Our Favorite Reader Photos from the "Great Lighting" Assignment


Fox In Socks
Steven Pinker captured this poignant scene in Truro (Cape Cod), Massachusetts, with a Leica M (240) and a Leica APO-Telyt-R 280mm f/4 lens at f/4, 1/350 second (2/3 stop below the Auto setting), ISO 800.
© Steven Pinker

Beautiful lighting, in many ways, is what photography is all about. And as our readers proved with this month’s submissions, if you want great lighting, all you need to do is look outside your window. While it’s not entirely surprising, our 10 favorite photos from this month’s assignment are all bathed in natural light. The results are simply radiant.

Noon, Deep In The Gomantong Caves
Keith Christenson shot this photo of the Gomantong Caves in Malaysia at noon from the bottom of the cave below a skylight 300 feet overhead. “There is a window of about 10 minutes as the shaft of light hits the bottom left, and then moves across the floor, and finally is gone,” Christenson says. “Which, of course, is one way to light up such a big space with few people and no artificial lighting.” He captured the image with a Canon EOS 70D on a Davis and Sanford PB228-10 tripod using a Tokina 12-24mm f/4 (IF) DX II lens set to 15mm. It’s a 1.6-second exposure at f/4 and ISO 320.
© Keith Christenson

In The Narrows
“Backlight illuminates the steam as a Western Maryland train runs through The Narrows, near Cumberland,” Stuart Lovell says about this photo.
© Stuart Lovell

Morning Light
Kris Mellinger shot this image of sunlight streaming through the trees in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
© Kris Mellinger

Arch At Sunset
“There were steps on this side of the arch leading to a parking lot next to the river,” Frank Goroszko says about this photo. “The river was at flood stage and reached up to the second step, which limited how far back I could get. It wasn’t quite enough to get the whole arch in the frame. The rays of the setting sun really helped to fill in the area under the arch.” He shot it with a Nikon F5 and a Tokina 19-35mm lens at f/8, 1/125 second (+ 1/3), 19mm, with Fujichrome 100 film, ISO 100.
© Frank Goroszko

Canyon Light
“Sunset at Cape Royal Grand Canyon. Sunrays paint the canyon walls,” Gerry Groeber writes about this shot.
© Gerry Groeber

Through The Mine’s Eye
This image was taken in an abandoned mine in the Bradshaw Mountains in Prescott, Arizona. “To capture this photo was a LOT of work and almost didn’t happen,” Theresa Rose Ditson recalls. “Lots of steep hill hiking with my heavy camera bag, tripod, etc., only to find this abandoned mine, which I have previously found to be normally damp/muddy on other occasions was incredibly flooded this time. At first I thought it was a complete bust as I was really hoping to shoot the interior further in the mine, but then noticed the sun traversing across the sky and decided to go inside anyway, to see what the view was, framed by the entrance. I got pretty wet, despite wearing rubber booties, due to having to crouch in a cramped space just inside the mine and thankfully just in the nick of time to also catch the sun as it made its way west across the sky and out of view. I also used a flash to illuminate the interior better and balance against the outside brightness. Luckily, I was able to do this in a single, non-composite image.” She shot it with a Nikon D810 and a Nikkor 14-24mm lens at 14mm, f/14, ISO 64, 1/80 second. A Nikon SB-910 Speedlight flash was used, off-camera, and angled up to illuminate the mine’s cavernous walls.
© Theresa Rose Ditson

Seeing Double
This picture was shot in July 2014 in the Red Deer River, Alberta, near Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. “A large thunder and lightning storm had just passed through and left the most electrifying light and colors in the rainbow behind it,” Brenda Baltimore explains. She shot it with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 18mm, f/7.1, ISO 1250.
© Brenda Baltimore

Morning Light At The Basilica
This image was captured by Jeff Perkins in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, with a Minolta Autocord TLR loaded with Fuji Reala film, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/15 second.
© Jeff Perkins

Spotlight On Bridalveil Falls
“A spring storm was clearing and the clouds and late afternoon sun created an incredible mosaic of shadow and light across the Yosemite Valley,” Douglas Croft writes. “I composed on Bridalveil Falls and waited for this to happen.” It was shot with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikkor 18-300mm lens at ISO 200, f/8, 1/125 second.
© Douglas Croft

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
Extreme Outdoor Photography

Outdoor photography is great but it’s even better when you take it to the extreme. For this assignment we’re looking for images of dizzying mountaintops shot from harrowing angles, exploding volcanoes, dangling ice climbers, kayakers barreling through rapids, or stunning displays of weather. In short, we’re looking for outdoor images that make us see the awesomeness and danger of nature in the extreme.

Storm Brewing
Though this was shot in an urban landscape, the feeling of nature encroaching on the man-made world felt incredibly extreme. I captured this storm rolling in over Upper Manhattan in New York City with a Canon EOS-1D X and an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens at f/3.5, ISO 100, 1/100 second. Just moments after I shot this, the sky erupted with furious hail-like rain, which pounded the streets for about 15 minutes. And then, just like that, the storm ended, the clouds parted, and the sun came out again.
© Dan Havlik

How To Submit Online
1. Go to www.shutterbug.com and register. Scroll down the page and on the right side you will see a box for entering your username and your password. If you have already registered and/or submitted images for the Galleries you can skip this step. Respond to the activation e-mail. Registration is free. You will use your username and password whenever you visit or, with some systems, it will automatically load for you when you visit www.shutterbug.com.

2. Check the assignment and closing dates in the magazine. When the magazine is printed we will create an appropriate gallery for your images. The limit is two images per assignment.

3. Select and prepare your images. We only accept files at a maximum 5MB size, JPEG format. Save the JPEG at a quality level of 10 or higher. Note that file size in your image folder directory will determine upload size, not the “opened” file size, as JPEG compresses at 1:4 at higher quality ratings. If your images do not load it probably means you have exceeded the file size or have not used JPEG format.

4. Click on the Galleries tab on the homepage. In the Category section use the drop-down menu to select the Picture This! assignment. Note that images are simultaneously loaded into the assignment category as well as your own personal gallery. When the Picture This! assignment deadline date has lapsed the assignment gallery will be removed, but your images will still reside in your own gallery.

5. In the Description box add title, camera, lens, exposure information, and your full name. Also add any other comments or anecdotes you think relevant. We reserve the right to edit comments as needed.

6. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. This uploads the image.

7. You retain copyright on the image.

8. We will choose the images after close of the due date.

9. Please feel free to comment on images submitted by other readers.

Please Note: If the photograph includes a minor or a recognizable individual or group you are guaranteeing that you have a signed model release form, and especially a parental or guardian release form for minors. You should keep a copy of that release in your files. Scan that release and keep it handy. If an image is chosen for publication, failure to provide a form when requested will eliminate the image from consideration. You can find release forms at http://asmp.org/tutorials/model-release-minor-child.html and other resources on the Internet. By uploading images you attest that the model release form is valid, that any depiction of a person is with their consent, that you have a model release form available on request, and that all images you submit have been made by you.

Deadline For Submission: October 1, 2015.
Images will appear in our January 2016 issue.

Our next topic: Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
Deadline: November 1, 2015
Publication Date: February 2016

Please Note: By submitting you agree to give us the right to show the image(s) on the web and for publication. You give us publication rights in the magazine and on the website(s) of Source Interlink Media.

Want to see images selected for past picture this! Assignments? Go to www.shutterbug.com and click on picture this! In the “more articles…” box on the homepage.

If you have any questions or problems e-mail us at editorial@shutterbug.com with Picture This! in the subject line.