Baltimore Sun photojournalists Lloyd Fox and Ulysses Muñoz hosted a photo walk on Nov. 2 in Fells Point for photographers of all experience levels to give and receive tips while hunting for images with detail, reflection, strong composition and other fundamentals. Participants were encouraged to submit their favorite photos from the event for a special SunShots photo contest.
Below are some of the submissions that stood out, and the day’s overall winner, whose creator will receive a $25 gift card to Service Photo. The photos are not ranked in a particular order.
In the shimmering water, these kayaks reflect into a cone shape reminiscent of paint blending on an easel, while mirrored on the other side is the brick of a nearby building. I think I’d try a different crop here because right now the very top doesn’t add much to the image. Great start, but I’d bring it in tighter and make it all about the reflection, or go looser and add more context. — Ulysses Muñoz
Lines, lines and more lines make this wonderful image work. I would have liked to have seen a little more of the can on the left, but I like what Judith was seeing here. — Lloyd Fox
Amazing texture and light captured in Judith’s detail shot of tin ceiling tiles. But it’s those details that draw you in rather than the way the image was composed. To make this picture even stronger you should decide if you want the tiles to be symmetrical, or do you want to shoot it at more of an intentional angle to form leading lines. — Lloyd Fox
The composition is great. It really draws your eye to the biker, then leads you through the rest of the frame. My suggestion would be to crop up a bit more from the bottom and slightly down from the top, removing some of extraneous portions and drawing the focus tighter on the subject. And the colors don’t feel natural here. Coming from a photojournalism background, I normally suggest minimal edits. Just try to make the image look as close to what you saw in real life — Ulysses Muñoz
I really enjoyed Judith’s picture of the boy walking along the water with the birds flying around him. Leaving the boy to the left of the frame and letting the birds take up the right side of the frame creates a strong graphic composition. Cropping out the wing on the far right of the frame and also the one in the bottom right corner would make it a much cleaner image. — Lloyd Fox
The subtle leading lines of the kayaks and the edge of the pier in James’ image makes for a very pleasing photograph. To take this image to the next level, by tilting the camera down a bit we’d see more shadows from the kayaks that would serve as leading lines for the viewer. — Lloyd Fox
This was a great moment captured as Lloyd was explaining the importance of preparation and patience. Here, Scott set up his frame and luckily for a him, a flock of birds flew through just where he needed them in what would have ended up being dead space without it. Great angles and leading lines guide the viewer. Just be wary of extraneous things, you could probably crop out the plants on the left without losing anything.
And another important thing to keep in mind that we saw come up in a lot of photos is the horizon line. You can see in this one and others above that are slightly tilted (look at the ship in the background leaning up). Unless it’s done for a specific effect, it’s often a distraction. Luckily it’s an easy fix with any photo editing software, and it’s one of the few tools we use all the time even in the photojournalism world! — Ulysses Muñoz
And now, for the winner of the contest...
Congratulations to Brandon Pierce, who photographed two of our favorites from the day.
The first, of a man walking down the pier, was really different from most of the other photos. Brandon planned out what he was trying to make with this photograph. He used the fence to form a grid to frame the subject, and waited for the subject to walk through the background before making the photo. There’s several layers to this, which includes the leaves, the fence, the subject and the background which all work together.
And the other was a somewhat menacing close-up of a flock of birds we encountered near the end of the photo walk. Brandon shows what can be accomplished by changing your perspective and getting closer to your subject. The end result is a great display of chaotic bird energy. Nicely done.
Thanks again to everybody who came out to our first SunShots photo walk, we had a great time and hope you did as well. And big shout out to our co-sponsor, the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as Service Photo in Hampden for providing the gift card for today’s contest winner.