Picture This Winners for June 2011

– Posted in: Garden Photography

Our returning  judge, Josh McCullough, offered a challenging topic that stretched your comfort zone. And you met the challenge!! The entries were astounding.  A big thank you to Josh who always excites and titillates Picture This entrants; your passion and creativity shines through ….. Fran

“In this month’s contest I asked us to step out of the bounds of conventional thinking and use the camera in ways that are contrary to the goal of most photography, namely stopping motion. This required a great deal of creativity on your part and probably some extended fiddling with your cameras! I have to say that the resulting images were in a few cases simply astonishing.

The Cupcake Bandits

The first entry (which should merit a prize in itself) from The Cupcake Bandits was a surprise, like flames or a shooting star against the dark background. This is a great example of “slow synchro flash”, a useful group of techniques for showing and controlling motion in images. And “Momma Cupcake’s” story about accidentally discovering this feature is hilarious! Thanks Christine!

We got some good attempts at classic motion subjects- moving water and grasses, as well as birds and bees blurred in action. My favorite of these is the real life chase scent from The Potager Page.

The Potager Page

In the end there were two images that really excited me.

The first is the absolutely lovely dusk shots from perennial Picture This performer MacGardens of fireflies dancing above a planting at a meadow edge. Great color and a magical feel when you open the image large enough to see the trails  of the light created by the little glowing creatures. Though I think the image would have benefitted from a bit of a crop from the lower left to reduce the grassy foreground I am happy to award the Silver Medal. Nice work and everyone should take a look at the other two images from the same evening!

Mac Gardens


The Gold Medal winner was clear to me immediately. Elizabeth Summers engaged in an amazingly simple and creative image making process. I’d love to know more of the back story of conceptualizing this close up image of (I assume) waves washing up the beach and under a sprig of a bouquet stuck in the sand. Though the focus is not perfect the mix of beach and simple daisies is simple, startling, romantic, evocative and perfectly illustrates how motion can be used to take an images to another level.

Elizabeth Summers


Thanks all and thanks to Fran and the whole GGW community”…Josh

 Check out all of the entries at this month’s Gallery.

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

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Fran Sorin
4 comments… add one

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Christine Mack June 29, 2011, 1:58 pm

I concur! My favorite one was the daisy. Makes me miss the shore. I love it when a picture makes me feel emotion.

Malinda July 3, 2011, 1:08 am

The pictures were beautiful this month. I found it an espeically difficult challenge – which took me out of the everyday. I especially loved seeing Niagra Falls in motion and in “stopped motion” how inspirational! I learned alot from reading each entry’s posts. Josh, thank you for your time and expertice.

landscape lover July 3, 2011, 6:04 am

Congratulations to the two winners in what seemed to me a particularly challenging topic.
Like others, I’m frustrated not to know more about the background story of the winning shot. One of the joys of this competition is learning how and why people took and selected the photograph they entered. For me, it is the accompanying blog posts, as much as the photos themselves, that make the competition interesting, instructive – and fun.
I wonder whether, for future months, the rules could encourage entrants to explain something of the process?

Good idea. In the future, I’ll suggest to those that enter that they share their process. Fran

Elizabeth Summers July 4, 2011, 1:57 am

Thank you very much for the win, but I definitely agree that the background story should be included. My photo was taken at the Santa Monica Pier at the beginning of summer, and a bride-to-be just happened to be doing a photo-shoot for her wedding on that same day. Before she left her flowers were thrown out into the water, and well, that’s how I ended up in them. Just out of curiosity I stuck it in the sand and WALA! So there is a little story behind it that I find kind of interesting:) Over-all the picture was taken with a Nikon P90 or bridge, on a custom shutter speed, ISO at about 600 (I believe). I was just goofing off, but I realized that it came out really well, so I took SEVERAL! & that was my best, I must say though, keeping the camera steady on such a long shutter-speed is very difficult, but well worth the time in the end.
Thanks to Josh and GGW:)
-Elizabeth Summers

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