PMP – 2022 Monthly Theme Gallery

2022 Peer Mentor Monthly Theme Gallery

Each month the TPC Peer Mentor Program has a meeting that has a Theme Challenge where the peer mentors vote and critique the photos submitted for the monthly theme.  In “normal years” there have been two groups and each group has its meeting in Jackson.  Starting in 2020 and continuing into 2022 there has only been one Zoom meeting each month.  As we prepare for 2023 we are considering returning to monthly Face-to-Face meetings in Jackson, while also adding a monthly Zoom meeting.  If you are interested in more information, please contact Randy Isaacson (

This 2022 Gallery will display the “winners” of each of the monthly challenges with a description of the theme and the submissions.  To view a large version of each photo, simply click on the photo and it will immediately enlarge.

January 2022

For January 2022 the Theme Challenge was Panorama Photography.  During the “Zoom Years” the peer mentor meetings typically began with a discussion of the monthly theme followed by a vote and critique of the photos that were submitted.  In 2022 the monthly meetings will begin with the presentation of a question that had been sent to Randy before the meeting which is followed by an explanation and question-answer-time.

The Answer Your Questions for the PMP January meeting was about the details of using Export when sending a photo from Lightroom.  David Navratil shared an in-depth explanation of Export for sending a photo to be printed, to sending an image for FB or Instagram, or sending your photo for the PMP Challenge.  We had a really good discussion and learning opportunity.  We are going to have to find a way to make these discussion available to everyone whether they attended the meeting or not.  Randy and Sue will be contacting all the peer mentors to request that peer mentors share their questions.  They will put together a collection of question – – –  Help us identify photography questions even if you feel a bit foolish … you don’t want to become a photography fool for life :-).

After discussing the question, the focus turned to identifying the details of the monthly challenge: What is the “definition” of Panorama Photography?  This brought about an interesting discussion of a panorama: Is a panorama dependent on aspects ratio or the use of a photo merge?  We couldn’t decide on the critical ingredients of a panorama, but when you look at the top three photos below you will recognize a key characteristic … but can you define it?

The 3rd Place photo is Becky Hawkins photo of a drive into Mammoth Hot Springs early in the evening during the winter.  The photo has a very wide aspect ratio that is views all of the tiny town in the north of Yellowstone.  Is this a panorama?  The peer mentors thought is was a very good pano.

The 2nd Place photo was taken by Sue Lurie in her back yard.  The image has amazing color even though Sue said that she missed the best color of the sunset – Come on Sue, how could it have been any better?  The group discuss if the panorama would look better if it were to cut off a bit of the left side of the photo but decided the full width was a better pano.

The 1st Place photo by Beth Holmes was a panorama of the Tetons from Willow Flats Overlook just south of Jackson Lake Lodge.  Beth’s image received nearly all the votes and we discussed many of the strengths of her photo.  The fog layers grabbed the attention of many people.  The strong Black & White mountains had incredible detail.  And more than one member stated that this photo was one of the best submission we have ever had for a Theme Challenge.   Great job Beth ! ! !

  To look more closely on these 3 photos click one of the photos and use the arrow button to look at all 3.

Beth Holmes’ Black & White Photo of Willow Flats Overlook gave her the right to choose the February Monthly Theme.  Guess what she chose for all of us ?  You got it, the February Theme Challenge is Black & White Photography.

February 2022

The February 2022 Theme Challenge was Black & White Photography.  In 2022 the PMP Zoom Meetings will begin each meeting with Answer Your Questions which gives the peer mentors an opportunity to share questions and receive support to find a variety of answers.  At the February meeting the question was “What are the best ways to edit color images into B&W images in Lightroom?”  We received lots of very good suggestions from a variety of members.  It was a great set-up for our critiques of our B&W photos.

Our Answer Your Questions was followed by an introduction to the goals of the Peer Mentor Q&A Committee.  The peer mentors have shared more than 60 photography questions in the past month.  We now have a Q&A Committee that is organizing the questions with answers and resources (e.g., YouTube, Google articles, etc.) that will be shared with the peer mentors in the next months.  Creating easily accessible opportunities to find answers is the goal. 

A discussion of what the peer mentors had learned about B&W photography was followed by a critique of the not-so-great photos that peer mentors had sent to Randy.  These examples are very helpful in exploring what to look for in good B&W photos.

The February B&W Theme seems to have motivated LOTS of peer mentors to submit photos.  There were 15 theme submissions (probably a record number) with a rather amazing diversity of B &W examples.  There were landscape, wildlife, still-life, weather, abstract, and macro photos that created a learning experience for all of us.  And the 5 Cornerstone characteristics (Contrast, Tone, Shadow, Shape, and Texture) from the articles in the TPC website gave us a foundation for our critiques.

The 3rd Place photo is by Sue Lurie of the Tetons from Spring Gulch during one of our misty foggy days.  The peer mentors felt that this B&W photo gave the viewer an emotional reaction that pulled them into the mountains.

The 2nd place photo by Becky Hawkins  is an action shot that will get your attention.  The finish of the Pedigree Stage Dog Sled Race happened in Driggs ID at the base of the Big Hole Mountains and Becky was right there to view a musher and 5 dogs charging to the finish line.  Wow, get out of the way or they will run you down.

And the winner of the B&W Theme Challenge was David Navratil’s still life image of a stirrup and belt.  This photo raised an interesting discussion of the characteristics of outstanding B&W photos.  The texture, tones, shadows, contrasts, and shapes (the 5 Cornerstones of B&W photos) all stand out to make this still life exceptional.  Be sure to take a look !

To view these photos click on a photo and use the arrow button to look at all 3.

The March Theme Challenge is Abstract Photo.  This is a new theme but there will be articles available in the near future.

March 2022

The March 2022 Theme Challenge was Abstract Photography.  In 2022 the PMP Zoom Meetings will begin each meeting with Answer Your Questions which gives the peer mentors an opportunity to share questions and receive support to find a variety of answers.  The questions for March were two questions from the TPC Ask the Experts meeting that created a good discussion about Focusing to the Right and Focus Stacking.

The Answer the Question was followed by a discussion of the 6th Anniversary of the Peer Mentor Program.  Randy gave a quick review of the changes that have happened over the past 6 year, especially during the two years living-in-the-zoom.  Randy will be upgrading the PMP  in the TPC website in the near future.  He would like to add comments from the peer mentors to the history including a “Why should I join the Peer Mentor Program?” section for potential new members describing how the PMP has improved their photography.

The March Abstract Theme led to an extensive discussion of the photographic “definition” of abstract and semi-abstract photographs that was quite educational.  The discussion of the Not-So-Great photos narrowed the focus of abstract for the voting and the critique of all 12 photos.

The first vote and critique clearly identified six photo submissions that were based on the group discussion of Abstract Photography.  The six photos that did not reach the second vote were all viewed as good photos but each did not meet the description the group had agreed upon for the abstract theme.  This resulted in six photos being voted upon and there was hardly any distinction between the six photos: the result was 3 First Place photos, 2 Second Place photos, and 1 Third Place photo.

The 3rd Place photo was a snow scene by Tim Cully.

The 2nd Place photos were by Sue Lurie and David Navratil.  Sue’s image was a photo of a fire in her fireplace where she increased the vibrance to emphasize the colors around the flames.  David’s image was a photo of grease in a pan on the stove which emphasized the diversity of the size of the bubbles.

There were three images that tied for 1st Place:

Becky Hawkins photo was the center of an old wagon wheel cog. The decaying wood and the iron ring in the center produced the colors when she used the LR de-hazing tool.

Tim Libassi’s photo of a grapefruit – that’s right a grapefruit !  Tim took a number of photos of a section of a grapefruit with a camera spin between each shot.  Interesting, and something you would never have imagined !

Louis Brad’s photo of bubbles is one of the many Water Drop Photos that Louis has been taking at his house.  He has learned this technique from Joey Terrill and his YouTube video (Look Closer: Changing Ordinary Subjects into Macro Photos with Joey Terrill).  Maybe we can get Louis to give us a class on macro photography of bubbles. 

To view all photos click on a photo and use the arrow button to look at all 6.

The April Theme Challenge is Reflections.  This is a new theme but there will be articles available in the near future.

April 2022

The April 2022 Theme Challenge was Reflection Photography.   The monthly Theme Challenge was quite a bit different this April than most other themes for an unusual reason.  The “rules” for reflection photos photography the were explained in the Reflection Photography Articles  were “broken” and many of the best photos did not have Balance, or sharp Reflection, or Symmetry.  But some of the Finalists were excellent photos !  Take a look at these photos and think about what makes a photo an excellent Reflection Photo.

There were 5 photos that were voted into the “Final Vote” and all five received support as the best Reflection Photo.  In 4th place were Gigi Halloran and Becky Hawkins.  Gigi’s photo was a close-up reflection of trees in the water.  Becky’s photo was of windows in a building.  Both were clearly reflections that grabbed your attention. but they didn’t meet the usual reflection characteristics.

Third place was also a tie and these two photos come a bit closer to the typical “rules” of a reflection photo.  Louis Brad’s close up photo of a rose had balance, symmetry, and  was a sharp reflection that had no distractions.  Randy Isaacson’s photo of a calm stream with a leading line toward the mountains and their reflection.

First and second places were very different from the “standard reflection” rules but they certainly grab your attention.  Charlotte Kidd’s photo of a white tulip leads your eye to the white tulip that is set-up by many other colorful plants; the sharpness in the reflection of the tulip sets it off.  Candy Brad’s photo of Louis while they were above the Arctic Circle really draws your attention.  A key ingredient in a great photo occurs when something in the image leads you into the photo; Louis’ glasses asks you “What do you think is going on here?”  The answer is it is mighty cold here 🙂    

 To look more closely on these 5 photos click one of the photos and use the arrow button to look at all 5.

Candy chose Wildlife as the Theme Challenge for the next Peer Mentor Meeting.  The next meeting will NOT be in May, it will be in June.  

May & June 2022


July 2022

The July 2022 Theme Challenge was Black & White Landscape.  The July peer mentor meeting began with a brief discussion of the changes in the Teton Photography Club meetings.  The club has obtained a new venue for one monthly meetings at the Jackson library on the 3rd Tuesday of the month starting in September.  To keep a stable timeline for TPC meetings, the Peer Mentor Program meetings will move to the 4th TUESDAY of each month starting in September 2022. 

The B&W Landscape Zoom meeting began with a discussion of the characteristics of B&W photos and landscape photos.  To give examples, our discussion of the critical ingredients in B&W photos explored nine “Not-So-Good” photos that were shared by peer mentors.  Our B&W discussion was followed by a discussion of the “requirements” of landscape photos; that is, what characteristics must be included for a photo to be a landscape photo?

We received twelve B&W Landscape photo.  All but two of the photos received at least one vote and five of the photos received 5 or 6 votes.  The feedback given for each of the other 7 photos was very helpful.  The second vote of the top photos resulted in one  1st place and four 2nd place photos.

The four photos that earned second place were diverse but also had a similarity with one exception.  Louis Brad’s photo was a close-up of the moon with conifer trees in the foreground.  The moon has striking details and the conifers give depth to the photo.  Each of the other three photos that earned 2nd place had a strong sky; two photos were taken in a storm and one was beautiful white clouds in a dark sky.

Ben Nardi’s photo in Montana is an excellent example of the wide open spaces of the west.  The storm cells in the sky grab your attention but they probably never gave the land the rain it needed.  The photos by Becky Hawkins and Charlotte Kidd may both have been taken on the same day: another photo of a potential storm that never really hit Jackson Hole.  Becky’s photo includes a rainbow (without any color) and Charlotte’s view may minimizes the mountains but  sends a message that you should look down on the Teton Range.  Too bad we didn’t get any rain !

And the winning B&W Landscape photo was a view of a sunset over a small creek.    The tones and contrast of the sky to the mountains to the sunset reflection in the creek are a great example of how a B&W Landscape photo can pull you into the picture … and keep you there with a feeling for the sunset. 

Sue Lurie choose Negative Space as the Challenge Theme for August.  You can get some suggestions and encouragement to take photos for our next Zoom meeting on August 24th by checking out these articles.

August 2022

The August 2022 Theme Challenge was Negative Space.  The August  peer mentor meeting began with a brief discussion of the changes in the Teton Photography Club meetings.  The club has obtained a new venue for one monthly meetings at the Jackson library on the 3rd Tuesday of the month starting in September.  To keep a stable timeline for TPC meetings, the Peer Mentor Program meetings will move to the 4th TUESDAY of each month starting in September 2022.  The Zoom meeting will start at 6:30.

Negative Space can be a significant challenge for photographers since there are “loose-goosey” guidelines or rules for this theme.  For example: Should negative space avoid drawing the attention of the viewer?; Should the positive space convey emotion?; Is the size and location of the positive space critical?; Should the negative space be in focus or blurred to avoid attention?

These “rules” were discussed and used to critique a number of Not-So-Good photos that the peer mentors had submitted.  These photos were used as examples of photos that were not good examples of Negative Space.

There were 10 Negative Space submissions by the eleven peer mentors who attended the Zoom meeting.  Most of the submissions received at least one vote and all photos were critiqued by their fellow peer mentors.

The 3rd place Negative Space photo was a wheat field with a tractor in the upper right corner.  The photo was taken in a dry-farm in Teton County Idaho.

The 2nd place Negative Space photo was a close-up night view of the moon above  the Tetons.  The mountains were black but the evening sky was still slightly lite-up from orange Cascade Canyon to a dark blue sky.

The 1st place Negative Space photo was a black-and-white photo of a white swan reaching back in a slightly wavy black pond.  The positive space white swan is set-up by the gentle waves and the negative space dark water.

Sue Lurie has chosen Texture/Pattern  as the Challenge Theme for September.  You can get some suggestions and encouragement to take photos for our next Zoom meeting on September 27th AT 6:30 by checking out these articles.

September 2022

The September 2022 Theme Challenge was Texture/Patterns.  In October 2021 there was an extensive discussion of the Texture/Patterns Theme: it seemed that some peer mentors wanted the theme to focus on either textured or pattern and NOT a combination.  So for the September 2022 Theme Challenge Randy decided to have peer mentors submit photos identified as either a texture or pattern photo … interesting 🙂 or 🙁

The September 2022 PMP meeting had some complications.  Due to a TPC change from Wednesday to Tuesday in the day of the monthly meetings may explain why only 7 peer mentors attended the Zoom meeting.   And there were only 7 Pattern Theme photos and 5 Texture Theme photo submitted.

The meeting began with a discussion of the characteristics of pattern and texture photos.  It became clear that the peer mentors believed that it was difficult to isolate each characteristic since there was a natural interaction; most pattern photos were textured, and most textured photos had some degree of pattern.  

This led into the critique of the Not-So-Good photos that brought out thoughtful explanations of how to review the photos that the peer mentors had submitted.  Randy felt that this discussion was educational in that it led us to explore both patterns and textures in our photography.

The first review was of the seven Pattern Photos.  Most of the submissions received at least one vote and three photos stood out for the final vote.  The 3rd place photo by Kathie was an insect on clearly patterned metal.  The 2nd place photo by John was rattle snakes where the skin was clearly a pattern.  The winning photo by Charlotte was a  salsify flower (goats beard) ready for the wind to lift it’s seeds. 

The second review was of the 5 photos that had been submitted as Texture Photos.  Charlotte’s second photo of salsify received 3rd place.  John and Sue were voted winners for their texture.  Sue’s winning photo was of dear antlers which had a wide variety of texture.  John’s photo of a sunset over the mountains was also a winner.

The September 2022 Peer Mentor Theme was a challenge in a number of ways.  Can we separate Patterns from Texture in our photography?  It was pretty clear from our extended discussions that these two characteristics tend to go together.  It also raised our interest in looking for patters/textures as an important aspect of our photography.

Charlotte, Sue, and John decided on Fall Landscape as the October Theme Challenge.  Sounds like a perfect theme for just the right month.

October 2022

The October 2022 Theme Challenge was Fall Landscape.  The October 2022  Peer Mentor Zoom Meeting began with a discussion of the criteria we use in evaluating photos of fall landscape. Then we reviewed the 9 photos that were submitted for the monthly challenge, including a critique of each of the photos.  The meeting then focused on potential changes in the Peer Mentor Program in 2023, including moving back to Face-to-Face meetings and the possibility of also having a Zoom meeting.  PMP change is likely to happen in 2023 with the assistance of the voice of the peer mentors.

The initial voting of the 9 Fall Landscape images showed a clear preference for 3 photos that all received the same votes in the initial round.  The other 6 photos received a variety of helpful informational feedback.  The second round of votes resulted in almost a three was tie, with three very different approaches to fall landscapes.

Third place was a tie between John Hebberger and Rachael Dunlop.  John’s photo of the Tetons from Antelope Flats had a personal story to tell that led the viewer into the photo and the joy of hiking with friends in the fall.  Rachael’s photo of the beautifully colorful trees along Palisades Reservoir had a special work with an oil painting filter in Photoshop that it made the photo look like a painting.  

The winning photo was by Sue Lurie.  Her view of Teewinot Mountain across Cottonwood Creek shows the beautiful color reflection from an orange/yellow aspen that draws your eye to the tops of the mountains.  She chose Foreground Interest as the November Challenge Theme

To view a large version of each photo, simply click on the photo and it will immediately enlarge.

As we move into 2023 the Peer Mentor Program is planning changes to  include more members.  The impact of COVID in 2020 changed the PMP in many ways and 2023 will allow us revise our photograph learning.  It is very likely that we will be moving to a Face-to-Face meeting each month, and maybe also a Zoom meeting each month.  If you are interested in learning more, or sharing your ideas for change, please contact Randy Isaacson ( 

To return to the PMP – Monthly Theme Gallery Main Page CLICK HERE