This month was a little different to the others because I gave you 3 RAW files of Bramble and asked you to edit them in any way you liked. The entries back were crazy good and selecting just one winner for the £50 Amazon Gift Card and a complementary online one-to-one was incredibly hard. To get there, I had to use a process of “rounds” of elimination.

In the video that laid out what I would be looking for, I mentioned highlight and blacks clipping, sharpening, colour casts, composition, colour processing and overall editing skills. This was not a challenge for “who could do the biggest edit”, it was more a challenge for “who can do a clean, sound edit.” The video of the breakdown this month can be found here, which also includes info for the October challenge: https://youtu.be/ydJtxsazL-k

Round 1 focussed on clipping, so I removed any images with areas of Bramble that had lost shadow detail. Amazingly, very very few of you had clipped images so mega well done for that!

Round 2 looked at colour cast. In this round I used the lightroom white balance slider on 1-3 areas of Brambles head to see how far the correct white balance shifted. I gave a tolerance of +/- 10 on both the tint and temp. Some of the seriously AMAZING edits were removed at this stage which was such a shame!

Round 3 was composition. I deliberately gave you RAW files that needed a little bit of a crop to come together compositionally. I was mostly looking at the rule of thirds and in this round, we lost a few more contenders.

Round 4 was general editing – colour processing, realism (to a certain extent) and masking skill. Here also was over-lightened shadow detail and over-processing of different areas.

At this point, the shortlist included these images which ALL met ALL of the points above perfectly fine (huge well done!):

After that it was just a case of selecting a winner for this month and my eye just kept going to one of this group even though all were stunning. The winner of this month therefore is:

Massive congratulations Lorenzo! I’m excited to see how I can help you further in our one-to-one!

But what is Octobers challenge? Octobers challenge is:

WARMTH.

For this challenge, I need you to shoot, edit and enter an image which you think completely embodies “Warmth”. It’s Autumn here in the UK and the weather is definitely turning, but we have warm autumn colours and warm sunshine still, so I want to feel warm when I look at the photos. Remember to create some bokeh – soft fluffy backgrounds always help!

As always, I will be looking for clipped highlights, shadows, colour casts, processing, over-sharpening but probably above all of that, composition. Some of the previous challenge images would have walked into the top 4 or 5 had they had a little more room above, below, to the side, etc. Similarly, some of the entries in the past have lacked impact which only comes through solid composition so if you might need to brush up on this area, definitely check out the composition resources on here.

To Enter:

Create your image and post it to Instagram. In the image itself, tag me @thatdogspotphoto and use the hashtag #TDSphotochallenge on the post. Bonus points for sharing to your stories, tagging me in there and letting me know why you think your photo is the literal embodiment of “warmth”.

The winner of this month won’t get a crazy prize because of how busy it is here at the moment but you WILL get a mention on all social channels and of course, we’ll do a little critique in the video too!

Entries close at midnight (UK time) on the last day of October.

Good luck!

I can’t wait to do all this again!