Recent Posts
1 month, 1 week ago 5
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

At the recent Master’s Class this image shot by Jerry Reese, above, came on the screen and I said, “Wow, I wish I had shot that, terrific!”   I had called some other images as, “Nice”!  That led to a question that I knew needed to be addressed, “What determines whether an image is “nice” and another “Wow!”  On the spot I answered that images for review fall into about five categories, but before I list them I need to make couple of clarifications!

When reviewing students images I want to be sure that I am clear that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”!   (1) Just because I’m the leader or instructor does not mean I can do anything more than render my “opinion”.  I have years of experience and  study under my belt, but, it is still my opinion! (2) All reviewers have to work from the position of their own training and background, and of course, that is different for all of us.  If we keep those two factors in mind we can continue in agreement and seek more understanding!

 

These are my Five Categories of Image Effectiveness:

  1. This is really awful!  While this is certainly true of some images put up for review we would never say that!  Most images would automtically be moved into category number two. There is no value in demeaning someone’s work.
  2.  This needs a lot of help!  When an image has a good central theme or subject but has lots of things preventing it from being successful it falls into this category!  This is where we can teach a lot about how to eliminate the problems.
  3. Good idea, done “Mostly” well!  This is an image that has a clearly defined subject, made in good light and in the right conditions, but with some distractions that keep it from being a really nice image.  We see a lot of these kinds of images, and they are valuable for teaching!
  4. A really “Nice” image.  This is an image that meets all the good things in the previous category and the distractions are well taken care of, a technically and aesthetically well done image.  Deserving of praise!
  5. Wow!!!  I with I had made that shot!  This goes into the area of an images appeal to the reviewer!  For example a really nice image of a flower would never get any higher for me than category 4.  Why, because I’m just not into flowers!!! Others might see that flower image as a Wow image.  A rusty truck done well might well be a Wow for me, because I’m into rust!  For others not so much!  The other factor is the soul of an image, a powerful message, or stunning beauty of the subject or even a moving emotional image.  Many things can trigger the Wow factor for each of us, it is highly individualized!

 

 

This image is a Wow for me.  Why, I love streams in spring done at slow shutter speeds, and this is my favorite spot on the Tremont Branch of the Little River in the Great Smokies, my favorite National Park!  I’ve spent many days on this river with dear friends and valued students.  This is the perfect water level which does not happen all the time, so many factors make this a Wow for me!

 

 

I’m sure you can understand why this a Wow image for me, personal attachment to the subjects, a 8 week old Chester and my bride, Sherelene!  It’s hard too believe Chester ever weighed 12 pounds and that was just 4 months ago!!!

 

 

Chester, now at 42 pounds!

 

 

Nancy Dill’s stunning composition of a great moment is a Wow!!!!!

 

 

Nature is so spectacular that our only need is to be sure and capture it effectively!  From the Upper Peninsula of Michigan last fall!  We’re going again this fall, by-the-way!

 

I hope that this was helpful as you attempt to review your now work!  These are the same categories I use to access my own progress and yes, I’ve made images that fit in each one!!!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

1 month, 2 weeks ago 5
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

We just finished the first Master Class at Old Car City and the Southeast Railway Museum and I was thrilled with how it went!  I asked the five attendees to please give me a 2 or 4 sentence review and Richard Browne simply said in a word it was; and then showed this image from the railway museum above, Superb!  Thanks Richard!

 

 

Nancy Dill, who shot this stunning image above said;  “I appreciated being accepted, because I wasn’t and still fall far short of being a “master” photographer. But I did learn a great deal from my own attention to my photo in camera and especially from seeing others’ work and how they interpreted and processed the assignments. The narrowed focus of the assignments caused me to choose my shots intentionally, with the end in mind,  and to spend more time preparing to take the photograph than I might otherwise have done. I appreciated the candid and detailed critiques of my/our work, and I benefited from comments on my own photos, comparing your and others’ remarks with my own perception of the image we were evaluating.  Watching you improve an image helped me assess my own processing results.”

 

 

This image from Jerry Reese knocked everyone’s socks off!!!  Jerry said; “I really got my focus on the subject with the assignments, thanks for a great class!”

 

 

Jim Haverstock made this great image of the Cadillac hood ornament and commented;  “Bill is devoting his extensive years of photographic knowledge and personal experience to making a small group of photographers master shooters. The results played out during onscreen critiques for all to see. Each of us went home shooting at a high level, satisfied that we now were more complete photographers capable of master-level shooting. Don’t hesitate to sign up for this class.” 

 

 

Rick Coleman, already a wonderful shooter, joined us and showed this image from a previous trip, he commented: “Thank you again so much for including me in your Old Car City Masters Class Workshop.  I know I had kind of hit a spell where my photography skills were just not getting much better.  Your workshop gave me the boost I needed along with the tools and confidence to continue steady improvement.  That’s a gift I very much appreciate.”

 

 

Molly Faircloth made this stunning image of the butterfly doors on a engine boiler!  Molly said; “I have learned a lot and can see myself improving a lot the more I practice these principles set out in the class!”

 

The Masters class was a lot of fun to teach with such great students and the principles we applied really did help everyone to get a better grip on their work.

 

stay tuned for new locations of the Master Class!

 

We will have 2 spots available at the Master Class at:

July 31st to August 3rd  –  Close-up school in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Cades Cove.

 

….and 4 spots in the;  December 4th to 8th  Christmas in the Great Smoky Mountains

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

1 month, 3 weeks ago 8
Posted in: Uncategorized

Photo of Chester and I by Sherelene!

 

Next week Chester will celebrate his 6 month birthday and is very much a “big” puppy!  Weighing in at 50 lbs. and probably headed to 80 lbs. or more!  He is a real boy and loves Sherelene to death, clawing at the kitchen glass door when he sees her walking down the ramp to the kitchen porch after work!  In fact he goes crazy when Cassidy, Catherine, or Abigail drop by.  Catherine & Clint have a 2 year German Wired Hair Terrier water dog that is a little bigger than Chester, but he and Wrangler have become best of buddies and love to romp all over the back yard.  They stretch it out over my 3/4 acre yard and look like they are horses making the turns.  Both of them panting and sporting huge smiles!

 

 

 

 

I’m really looking forward to the Master Class in Old Car City with Jim Haverstock and a great group of participants,  but it will be my longest time away from Chester and I hate that!  He has a great vet that has a wonderful staff and he loves going there, so I know he will be fine!    If there is any separation anxiety, it will probably be mine!  Can’t say how much I’m looking forward to the class, though!!!

 

If you have a dog, then I’m preaching to the choir, but the relationship that we have developed over the winter has been something really special.  I’ve been home almost everyday and on a few short trips I took him along.  He is turning out to be the best buddy I had hoped for!

 

Thanks Chester for making my, already great life, even better!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

 

1 month, 4 weeks ago 1
Posted in: Uncategorized