August 22nd, 2014
Congratulations to Kate Benjamin, Detroit MI, who has won this months Photographer of the month contest with her photo at the right. The jurors really liked Kate’s image of this quaint old home. Click the image to see a larger version.
This month, there were 48 great images! Many of them were extremely well executed. The competition is intense! Getting a few points in this contest is a big distinction! Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t get any points… you are competing with the very best in the business!
Here is the jury’s voting results:
- 40 points, #18, Kate Benjamin – Detroit, MI.
- 8 points, #29, Josh Mais – Kansas City, MO
- 8 points, #38, Alasdair McIntosh – York, UK
- 7 points, #30, Sebastian Eras – Amberg, Germany
- 5 points, #31, Mel Myers – Spartanburg, SC
- 4 points, #12, Jennifer Arnett – Canton, MI
- 3 points, #21, Jonathan Perez – Sacramento, CA
- 3 points, #36, Sean Elliott – York, UK
- 2 points, #27, Tony Colangelo – Victoria, BC
Ling Ge made this comment on flickr which I think is a good summary of why Kate’s image is such a strong image:
I commented this on Flickr, and the reason I voted for it and why I think it won is because it took various elements in the image and used it to its advantage. Even though it was in a shaded environment, it didn’t try to recover too much shadow, and didn’t try to bring down highlights or oversaturate colors. Many entries made the mistake of looking too flat but trying to even out highlights and shades too far, thus making the images look really flat. Then some would try to compensate by boosting the vibrance and it would start to look to artificial. The winner not only selected a great composition, but definitely kept it very natural and kept all the great elements to create a dynamic image.
Update 8/25: Here are Kate’s comments about the image:
I apologize for the delay in providing this additional information about my image. I have been traveling throughout Italy but am now home! I am so honored to be chosen as August’s PFRE Photographer of the Month! There were numerous incredible images this month and the vote casting must have been quite a challenge!
This image was shot at ISO 100, a focal length of 27mm, shutter speed of 1/10, and an aperture of f/13. I was elevated about three feet on a small step ladder and only ambient lighting was used. I set the exposure compensation at +1.0 as I was concerned about shadow detail and not especially worried about overexposing the sky.
In Lightroom 4, I corrected lens distortions, set a custom white balance, and boosted shadows and whites as well as clarity and vibrance. I also selectively enhanced the blues in the sky using the LR adjustment brush. I then made minor adjustments to contrast and foliage using NIK software and sharpened in Photoshop. That’s it!
This image was actually one of 15 exterior images of this home that I delivered to my client. Some of these other images are in my photostream and/or website. The homeowners did not wish to have the interior of the home photographed so my client decided to shoot all facets of the exterior instead. The property and surrounding area were heavily treed so I needed to visit the home at several times of the day prior to the shoot to assess lighting. One of the challenges was the color of this home. Depending on lighting conditions, this home can look gray, green, or blue! As such, I had to selectively modify the color on some of the images so that it was consistent across the many images that were delivered to my client.
Thank you again to the jurors for selecting my image! Everything I have learned about architectural and interiors photography, I have learned from this group so I am especially honored!