2014 Challenge, Week 42: STILL LIFE – MUSIC

This weeks still life challenge is Music.  It can be the instruments used to create music, how you listen to music, or anything that relates to music as long as it is a still life shot.

“passion” by Luigi Orru

Instruments are an obvious choice for this challenge. Many instruments have shapes and lines that you can use in your shot. The photo above only shows part of the instrument to create a symmetrical composition. Likewise, the shot below reveals only part of an instrument and uses a shallow depth of field.

“Stringless Guitar” by Nicholas Erwin

“harps” by DorkyMum

Many of us aren’t musical, but enjoy listening to music. You can show off your favorite way to enjoy your favorite band.

“Headphones” by Pascal

A lot of technology goes into creating, recording, distributing music, and sharing music. It’s hard to get a shot of an MP3, but maybe you can turn to older technology.

“Heavy Metal: TDK MA-R90 Cassette Tape (overhead view)” by Scott Schiller

One reminder: still life photography deals with objects, not people. Try to avoid shots of musicians and concert photography. Other than that, if something has a connection to music use it to create your photo for this week.

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.

2014 Challenge, Week 41: COMPOSITION – RULE OF ODDS

This weeks composition challenge is all about looking at things in an odd way — an odd number, that is.

“Odd Numbers” by Billy Abbott

One of the simplest ways to make a composition more dynamic is to have an odd number of objects in it, rather than an even number. An even number of things tends to make the viewer pair or group the objects. However, an odd number of things tends to make it more difficult to pair the objects, which keeps the eyes moving across the composition.

“Three Across” by Thomas Hawk

Since the subject matter is not limited on this challenge, you should have plenty of opportunity to watch for odd numbers of things, and come up with an interesting image for the week.

“Five Pillars” by Peter Kirkeskov Rasmussen\

Architecture, nature, still life, macro, color, black and white — it’s all fair game for this challenge!

“The Magnificent Seven” by « м Ħ ж »

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.

Now get out there and find something odd!

Photochallenge Calendars – For A Good Cause

“Desk Calendar” by stopthegears

Hello Photochallenge friends! As you may have read, Trevor, the founding member of photochallenge.org, has been fighting Leukemia for the last year or so. He has had ups and downs, but is on the road to recovery.

Gary, one of the other photochallenge authors, came up with an idea to help Trevor out with the mounting expenses related to his illness, and the rest of us think it is a great idea. We are going to publish a photochallenge.org 2015 calendar using images that you, the photochallenge.org members, submit! All proceeds from the sales of the calendar will go directly to Trevor and his family.

To submit a photo, go to the photochallenge.org group on Facebook, click the “Albums” tab, and add your photo to the “2015 Photochallenge.org Calendar” album.

The photo:

  1. Must be a photo you made for one of the 2014 challenges.
  2. Must not have any watermarks; we will list your name with the image on the calendar.
  3. Should include a title.
  4. Must specify which challenge it was for.

The photochallenge authors will select images to include on the calendar based on image format, image size, and how many we can fit on the calendar. Due to limited space on the calendar, we cannot guarantee that every submitted image will be used, but we will include as many as possible. If we get enough submissions, we may consider more than one calendar, each with a different theme. Submissions will be due by the end of September, and calendars will be available for purchase by the end of October.

Submitting an image for consideration means that you are granting a worldwide, perpetual license for the image to be used in the 2015 Photochallenge.org calendar and for promotional purposes related to the calendar. Photochallenge.org is not asserting any ownership of the image, and the image will not be used for other purposes.

We are really looking forward to seeing what everyone chooses to submit, and we thank you for your support!

Update: We have had some people ask how they can submit images via Flickr and Google+. For those sites, just tag the image you want to submit with “photochallenge2015calendar”. We will use the tag to find images. Thanks!

2014 Challenge, Week 14: COMPOSITION: RULE OF THIRDS

This week, lets focus on a technique used when composing photographs: The Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is a composition technique that can be used when laying out a scene in any visual medium – including design, film, painting, and photography. It is one of the most basic techniques, but it is also very powerful. Imagine this grid superimposed on your viewfinder:


If your subject is on one of the red dots, or aligned with one of the black lines, the composition will likely appear more balanced and pleasing to the human eye. Notice how this center of this flower falls on one of the grid intersections, and is aligned with one of the grid lines:

“Rule of Thirds” by Marie Coleman

This composition feels right. The subject is immediately visible, and in addition one of the smaller flowers is on a grid intersection. Even the wires are lined up with the grid. This image keeps the viewer looking.

This guideline can also apply to urban settings just as effectively:

“Week 3: Rule of Thirds” by Melinda Seckington

Many cameras will allow you to overlay a grid on your viewfinder or on the screen to help when composing a scene. Look through the menus on your camera and see if you can find the option. This will help you visualize the division of thirds.

Using this guideline does not mean that everything in your frame must be along perfect horizontal and vertical lines. Notice how this image uses the rule of thirds effectively while also allowing the frame to be divided diagonally by the cable:

“Barn swallow resting from the hunt” by Vicki

This bold image keeps the lines straight, but the contrasting yellow line is placed on one of the grid lines. The resulting image feels more balanced than it would if the yellow line were centered in the frame.

“yellow line on blue wall” by Rui Malheiro


The rule of thirds can also be applied when composing a landscape. Notice how each component of this image – the mountain in the background, the trees, and the grass in the foreground –  occupies roughly one third of the frame.

“Rule Of Thirds” by Zach Dischner

Of course, this rule is really a guideline, and there are plenty of reasons to ignore it — we will get to those in a future challenge. But this week, as you look at a scene, try to apply the rule of thirds. Try the same scene with the subject centered, and then apply the rule of thirds and see what a difference it makes.

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+ CommunityFacebook Group, and/or our Flickr Group.

2013 Challenge, Week 26: Money

“Easy Money” by Doug88888

The theme to mark the halfway point of the 2013 Challenge is Money. This theme has many possibilities. It could be a great excuse to get out that macro lens and experiment with capturing the details on a piece of money. Or you could shoot something that represents money — perhaps the financial district of your city, a bank, or a luxury item that is only available to those with abundant sums of money.

“Donations” by Jeremy Brooks

However you choose to shoot the theme this week, just share your single best image with the group. And most importantly, get out there and have fun doing it!

“Money Bought Happiness” by K-FREE

Don’t forget to tag and upload to all the right spots. Tagging is generally “2013PhotoChallenge”. And uploading happens to our Google+, Facebook, and Flickr group/community/pages.

2013 Challenge, Week 21: Architecture

“Hypnosis” by Thomas Hawk

“Architecture: Buildings and other large structures; the art and science of designing and erecting buildings.”

This weeks theme gives you an opportunity to explore the buildings and structures around you. Do you live in an area with some famous buildings? Why not take your camera out and try to capture the things that make the building famous. Do you live in a large city? Perhaps you can capture the soaring buildings that define the skyline of your city.

“bridging knowledge to health” by paul bica

Sometimes the most interesting details of the architecture are found inside the building. Staircases, walkways, and interior structures can make very interesting subjects. If you live in a smaller town or a rural area, there are always interesting and unique structures to be found. Grain elevators, barns, and sculptures are all excellent subjects.

“rural architecture” by Adam Foster

“long arm” by h-e-d

Remember to make a new photograph for the challenge. If you get behind, don’t feel obligated to post several images in a row to catch up. Of course if you head out and capture several themes, and want to share them do so. But please only post this week’s theme to the Facebook group, Google+ community, and Flickr group.

Now go find some architecture, and have fun doing it!

“geisel library” Jonathan Cohen

2013 Challenge, Week 7: Transportation

We spend a lot of time and energy getting from place to place – we go to work, school, church, vacation, shopping, etc. Humans go places. We go by car, boat, bus, bike, skateboard, on foot, and any other way we can. This week’s challenge is Transportation – how we get from Point A to Point B.

As you make your daily journeys, grab your camera and capture anything related to transportation. Trains always make good subjects with tracks that provide strong leading lines.

Churchill Train Station

“Churchhill Station” by Alex Berger

In many parts of the world, bikes are the main mode of transportation.

The road to Sakarra, Dec 2008 - 31

“The road to Sakarra” by Ed Yourdon

Younger folks might prefer skating their way from place to place, at times much to the annoyance of others.


“Passing” by star.rush360

OK, a few older folks still grab a board and go, like Trevor. But I dream of where of transportation will take us in the future.

Modern Man

“Modern Man” by Jeremy Brooks

Take your camera with you everywhere this week. Transportation is all around, the challenge this week may be in deciding what you want to shoot. Good luck!