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”, 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 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!

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.

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 37 : LOVE

"Holding Hands", by Eleven ~ NYC~ slowly going...

“Holding Hands”, by Eleven ~ NYC~ slowly going…

OK guys, this one might take some creative thinking. You can go out on the hunt to capture LOVE, or you can conceive of a nice idea, and set it up. The end result is the most important part; create a wonderful photograph.

Casualty Evacuation, Afghanistan

“Casualty Evacuation, Afghanistan”, by UK Ministry of Defence

With this one, I’d love to see you show us love in action. Try to avoid the cliche shots, please. But remember, love means different things to different people. It would be wonderful if you could seek to capture love as understood by the largest audience as possible, as opposed to a more narrow or cultural specific view. Just a thought.

“I love you forever, I like you for always”, by Deirdre B

As always, please make sure you post your submission to at least one of our little communities, found at Google+, Facebook, and/or Flickr. Some have been submitting their photo to their own blog, then posting a link, and that’s just fine too!

29th ID Soldiers return to Virginia after duty in Afghanistan

“29th ID Soldiers return to Virginia after duty in Afghanistan”, by Virginia Guard Public Affairs

2013 Challenge, Week 33 : SELF PORTRAIT

Self Portrait

“Self Portrait”, by Oscar Paradela

In today’s Instagrammed world, overwhelmed with duck-faced teenaged girls posting 10x a day, we’re a little sick of self portraits, or selfies.

Self Portrait

“Self Portrait”, by Fran Simó

However, for the serious photographer, the self portrait is often a time-honored tradition of taking your skill level through a unique challenge of replicating what you might do in creating a portrait of someone else, yet forcing yourself to accomplish it alone.

Self Portrait

“Self Portrait”, by henry kujda

I’m not talking about holding your phone at arm’s length, and shooting yourself. I’m talking about making a nice portrait of yourself, considering the whole package, like lighting and depth of field. The end result being a respectable portrait that you happened to take yourself.

Self Portrait #2

“Self Portrait #2″, by Nick Weinrauch

Self Portrait - Eye Macro

“Self Portrait – Eye Macro”, by Nick Fedele

However, you could try other techniques as well. Maybe challenge yourself to a macro self portrait! Or something fun like a highly monochromatic silhouette at sunset?

Whatever you do, please take some time to make a polished and high quality self portrait. If you put it off, and scramble at the end of the week, you’ll end up with simply a selfie. If you make an effort of it, you’ll end up with a portrait, of yourself, that’s worthy.

self-portrait: one cigarette

“self-portrait: one cigarette”, by marie-ll

Don’t forget that part of the fun of PhotoChallenge.org is sharing with one another, and hopefully receiving feedback. We try not to be a “that’s great” kinda community. I prefer actual critique, and thoughtful encouragement, myself.

We tend to share to our Google+, Facebook, and/or Flickr communities and groups. Some of us also blog our photos. If you don’t share to those other locations, you really should! You could post a link to your blog post, encouraging us to comment and critique over there.

2013 Challenge, Week 22: Cliche

Ok, so this week I’m suggesting that you try for something that might be a little provocative, if you will. I’m not talking about risqué, but possibly off-putting. What? Shoot the overdone. The typical pose. The too-much-HDR. The selfie-foodie.

another reason

“another reason”, by Ibrahim Iujaz

Well, in our little world of online photography, we’ve all seen some photos (or made them ourselves) that have been done, and done, and done, over and over and over again. At this point, they’re so overdone, that they’ve become kinda cliche.

Approaching Key West

“Approaching Key West”, by Timothy Valentine

Of course, there’s more traditional interpretations of the theme: cliche, and you’re free to create images of that as well. Just get out there and push your skill level to the next level!

Amazing. It's that good.

“Amazing. It’s that good.”, by Trevor Carpenter

Remember to create a new photo for this week’s theme. And don’t be concerned if you fall behind, just shoot whatever week’s theme we’re on. Don’t forget to tag accordingly, and share your work with us all at our Google+ Community, Facebook Page, or Flickr Group.

2013 Challenge, Week 20: Heritage

Restoring History (_DSC3998)

“Restoring History”, by Fadzly Mubin

Valued objects and qualities such as cultural traditions, unspoiled countryside, and historic buildings that have been passed down from

Feel free to take this one and personalize it further. I’m quite interested in you expressing your own heritage here. If you have experience with light-box photography, or have always wanted to try, this would be a fun opportunity to give it a try.

The Front Porch

“The Front Porch”, by Michael Connell

Or you could show us a little of your community’s heritage as well. Maybe some architectural or landscape photography, highlighting something special would serve this theme well.

pocket watch

“pocket watch”, by Robert Müller

If I could remind everyone, please make a new photograph for the challenge. Part of the fun is that each of us are heading out during the same week seeking to create something special for the PhotoChallenge, along with everyone else. Oh, and 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. It helps keep the streams nice and neat.