2015 Challenge, Week 16 : ARCHITECTURE – DOORWAYS

So I’m excited to be back writing for my own sub-theme. I’ve loved architectural photography for a very long time. Some of the only paid work I’ve had was shooting my mother’s portfolio, she’s a retired Interior Designer. It’s basically indoor architectural photography. I loved the challenge, and she always paid me generously. To do it right, I picked up a few books that really opened my eyes.

Doorway Brindisi man in a door in barcelona

Issues like perspective were the first thing that really stepped up my quality. Simply using the right wide angle, and making sure to be level. I chose to use a very tall and short tripod, so that I could get the level just right. This doesn’t mean you need to go spend money, just be aware of being level, to help it present well. I have many examples in this post, so I’ll try to pair them up to save room. But read below, a wide angle isn’t necessary for this theme.

Untitled Options

Let’s not forget that not all doorways must be old, or exquisite. Some evoke emotion. Some are simply monotonous and almost forgetful. Large cathedrals can always be a beautiful submission.

Black and Blue Doorway

Make sure to drag your camera along everywhere, even if you’re just running errands. You never know what you’ll see, with this theme on the brain. I love how my brain switches between themes, and I become so much more aware of things.

Some doorways have a larger meaning. Feel free to share with us deeper meaning from your faith or past.

M. E. Church, Castle Rock, Colorado Not Jesus' tomb, but a tomb none the less.

On a side note, my recent setbacks have really limited my ability to contribute here. What’s great is that I’ve never felt anything but support, and for that I’m super grateful. Also, all the chemo I’ve had has slowed me down a bit, and we’re working to sharpen up my brain again. And you all should know that my yearning to get out and shoot, and think critically is and has been a wonderful help. The creative outlet of making this art is quite immeasurable. Thanks for your part!

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
  • Recently we’ve been encouraging folks to record their EXIF data and share it when you post. That’s the lens length, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. We al learn much more from you if you share.

2015 Challenge, Week 15 : OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – MIGRATING BIRDS

The Spring bird migration is finally in full swing and will hit the Northern States and Canada this weekend. While the Northern Hemisphere is in Spring Migration, Fall migration is taking place in the Southern Hemisphere. This week we’ll focus on the newly arriving species for each of our very own localities.

For those of you who are new to this, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has you covered in the USA with their migration forecasts : http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-10-17-april/ I’m sure similar information is available on the web for just about every region in the world

Large birds of prey to the minuscule hummingbirds are in route to their summer nesting grounds. Some have a yearly migration route as far as Argentina to Northern Canada and back. In the Greater Montreal Area Owls, Red Polls, Juncos, etc… head north in Spring to make room for their Southern Cousin’s arrival.

Red-winged blackbird - First migrant

Red-winged blackbird – First migrant

One of our early migrants is the Red-winged blackbird. They huddle by the bird-feeders hoping for a warmer day. They usually get caught in unpredictable weather from late winter storms to extremely cold nights.

Black duck fending off Mallard Duck

Black duck fending off Mallard Duck

The most common ducks are quick to follow. With Spring fever in the air territorial conflicts are quick to come about.

Canada Goose Feeding

Canada Goose Feeding

Geese aren’t far behind. These large water fowls not only look for water but feed on grass and the remains of last year’s crops until a new vegetation starts to flourish.

Great Blue Heron landing

Great Blue Heron landing

As soon as a creek melts open the Great Blue Heron makes its presence known. One of the last herons to leave in December, it promptly makes its way back in early Spring.

Black-crowned night heron

Black-crowned night heron

I was however very surprised to find this Black-crowned night heron perched in a tree so early on in the season.

Great egret

Great egret

Even more surprising was this Great egret. All of these herons have an inherent fear of man. Your presence may spook them, so be careful. If they fly away, just settle in and be patient. If there’s food they will be back. Just avoid loud noises and jerky movement.

Mating Lori parakeets

Mating Lori parakeets

Some birds are already mating and nest building. It’s important to keep a respectable distance to totally minimize our impact on these birds. We don’t want to stress them to the point where they leave their nesting grounds, especially if eggs are already in the nest.

Please show the up-most in respect for our feathered friends. We want to capture a natural looking image of a relaxed bird. A stressed animal will show in your images and lower the appeal all together. Take time to observe the birds and get familiar with them. Birds are curious in nature and if you’re patient, still and quiet, you’ll be rewarded.

This Photo Challenge is entirely about having FUN OUTDOORS! PLEASE KEEP MAN MADE ITEMS OUT of your image as this theme is entirely NATURE based.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 14: NUMBERS – MEASUREMENT

It’s time for another numbers challenge. This week you’ll be shooting measurements. We use measurements in all aspects of life. We measure time in years, hours, minutes, and seconds. When you travel, distance is measured miles or kilometers. When you cook, you measure out ingredients. For your shot this week shoot anything related to numerical measurement.

“proper measure(ment)” by Barbara Krawcowicz

Some measurements are obvious, and part of your everyday life. Rulers and measuring tapes can be found in pretty much any house. Even commonplace items can make great shots by controlling the depth of field and experimenting with framing.

“Ruler” by
Scott Akerman

These days many measurements are digital, but older devices that used analog measurement might make more interesting subjects.

“A deep dive into the wonders of Skellville: RPM meter” by Kevin Dooley

Digital measurements show you an exact value and can provide a creative shot with the right framing and perspective.

“I Need to Lose Weight!!!” by Benson Kua

The shot below shows the odometer (actual distance traveled) and the speedometer (used to measure speed). Any number that has anything to do with measurement is fair game this week. It can be actual measurement or the device used to make a measurement.

by AlwaysBreaking

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

 

2015 Challenge, Week 13: MACRO – BATHROOM

It’s been four weeks since the last macro challenge. This time, we are going to find something interesting in a specific room of the house – the bathroom! Have you ever looked around your bathroom for interesting photographic opportunities? If not, you might be in for a surprise.

“Toothbrush Bristles” by William Warby

Everyday items take on a new dimension when photographed close up. Take a look around your bathroom. See what ordinary things you can transform.

“Untitled” by [Jim]

As a reminder: Macro photography is a type of close-up photography. Generally it means that the image on the sensor is life-size or greater. If you have a macro lens or a camera with a macro setting, you can use that. If you have a mid-range focal length lens, such as a 50mm, you can make a “poor man’s macro” by flipping it around and holding it against the camera body. Focus is achieved by moving the entire assembly close to the subject. If you are using a smartphone, the camera might have a macro focus option, or you can use something like an Olloclip macro lens. If you don’t have any macro lens options, just go for a close up image, and do what you can. Remember, photochallenge is about learning new stuff and having fun!

“Sink” by Vivian Chen

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

“Untitled” by Ben Roffer

2015 Challenge, Week 12 : ARCHITECTURE – WINDOWS LOOKING OUT

We sometimes think of Architectural photography as looking at a building from the outside. A great deal of Architectural engineering and design is often invested in giving a look from the inside to the outside. Windows and glass paneling connects us with the outside world, illuminating the indoors and often enhancing its appearance

Coit Tower City View

Not all windows have glass panes. Many older structures in Europe and the Middle-East have but openings carved out of the structure and protected by shutters when necessary. I find it connects us better with the world outside our four walls.

NYC Window View (a la Edward Hopper)

Not all windows give us the dream view we’re all contemplating. For some it’s but the hustle and bustle of urban life. This New York City hotel Room view is the perfect example.

Pier Window

Even this abandoned building on the peer has a dream view through it’s industrial windows that is the envy of many Malibu homes.

I'm a young one stuck in the thoughts of an old one's head. (205)

You can add portraiture to your architectural image thus enhancing the sense of being and of welfare.

Breakfast with a View
At times Photo-Realistic HDR techniques of two or more images are needed to fully capture the ambiance of a room. The brightly lit outdoor scene needs to be balanced with the poorly lit view of the room.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 11 : OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – HAKA

This week I decided to change things around a bit. I still want to get you outdoors since this is outdoor photography. I’m bringing back a theme from 2013, the HAKA, also known as the Maori war dance. Rooted in ancient polynesian culture, the HAKA has been brought back to life with the ALL BLACKS, New Zealand’s national Rugby Team.

Wikipedia describes the HAKA as; The Haka (plural is the same as singular: haka) is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.

HAKA positions

For those of you into Rugby, the All Blacks Rugby team performs a ritual HAKA prior to every game. The first step will be to familiarize yourself with the various positions of the HAKA. Although the WHAKA is the most commonly used position, have fun experimenting. The more participants you get in your photo the better it will be!

Backlit HAKA

Since this is an OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE, the setting is as important as the models performing the HAKA. Take care in finding the perfect outdoor spot for your HAKA. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lighting. Backlit subjects and silhouettes will add a creative touch to your HAKA as well as give anonymity to a shy participant.

HAY HAKA

Just because you’re the photographer doesn’t mean you can’t participate. Don’t forget your tripod, set your camera timer and join your HAKA.

Steve and Francois HAKA

Not all HAKA pictures have to be planned ahead and organized. Some can be spontaneous and just as much fun to make.

HAKA Princess

This Photo Challenge is entirely about having FUN OUTDOORS! Get creative and have fun with family and friends creating the best HAKA ever.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 10: NUMBERS – 50mm

In many ways photography boils down to numbers. The F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, and focal length all determine the technical aspects of a shot. This week your challenge is to use a single focal length: 50mm. The subject is wide open. Shoot anything you want, but shoot it at a 50mm focal length. If you have prime 50mm lens, use that. If you only have a zoom lens, set the zoom as close to 50 as you can get it.

(Edit) If you have no control over your zoom, here’s an alternate challenge: Shoot any number that’s a multiple of 50.

“Pastel (

Helios 77M-4 50mm f1.8 m42)” by Sorin Mutu With the proliferation of zoom lenses and camera kits, it’s easy to experiment with framing by simply changing your zoom. Using a single focal length forces you to move to try different compositions. When you move, you see things differently and may come up with a better shot. Spending a week with a single focal length will change your perspective on framing.

“Canon EF 50mm F1.4 Testshot” by 55Laney69

Before zoom lenses became the norm, 50mm was a standard lens. Every photographer had a 50mm lens, for good reason. 50mm allows you to shoot a wide range of subjects. It may be the most versatile focal length there is.

“50mm Chicago” by Brian Koprowski

You can everything shoot from landscapes to portraits with a 50mm. They also perform well in all lighting conditions.

“Dibs the Cat” by Derrick Story

If you don’t own 50mm prime lens, I highly recommend getting one. Prime lenses are generally sharper than zoom lenses. I have a 50mm prime lens that is my first choice. It’s tack sharp and goes down to F1.4. But if you don’t have one, use what you have. All DSLR kits come with a zoom that will allow you to shoot at (or near) 50mm.

“Bubble Nose” by Bill Bumgarner

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.