Week 1 Theme: Macrophotography
Kicking off a community contest is a great way to start a new month. I am calling on all who read this to give it a try! You don't have to be an expert or a professional to submit your entry. The rules are pretty simple and the benefits of participation is a win on it's own based on your chances to be curated just for submitting an entry!
The first thing i will do is explain the contest and how to enter your submissions. Then i will be giving some tips for optimizing your photography. I am really excited to see what all the community shares from each individual's unique perspective especially given the theme this week. There are only five days left to participate in this week's contest so hurry and get your photos and posts together as soon as possible!
~ Contest Details ~
Each week in the community we will be running a competition based on that week's photographic theme. The themes are to push you to get creative and to challenge your skillsets.
The competition is structured to offer the participants two tiers to pick from. You would be competing against others of the same tier that you select. The two tier options are Amateur and Professional.
You do not have to be a pro or have professional equipment to compete in that category. However, the rewards will be higher in that tier as well as the quality of competition.
Once you have selected your tier you will be locked into that tier for the rest of the month, so choose wisely. Once a month, if a participant that has chosen the Amateur tier decides they want to give the Professional tier a go they will be permitted to switch. This is only possible once per month and you will be locked into that tier for the remainder of that month.
At no time during the month will anyone be able to downgrade from Professional to Amateur. However, at the beginning of the next monthly contest cycle, you will be able to reclassify if you feel that's what works best for you! Risk and Reward!
~ HIVE PRIZES ~
What can you win (besides community bragging rights)??? Well, the photographers that choose to participate and that follow the rules will have a much higher chance of being curated within the community for one!
As for the Weekly Winners we will choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place within each tier. Each winner will be placed as a beneficiary to receive a percentage of the rewards from the Community Post that will feature the winners as well as announce the next week's theme. The beneficiary percentages are as seen below.
|1st||15% Beneficiary||10% Beneficiary|
|2nd||10% Beneficiary||8% Beneficiary|
|3rd||8% Beneficiary||5% Beneficiary|
The potential to earn HIVE from being curated for participating plus winning could be quite substantial! You can't earn or win if you don't participate!!!
~ Contest Guidelines ~
- ABSOLUTELY NO PLAGIARISM!
You will be muted and flagged so It is not worth ruining your reputation here on the blockchain.
- Create a post for the contest in the Photography Lovers Community.
Your post MUST state that it is an entry for this contest and link back to that week's contest theme page. Link Spamming will be ignored.
- Share your post in the comment section of that week's contest theme page, along with one of your photos.
- You have 6 days from the announcement to make your entry. On the 6th day, the entries will be judged and winners will be announced, so make sure to get your entry in before time runs out.
- Your post MUST be submitted to the Photography Lovers Community. If it is posted to any other community, it will be ignored.
The winners will be decided by @derangedvisions, @crazy-andy, and myself! Winners will be decided based on the criteria of how well the theme was expressed and if the guidelines were followed. So get creative, express the theme, and push yourself to offer up the best photography you can conjure up!
Winners will not be selected based on the single image they share in the comment section but on the whole of the post being judged. The more effort and quality you put into your post the better chances you have of getting curated and winning! Single images can possibly win if they are selected but posts with single images will not be curated.
Have fun and may the odds be ever in your favor!
~ TIPS & TRICKS ~
As promised, to give you all the best opportunities to make the most of your entries, i will give a few tips and insights as to what will possibly improve your photography and chances to be curated and/or win the contests.
~ MACRO ~
Macrophotography is the theme this week. It's simply a technique of enlarging your subject or an area to get a super close-up view of what is being shot in your photo. You don't need fancy equipment to accomplish this technique. Most phones and cheap digital cameras have a macro setting... so don't worry! Sometimes just seeing things more closely can make ordinary things we take for granted much more interesting!
Try to see things from a different perspective and experiment with what is possible when you get in that small. Some of the most mundane things will take on a whole new life once you see how interesting things get when you go small. Take your time and be patient to get your shot. Keeping things in focus can be a bit trickier on a macro level. You never know what you might find once you get some clicks in either. I often find things i didn't notice shooting when i go back and edit. Macro is a gift that keeps on giving!
~ FOCUS and FOCAL POINT ~
Regardless of if you are shooting macro or anything else, FOCUS is of the utmost importance! No, not your concentration but having what you intend to showcase being in focus properly! If something is out of focus it should be intentional and part of the design! Having an excellent shot that is out of focus is a deal-breaker! So focus on keeping your shots in focus!
Photography is an art form. You are leading a viewer's eye around the frame that you capture in a visual dance. Where you choose to place your focal point or primary area of focus can change the dance in an extreme way. People's eyes will naturally be drawn to particular areas of interest. How you guide that eye to a focal point is almost as much of the art as getting the shot to begin with!
~ FRAMING ~
How you place your subject matter within your shot or frame, will be a major role in the success of your photograph. Even the edges are important. Always keep in mind what you are capturing and where it is in your frame in relation to the stuff you aren't trying to showcase. Making the whole shot interesting to the eye can be the difference between a professional and an amateur capture! Sometimes tilting your camera just a sliver will crop out unnecessary elements in your background. This can help the focal point as well as save you time cropping as you edit!
If your photography is going to do the dance then you, as the photographer, must lead and the viewer's eye will follow your lead in doing the dance! Framing wisely is integral in your composition. Sometimes the eye wants to see what is before or after your frame. This will guide the eye in and out of your frame and make it have to think about the dance a little more!
~ PERSPECTIVE ~
The angles you choose to shoot your photographs from can drastically alter the perspective. Keeping your shooting angle in mind is an excellent way to make boring photos much more interesting! Try experimenting with your angles and see what the same shot looks like from a few different perspectives!
I am not sure which is worse, an out-of-focus photo or one that has the horizon not horizontal. Keeping your eye out for the lines of what is natural is important. You can break the rules from time to time but not on accident! Perspective is critically important and can serve to help balance your photograph overall.
~ SUBJECT ~
Know what it is that you are shooting. A good photograph can take a boring subject and make it interesting by the way it's captured and presented. Subject is where you can get particularly creative with your composition, especially in macro settings! Think outside of the box and you may surprise yourself with some of the captures you can shoot.
Patience is also a virtue when it comes to photographing subjects and getting the shot you want. For example, i was shooting a flower which you will see below. While i was just shooting the flower a bee came. Now i had two subjects to shoot at the same time!
Then a hoverfly came to the same flower in the same session. That was a three for one since i took my time and was extremely patient. These were macro shots so i had to be super close and still. Patience paid off for sure!
~ LIGHTING ~
Lighting can be an art itself! Settings can compensate for lighting to a degree and adjustments can be made as you edit... but nothing beats good lighting!
Always be mindful of where your lighting is coming from! Having the sun at your back is usually a good rule of thumb. Using natural lighting for filtering, like in the image above, is also a wonderful technique! Lighting will critically affect your color saturation. If you are having a tough time getting vivid colors in your captures you may have a lighting issue!
~ CROPPING & EDITING ~
Sometimes you can get more out of a shoot, especially in macrophotography, by shooting cropped areas of a whole subject. For example, below is one artwork i created. I took macro shots of areas of the peice. Now there are three individual shots that could be artworks in their own right!
Cropping can be done as you edit, but it's much more efficient to crop down your framing to capture all that you intend to. This area of planning your shot can greatly increase your success when composing your shot! The more you do it the more natural it will come to you. Crop out the unnecessary subject matter as you shoot!
Editing is another final touch that can be an art by itself! I would suggest that you learn to shoot well from the start and just tweak things in editing. One of the biggest rookie mistakes is to take a mediocre photograph and try to dress it up in an editor with all kinds of effects.
Adjusting lighting is one of the best uses for editing. Adjusting the color can be a great help as well. Resizing and cropping your shots to maximize the presentation are all beneficial to the final outcome. However, if you overdo it with any of those aspects of the editing it can kill the organic art of the photography altogether.
Well, i hope you all find those tips and tricks to be helpful moving forward in your photographic pursuits. Everyone has their own style and these are only pieces of advice in developing your core set of skills. Eventually, with enough time and effort, every photographer finds their way! I hope this post has inspired and encouraged you to take a more thoughtful approach next time you get your phone or camera out for some clicks!
I say it often, but it's not about how good your equipment is. All these shots were taken by me with either my Canon or Nikkon point and shoot digital cameras. I guarantee you that the cheapest smartphone out there has better capability than either of those cameras! So, don't hold back and experiment with what works best for you! Get the most out of whatever you are using... but the best tools in your arsenal would be your own mind and eye.
Thanks for joining me today! I hope you are fired up for the contest! You have about five days or less to get going on the first week's Macrophotography theme! You can submit your entry and read the original post HERE! Don't forget to choose your tier and add a photo with your link in the comments over there! You can browse the comments and check out some of the entries too! Curation has already begun!