2013 Challenge, Week 52 : DOORMATS

Here we are Week 52, the final 2013 Photo Challenge. As you all should know by now the 2014 Photo Challenge will be bigger, better, more challenging and especially more fun! I invite you all to read Trevor’s post for the upcoming 2014 Photo Challenge. (http://photochallenge.org/2013/12/13/2014-will-be/)

For this final but short Challenge that will carry us through the remaining few days of the year, I chose Doormats as a theme. I was inspired by the variety of fun and amusing doormats I was greeted by as I visited friends and family throughout the Holiday Season.

"Slide to unlock" doormat

It would appear that our modern lifestyle and mobile technology has had a creative influence on doormat designs…

the homecoming ... 133365

You never know who, or what will be standing on your doormat when you open the door. This may be a good time to introduce your recurring object for the 2014 Challenge.

Doormat for lunch

Even a standard boring doormat can come to life as it becomes a play toy for a little newcomer to the family this Holiday season.

1994-wbsheet06-frame11-mushrooms

Sometimes it’s just not the doormat that’s interesting. Upon closer inspection you may be tempted to photograph what gathers or maybe what’s growing on your doormat.

Don’t leave home without your camera. Doormats are everywhere just waiting for your special touch to capture them for the final 2013 Photo Challenge.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 51: Bokeh

Last week we got to focus on light and try out light painting. This week we’ll feature light and the effects of the aperture, but the emphasis will be on the out-of-focus area of the picture. This week’s theme is Bokeh.

Bokeh is a Japanese word that refers to the blur-quality of a lens or photograph. It’s most noticeable in night shots where lights are out-of-focus, but any shot with a short depth-of-field will have areas where you see the bokeh, especially if light is coming through the background.

“Bokeh Overlord” by Patrik B

Bokeh doesn’t just refer to blur, it’s the quality of the blur, and that quality changes from lens to lens. There are plenty of examples of bokeh around the Internet. If you want to learn a little more about it, Nikon has a good article with nice examples. And there’s always Wikipedia.

“Bokeh Effect” by Andrew Abogado

One of the reasons I choose Bokeh as the theme for this week is because there are plenty of Christmas lights around at night to use as subjects.  You can start indoors…

“Bokeh Ninja” by Nick Harris

Then move outside.

“bokeh” by Janne Hellsten

“Bokeh Season” by Alejandro C

If you do choose to shoot at night, be sure to grab a tripod. During the day you can get great bokeh shots without a tripod, but at night with the slow shutter speeds, a tripod is essential.

You can even get creative and create custom bokehs with stencils. The shape of the aperture is what determines the bokeh shape, so if you put a stencil on your lens, your bokeh with be the same shape. This example uses a heart shaped stencil and results in a heart shaped bokeh.

“Shaped Bokeh Test” by Gianmaria Veronese

As an extra challenge, see if you can come up with a custom bokeh by creating your own stencils. If you’re not the DIY type, Bokeh Masters has few kits available. With Christmas this week, you might not be able to get one shipped in time for this week’s challenge, but it would be a good investment for future use.

As always, post your shots on Facebook, Google+, or Flickr. Happy shooting!

2013 Challenge, Week 50: Light Painting

“Light Painting” by Josh Hawley

I’ve been saving this challenge for the time of year with the longest nights, because once you try it, you will want to do more of it!

“Blood Is In My Heart Again” by Thomas Hawk

Light painting is a technique that involves long exposures and the introduction of additional light sources throughout the exposure. The results you will get depend on the lighting used. In the first example, the photographer lit steel wool on fire and spun it around, producing a shower of sparks. In the second example, the photographer used colored gels over a flashlight to paint the walls with color during the exposure.

“Knapp’s Castle, Electrified” by Toby Keller

To experiment with this technique, you will need a camera that is capable of doing long exposures. If your camera has a Shutter Speed Priority mode, you may be able to set the time to several minutes. If your camera has a Bulb mode, you can use it to keep the shutter open longer. Other cameras may have a night mode which will keep the shutter open.

“The Garden Sheds” by Simon & His Camera

Once you have the shutter open, start adding light. If you keep moving, you will not be visible in the photo, but the light will show up. With some practice, you can write words and draw images with the light.

by Illum

With some patience, you can make 3D objects with light that appear to float delicately on the landscape.

“Train Track Light Sphere” by Conrad Kuiper

Anything that produces light can be used to paint the scene. Here are some suggestions:

  • A flashlight
  • A flashlight covered by colored plastic (gels)
  • Your phone
  • Laser pointers
  • Fire (but be careful)
  • Fireworks, such as sparklers (but don’t break any laws)
  • LED’s
  • EL wire

“Phone Call From Hell” by Jeremy Brooks

This is one of the more challenging themes, and it can take some time to get satisfactory results. But it is a lot of fun to do! This is a challenge that you can involve other people in as well. Get your friends to bring lights, and paint the scene together. The image you see above was lit by several people. It’s a fun way to collaborate with both photographers and non-photographers.

As always pick your best shot and share with the Photo Challenge Community. Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+Facebook,or Flickr.

Now set aside a couple of nights this week, and get out and shoot!

2013 Challenge, Week 49 : WASTE

Colorful Recycling Containers for Trash

“Colorful Recycling Containers for Trash”, by epSos .de

Every community, every society has their own waste. What one group of people throw away, another might save as a resource.

Trash

“Trash”, by Travis

I remember a time when we had one large trash can, and everything went into it. If you had a large amount of yard waste, you’d have to save it, and slowly put it into the trash can each week until it was gone.

Trash

“Trash”, by Brian Auer

With this week’s challenge, you could seek to tell a story, with the capture of waste. Or, you might highlight the entropy already captured within the waste. Or you could do something completely different. This one actually gives you a lot of room, I think.

Trash, What Is America Coming To?

“Trash, What Is America Coming To?”, by Diane

Please don’t forget that we like to share our work with each other, primarily on Flickr, Facebook, and Google+. Also, I’d like to remind everyone that we’re hoping for each person to submit just one photo, per week. Maybe that means you’ll have to make the hard choice and select the best shot, of your own.

Kolkata Waste Dump Vision *

“Kolkata Waste Dump Vision”, by Wolfgang Sterneck

Happy hunting!

2013 Challenge, Week 48 : RUST

I was walking along an old decrepit mill when I realized that there was a certain appeal to all the old rusted metal. From texture to color it gave a totally new take on everyday common metal objects. The older the item, the longer it corroded, the greater it looked.

Rusted Fence

Rusted Fence

It inspired me to start a new photography project based entirely on rust. Above is one of the first images captured on this historical site. A basic link in a rusted old fence.

Rust

Just about any piece of metal hardware you find on an old abandoned structure is bound to show signs of rust. Of course if you’re searching in the middle of the Mojave Desert, rust might make itself a little scarce.

Rust & Crabs

Old Crab Shacks are no match for mother Nature and offer tremendous opportunities to photograph a piece of history. From the tiniest nail to the entire shack the possibilities for photographing rust are endless.

Paint and Rust

You often don’t have to look too far to find rust. It can be as simple as an old screw in a wooden fence.

So start your search, let your imagination go wild and get creative bringing us all those rusted old pictures.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 47: LOW ANGLE

It’s time we started getting down and looking up. This week’s theme is Low AngleLow angle shots are generally taken from below eye level, looking up. Changing your point of view helps you see scenes from new perspectives, which can lead to more interesting compositions in your shots. 

Getting a low point of view can be a challenge, especially with the weather turn cold and wet.

010/365 - Dusting

Dusting by djwtwo

Getting down on the ground can help you see new subjects, or familiar subjects from an new perspective.

Day 7 - Low Point of View

Low Point of View by AlwaysBreaking

On the deck

On the deck by stephen-cleary

Low angles also let you see the world from the perspective of our four-legged friends. They always look up at us, maybe we should look up at them for a change.

Ruby

Ruby by Bev Goodwin

As always post your best shot and share with the Photo Challenge Community.  Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 46: DISTORTION

“A Hollow Man” by Jeremy Brooks

“Water” by Alice

Where can you find distortion this week? One great place to look is in reflections, especially reflections in water or windows.

“Salk Institute Fisheye” by Justin Brown

 

Another good source of distortion can be the lens. Fisheye or extreme wide angle lenses will lend interesting distortion to images, causing the lines to curve in unnatural ways.

“Tunnel” by Doctor Popular

And of course, you can always add distortion in post processing. If you would like some tips on doing this, search “Appsperiment” on Flickr.

As always post your best shot and share with the Photo Challenge Community. Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+Facebook,or Flickr.

Now get out and shoot!

2013 PhotoChallenge, Week 45: SYMMETRY

One of the most helpful tools I brought with me to photography was a general understanding of graphic design and art appreciation. Knowing effective ways to compose a piece of art, whether following the traditional rules or not, can make the difference between a snapshot and photographic art.

“Symmetry”, by Todd Page

So this next week I’d like you to seek a symmetrical composition.

sym·me·try
noun
the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.

There are even natural occurrences of symmetry. Look around. Photowalk a bit. Make several photos, and contemplate that one shot you think could be your best submission.

“Symmetry”, by Gerwin Sturm

I found a couple of articles that address of handful of good tips, both of which address the value of some symmetry.

“Holmbury St Mary Church”, by Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel

Remember, our general goal is to select just one photo to share with the rest of us, and that we make the photograph and submit it, all within the week of the said theme. Please try hard to submit your photo this week. If you get behind, don’t worry about it, but there’s no need to submit this week’s theme, next week. If you miss a week, join us again with the existing week’s theme.

“Victorian warehouse with Nottingham Castle in the background”, by blinking idiot

Also, the best ways to share with the rest of the PhotoChallenge community is to post your photo, or a link to it elsewhere, at our Google+ Community, Facebook Group, and/or Flickr Group.

2013 Challenge, Week 44 : FEET

The inspiration for this theme came to me from a girlfriend of mine who literally takes a picture of her feet every place she visits. She would sit down, hold her feet up placing a site of interest in the background and click away.

Feet + Surf

Nothing like a picture of your feet to preserve the vacation memory of warm sand and surf on the beach.

Chinese Bound Feet(5)

Feet pictures can also have an editorial essence documenting cultural differences as in this image of a women with Chinese Bound Feet.

foot prints;

Even if the feet aren’t there anymore, they can leave traces as in these foot prints.

Hands & Feet

Feet aren’t just for grownups. Babies have feet to…

Bear (Bare) Foot

Remember it’s not just people who have feet. So let your imagination run wild and have fun with this week’s theme.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 43: Neon

Looking over the themes for this year, I was surprised to see that Neon has not been a theme yet. Well, let’s remedy that this week. Grab your tripod, and hit the streets after dark to find some neon.

There’s an entire photography subculture around shooting neon. The soft, inviting glow captivates photographers. Just do a quick search on Flickr and you’ll see millions of examples.

Neon America

Neon America by theqspeaks

Many neon signs are works of art, and if you live in Las Vegas, you can visit an entire museum devoted to the art form. Even if you’re not in Vegas, there are probably plenty of neon signs around for you to shoot.

Las Vegas Neon Race Car

Las Vegas Neon Race Car to Me by Nutch Bicer

Neon SLR

Neon SLR by Jeremy Brooks

Neon 100

Neon 100 by jbhthescots

Neon

Neon by jayneandd

As always post your best shot and share with the Photo Challenge Community.  Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

Also, if you’ve missed a few weeks, feel free to catch up and post shots from past themes. We all have busy lives, and getting out to shoot every week isn’t possible for a lot of us. No worries, look back through the themes and grab some shots when you can.