September Camera Club Salon

Fall is here and that brings the start-up of camera club again.

The season really started in late August, with a photography scavenger hunt. Unlike most scavenger hunts (where participants are out looking for specific objects), we were hunting for elements of good composition. To enter the photo competition, we needed to “find” images that fit into at least six of these categories:

  1. Obvious leading lines – The classic is a white picket fence leading the viewer to the subject, but please “hunt” for other examples.
  2. Subtle leading lines – Leading lines need not be obvious to be effective, nor must they be straight!
  3. Obvious framing – The classic is a tree’s trunk along one side and lower branch across the top, preventing the viewer’s eye from leaving the frame too quickly.
  4. Subtle framing – Be creative. Like leading lines, framing need not be obvious to be effective.
  5. Rule of Space – Moving objects or the gaze of a person or animal must have space within the frame to move into.
  6. Rule of Odds – Subjects that are a collection of an odd number of objects are thought to be more dynamic and exciting to the viewer’s eye, than an even number of objects. Hunt for a group three flowers or three people, for example.
  7. Rule of Thirds – The first composition rule taught to novice photographers: place your subject at an intersection of imaginary tic-tac-toe lines, instead of dead center.
  8. Breaking the Rule of Thirds – This rule can be broken, but you should have a good reason for doing so!

Participants had the entire day to shoot, but all images had to be taken in Saint Paul.

Due to an afternoon commitment that went into the evening, I only had the morning to do my shooting. . . a mostly dark and windy morning. Instead of carefully thinking through where I would have the most opportunities to capture images that illustrated all of these elements, I decided to try to get to some places I hadn’t shot before or where I needed photos for some other projects. My plan was to visit Raspberry Island, downtown Saint Paul, maybe the farmer’s market, historic Oakland Cemetery, and Dayton’s Bluff/East Side. I also planned to go back downtown after dark. I didn’t get that far. After shooting Raspberry Island, the market, and the cemetery I ran home to see what I had and lay out a plan for the evening. But then a storm delayed our afternoon activities until very late — too late to go out and shoot more.

So here is what I submitted:

Obvious leading lines

Raspberry Island Saint Paul

Subtle leading lines

dishing doggie treats at the Saint Paul farmers market

Minnesota building Saint Paul Minnesota

eating an apple at the Saint Paul farmers market[Update – this one came in 2nd in its category.]

Obvious framing

flower vendor St Paul farmers market

Oakland Cemetery St Paul

Subtle framing

couple in Mears Park St Paul

vegetables and popcorn St Paul farmers market

Rule of Space

stairway Raspberry Island St Paul Minnesota

girl with apple St Paul Farmers Market

Rule of Thirds

St Paul farmers market [Update – this one came in 1st in its category.]

flower sale St Paul farmers market

red and white St Paul farmers market

Breaking the Rule of Thirds

bandshell Raspberry Island St Paul Minnesota

Oakland Cemetery St Paul

park greeter Mears Park St Paul Minnesota

I was suprised to find how few shots I had for some catagories, especially for leading lines and odd numbers. I needed to focus more on finding the elements on the list and composing my photos based on that! I was also surprised by how hard it was to decide which catagory my shots best represented.

I’ll find out tonight if any of these are winners.

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