Guest Shutter – Brc – “Be critical”

I opened my email to get this gem today.

Okay. I’ve uploaded 17 photos to your WebGallery that I took in the last two days. Many of them were taken with the macro setting as I just figured out how to use it. All of them are S.O.O.C. I’m thinking that with a little manipulation I could make a few of them much better. Both days were very overcast so I didn’t have a lot of interesting light to work with.

Most importantly I took inspiration from your Craig Tanner post and had a great time. I was trying to look at things in new ways and to try settings on the camera that I hadn’t tried before. I would love to get some feedback from the gang. I’m not looking for compliments but any constructive thoughts that people have on how I could improve.

Thanks for setting this up for me.


Well…folks below are some of the thumbnails to what brc took…to see the full size visit the brc gallery page here.


I have to say BRC…these are stunning.


13 thoughts on “Guest Shutter – Brc – “Be critical”

  1. Thanks for posting this Shrew. I was truly touched by the Craig Tanner post the other day and was determined to “practice” more than I have recently. Several of these photos are in and around my house and yard. The rest were taken in Wisconsin on Saturday at a Girl Scout field trip I went on with my daughter’s Brownie troop.

    I’d love to know which, if any, of the photos really speaks to you and why?

    Also, there are three “rusty truck” photos. I have to say I could have spent hours with the rusty truck, but I only had about 30 seconds before the troop moved on. What do you think of this type of photo and if you like them, which of the three do you like best and why?

    What, if anything, do you see here that I could have done differently to make the shots better?
    As the main post says… I’m looking for constructive comments that can help me progress in my photography.

    Hope everyone had a great weekend.

  2. Very cool, brc!

    On the pinecone shot, I think the pine needles blurring out and across it are a little distracting. I think I might have liked it better if you could have gotten an un-obstructed angle of the pinecone.

    The rusty truck pictures are kind of cool in an abstract way. I like the colors.

    LOVED the close ups of the pears and the red corn. Unusual angles and gorgeous colors.

    On the windmill shot, again, I think I might have preferred this one without the tree branches obscuring it a little

    For the one of the pine trees, you might be able to improve the effect of a shot like that a little if you get yourself down as low as possible so you are really looking up as much as possible. Crouch way down and try the shot that way. I have even taken pictures of pets and small children while lying on my stomach to get the best angle!

    The withering grapes gave me shivers, it looks so cold and dreary in that shot! I mean that in a good way.

    I enjoyed looking at this whole set, brc! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks Jen. You’re right about the needle in front of the pine cone. I wonder if I could photoshop it out? On the windmill I took several shots and because it was such a boring overcast day, the branches seemed to add a bit of interest. Possibly I could have shot it with the branches framing it but not overlapping? I have to say, the rusty truck photos are my favorites of the bunch. Precisely because they are so abstract. There is one that I like better than the rest.

  4. Brc, lovely shots. I have to say that the ones that I was immediately drawn to are the ones that look like they were taken in the woods (#3734, 3765, and 3936). I love the composition of those shots, and I think a bit of a color pop would make them really stand out. In fact, I probably would have taken #3765, done it in a two tone that’s not exactly black and white and not exactly sepia but somewhere in between, and cranked up the contrast a bit. It has an almost Ansel Adams feel to it, I think.

    Love the colors of the rust. Thank you for telling me it was a truck. I was starting to worry that it might have been something in your kitchen and I was going to say that artistry is not always worth the pain of food poisoning. (Sometimes, but not always.) The last one is my favorite because I think it’s the most abstract of them all. The one that shows the corner distracted me by making me wondering what it was in the first place. The last one, because it was absolutely impossible to even guess what it was a picture of, made me focus instead on the rich colors and textures. I thought it was the most interesting of the three. That space in the upper left part gives it more “depth” and more dimension.

    The other photos may benefit from some cropping, and I like the pear photo but can’t decide if I like that black leaf thing or not. Oh, and that color on the corn is gorgeous! I would perhaps like to see a photo of it with the kernels taking up most of the frame.

    It’s fun to play with macro shots, isn’t it? I feel like, at that level, everything looks new and different and there are suddenly less rules constricting the eye.

    I know you said you’re not looking for compliments, but I have to say: great photos! Now I am inspired to walk around and practice too.

  5. Different pictures speak to me. I love the one of the purple flowers against the somewhat blurred background; I like the contrast there. I’m a flower person (and in fact I’m trying to decide among a season of flower shots I took in my yard this year to put in a really cool collage frame I just bought. It’d actually be great to have you all help me decide, but I’ve got about 5 photo albums of about a dozen photos each on snapfish to choose from! I have to narrow down to my 8 favorite!) I also really like the Speed limit one – I think of you as the “big city” Chicago girl and I thought it was pretty cool to see what looks like a little country lane in your shots. Hmm, I’m not being very critical, huh?

  6. Karma — I’m actually a north suburban Chicago girl rather than a city girl. Fortunately we are only 30 minutes from the Wisconsin state line. The camp we were at on Saturday had lots of cute little country lanes. The speed limit shot was one of my favorites too.

    Ivoryhut — once I get Photoshop I’m going to have to play around with contrast and color on some of these as you suggested. The 3877 is my favorite of the rusty truck photos. I think it looks like a cool abstract painting of some sort. In fact, I’m going to blow it up and frame it. The first time I will have printed and framed a photo of mine that does not include a person in it!

  7. brc, these are wonderful! At first I thought the pears were my favorite, but now I have to say it is definitely 3734, the country road/driveway. That is beautiful. Worthy of enlarging, I’d say. I do still love the light and colors on the pears, but the little black leaf is a wee bit distracting. Love the pinecone too, but yes, the dang blurry pine needle got in the way.

    Awesome job, I’d say!

  8. brc do you still have the pears? I would love to see you do to the pears what you did to the truck…take a series. The truck is great, where are you hanging it? I am still studying….be back with more comments in a bit.

  9. I’m down to 5 apples, 4 bananas and one very bruised and overripe pear. I can get more and try again.

    I’m thinking about hanging my rusty colors in the living room. Though I like 3877 the best, I think it might look more interesting to hang two different ones side-by-side. Oh how I would love to go back and find that truck and spend an hour or so taking more pictures. The colors and textures immediately grabbed me and I just HAD to take pictures of it. It wasn’t just a thought that it might make a nice image… I felt COMPELLED to photograph it.

    Today I was doing errands and I saw all these shopping cards lined up. The patterns in the carts were so cool. I was mad at myself for not having my camera in the car because they were calling at me to take their picture… that happens to me a lot.

  10. Okay I really studied these…
    First…way to go; all are interesting and I feel like you were out there capturing things that spoke to you. The work with the corn, pear and especially the truck really sing here. The play of light, textures and color are spectacular. There is no confusion what the photos are about, however in the case of the truck the suject is more about the texture of the decay of rust than the beauty of a mislaid truck. That is why for me…the corn and the pears seem to be more successful. They communicate the complexities of texture and light yet the viewer knows what they are and can appreciate the new visual spin you have placed on them. I am not sure the truck does that…I think you are fond of it becuase you know what it is. If you were to frame a series…it would be nice to have two of the macros of the rust as you have captured and one of the truck that showed it was a truck…It wouldn’t have to be a full on “here is a truck” picture, but perhaps a macro of the rear view mirror or a kicked out light to give the viewer a cue into what you found that was so lovely. Just a thought…and by no means should my humble opinion diminish your supreme enjoyment of these terrific shots.

    PS = Am I the only one struck by the “Blair Witch” nature of that bird nest?

  11. Thanks (to all of you) for spending the time to look at and comment on these images.

    Shrew I totally see your point regarding the rusty truck photos. You are right that when I look at them I have a context in my mind. What I love about them (and I’m speaking mostly about 3877) is the richness of the colors and the visual interest of the textures. I intended it to be abstract and was therefore trying to eliminate anything that would identify the subject. I really wish I had taken more pictures in this series. (The sound you hear is brc banging her head against the wall repeatedly)

    While I was happy with the pears and the indian corn images as practice shots playing with light and shape and color and angles, I don’t feel anything when I look at them. In other words, I learned from them, but wouldn’t hang them on the wall.

    I didn’t see Blair Witch?? I loved the bird’s nest and took several photos from the side and from above, but none of them really captured the beauty of that nest with the toilet paper meshed in with all of the branches.

    I like my picture with the bare branches against the sky. However I think that, also, might prove more effective in a series.

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