2014 Challenge, Week 35 Nature & Wildlife – Textures and Patterns

One may ask, where do I find textures and patterns in nature? The answer is quite simple, EVERYWHERE! This may in fact be one of the most eye opening experience for new photographers. In many cases it’s as simple as pointing your camera in a random direction. (Surrounded by nature of course)

bark patternFind yourself up-close and personal with a tree and you’re apt to find textures and patterns.

Hoenderloo ForrestTake a step back from a tree and you get a pattern of trees. In this case the image is complemented with texture, the texture offered by the ground covering.

P1010137Get close to a rock face and and again you’re bound to find texture, patterns and perhaps both. Pay close attention to lighting. Textures often change with lighting. You may want to experiment with a flash, a reflector or take advantage of the sun’s own light at different hours of the day.

Moning in Bac Son ValleyAs was demonstrated with the trees, Not only can we get up close with rocks, the same may apply as you take an exaggerated step back. You may just be presented with a pattern of mountain peaks and textures from the ground to the sky above.

free_high_res_texture_132Leaves are an other great example of texture and patterns in nature. Converging, leading and non leading lines make up complex series of patterns and textures. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives. Zoom in and out of your subject exploring the different facets of nature.

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 wild animal no matter how sweet and innocent it may seem. Animals should not be fed. Feeding animals often encourages them to approach humans, increasing the risk of injury from individuals who may appreciate them less than you might. Most animals in rescue centers get there due to an encounter with humans.

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.

The sky’s the limit for this week’s challenge. Get out there and show us what Mother Nature has to offer! Nature and Wildlife photography can be a great family activity.

With this nature and wildlife theme, keep man made objects out of your images. Nature has enough to offer on its own to satisfy every aspect of this theme.

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.

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.


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 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.


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 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 41 : SILHOUETTE

Many photographers use the technique of photographing people, objects or landscape elements against the light, to achieve an image in silhouette. The light might be natural, such as a sunset or an open doorway, a technique known as contre-jour or it might be contrived in a studio (low-key lighting). Silhouetting occurs when there is a lighting ratio of 16:1 or greater. The exposure is set for the background, usually with an aperture at 9–11 and a shutter speed around 120–200.

Silhouette - Dancing on hay...One of the easiest ways to get back lighting for your silhouette work is by using the naturally bright light from a setting sun as I did in this image taken in a hay field in France.


Bright light reflecting off of water will help you create the silhouette effect for waterborne objects and animals such as these geese.

9th Floor Silhouette

Well lit doorways and windows are another great way to achieve a dramatic looking silhouette effect.

Silhouetted Kaz

You don’t need direct sunlight from a setting sun. In this case a brightly lit mid-day sky is all it took to provide the necessary light to create the silhouette of a dog.

Let your imagination run wild and show us your best silhouette image of the week.

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 40 : MOTION

For week 40 I decided to add a little more complexity and photographic techniques to the PhotoChallenge. Photographing objects in MOTION should allow you to push your skills a touch further. You’ll find two basic categories of images that help you portray MOTION.

  1. Blurred subject with background In focus, generally accomplished with the use of a tripod.
  2. Blurred background with subject in focus, accomplished with a tripod or by panning camera to match the subject’s speed.

Motion and Stillness - BlueprintIn this example the camera is still. One subject remains still (The Man) and the other subject is in motion (The cars). While the individual remains still like the background the vehicles in movement on each side are captured blurred producing the effect of motion. A slower shutter rate is necessary to complete the effect.

motion townSimilar technique used in this image as well. The camera remains still to maintain a focused background, A slower shutter speed and the speed of the train  allow the motion to be captured.

panningFollowing your subject in motion (PANNING) will tend to blur your background while maintaining focus on your subject, thus capturing motion once again.

These are basic techniques that can produce some amazing results when you add just a touch of your very own creativity.

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 36 : CONDIMENTS

We all have our favorite foods such has a cheeseburger or hot dog. What makes them even more special is the ability to customize and personalize our food with the use of condiments.
SaucesMost diners start off with the basics, Heinz Ketchup and French’s mustard….
Some excellent condiment action on those tofu burgersA burger just isn’t a burger unless you apply one of the millions of combinations that makes it special for you. From the basic mustard, relish and ketchup to onions, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, lettuce, hot sauce and whatever tickles your fancy.CondimentsCondiments aren’t limited to our favorite American fast foods. Our favorite Asian creations have their very own special assortment of condiments to spice things up.T-BoneSome of us just can’t enjoy a good steak without our favorite steak sauce. Some of the more popular steak sauces are Heinz 57 and A1. Some steak houses offer their very own special creation.

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.