Our Favorite Reader Photos from the "Photojournalism & Documentary Photography" Assignment


“I took this image while on a power raft trip on the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean,” Alena Nicholas explained. “They say it’s one of the most ‘extreme’ airports in the world, with thrill seekers visiting from all over to watch the huge jets land (almost overhead).”
© Alena Nicholas

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.

Connecting With Baby
“Waiting for first born child,” Antonio Salazar writes about this shot. “A special moment.” Indeed it is. He photographed it with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II at ISO 100, 1/80 second, f/7.1.
© Antonio Salazar

Wrong Way Driver
John F. Barone captured this image of a scary traffic accident with a Nikon D7100 and an 18-200mm lens at 90mm, f/5.3, 1/400 second, ISO 100. “I was at a rest stop on the Taconic State Parkway in New York when a large ‘bang’ was heard,” he notes. “Outside we found a Toyota Scion coupe upside down in the southbound lanes. A New York State trooper stated that the driver was speeding while going north in a car that had a temporary spare tire installed. He lost control, crossed the median, and flipped his vehicle. Amazingly, no one was injured. Of interest to me in taking this photo, however, was that the car landed just feet from the rest stop caution sign ‘Wrong Way.’ I guess this is proof that you should not attempt to drive your car upside down, at least not in New York.”
© John F. Barone

A Day At The Office
“Woke up to this outside my back window,” Michael Shaub says about this dramatic photo. He shot it with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens at 200mm, 1/60 second, f/8, ISO 3200. The image was processed in Lightroom 5.
© Michael Shaub

Decisions, Decisions
“A Rockwell moment with my son,” Bob Larson writes. “And the ice cream truck that always seems to pull up when I have an extra couple of dollars in my wallet!”
© Bob Larson

Los Angeles Metro Station
Jim McKinniss shot this unique photo of passengers boarding the Los Angeles Metro using a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II and a 16-35mm lens at 16mm, f/5, 1/5 second, ISO 400.
© Jim McKinniss

Hoop Dreams
“I have always found you can get the best photos of children when you just watch them play,” Kristie Kistner writes. She shot this cute image with a Nikon D610 at f/5.6, 1/250 second, ISO 250.
© Kristie Kistner

Bill Tompkins shot this terrifying photo of a multiple alarm fire destroying a popular restaurant in Queens in New York City with a Nikon D50 and a Nikon 18-105mm VR lens with tripod support at 1/4 second, f/6.3.
© Bill Tompkins

Prom Date
“I was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and noticed this young woman sitting in a hallway reaching out for help in finding a date for her prom,” Stan Singer says about this strange moment. “She seemed desperate.” The image was captured using a Nikon D200 with a flash and a 28-105mm lens at 34mm, f/8, 1/60 second, ISO 250.
© Stan Singer

Rodeo Cowboy
“I was in Cody, Wyoming, for the July 4th weekend national rodeo. Since it is at night with night lights I had to increase the ISO to 3200 for a really fast shutter speed to capture the bucking bronco and cowboy,” Wayne Wolfersberger explains. “I sacrificed noise for shutter speed.” He captured it with a Nikon D7000 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens with a 1.7x teleconverter at f/8, 1/1600 second.
© Wayne Wolfersberger

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
Fine Art Photography

Fine Art photography can include landscapes, cityscapes, macros, wide-angles, long exposures, abstracts, portraits, nudes, semi-nudes, black-and-whites, color photos, surreal photos, hyper real photos, nature photos and on and on and on. What we’re looking for are simply beautiful or striking images that show your vision as a photographer. Give us personal images you think are good enough to be hung on the wall of a gallery or museum.

Koi Pond
This image of a koi pond in Tokyo, Japan, is pretty old by digital standards: I shot it in 2003 with the original Canon EOS Digital Rebel. While I’ve printed the image many times—a photo finisher once even output it on a tie for me—I haven’t digitally manipulated the shot much since it was first captured. Because it’s already a photo with some fine art appeal, I decided to run it through a few arty filters in the Nik Color Efex Pro 4 plug-in in Photoshop for this assignment. I used the Extreme Detail Extractor to give it a surreal look and then added a Polaroid Transfer effect to distort the color and create sloppy edges.
© 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: March 1, 2016.
Images will appear in our June 2016 issue.

Our next topic: Wildlife and Nature Photography
Deadline: April 1, 2016
Publication Date: July 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.