I continue to get lots of great submissions for my photo critique series. Thanks to all of you who have submitted work!
When selecting images to critique I usually pick photos that are good, but could be improved in some way. That gives me something to talk about, and I think these good-but-not-perfect photos are usually very instructive.
But that means many great images don’t get picked, and lie in obscurity in the Flickr critique pool. So for this post I thought I’d do something different and showcase some beautiful photos that I haven’t critiqued because I can’t figure out how to improve them. There are many more, and I wish I could show them all, but for now here are eleven rejects from the critique pool—rejected because they’re just too good:
"San Francisco" by Neal Pritchard
I love the layers of hills leading to the barely-visible but still recognizable San Francisco skyline. You can see more of Neal’s work on his web site and Flickr stream.
I’ve heard a lot of wonderful comments about the iPhone app version of the Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite since it was released almost two weeks ago. There are ten ratings and eight reviews in the app store, all five stars. And many of you have taken the time to write me personally to say how much you like the app. Thank you all so much! I really appreciate all the kind words, and I hope the app helps all of you get some great photos of Yosemite.
We just released a minor update to the app, version 1.1. This fixes a minor inconsistency in the menus, and adds a link to the YouTube video about the app in the Extras section. This update should appear automatically in the App Store on your phone or iPod Touch, and of course the update is free.
I’ve had lots of questions about iPad and Android versions. First, the current iPhone version will work on the iPad, but it’s designed for the iPhone’s smaller screen. We are working on a version that’s optimized for the iPad, with a new design that takes advantage of the larger screen, and some additional features. We’d love to make this a free upgrade, so that iPad users could download the iPhone version now, and upgrade to the iPad-only version when it comes out. Unfortunately, due to the large size of the iPad app (lots of photos!), we have to make it a separate application in iTunes, and it won’t be eligible for an upgrade from the iPhone version. Of course I hate to suggest waiting to buy the app! But the iPad version will be available soon, maybe even within the next month, so if you own an iPad and can wait a bit I’d suggest doing so.
As for an Android version, we are working on that too, but that will take a bit longer, as it’s a completely different operating system that requires different coding. We hope to have that available early next year.
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBook Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom. He has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.
David duChemin has just released another eBook, The Inspired Eye III. If you read my review of his previous eBook, A Deeper Frame, you know that I’m a fan of David’s writing. He looks at photography in a deeper way than most, and is able to articulate sometimes-complex ideas clearly.
This latest eBook, the third part of his Inspired Eye series, is no exception. It contains lots of interesting thoughts and insights into the creative process of photography. I was particularly struck by this passage:
“You can learn about photography by reading books, watching videos, and listening to other photographers. You can study hundreds of photographs. But you will not learn your own process of making photographs until you have a camera in your hands and you make photograph after photograph.”
As I mentioned in my last post, I went to the Millpond Music Festival last weekend, and in his workshop on Sunday Joe Craven said something similar—that we learn by imitating, and by doing, not by studying theory. I think he’s right on the mark about that, and so is David in saying that you have to make lots of photographs to “learn your own process.”
Yellow and green aspens in Lee Vining Canyon (from a few years ago)
Last weekend Claudia and I made our annual pilgrimage to Bishop, on the eastern side of the Sierra, for the Millpond Music Festival—or, as Joe Craven likes to say, “Music festival and consciousness-raising event.”
We’ve actually lost track of how many years in a row we’ve gone to Millpond; it’s either twelve or thirteen. But we look forward to it every year—it’s relaxing and fun, and a great way to refresh and renew our spirits. I think I see more smiling faces per hour at Millpond than anywhere else. In fact this past Sunday evening, dancing in front of the stage to Masanga Marimba and Los Lobos (an interesting mix!), I think I saw more big, wide, joyous smiles than I’ve seen all year.
By now you’re probably wondering, “What’s this got to do with photography?” Well first of all, I think we all need to recharge ourselves once in awhile. For me, since I tend to eat, sleep, and breathe photography on most days, it’s good to do something completely different. And Millpond is not only different, but I get to be outside and enjoy something creative and life-affirming like music.
• In-depth descriptions of 40 outstanding locations including the classic Yosemite Valley views, high country, and surrounding areas.
• Locations Filter—a unique feature that allows you to quickly find the best photo spots for any month and time of day.
• Over 100 stunning photographs show you what you can see at each location.
• Detailed maps and directions.
• Clear, logical layout makes it easy to find the information you need.
• Lots of photography tips to help you capture better images of the park, including Exposure for Digital Cameras, Composition, Depth of Field, HDR and Exposure Blending, Photographing Waterfalls and Cascades, Clearing Storms, and more.
• Sunrise and sunset times, full moon dates, and depth-of-field calculator
• Seasonal Planning Guide helps you find unique photo opportunities for each month.