Didn’t Make the Cut

While I’m away from home, reclining on the beach and hoping there is no rotting fruit in my kitchen, I thought I’d show you a couple dud pictures that I took while on the World Wide Photo Walk (my particular walk was in Galveston, Texas, on the strand) a couple of weeks ago. 

You see, my friend, Kevin, had asked me to show you some of the photos that I did not pick for the Photo Walk Contest.  I thought that was a great idea.  I try to learn from other people’s mistakes, so maybe some of these examples will help you next time you are out and about with your camera.

So, here  are the losers, and why:

1. Tree

When I took this picture, I thought, “Oh, this will be artistic and barren.  A lone tree up against a large, blank wall.”  Bo-rrrinnggg.  It might have worked if not for the lovely poles sticking out on the side.   And, yes, I could have Photoshopped those out, but why?  When taking pictures, you should always try to fix your photo problems IN the camera.  That can be as simple as moving your feet and changing position. 

I’m still learning these things, myself.

2.  Chair Legs

This picture led me to the other one that everyone liked, but I started here.  Doesn’t work.  The green leg closest to the camera is blurred and distracting.  BUT, that’s why you keep shooting from different positions and angles. 

The joy of owning a digital camera, whether a DSLR or a point and shoot, is using the delete button.

3.  Candied Apples 2

When composing this shot, I wanted the name of the shop that was etched in the window to show, along with the apples.  It’s actually not a bad shot, but you can see my relection in the picture.  And, there’s a lot of glare. 

Both the glare and the reflection could have been solved by two easy steps.  The glare could have been removed by my using a polarizing filter (most point and shoot cameras do not have the option, sorry).  Polarizing filters screw on the end of your lens and help to remove glare from glass and water.  Plus, they often will make the blues and greens more vivid.  They are a great addition to any DSLR artillery.

My reflection?  I should have moved.  And, I actually did.  I tried.  And, it seemed that with every new position there was a new reflection.  So, I took the picture anyway, because I loved the variety of the apples, reflection or no reflection.

Sometimes, you just need to take the picture anyway, you know?

4.  Sunrise on Street with flash

I took a number of pictures of this street, using the flash and not using the flash.  As was evident in many of your comments when I posted the other version of this picture, you agreed that you liked the version without the flash.

There are a couple of reasons why the flash didn’t work here.  The first, obvious one is the shadow my lens cast on the street.  I just popped up my camera flash (which I actually despise, but it was all I had–I didn’t bring along the external flash), which was too low and unable to throw the light over my longer lens.  (I shot the whole day using a 24-105 mm lens.)

The other reason I don’t think the picture worked, the pop-up flash washed out the street.  That’s what those harsh flashes can do to subjects, both human and non-human.  (More on that in another post.)

5.  Birds in trash

Okay….I know.   Why, right?  Exactly.  That is why this photo did not make the cut.

6.  Streetlamp & sunrise

This one, honestly, is not all that bad.  But, I didn’t like how the second story of the building angled in and cut into the lamp.  Nor did I like the extra pole competing with the lamp-post.  And, if I could have my way, I would also remove the two cars, there on the right.  (I don’t mind the other, farther car or the person crossing the street.  That gives it a little movement, a little life.) 


So, there you go, Kevin.  Hope that helps!  I may pick some more out, later, to show you other common mistakes we all can make when taking pictures.

Have a great day!



One comment

  1. Kevin jennings

    Nice. And thanks. I think what you show here is the difference between a picture taker, a photographer, and an artist. Picture taker-anyone w a point n shoot taking Picts of their kids. Photographer-knows how to use a camera, but can’t / don’t compose the shot. And an artist- actually think about what’s in the picture.
    It’s the last I need to work on.
    Lighting… I get.
    Mechanics of the camera. Got that too
    Focal point, depth of field… Got that too. Or atleast how to do it

    Just missing the part about. “the slope of the roof cutting into the lamp”. I’d have never seen that.
    Thanks for the bit of insight to what/how you look for a composition

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