photo critique

My 100th Post: A Beautiful Smile

In March, I started taking this blogging thing seriously and initiated daily posting of a new photo and an all-out effort to build an audience for I Shutter At The Thought! Since then, I have learned so much from my reader’s comments and by following other photography blogs those comments have led me to.

The experience and the education has been extraordinary. I’m always excited to see where my blog visitors come from each day. People viewed yesterday’s post in Australia, the UK, South Africa, the UAE, Norway, Romania, India… How awesome is that? 🙂

I call the photo below A Beautiful Smile. It features a woman in traditional Somali dress whom I encountered at the Salt Lake City “Living Traditions” festival this past weekend. To meet her was to experience her; her smile, warmth and the energy of her character were infectious and amazing.

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/100 sec at f/9, 50mm (with Rachel’s crop suggestion in place)

As always, I urge you to critique this photo and leave your feedback in the Comments area below.


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A Purpled Haze

Purple haze all in my eyes
Don’t know if it’s day or night
You’ve got me blowin, blowin my mind
Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?
– Jimi Hendrix, Purple Haze

The shallow depth of field effect (what’s in sharp focus and what is not) is called “bokeh”. It means fuzzy, blurry or indistinct and most photographers enjoy exploiting it with the right subject. It’s another one of thousands of reasons to learn to use your camera’s manual settings and to forget that it has an Auto mode. 🙂

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/1000 sec at f/2.5, 50mm


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Blessings of Love for Your Home

Yesterday, I put in a few hours doing my volunteer photography at the (independent, non-profit) Humane Society of Utah, so don’t be surprised today’s post features cats. I photographed 27 cats; not even half of the total number now available for adoption. If you’re looking for a cat (dog, rabbit, or …) please choose the adoption option and visit your local shelter.

What do you think of the photos? Do they capture anything you would consider reflective of the animal’s character? It is truly important to me that I do this work well.

Here’s a small sampling of the love waiting to bless your home.

Dancer, Kennel 137, Animal ID A054549

Dash, Kennel 108, Animal ID A053418

Fluffers, Kennel 104, Animal ID A054088

Kitty We, Kennel 113, Animal ID A054021

Little Mama, Kennel 104, Animal ID A054087

Londyn, Kennel 108, Animal ID A053419

Marco, Kennel 110, Animal ID A054395

Marley, Kennel 111, Animal ID A053161

Nermal, Kennel 100, Animal ID A054212

Paul, Kennel 132, Animal ID A053199

Shadow, Kennel 115, Animal ID A054156

Zoe, Kennel 139, Animal ID A053840

Egypt, Kennel 107, Animal ID A054143


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Weathered Wood

I like to work a lot with wood. I make furniture that falls apart.
I also sew.

– Tim Conway

I have always been fascinated by the texture and variation of old, weathered wood. It has a character, a soul, that has been developed by the passing of age, harsh conditions and long battles against the forces of nature. It has a history – a story, though I’m not sure words can tell it.

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/125 sec at f/5.6, 135 mm


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An Unacceptable Truth

An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There’s a punishment for it, and it’s usually crucifixion.
– John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Nikon D300, ISO 640, 1/1000 sec @ f/6.3, 36 mm, HDR


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High Dynamic Barn

“I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing.”
– Johnny Carson

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/400 sec at f/8, 18 mm

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/100 sec at f/13, 18 mm

This is my first attempt at using HDR, an effect I really like the look of on the right photo. Essentially, it’s done by merging three shots bracketed 1 f-stop apart. Now that I am using Adobe Lightroom (4), I thought I would give it a try. Suggestions?


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Looking for unique handmade all-occasion and greeting cards?
Look no further than here.

Beware The Claw

In reality, it’s a simple piece of farm equipment. But taken out of context, it’s a horror movie plot waiting to be … um … executed. In any context, it fascinated me and I couldn’t wait to see what it looked like photographed.

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/60 sec. at f/3.5, 50 mm


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Choose the adoption option: save a shelter pet.