The theme for October’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot Gluten Free Photo Contest was Edible Autumn and we got some really beautiful entries.
View all the entries here.
Here is what our judge Derek had to say about the entries:
Excellent work all around! Congratulations to everyone entering for doing great photos! The quality is improving already, so yikes! my job gets harder. A few more rounds and we should be able to just take the entries and produce calendars or magazines!
November’s theme is Thankfully Gluten-free. You can send in pictures of your favorite Thanksgiving dish, the food you are most thankful to be able to eat or just what ever food reminds you of being thankful. Be imaginative! Deadline for November’s submissions is Wednesday, November 24th and the round-up will be post Sunday, November 28th.
For rules and how to submit, go here.
And now our winners along with why they won and Derek’s photo tip for this month.
Third place goes to :
Alexa from Lexie’s Kitchen
What Derek had to say – I have four images I would like to ‘tie’ for third–so I really had a hard time picking one out. What was done well, and seems to be the theme of the entries this month, was using a ‘high’ angle, shooting down on the dish. This particular image has slightly more ‘pop’ than the others it was competing with. This is a slight advantage in shooting food. You want it to bring people to the dish, and this does it!
Second Place goes to:
Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme
What Derek had to say – This is a more interested composition. Instead of pulling back and just showing both bowls, the photographer framed just enough of both bowls to communicate the food. Lighting has no mistakes–the use of highlights is really excellent. The focus is exactly right both in sharpness and depth. The table horizon competes just a tad with the bowls in my opinion but still a very nice photo.
And, drum roll please…
First place goes to
Jessica from ATX Gluten Free
What Derek had to say – Simplicity wins this round. The lighting, color ‘palette’,exposure made this such an inviting image. Just the right textures: seeds, bubbles, cinnamon stick. Just nailed it.
Congrats Jessica! I will be sending you the winner badge so you can post it on your blog if you wish. Great job!
And now for Derek’s tip of the month:
Keep paying attention to the focus and how much depth of focus you are using. If the depth of focus is too shallow it can be off-putting. There were two general approaches I was seeing in the entries: 1. Simple straight down or straight on shot (perpendiculars); OR 2. A composition with supporting elements and depth and angles in the photo (dishes, flowers, pumpkins, napkins, etc.) Both are very well represented in this set and there was some good work in both categories.
Now, the biggest point of improvement that could be made is in making the image pop. The opposite of ‘pop’ is ‘dull’. Imagine a photo of a bowl of oatmeal with no highlights, and no accents. Dull. Breads and cake slices can easily look dull. How to make things pop? Add highlights!
[Photo-geek stuff: To be technical about it, “specular highlights”. These are the white spots reflected in shiny objects when a light is shined on them. Just”highlights” would be more correctly defined as areas of lighter colors. “Specular highlights” have no color.]
A little olive oil or melted butter can do this on some foods. Creating contrast with lights and darks, colors, patterns, etc, can add pop–such as adding ‘sprinkles’. Using your light sources effectively is also key. If you are going to use Photoshop, add contrast or add saturation. You can check for dullness by standing back and squinting at your photo. If it becomes a blob, then it is probably too dull. If it still has striking details, then you probably have some ‘pop’.
So – make your photos POP and Hit me with YOUR Best Shot! Enter November’s Gluten-free photo contest and see if your shot is the winning one!