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Congratulations Kate Benjamin PFRE Photographer Of The Month March 2014

Published: 24/03/2014

Wow, that was a hard job deciding on a winner. Seventy-seven photos and a bunch of good ones. PFRE jury has chosen Kate Benjamin of Detroit, MI as the PFRE photographer of the month. To the right is Kate's winning photo. Click on it to view larger.

Don't be discouraged if you got just a few points in this contest! As I told one contestant a while ago, if you got points in this contest you in the top few percent of shooters on the planet!

We set a lot of new contest records this month. Here is the jury's voting results:

  1. 24 pts #58, Kate Benjamin, Detroit, MI
  2. 21 pts #34, Ilona Berzups - Seattle, WA
  3. 20 pts #30, Matt Harrer - St. Louis, MO
  4. 18 pts #42, Brian Doherty - Boston, MA
  5. 15 pts #44, Tim Krueger - Orange County, CA
  6. 13 pts #61, Robert Holowka - Toronto, ON
  7. 9 pts #10, Tony Colangelo - Victoria, BC
  8. 7 pts #73, Travis Rowan - Maui, HI
  9. 6 pts #77, Joe Hawes - Orinda, CA
  10. 5 pts #75, Robert Ekins - Sydney, AU
  11. 5 pts #51, Niall Hastie - Aberdeen, Scotland
  12. 4 pts #50, Randy Henderson - Ozark, MO
  13. 4 pts #6, Sebastian Erras - Paris, FR
  14. 3 pts #17, Adrian Jones - Cape Town, South Africa
  15. 2 pts #8, Ron Putnam - Chico, CA
  16. 2 pts #45, Kerry Bern - Ames, IA
  17. 2 pts #54, Tihomir Fabijanov - Croatia

Here is Kate's comments on her winning photo:

Thank you! I am incredibly honored and grateful to be selected as winner of the March contest! Nearly everything I know about photography for real estate, I have learned from Scott Hargis and this group so it is especially meaningful for me!

This image was taken in December, 2013 using a Nikon D800. It was shot at a focal length of 22mm, aperture of f/11, and shutter speed of 1/15 at ISO 320. It was edited using Lightroom, Photoshop, and Nik software. Regarding the lighting set-up: I used one Lumopro LP160 bounced into the wall/wall/ceiling joint in the back right corner of the kitchen; one Lumopro LP160 (far camera right) shot through an umbrella to add extra light to the back corner of the kitchen; one Lumopro LP160 bounced off a reflector on the floor to illuminate the bar stools and dark island base; and one Lumopro LP160 (camera left) shot through an umbrella slightly angled toward the ceiling.

This shoot was especially interesting as I was working alongside another photographer and writer from a local paper who were preparing an editorial on this homeowner's holiday decorating. Present in the home were over 500 Santas, 200 of which decorated the family's main Christmas tree. I really like that this photograph hints at festive holiday time and snowy winter wonderland!

There are some rule refinements I need to announce:

We had several instances this month of comment misuse that I'm not going to allow in the future. Two, instances involve entrants trying to use comments in the Flickr contest forum to influence the jurors. One entrant made comments praising their own entry and another entrant reportedly was soliciting positive comments on Facebook. Neither of these are in the spirit this contest is intended. Comments in this contest are intended to be to increase the learning experience of everyone involved. In the future, I'm going to delete any comments that are in my judgement inappropriate and I'm going do disqualify any entrant that promotes their own photo in any way. That includes favoriting.

Because of this comment abuse some of the jurors suggested that we not allow comments before the voting is complete. We took a vote of the jurors on the subject of disallowing comments before voting and two-thirds of the jurors voted to keep the commenting as it is and just be stricter in curbing abuse. So that's what I'm going to do. I'll change the Contest rules to reflect this new policy.

Larry Lohrman

21 comments on “Congratulations Kate Benjamin PFRE Photographer Of The Month March 2014”

  1. Kate, I will apologize now for my over-the-top comment but I can't begin to tell you how delighted I am for you! Your photo this month was stellar ... but more than this, I think this win also reflects the consistently high standard of *all* the images you post on the Flickr group, as well as the thoughtfulness of your comments to others who are trying to progress in this field. Like many others here, I find you work inspirational! Congratulations on such a well-deserved win ... well done!

  2. Hi Kate
    Your work shows everyone the beautiful images a caring professional real estate photographer can achieve. Thanks

    Hi Larry
    I glad you are allowing the comments to continue. When contributors take the time to Critique the images posted in a friendly constructive way. Like not just saying “the WB is off” but also explaining how and why it could be made better. It is such a valuable learning experience to be able to see the images from many different perspectives. I think this is one of the very best ways grow in this field. I also think this one of the aspects that makes the Photography For Real Estate website one of the best on the web.
    David Jones

  3. Way to go, Kate! I'll echo Tony's comment about your work being inspirational.
    For anyone who hasn't been to Kate's website, I recommend it. Really good stuff!

  4. Very nice work.
    Interesting how you chose not to illuminate the lamps, that extra yellow would have distracted from the cleanliness of the whites.

  5. What I like best about Kate's image is the natural window view. I see way too many window views that are so crisp and sharp it literally looks like a painting hanging on the wall and not really a true window view.

  6. Congratulations Kate. Larry, I'm really impressed with the number of entries these days. There really is some talent out there.

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