2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 43: Negative Space

This week, we’re going to experiment with Negative Space. Put simply, negative space is the area around your subject, rather than the subject itself. By creatively controlling this empty space around your subject, you can create some very dramatic effects: Adding vast space around your subject can help create beautifully minimalist images; controlling the space can help convey a desired tone or emotion; space can also be used to create interesting, unusual, or memorable compositions. When working with negative space, what’s not there can be just as important as what is there.

As always, let’s look at some examples:

the_sky_is_the_limit_smThe Sky is the limit – Kathrin & Stefan Marks

One of the most common uses of negative space is to create a minimalist image. In the shot above, the clouds (negative space) take up the vast majority of the image, yet the the actual subject itself (the bird) is comparatively small. Note how your eye instantly focuses on the bird– because the background is mostly empty and non-distracting, the bird is the first thing to capture the viewer’s attention. As well, having so much negative space makes for an interesting, memorable photo. (Much more-so than if it were an ordinary picture of a bird.)

 

blue_solo_smBlue Solo – Marcus Dumoulin

Negative space can also contribute to the mood of the image. In this shot, the negative space of the water and sky contribute to the overall feeling of solitude and isolation.

 

negative_space_smnegative space meeting – abby chicken

I quite like this photo. Though the two figures are the main subject, it’s the vast, empty separation between them that makes for a very interesting image.

 

cross_roads_smCross roads – Stef Lewandowski

Another technique is to use surrounding objects to shape the negative space into something interesting. In this shot, aptly named “Cross roads”, the buildings create a cross within the (empty) sky.

 

at_the_seaside_sm
At the seaside – Trevor Wintle

Finally, landscapes are a very common (and easy) way to use negative space. One common method is to place the horizon just slightly above the bottom of the picture, for a fun, interesting composition. This often works well with a lone tree.

For this week’s challenge, everyone should use negative space to help enhance your overall image. Exactly how you use this negative space is up to you: The space can be big or small; it can form an interesting shape; it can help set the overall mood; or it can just be something fun and unusual. As always, I encourage creativity, or any out of the box ideas you may have. Get your camera, be creative, and enjoy!

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
  • 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 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
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2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 42: THE WHEEL IS BACK

For those of you who were part of my first experimental WHEEL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, you’ll remember all the fun we had. I actually wasn’t too sure if it was going to be a hit. Due to popular demand, the WHEEL IS BACK for a second time this year. For those of you who see the WHEEL for the first time, you’re technically letting LADY LUCK define your PhotoChallenge for this week.

It’s all pretty simple. Here’s what I did, I’ve created TWO WHEELS for you to spin. WHEEL #1 contains 15 Photography Genres, including a WILD CARD. The WILD CARD gives you full freedom to choose a photography genre, but it must include an element spun in WHEEL #2. If for some reason you truly cannot complete the Challenge as spun, you get to spin a second time. Please be honest and challenge yourself by following the WHEEL’S making of your faith.

Once you’ve spun the first wheel, you will know what Photography Genre you will be applying to your PhotoChallenge. You then have to spin WHEEL #2 to figure out what element must be present in your image. This means you’re not getting through this challenge the easy way.

As an example I spun LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY on wheel #1 as a genre and STRAIGHT LINE on wheel #2 as an element of my image. Therefore I need to create a landscape image that contains a straight line. The image below would illustrate a LANDSCAPE with a STRAIGHT LINE at the horizon at the base of the trees.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: NATURE & LANDSCAPES &emdash;
Everyone will end up with a different challenge. The hard part comes in where you have to Challenge Yourself. Seek out the perfect subject, wait for the best light or create it while applying the best composition you can.

So you’re probably wondering where to spin the wheels. Due security limitations on WordPress I’m hosting the wheels on my site. Just click on the wheel below and you will be redirected to the following URL: http://www.trolettiphoto.com/blog/2017/10/the-photochallenge-inspirational-wheel-of-photography

To complete your challenge you will have to create an IMAGE containing the genre from WHEEL #1 you spun and an element within the image from WHEEL #2.

When posting your image please share with us the results of your WHEEL SPIN. You will have entire creative freedom in interpreting your PhotoChallenge.

GOOD LUCK!

Our friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Facebook, or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
  • 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 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

 

2017 – 3RD ANNUAL HALLOWEEN PHOTO CHALLENGE

Here we are with Halloween just around the corner. Unlike the previous years I haven’t had a chance to invest all the time I wanted to create that very special challenge. My true inspiration for this year’s Halloween challenge came to me in the form of a tweet on Twitter. NO, NOT from Trump, but from Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis comes back to us in the feature (SCARY) Movie, HALLOWEEN. You’re probably wondering how this translates into a Photo Challenge? It’s very simple, this year we’re going to recreate a scene from your favorite scary movies and horror films in a family-friendly way. That means no gore, blood, nudity or anything that would ruin a good night’s sleep. This image is perfect, leaving it all to the imagination.

 

Kevin, the disgruntled Baker gives us a great example of what we’re looking for…

The Call Is Coming From Behind You

Like myself you may not be an horror movie fan. In the image below, Jessica managed to creep herself out with her own image. I have to admit I see the creepiness in it as well…

deception.

To complete your challenge you will have to recreate, re-enact or simply create your own SCARY MOVIE SCENE

If you’re recreating, try and give us the original scene to compare to…

You will have ONE DAY, ONE DAY ONLY to post your image. You guessed it, Tuesday, October 31, HALLOWEEN 2017.

You basically have 20 days to plan, create and then post your image. This is all in good fun, so even if you don’t celebrate Halloween, it’s a special occasion to show us your creative ideas.

REMEMBER: This is make believe so please don’t harm anyone, any animal or anything in anyway shape or form.

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) for the Halloween Theme posted on this blog to Facebook, or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo #halloweenphotochallenge and #halloweenphotochallenge2017
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current Halloween theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2017 Halloween PhotoChallenge is Scary, Fun and Easy.

2017 Photochallenge, week 41: Hope

“Hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away.” – Rebecca Solnit

IMG_2967
Nothing like the sun – Maaike Groenewege

With all the tragic events that happen in the world right now, I would like use this week’s challenge as a space for sharing hope.

Our images cannot deny or change the reality of what is going on. But they can help us facing that reality, keeping us engaged and connected, help us preventing ourselves from becoming jaded, impassive or cynical.

16396412164_5b6cf22f49_o
Life can be so beautiful – Maaike Groenewege

And this would be my wish for this week. To follow your heart and share images of hope in all its forms, actions and shapes. Not to say that everything is fine, because, if we look around us, that’s clearly not the case. But to say that, no matter what, there’s always the broader perspective, a chance to act, a spark that drives us and unites us all.

No rules or guidelines this week, please feel free to follow wherever your ideas take you.

11055391_10204636911459063_9041760086393178307_n
Promise of spring – Maaike Groenewege

2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 40: Reflections

This week, we’re looking to create photos that have fun, interesting reflections. By photographing a reflection of your subject, you can often create a more interesting, memorable image than if you’d photographed the same subject directly. By including a reflection, your viewer will spend more time looking at your image, helping it better stand out. This week’s challenge is wide open to creativity– I want everyone to have fun, and photograph a reflection that you find interesting.

Reflections can be found all around us. Let’s look at some examples:

snowscape_smSnowy Lake – Eric Minbiole

Water is one of the most common places to find reflections. A lake or a puddle on a calm day can give an almost mirror-like finish, as in the example shot above. I love the symmetry of the image– had it been flipped upside down, you might not even notice the difference.

 

building_smreflections – 55Laney69

Man-made objects, such as buildings, cars, etc, can provide great reflective surfaces. In the above image, the reflections in the windows let us see behind the camera, and get a better look at the rest of the architecture.

 

sunglasses_smBaseball Reflection – MudflapDC

Photographing sunglasses often makes for a fun image– not only can you see the person, but also get a glimpse of what they’re looking at. I love this shot, as you can see how much fun the woman is having as she watches the baseball game.

 

subway_smreflection – sinkdd

Street photography is another great option, as with the example above. While this is a fantastic photograph even without the reflection, the mirror-like wall makes the image even more memorable.

 

coffee_sm
Coffee Portrait – Eric Minbiole

And, of course, your shot can be a bit silly or unusual if you like, as with this self portrait.

This week, your goal is to take a photograph that has a fun and interesting reflection. Everyone has lots of room for creativity this week: The reflection can be big or small, and can use whatever reflective surface you like. As always, I encourage creativity, or any out of the box ideas you may have. Get your camera, be creative, and enjoy!

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
  • 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 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 39: B&W with Soft Light

2016 WEEK 37: B&W - SHAPE “Dahlia” by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

This week’s challenge is to “see” in black and white. As I was doing research for this challenge, I came across the following quote which I absolutely love: “From an artistic viewpoint; color depicts reality. Black and white is an interpretation of reality.” In B&W, colors are “interpreted” into differing amounts of light and dark, i.e. different tonal values. In this challenge we are going to practice seeing a scene the way our camera interprets it in B&W or monotone.

Luna “Luna” by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

The most successful B&W images have a full range of tonal values from pure black to pure white with lots of wonderful gray tones in between – and it is those gray tones that keep the viewer lingering over a B&W image to explore the detail after the initial punch of contrast caused them to stop in the first place. The best way to capture the “in between” gray tones is to shoot in soft light, i.e. an overcast day, shade, the light from a north-facing window, etc.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts “Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts” by Steph Adams

“Although it’s relatively simple to give any image the black-and-white treatment, creating the kind of dramatic, moody black-and-white images you see in the portfolios of many a pro is all about choosing the right subject, [and] getting the lighting right…“ For example, the following two photos were taken just 30 seconds apart – same bird, same overcast light, same camera settings. I think you’ll agree that the tonal range of the bird in the photo on the right looks much better. But why? The difference is the background. In the photo on the left, the railing was much lighter than the bird and the even the background was a bit lighter making the bird appear relatively dark in the photo. In the photo on the right, there were trees with dark green leaves in the background and the bird is relatively much lighter.

finches

It can be tough at first to embrace the idea that contrasting colors do not necessarily mean contrasting tonal values. For example, a photo of a red tomato still on the vine may appear to be wonderful contrast, but when the red and green are shot in B&W, the resulting image may surprise you.

tomatoes-sm

I was curious how my camera treated the different colors when taking photos in B&W, so I created an image with a rainbow spectrum, took a photo of it on my screen and then superimposed the B&W from the camera over the color. (If you’re interested in doing the same, click here to download my rainbow image.) Notice that the magenta-green colors have nearly identical tonal values. Same with red-blue and cyan-yellow. While this is interesting to look at in theory, I’m not sure how much it helps when out taking actual photos. One tip I learned from multiple sources is that if your camera gives you a preview what an image looks like in B&W, use that to help you learn what looks good and what doesn’t.

spectrum-sm

Because we are focusing on capturing an image with full tonal range, the histogram will be very helpful in telling you whether or not you have achieved that. As I’m sure you can already guess, you want the histogram to span the full width, i.e. the full tonal range.

bw-histos

For more information on “seeing” in black and white, I found the following links very helpful:

Mastering the Art of Black and White Photography

How to Master Black and White Photography

The Complete Guide to Black and White Fine Art Photography

Flowers in Black and White

This week’s challenge:

  • Compose an image in soft light (shade, overcast day, ambient indoor light, etc.) that converts to a B&W or monotone photo with full tonal range.
  • If you shoot in RAW, it is fine to convert to B&W in post-processing. If you prefer SOOC (straight-out-of-camera), it is also fine to capture the image in B&W mode in your camera. The emphasis for this challenge is finding a softly lit scene that “translates” well to B&W, not the process you use to convert to B&W.
  • Please post the histogram for your photo in the comments under your post. If you are new to the challenge and haven’t done this before, it is easiest to take a photo of the histogram on the back of your camera. Or take a screenshot if you are using your phone. You can refer back to my first challenge this year if you would like more information on histograms and how to find them on your camera.

Our friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
  • 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 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 38: CHANGE OF SEASON

Here we are, the last weekend of summer, I’m guessing the last weekend of winter down under. I’m one to miss the passage of summer. I like it warm and dry just like an aircraft graveyard. As the end of summer approaches, I find myself looking back and realizing that summer just went by too fast. I also look forward to the beauty of autumn colors. Wouldn’t it be nice if it lasted a little longer without the threat of rain and winds to bring it all to an abrupt end?

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Pic Vert

Some northern destination like Northern Quebec are already showing signs of the onset of fall colors as fatigued vegetation responds to the arrival of autumn.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; The Old Barn / La vieille grange

A little more South, and the vegetation is fighting the shorter days and the greyer skies to suck up the last warm rays of summer sunshine. This I’ll miss as the lush green vegetation changes color to eventually become brown and snow-covered.

 

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Lac du Moulin - IR - Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno

It’s also our last chance to capture infrared light as it bounces off the lush green leaves. Although I do shoot IR all year round, nothing beats the whitish glow of infrared lit vegetation.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: MAMMALS / MAMMIFÈRES &emdash; The Fox and Squirrel... / Le renard et l'écureuil ...

It’s not just the vegetation, as autumn slowly rolls in, the competition for food to fatten up for winter has slowly begun. Small mammals are collecting autumn nuts while predators are on the lookout for a distracted squirrel.

 

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: SNOW GOOSE / OIE DES NEIGES (Chen caerulescens) &emdash; Snow Goose Landing / Oie des neiges atterrissant

This transition s also a time of year when migrating birds are regrouping for their voyage south. Warblers have already started their exodus as they follow their favorite source of food, insects. Larger birds such as snow geese have slowly started to gather as they will slowly start their southern migration from reservoir to reservoir.

YOUR CHALLENGE

What I’m looking for you is to photograph and document what you like the most of this passing season and / or the current transition. It doesn’t have to be nature but it should incorporate an element of the outdoors. This challenge is very open to individuality and interpretation. Our community members are located all over the world. Some live in different hemispheres and different altitudes like the Swiss Alps or the coast of Argentina.

Naturally for me my focus is nature and wildlife but I expect it to be different for everyone.

You will have to take a brand new image for this challenge but you can accompany it with an archived image to enhance the change you are documenting.

 

WHAT I EXPECT FROM YOU

This challenge being very open to interpretation I can’t set specific techniques. However I can insist on seeing the basics of photography applied to the best of your abilities. Remember we are photographing. This means that we are going to think about our image and take the necessary time to properly compose and capture our image. You may even have to go back to a given site to make sure you get the best light possible. Please submit a properly balanced image with proper composition, exposure and depth of field for your given subject and technique.

 

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
  • 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 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.