Leukemia fighter. Son of The Most High. Husband. Father. Man.

2014 Challenge, Week 40: LANDSCAPE – SOLO

Right up front I’m going to explain the “solo” concept, since everyone is probably wondering what I mean.


Untitled, by Kristina

I mean I want to see any sort of landscape, preferably as wide as you can shoot, but I’m looking for a single object to stand out. A tree, creek, or even a road. Something distinctive to the range of the image. Now, make a point of not including multiples of the object.

An Electrifying Landscape....

“An Electrifying Landscape…., by Tony Hammond

So if you have a field of cows, just one. Same with hay bails or trees, or whatever you choose for your single object.


“landscape”, by Ewok Jorduman

Now, landscapes should normally not include manmade objects. Feel free to fudge that a little for this one, it should make it easier. Also, for a bit more challenge, consider your composition, and even the single object’s contrast with the foreground and background, so that it sticks out. I chose the word “SOLO”, instead of just a description because I’m looking for your single object to stand out so much in the image, that it’s your solo; think music.

Sun on the landscape

“Sun on the landscape”, by Zak Richter/NPS

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 #photochallenge2014.
  • 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 2014 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
Norway Landscapes #5

“Norway Landscapes #5″, by Stéphanie Kilgast

2014 Challenge, Week 32: “Tilt Shift” Quasi-Landscape

Ok my friends, it’s time for a brief post from me. I’ve been getting decent rest, and really wanted to contribute another post. My own participation has been limited lately, and I think this one will let me get another theme under my belt.

Montana del Oro tilt-shift

This weeks will require a little forethought, but also some post processing. I urge you, don’t shy away because of that need.

I’ll post a link or two for tutorials, and suggest a few apps as well.


This whole Tilt Shift thing is nothing to fear. In fact, you may just find that you’ll enjoy this new skill for unique images, and start creating many more of your own.

To stick with the landscape theme, start there. But don’t worry about a natural landscape if you don’t want. This technique works well with all sort of wide landscapes. Urban, suburban, it doesn’t matter! You may find a preference, but that’s up to you.

Tilt Shift Bridge

To be technical, you should know that a true tilt shift photo is actually created with the lens. How, I could try to explain, but I don’t really understand. Read up here for what I don’t know.

When you’re done, you’ll have this special toylike miniature-looking scene, that should really be transformed.

This was the first tutorial I used, I believe: http://visualphotoguide.com/tilt-shift-photoshop-tutorial-how-to-make-fake-miniature-scenes/

Here’s a tutorial for GIMP: http://www.scottphotographics.com/how-to-fake-a-tilt-shift-miniature-photograph-in-gimp/

For a post with several apps for iOS: http://digital-photography-school.com/tilt-shift-apps-for-the-iphone/

And if the whole thing is too much, Instagram can pull off the effect for you. Here’s several tips on getting that done well: http://mashable.com/2012/11/29/instagram-tilt-shift-tips/

Here is the app I own now that does the job just how I like: http://www.tiltshiftapp.com/
Or here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiltshift/id579435992?mt=12

Fake Tilt Shift Attempt 1


So sorry folks, I forgot to add our Guidelines. Please don’t disregard these, they help our little community remain focused.

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 #photochallenge2014.
  • 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 2014 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.


2014 Challenge, Week 24: LANDSCAPE – SUNSET/SUNRISE

I’ve been almost completely absent, for quite a while. Jeremy, Gary, and Steve have carried my commitments and this blog really well. And I thank them. Unfortunately, they’ll be stepping up again to carry us through the next few months, probably without me at all. I truly am grateful for their help. Additionally, these men have been good friends through my unique journey. Most of you do not know, but I was diagnosed with Leukemia almost a year ago. Last year’s treatment went well enough, and I was in remission. In April of this year I fell out of remission and I am next week going back in for a bone marrow transplant. Super sorry to start off this post with suck a downer. I’m not seeking sympathy or pity. I just want to share with you all what’s going on with me. Feel free to message me on any of our social networks if you have questions, etc, about this. I really want to keep PhotoChallenge.org focused on our challenges and your photographs!

Sunset through the Arch

“Sunset through the Arch”, by katsrcool

This week I’m looking forward to what you create! If you recall, I’m having you all focus on landscape photographs. This week I want to see either a sunset or sunrise photo, with a wonderful landscape framing it up. Consider many of the past landscapes that we’ve done, in order to get a decent balance. Maybe even go back and read the other posts, to pick up on some of the techniques.


“Lookout”, by Juan Lois

Consider that either a sunset or a sunrise photograph will heavily depend on the captured sky. You might want some clouds or contrails to give the sun’s light something to colorize. But don’t forget that the setting and rising sun’s light, being so distinct and often super intense, can colorize other things well too, like the focus of your landscape; mountains, trees, and even the bulk of a rolling landscape will all be transformed.

Layered Lone Pine Light

“Layered Lone Pine Light”, by Howard Ignatius

Many wonderful natural objects can be transformed quite nicely when silhouetted against a distinct sky. So, consider how different your landscape may be exposed, when it’s all so underexposed that it’s black.

Barras do horizonte

“Barras do horizonte”, by Eduardo Amorim

As always, please follow our guidelines:

  • 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 #photochallenge2014.
  • 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 2014 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2014 Challenge, Week 13: LANDSCAPE – VANISHING ROAD

As I look at some of my own favorite landscape photographs, I tend to migrate to certain styles and/or certain subjects. I think the same could be true for many of us, with all sorts of types of photos. So as I looked at my own faves, I found that one common subject was some sort of road.

Take the black road

“Take the black road”, by Trevor Carpenter

If you didn’t know already, lessons from more traditional forms of art can lend themselves to the photographer. A study of Rembrandt’s paintings can help the portrait photographer. The impressionists can help us with composition. And on and on. One of the most basic of art projects is the vanishing point. Many who take illustration, sketching, and/or basic art tend to do a few projects with a vanishing point.


“Verge”, by Daniel Zedda

As photographers, we can look out for opportunities to highlight an existing vanishing point. And for this landscape theme, I’d like you to specifically apply the vanishing point concept to a vanishing road, on your horizon. Here’s a brief Google+ post about using vanishing point in your photography, by Brian Matiash.

To be specific, I’m looking for you to compose a traditional landscape, but deliberately include some sort of road. However I want you to compose the image with the road traveling off, away from the camera, towards a vanishing point. Pay attention to balancing where you place the horizon. Sometimes is just works to have the horizon bisect the photo. Most of the time, however, it’s a little freshman to do so. Experiment with having the horizon be high, so that you capture more foreground. Or, place the horizon low, to include more sky. Either way, your photos tend to be nicer, when the horizon is NOT in the middle.

Road to Rome

“Road to Rome”, by Tommy Clark

As always, please post/share a photo you take THIS WEEK. We love your old photos, but not for the challenge. The point of the PhotoChallenges is for you to set out to create a new photo, to share with us all this week. Share them with us all at our Google+ Community, Facebook Group, and/or our Flickr Group.

The Road to Ribblesdale

“The Road to Ribblesdale”, by Luc B

2014 Challenge, Week 5: LANDSCAPE – SKY

And now we’re back to my focus, landscapes. For our first landscape, we focused on finding a distinctive tree to include in your landscape. Hopefully that forced you to think a little harder than you might have, in composing your image. Many of our themes are designed to do just that, help push you a little harder at making the best photograph you can. With each of the four of us emphasizing something different, by the end of this year, I truly hope that you’ll look back at your work, and see some maturity in the results.

“Shell Beach Sunset”, by Trevor Carpenter

Wonderful landscapes do not all have exactly the same elements. Yet, they do often share many characteristics. While a landscape photograph doesn’t need to be entirely nature, most often it has captured nature wonderfully.

“Mongolia Landscape”, by tiarescott

For this week’s landscape focus, I want you to consider the sky. The sky can and should be a serious consideration for a landscape photo. That doesn’t mean that the sky is or should be one of the larger elements. You might choose to omit most of the sky, and fill the frame with a vast countryside. But the slice of sky at the top, makes all the difference. Or maybe the giant, negative-space-inducing blue sky is 90% of your image, with a simple mountain line along the bottom of the frame?

“Any landscape is a condition of the spirit.”, by Rachel Sarai

No matter how you include the sky, it is usually distinctive.

“HDR Landscape in Sweden”, by Daniel Carlbom

I want you to make the sky the majority of your image, for this week’s photograph. Please fill more than 50% of the frame with it. Obviously what’s in the sky isn’t dictated by us, the photographer, but how you frame it with your landscape beyond can make all the difference. Maybe the weather in your area will give you something dynamic to work with? Or maybe the typically vast and blue sky is all you have to work with, like me? If you really cannot get it the way you want, maybe the night time sky will give you something else. Just don’t forget a tripod for that!

“The Night of the Fireballs”, by Luis Argerich

As always, please share your one final photograph with us on at least one of our social media groups, found at Google+, Facebook, or Flickr.

2014 Challenge, Week 1: LANDSCAPE FOCUS

First, let me welcome all the new participants to PhotoChallenge.org! With Christmas and the New Year, we tend to see an influx of new people to our little community, and this year is no different.


“landscape”, by Ewok Jorduman

This year’s weekly themed challenge is much like the 2013 Challenge. You’ll see a new theme each week, posted on Sunday. However, this year we’ll be writing challenges that might require a little more effort. Some weeks we’ll have a higher technical emphasis, or a more specific theme than you’re used to, or maybe something else. The point is that we’re hoping to push you just a bit further, this year.

“landscape”, by Dave McLear

As you may recall from my 2014 will be… post, we also added something special this year, a special object, chosen by you. In my examples I showed you two doll-like objects. Your object can really be anything small and portable. The catch is that I’d really like for you to decide now if you want to shoot with your object all year.

You don’t have to shoot an object. I’m not making it a requirement. It’s simply up to you. If you decide to select an object, and shoot it all year with each weekly challenge, stick with it!

“Autumn dawn”, by James Jordan

OK, let’s get on with it! Each time I write a theme you’ll find that I emphasize a landscape focus. This first week, I’d like to see you not just head out and shoot a nice landscape, but I’d like to see you compose your shot with a distinct emphasis on a tree or trees. I found a fantastic pair of articles that will help you out, if landscape photography is new for you.

That second article should really help you understand what I’m asking of you, in including a distinctive tree. It doesn’t have to be in the foreground, nor does it have to be a single tree. No matter how you shoot your landscape, I want to see a tree(s) be uniquely highlighted in the final image.

“WORLD END, Sands land of wind reached 5″, by GENSHI

**Object** Don’t forget, if you’re choosing to shoot an object all year, you’ll need to think hard and creatively about how to include your object.

“Magic! between the trees”, by Luc B

As always, sharing and interacting with our little community is what makes these challenges fruitful for us all. So, share your single submission with us all on at least one of our social media groups at Google+, Facebook, or Flickr.

As a quick reminder, I’d like to point out that our goal is for each participant to work hard to find that one single submission that you’re most proud of, and intend to share with us all. Then submit/share it. Please do the hard work of selecting just one image to submit. Also, if you get behind, please don’t submit photos from past weeks, during the given week. Each week we’d prefer to just see photos for that week submitted. If you’re behind, skip what you missed, and just shoot “this week’s theme”. (Of course you can shoot all the past themes, you just don’t need to submit them.)

Now, go shoot a landscape!

2014 will be…

Hey all, have you been wondering what we’re gonna do next year? We are kinda cutting it close. Sorry.

I guess I’ll get on with it! We’re going to continue the weekly challenge, calling it the 2014 Challenge. Expect to see a fresh theme each week, just like we’ve done this year. However, I’d like to highlight that we’re going to be getting a little more specific, and sometimes even include some more constraints or rules.

I’m also offering up a unique twist to the 2014 Challenge. I want to suggest that you consider a recurring object, in each week’s shot. This is not a rule or a requirement, it’s just a suggestion, to help spice up your challenge. Since our goal is to push ourselves to become better photographers, making the challenge more…um…challenging will increase your creative thinking and eye. What do you think?

Hey! Ho!

I’m going to spend the rest of the month deciding between a Jesus doll and a Sheldon Cooper bobble-head. Yep, you read that right. The catch that I hope you’ll accept is that if you choose to accept the increased challenge of shooting your object along with the weekly theme, I want you to commit to it for the whole year.

Dr. Cooper. #SheldonBobbleHead

Now, you might think that I’m done. This last year we only had the 2013 Challenge, submitting one shot a week. This upcoming year we hope to not only mix it up a little with the weekly changing 2014 Challenge, but we’re also planning another challenge!

Woohoo! Starting in January we’re going to launch another challenge, to run all year long. This one will be bimonthly, and it will focus primarily on one topic, with various sub-topics to be shot every two months.

We’ll have more specific details about this one, in early January, 2014.

We’d also really like to encourage you all to invite your friends to participate. Don’t just spam everyone you know though. Consider the friends you already have that are already interested in photography. They don’t need all the bells and whistles, but they’ve probably already shown you that they’re interested in shooting artistic photos, or creating decent family portraits. Invite them, in real life, to join us for the 2014 Challenge! You can also use your social media service of preference to invite them as well. Point them to this post, to get them interested. Also, don’t forget about our groups/communities, Google+, Facebook, and Flickr. Feel free to invite them to the one you participate in as well!