2014 Challenge, Week 26: STILL-LIFE – MINIMALISM

Alright, time for you to create a shot with another Still Life challenge. The theme this time is Minimalism. We’ve already had a minimalist landscape challenge, so you should have had some practice with the concept. This time instead of finding something minimalist, you get to setup  the shot with your subject of choice.

In keeping with the challenge, I’ll keep this post to a minimum with just a few reminders about still life photography.

“Walnut 06″ by Luca Setti

First, lighting matters. Many great still life photos use ordinary subjects, but dramatic lighting.

“Pintemos el nuevo año.” by Zahira

Second, you setup the shot – you decide on the placement of the objects.

“Porcelain Sake Bottle” by Ron Sipherd

Next, pay close attention to your aperture to get the right depth of field for what you envision.

“Pesca” by Michele M. F

And one more – background. For this week find a plain background. It doesn’t have to be black or white, just simple.

“Glasses 1/8″ Stephan OhlsenF

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.

2014 Challenge, Week 25: COMPOSITION – FRAMING

This week, lets get back to a technical challenge and talk about framing when composing the photo. Framing is a composition technique that allows you to emphasize the subject by blocking parts of the photo with something in the scene.

“Framed Sunset” by Sudhamshu Heb

Framing your subject with something in the frame can give the photo context, helping the viewer understand where the image was taken and what was happening. It can draw attention to the subject. It can give the image a sense of depth.

“In The Frame” by Alison Christine

If you are not sure how to frame an image like this, try looking out of a window. Including the walls around the window will frame the subject outside the window.

“Window On The World” by Jeremy Brooks

Framing can also be used to add interest to a portrait. Perhaps you could try to make a portrait this week by framing your subject in an interesting or different way.

“s1″ by Melissa Brooks

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.

Now go have some fun!

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

“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 23 Nature & Wildlife – GROUND

We tend to ignore the ground we walk on when in nature. During a camping trip in Idyllwild, I was fascinated as my eldest son cried out, “Look Daddy a Scorpion!” I looked and looked but could not see anything but sand. Taking in the fact that he was a third of my height and his young eyes worked better than his aging father’s eyes, I got down on my knees. It was a small scorpion barely a few grains of sand long. From that point on I always keep my eyes open and a little closer to the ground

Yellow Microdot by Derrell Licht - https://flic.kr/p/9HgJdf

I don’t have an image of that specific scorpion but it looked something like this image above by Derrell Licht. For this challenge I’m not asking you to go find the most minute critter in the dirt and photograph it. I want you to capture the natural ground covering of a natural habitat such as a forest, desert, rain-forest, etc… Let’s make it 100% natural. This would exclude man made, such as your typical lawn or botanical flowers. It can be a close-up of vegetation, bugs, reptiles and other small ground dwelling animals in their Habitat.  It can also be a wider landscape type capture displaying texture and composition of a large and uniform terrain. As long as we get a good feel for what the ground is made of in your image. Don’t be afraid to apply all of the technical skills practiced in past challenges by Jeremy.

Fall Foliage on the Ground - by Billy Wilson

This autumn foliage covering the ground is a good example of what our friends in the Southern Hemisphere may be experiencing, if not snow. Here Billy used a very narrow depth of field to isolate the leaves on the ground.

Ripples in the Sand by Pedro Szekely

The desert sand offers little color. However the usually large areas covered by deserts and dunes give us the opportunity to photograph ongoing textures created by a natural phenomena such as wind.

the dry season

The ground can differ largely during a drought or a dry season as in the example above. The cracks and grooves with the sparse vegetation offers a unique perspective of what our world can look like when water makes itself scarce.

magic forest - Zauberwald

In contrast to deserts and arid landscapes, this plush green forest is entirely covered by a green moss. So much so that it’s even climbing up the base of the trees. Although this looks great as a large plan, you can get in closer as in the image below.

Steve Troletti Photography: Mushrooms and Fungus / Champignons &emdash; Mushroom / Champignon

Moss in itself comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are in effect small forests that are home to a multitude of living creatures. You can find small insects, amphibians and other vegetation such as this tiny little mushroom.

A new Pine forest grows

 Pine forests are often bare of other vegetation. The ground is usually covered in pine needles and pine cones preventing other vegetation from penetrating the ground. Somehow little pine trees find a way to grow through all of those needles and reach the sunshine.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Northern Cardinal / Cardinal Rouge

If you’re patient enough you can even catch a bird or two on the ground scavenging for food. Many species of birds scan the forest floor for seeds and nutritious bugs and worms.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Spider Carrying Egg Sac

Keep an eye on the ground as you never know what you may step on as you trek through nature. This little spider carrying a sac full of eggs crossed my path right in front of my feet.

  • Remember to respect nature and not to disturb any animals or destroy their habitat in any way during your quest for the perfect image. 
  • Also take time to familiarize yourself with local wildlife and plants. Some animals can present a danger, especially if protecting their young. Spiders and Snakes, especially hard to see baby snakes can present a great danger due to their venom. It’s always better to keep a safe distance from any animal no matter how sweet and innocent they may seem. 
  • Get acquainted with plants like Poisson Oak and Poisson Ivy or any other dangerous plants in your area. Some plants not only represent a risk of skin irritation but can also kill you if touched or ingested. Learn to identify the dangerous plants in your area.
  • If you’re in mosquito and tick country don’t forget your bug spray. 

You can choose to photograph low to the ground or higher up to capture details over a large area. A tripod may be a good thing to bring along in wooded areas as light can often be at a minimum in a forest.

The sky’s the limit for this week’s challenge. Get out there and show us what Mother Nature has to offer.

As this is Nature and wildlife, try to keep human objects such as houses, bridges and fences out of your images as much as possible. There’s often a way to compose an image to give the illusion of complete nature without using Photoshop.

To fully take advantage of the sunlight, early mornings and late afternoons will provide a lower angle and softer light to work with.

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 22: STILL-LIFE – TECHNOLOGY

PhotoChallenge.org has hit a significant milestone: our Facebook group has over 1000 members! Trevor, Jeremy, Steve and I are humbled and excited that so many people are joining the group and contributing each week. Your participation and amazing photos inspire us. Thank you for making PhotoChallenge successful!

Alright, time for another still life challenge. This week the topic is Technology. Find anything you can that relates to technology, or how you interpret technology.

“Computer Memory Hard Drive Disk HDD Storage Technology” by epSos .de

Technology is all around, in just about everything. Most of it we take for granted, but when you really think about what’s inside all those devices, it’s a little daunting.

“Mr Robot has some RAM (1 of 3)” byChris Isherwood

Of course some of us are dreamers and visionaries, with imaginations to fuel the technology of the future. Don’t be afraid to have fun with the theme and even include technologies we might have some day.

“Robots only eat old people” by Mark Strozier

Technology, as you know, is a moving target. What is “technology” today becomes ordinary and commonplace tomorrow. The hot, new technology today can quickly be replaced. Along those lines, you are free to use “older” technology.

This shot of a radio is older technology, but the lighting and depth of field make it an intriguing still life. Also, note the leading lines.

“Radion on” by Flavijus

The 486 processor was the peak of technology in its time, but not these days. But it still makes a good subject. This  lighting and the arrangement of the chips make this a great example of still life photography.

“Tecnología pasada de moda // Old-fashioned technology” by David Cornejo

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.

Now get out there and shoot!

2014 Challenge, Week 21: COMPOSITION – SYMMETRY

We are back to another technical challenge, once again focusing on a composition technique. This week, we will be shooting symmetry. Symmetry is the correspondence in size, form, or arrangement on opposite sides of a line or plane. Imagine drawing a line down the middle of this photograph, from top to bottom. The image on each side of the line is quite similar.

“Symmetry III” by Matus Kalisky

This effect can also be seen on the horizontal plane, or along diagonals. One way to shoot a symmetrical image is to take advantage of reflections in a window, a body of water, or a mirror.

“Symmetry” by Mathias Liebing

“Mountain Panorama” by Damien du Toit

Nature is a good place to look for symmetry. Plants and animals often exhibit symmetrical features. You can also find symmetry in a portrait of a human.

“Unfinished Symmetry” by Suzanne Gerber

“Symmetry of White Flesh” by Jeremy Brooks

“Snowflake macro: symmetriad” by Alexey Kljatov

The built world is also a good place to find symmetry. Many buildings and structures will exhibit symmetry of one kind or another.

“(a)symmetry / (a)simetría” by manolo guijarro

“Cala.triangle” by josef.stuefer

“The Bridge of Putrajaya” by Trey Ratcliff

Finally, don’t be afraid to use some post-production trickery to make some awesome symmetry!

“time machine” by Jes

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.

Now get out there and shoot!

2014 Challenge, Week 20: LANDSCAPE – MINIMALIST

(Note: This theme selection is one of Trevor’s; I’m just writing the post for him this week.)

This week, we are back to a Landscape theme. This time, we are going to look for less. Minimalism is a style that uses pared-down design elements, reducing the subject to the essentials.

In this example, the subject — a tree on a hill — has been isolated by silhouetting it against the sky. A relatively large amount of the frame is empty sky, and the hill is quite dark.

“Minimalist Landscape” by Gianluca Annicchiarico

Minimalism is often related to abstract work. This aerial image is a good example of minimalism and has elements of an abstract work. It is a landscape, but the distance from the subject reduces the detail to the essentials — blocks of color divided by lines.

“DSCF1740″ by neil banas

When shooting this week, keep in mind that environmental elements that you may normally think of as unfavorable may work for you. In this image of a hay bale, the thick fog  helps to strip the subject down to the bare essentials, concealing other objects that may be in the background.

“Hay” by Donnie Nunley

Large stretches of sand or water can also lend themselves to a minimalist landscape image. In these cases, taking advantage of the textures, shadows, or horizon can lead to an interesting and stripped down result.

“White” by Éamonn O’Brien-Strain

“Untitled” by Tammisto

You could also try to incorporate objects from the built environment into a minimalist landscape image. This can give a photograph a sense of loneliness or isolation.

“Untitled” by Alexandre Legault

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.