IPS Photo Challenge – Week 4

This was a more challenging course than I had figured it would be! It takes a lot of creativity, patience, and time to really get the meat of what the course offers. Even though I was only able to meet about 75% of the assignments, it was well worth what I was able to get out of it. Hope you are able to learn as much as I did from these last critiques.

Day 16: Rope

Canon 20D, 1/80sec. f/5.0, ISO 800When you say ‘rope,’ I think of old, dusty barns. With the nature of work you do in a barn, the two go very well together. We don’t have any livestock in our barn, but that was the place I went looking for a rope. The challenge with this picture was making sure that everything was on thirds.

Instructor Review and Critique: “Very nicely done! I love the depth and how both the aperture/DoF and lighting contribute to the strong directional feel. The shadows on the bottom half of the rope seem to narrow to a point, directing the viewer along the rope to the knot and post.

“I’d be very careful with this one in post-processing — especially on guard for distractions. You currently have a small bright spot in the lower left hand corner. You could ‘burn’ the spot to make it a shade darker.”

Day 17: Piece

Canon 20D, 1/250sec. f/11, ISO 800

This is a piece of , well, Monopoly! We were playing Monopoly today so I just brought out my camera to fulfill my assignment with what we were already doing. A good caption might read: “What are the chances?” (Notice that a five has just been rolled; this lucky player has

just recently passed the orange monopoly and is well set to bypass the red.)

Instructor Review and Critique:

“Sweet shot!! I love the detail and sharpness of this image. You’ve done a great job capturing smooth highlights and shadows — creating the illusion of a three-dimensional image.

“You obviously put a lot of thought into the placement of the pieces —

indicated by your caption — but I wonder if you could have selected a more emotional theme.

“You’re current setup presupposes that your viewing audience has a working knowledge of Monopoly, so why not play that up and have the car “land” on the Free Parking space — with the center of the board in the background with a huge pile of money. Or you could have the car land on Park Place — with a hotel!! Infusing emotion through dramatic composition.”

Day 19: Shopping

Nikon D70, 1 sec. f/9, ISO 400After a busy day, I looked up what I was supposed to take a picture of. “Oh, shopping; I totally forgot! How do you fulfill this assignment when you don’t have time to go to a grocery store?” Immediately, I thought of myself taking money out of my wallet… that is always what happens when I go shopping! 🙂

Instructor Review and Critique:

“Nice shot. I love the attention to detail and strength of this image. You’ve done a good job on lighting the wallet and bill — especially in using strong highlights to create depth.

“While this image is very strong and technically sound, it doesn’t communicate the emotion of shopping. It says, ‘spending’ or ‘money’ quite well, but fails to demonstrate or capture the action of shopping.”

Day 20: Wish

Nikon D70, 1/8sec. f/9, ISO 200I was extremely busy this last day but I didn’t want it to slip by without me at least trying to fulfill the assignment. When I looked outside, there was a fantastic sunset so I I never got it posted so there is no Instructor critique, so I’d appreciate your review and critique. What would you take a picture of for this assignment on a cold, late autumn day?

Well, that completes the 4 Week IPS Photo Challenge! Thank you all so much for your comments and critiques. I have learned much from this course and I hope you were able to learn a lot as well. Maybe when the next Challenge comes around, I won’t be so busy. 🙂


  1. Tim Hynes December 12, 2008 at 9:30 am #

    I really enjoyed your whole series of photos. Thanks for posting them James. I also learned from the instructors critiques to you. 🙂

  2. Esther December 12, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    It was so much fun not only to see these photos from my perspective but also to know what professional photographers are thinking when they see a photo! An eye-opening experience!

  3. Andrea Carman December 13, 2008 at 7:45 am #

    The subject for the last photo is “wish.” The photo is beautiful. Personally, I think a shot of a person with a VERY contemplative look on their face, staring out into the distance, would more likely make me think that they were wishing for somethig. That would seem to make more sense with the subject “wish.”

    Beautiful job on all the photos!

  4. Donald December 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    Well I wold say that that one cloud (or jet trail) running against the others could illustrate the way a wish often goes against the odds. I was impressed by the dreamy feeling as well. It’s great how you were able to find meaning in the things going on right around you. I’m glad you finished before Christmas! Congratulations and God bless you with lots of time in the future to continue practicing and being critiqued! “. . . When the wise is instructed he receiveth knowledge” (Proverbs 21:11).

  5. Crystal December 16, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    For the “wish” photo if you could have maybe captured a star somehow in there.
    The photos are great. God has given you a wonderful gift.

  6. Daniel December 18, 2008 at 4:07 am #

    I especially liked the Monopoly picture. Good thing you aren’t too busy to turn down a good old game of Monopoly. We’ll have to have another when you come in for Christmas. I love how much meaning is packed into the blurred five on the dice in the background!

  7. Allen P. December 23, 2008 at 6:19 am #

    I know, I know, I haven’t done my critique. Maybe after I move. Until then, I’m too busy packing. I just want to say that so far out of all four weeks, three of my favorite photos are the rope, the monopoly, and the wallet. Really outstanding jobs there.

    See you soon!


  8. Anonymous December 24, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    I was wondering if you were going to do your critique, Allen. I’m looking forward to it when you get the time!

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