Congratulations Craig Ryder – August PFRE Photographer of The Month

August 26th, 2012

The PFRE jury has voted Craig Ryder’s photo of this lake front estate in SW Michigan the winning photo for August. Craig shot this with his Nikon D800. It has a wonderful look and feel to it! Here is this whole shoot done with a D800.

This month we had a record 32 images of daylight exterior shots entered in the contest.

Here is the voting results:

  1. Craig Ryder – 43
  2. Nick De Clercq – 22
  3. Jeremy Flowers – 14
  4. Ethan Tweedie – 12
  5. Don Miller – 6
  6. Bill Berris – 6
  7. Tony Coangelo – 5
  8. Gavin Hadfield – 5
  9. Paula Susi – 5
  10. Kate Benjamin -5
  11. Andrew Hughes – 4
  12. Alex Olguin – 3

Here is Craig’s comments about this property and creating this photo:

This home is located in SW Michigan just south of Holland and I shot it mid July. The last couple years I have had the chance to shoot a lot of nice homes on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. This one was on a pond about a quarter mile inland and kind of unique for this area. I was able to scout the home prior to shooting so I got there on the kind of day I wanted and at a time of day that,  while not optimal, was good. The hardest part was lugging a 45 lb A ladder about a quarter of a mile to get the elevation I wanted for both the house and the reflection. It was 90 plus outside so I was in shorts and a light short sleeve shirt and the deer flies were happy to see me as I waited around for about 20 minutes for the cloud to move in. I bled for this shoot I was sweating so much by the time I got back to the house that I had to change shirts to finish the interior shots. While I’ve asked to use a rest room a few times I have never asked a client if I could use their shower. There are always first times for everything.

Other than that the shot is really simple. It is a single exposure with just a little work in Lightroom 4. It has been very dry and hot here so the lawn was touched up a bit in CS6.

They are also very minimalist with regard to technique. The client wanted kind of a dark look. All single exposures done in Lightroom 4 and almost all of them are just two flashes. I think a third was brought out just once. The exterior and interior shots were taken with a Nikon D800. I am in the middle of trying to become proficient at CS6 and blending exposures in order to solve some DR problems and for that alone the site has been invaluable both for technical advice and motivation.

I have put the the names and point scores on the photos in the contest flickr group and deleted the photos that did not get any points. The photos will be in the flickr group for the rest of August until we start accepting photos for the September contest. Thanks for everyone’s participation!

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8 Responses to “Congratulations Craig Ryder – August PFRE Photographer of The Month”

  • Great photo Larry. It gives the feel I am sure you were looking for. It takes good planning to make a great shot.

  • Congrats Craig

  • Great shot. Congrats!!

  • Great photo. Congratulations.

  • Interesting tones and color in some of the shots, I like that feel! Keep up the great work and congratulations!

  • Great shot Craig! I can picture you carrying that ladder and the deer flies buzzing you! I hate those things! (I know the area quite well, my Grandparents were from Ludington just up the coast.)



  • Thanks for the kind words everybody.


  • Great shot, Craig, and congratulations!

    With my luck, after hauling the ladder over and fighting off the deer flies, some moron would toss a big rock into the middle of the pond, ruining the reflection. Sometimes the stars just align, and a sign of a good photographer is being able to take advantage of that.

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