-mail. Registration is free. You will use your username and password whenever you visit or, with some systems, it will automatically load for you when you visit www.shutterbug.com.

2. Check the assignment and closing dates in the magazine. When the magazine is printed we will create an appropriate gallery for your images. The limit is two images per assignment.

3. Select and prepare your images. We only accept files at a maximum 5MB size, JPEG format. Save the JPEG at a quality level of 10 or higher. Note that file size in your image folder directory will determine upload size, not the “opened” file size, as JPEG compresses at 1:4 at higher quality ratings. If your images do not load it probably means you have exceeded the file size or have not used JPEG format.

4. Click on the Galleries tab on the homepage. In the Category section use the drop-down menu to select the Picture This! assignment. Note that images are simultaneously loaded into the assignment category as well as your own personal gallery. When the Picture This! assignment deadline date has lapsed the assignment gallery will be removed, but your images will still reside in your own gallery.

5. In the Description box add title, camera, lens, exposure information, and your full name. Also add any other comments or anecdotes you think relevant. We reserve the right to edit comments as needed.

6. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. This uploads the image.

7. You retain copyright on the image.

8. We will choose the images after close of the due date.

9. Please feel free to comment on images submitted by other readers.

Please Note: If the photograph includes a minor or a recognizable individual or group you are guaranteeing that you have a signed model release form, and especially a parental or guardian release form for minors. You should keep a copy of that release in your files. Scan that release and keep it handy. If an image is chosen for publication, failure to provide a form when requested will eliminate the image from consideration. You can find release forms at http://asmp.org/tutorials/model-release-minor-child.html and other resources on the Internet. By uploading images you attest that the model release form is valid, that any depiction of a person is with their consent, that you have a model release form available on request, and that all images you submit have been made by you.

Deadline for submission: July 1, 2016.
Images will appear in our October 2016 issue.

Our next topic: Capturing Action
Deadline: August 1, 2016
Publication Date: November 2016

Please Note: By submitting you agree to give us the right to show the image(s) on the web and for publication. You give us publication rights in the magazine and on the website(s) of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC.

Want to see images selected for past picture this! Assignments? Go to www.shutterbug.com and click on picture this! In the “more articles…” box on the homepage.

If you have any questions or problems e-mail us at editorial@shutterbug.com with Picture This! in the subject line.