It was a privilege to be invited to create this assignment and judge your photography. I enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to all of you who created new work specifically for this assignment, braving the early-morning alarms and handling all the inclement weather that Mother Nature might have thrown at you.
My final 19 favorites selected from more than a hundred include a wide range of people, places, cityscapes, landscapes, and wildlife, which reflects the diversity of the photographic interests of the Your Shot community. We had the third highest entry total of all the assignments so far. Thanks for your interest!
Jim Richardson, a long-time National Geographic magazine photographer once said, “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff!” He said it half jokingly, but there is truth to it. As this assignment may have taught you, light is important and can make a huge difference in your photography, but it does not transcend the subject matter. If you have a boring subject, you’ll make a boring picture. Everything has to line up just right—lighting, subject matter, and the capturing of the decisive moment—and that’s what makes photography so difficult.
If you can find a mentor whose photography you like, show them your pictures for feedback. And when you do, show them the entire take, not just your favorites. You can learn a lot by seeing how you shoot from one frame to the next. Sometimes a bad picture can teach you a lot. As I wrote in one of my comments, photography is like walking up a series of steps. In the beginning you improve quickly and take many steps, then you get to a point where you stay on the same level for a while until you have a breakthrough. This never ends.