Re: Re: Lesson 3

Duncan Rawlinson

Thanks for submitting you photographs for lesson 3!!!!

It’s great to see you move through the course.

The assignment reads as follows:

Lesson 3: Assignment Assignment
Title: Finding Depth and Motion

This assignment will have you prove to yourself that you understand how to create motion within a photograph and create a shallow depth of field. It’s a two part assignment and will require that you upload two different photo’s to our online student grading center.

The first photograph should be captured using a slow shutter speed on a moving subject which will create the illusion of motion within a two dimensional space.

The second photograph should be a shot of a shallow depth of field. The objects in your foreground should be in focus while your background should be slightly blurred.

If you don’t have manual control over your camera you should reverse the rules for the second photograph.

If you don’t have manual control of your camera your first photo should be of a fast shutter speed where you freeze a fast moving object of your choice. Most cameras that don’t have manual control have a fast shutter speed by default.

Your second photo should be of the largest possible depth of field you can achieve. Again, most cameras that don’t have manual control of this feature are usually built to capture a large depth of field.

You have submitted three photographs. A couple nice ones too!

Instead of a full critique here I’ve annotated your images and will critique them that way.


1: Dark Area
Dark areas in photographs aren’t inherently bad but just be wary of having them take up large areas when they don’t really add much to the image. In this shot it almost looks like something is blocking the lens.

2: Shallow Depth of Field
You’ve got the right idea here. Your shallow depth of field is accentuating the leaf and the leaf is the most important element in the frame. In darker areas like this it pays to have a tripod. If you use your tripod you’ll eliminate camera shake (slight blurring) that you can see here when you look at the image at full size.

3: Darker Area/Negative Space
This side of the photo works well as a dark area to fill the frame. Notice how this contrasts with point 1 of this critique. It’s often good to have something to fill the frame instead of nothing at all.

4: Potential Crop/Aspect Ratio
This photo might have been a little nicer if it we’re shot in landscape. I’ve marked a potential crop here… But to each his/her own. 😉


This is a nice image.

1: Tack Sharp!
This part has great focus and is really nice. The problem is it’s only a fraction of the flower. I would recommend trying to achieve this amount of focus for the entire flower.

2: Less sharp…
As you can see your depth of field is so shallow that even this part of the frame has lost focus.

3: Out
Finally the majority of the flower is slightly out of focus. (if this was the look you wanted then great!) If this wasn’t the look you wanted you might want to shoot at a higher fstop to get a little more depth of field.

4: Color/BKG
This is a nice color combo in contrast with the flower and the soft focus background is very nice.


1 and 2: Amputation
Always try to capture complete objects/subjects when you’re shooting. Cutting something off (even rocks) is very unnatural feeling and takes away from the image.

3: pan left
A slight pan to the left would have improved the composition here if you could shoot it with no amputation.

Overall this image is right on track but it suffers from camera shake. To shoot a photograph like this you need a tripod because of the length of the exposure (long)… The best way to shoot this is to use the same settings you’ve used and use a remote trigger and a tripod. That way not even your hand will shake the camera.

Alternatively you can place the camera on something rock solid (like a big rock) and use the camera’s built in self timer feature. (to avoid camera shake when you press the shutter)

You’ve done nice work here. Your compositions are nice and your subject matter is delightful.

Keep practicing and keep shooting!