2017 Photochallenge week 13 – Minimalism – Panning Motion

 

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evening ride, by poisson lucas

 

Let me remind you, Minimalism is “design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.”

What does that mean? It means deliberately seeking more and more negative space. It means, avoiding detailed images. It means all these things, and more.

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pan, by Alex Matravers

Don’t be afraid to go back and reread my first challenge, where I think I laid out a decent approach to all my Minimalism challenges throughout the whole year.

  • This week’s theme allows you to deliberately cause a decreased amount of detail, by the use of the skill called panning. Panning is actually capturing motion, by moving your camera, along with a moving subject. Now, be careful, you can pan for an image, but not get a minimalistic image. I’m including two goals within this week’s theme, panning, and minimalism. Achieving this week’s theme requires that you do both.
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Panning, by Nisarg Lakhmani

As always, I like to point you to other well written articles that better inform than I can.

As you see in the sample images I’ve included with this post, you’ll see that the photographer chooses their subject that is moving, and moves along with it, to capture it in a frozen state, all the while the background and foreground are blurred out of focus. This introduces us to the simplifying of everything, but the subject…enhancing the minimalist looking photograph.

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Nightspeed, by Daveblog

I’ve mentioned it before…TAKE YOUR CAMERA WITH YOU EVERYWHERE! Try not to plan this shot. Try to see it coming, and be ready for it. Don’t submit the first one you get. Take at least three, to challenge yourself to get the very best image. I don’t want to see the three, that’s for you. You create several images, and choose the very best piece of art, and submit it.

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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speed of light, by Jonathan Cohen

2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 7: Minimalsim – Monotone Landscape

Howdy y’all! Many of you don’t know me, and I think that’s kinda cool. If you check out my Author page, you can read up on how this all came to be, back when I started PhotoChallenge.org. It’s a fun story that pivots off my own love affair with photography.

If you head over and read up, don’t forget to return here, to actually read about my first challenge for 2017.

This year I’m going to use the mega theme of Minimalism. Each time it’s my turn to challenge you, I’ll give you a more detailed sub-theme to focus on, pun intended.

I’ll start with a simple definition of Minimalism, as it pertains to art and photography. I’ve begun to accept that photography is not as much of an art form but a craft that we must practice, expand our skill set, and work towards, if we seek to achieve an improvement on our product. The end result has the potential to be art, but we must become students of the craft, growing and changing in order to become master craftsmen and craftswomen. 🙂

The British Dictionary defines

Minimalism

Design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

I found several articles that help us get some additional clarity on the use of minimalism, with in the larger context of the art community. Rather than regurgitate that good information, please read them separately, to increase your understanding.

You may notice an overarching idea, the lack of personal expression. I take this to the next level, and encourage you to remove even the documentarian nature of photography. There will always be an inclination to be “documenting” something with your photography, you cannot effectively remove it completely. Photo journalism is the epitome of this, and I cherish photography’s contribution in that capacity. But for the sake of this challenge, we’ll be looking to harness a different approach. That’s the traditional artist’s approach to Minimalism. Yet, as you keep reading, you’ll notice a call to personal creativity, taking one more step from traditional art, into our world, the world of photography. Keep in mind that I may refer back to this introductory post on Minimalism, for future sub-themes, to keep us focused…

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This week’s sub-theme is Monotone Landscapes. What the heck is that? The landscape part is easy. Get outside. Shoot wide. Use a tripod. Use a smaller aperture, to capture depth in your scene, like over f/8 at least.

What about Monotone? Well, start thinking black and white, but then take a creative step back and think, single tone. So any single tone, and white…sorta. I think I’m making it more confusing. Just look at the sample images I’m including, you’ll have your answer.

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Summer Haze, by Grant MacDonald
Now, quit this idea of planning one time to go out and shoot, and shoot all dadgum week! As our rules encourage you below, Don’t leave home without your camera. I know many of you use your smartphone as your camera for these challenges. THat’s fine, but only shooting one image to process and submit isn’t going to cut it anymore. My challenges will be quite simple all year long, but that does’t mean I’m going to settle for you not doing your darnedest to create the best possible submission you can. It’s time to step up your game!

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Dune, by Nat Wilson
Now don’t get scared off. We are all working at different levels. The whole point of PhotoChallenge.org is that we push each other to do better. The Facebook group especially has grown tremendously in our collective ability to give and take creative criticism. Be ready to be pushed. Push each other. Be willing to take advice, and maybe even reprocess an image and submit it again within the comments of your submission on Facebook, to show you are learning.

Now go make yourself something beautiful!

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Treescape, by Ray Wewerka 
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 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 47: PORTRAITS – GROUP

With the holidays coming up many of us will be taking group photos of family and friends. Some will  be formal, others will be informal. This week for the challenge you get to practice taking group portraits. For those in the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday provides a perfect opportunity to grab a shot for this challenge.
group//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

For this challenge a group is at least two people, aside from that the size and setting are up to you. Just make sure it is a portrait, not just a picture of a group of people. In a portrait the people pose for the shot, so make sure your group knows you are taking their photo. The shot below is informal, but still a portrait. It came from the US National Archives. It was taken on the street, but the group of kids posed specifically for the shot.

Minority Youngsters Who Gathered To Have Their Picture Taken On Chicago's South Side During A Community Talent Show, 08/1973//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

You can also go with a more traditional portrait.
Javan Family Portrait 321//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Wallace Family Portraits 2009 (10 of 10)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

You can also mix in other portrait themes we’ve had this year, like environmental or portraits in nature.
Scott's Run, West Virginia. Johnson family - father unemployed, March 1937//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Gather some friends and family for the shot, and enjoy the company as you work. When you’re done you may end up with a great photo you can give as a gift to those in the shot.

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 #photochallenge2016.
  • 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.
  • The posted image should not be a Video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 45: B&W – TYPEFACE

When we look at words we don’t usually think about the use of typeface. We generally focus on the meaning the words are trying to convey. Whether it’s printed on a page, displayed on a screen, or on a sign the meaning of the words typically holds the most value. For visual designers the style of the words is as important as the words themselves. The visual message conveys as much meaning as the literal text. The challenge this week is to shoot examples of typefaces in signs or other public displays. The key to this challenge is public use of typeface, so books, magazines and other materials around the house shouldn’t be used. You’ll need to get out in public to shoot this challenge.
Drake's Dealership//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Typeface is a particular design of type – most often we think of this as the font. Many signs use a combination unique fonts. This challenge is similar to the sign challenge we had last year, but this challenge specifically deals with typeface. By using black and white, the shape of the typeface becomes more important since there are no colors to make the words stands out. Words on signs that stand out in color may not stand out is black and white.

zone 30//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

You do have to be limited to signs. You can shoot any typeface in public. Graffiti is fine as long as it isn’t handwritten.
NYC #5//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Motel Trailer Park, Plate 2//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Just Married, Plate 2//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Love...//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Like many of the black and white challenges, shape and contrast will be the key to this challenge. Look for something unique and think about the choices the designer made when creating the sign.

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.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • 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.
  • The posted image should be an Animated GIF or a Video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 41: B&W – WEALTH

Money makes the world go ’round. Well, that’s a matter of perspective, but there’s no doubt that wealth and money are woven into the fabric of society and influence our culture. That influence can be positive – we’ve seen many wealthy people donate huge sums of money to help others – or the influence of money can expose the worst of humanity, we don’t have to look much farther than the current US election cycle to see that. The challenge this week is to capture your interpretation of Wealth in black and white.

The interpretation of “wealth” is up to you, and it doesn’t have to be something dealing with money. It’s a wide open theme, just shoot it in black and white.

Austin Healey 3000MkIII//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

So Cannes #9 - Like master, like dog...//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Pawn Shop//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Gucci Store//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

millionaires//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Mansion in Mississauga//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

 

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.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • 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.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
GRAFFITI ARTIST AT WORK – STREET FAIR IN PORTLAND, MAINE photo by Larry Cotton

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE WEEK 40: GRAFFITI – GUEST POST

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Graffiti is an art form I appreciate for many reasons. The artwork itself is often very bold and colorful; messages are sometimes profound or political in nature (occasionally bordering on anarchy). There is a certain vicarious thrill associated with the risks – both physical and legal – taken by the artists in the creation of their work.

GRAFFITI WITH A MESSAGE Photo by Larry Cotton
GRAFFITI WITH A MESSAGE Photo by Larry Cotton

 

GRAFFITI WITH A MESSAGE Photo by Larry Cotton
GRAFFITI WITH A MESSAGE Photo by Larry Cotton

 

GRAFFITI ARTIST AT WORK – STREET FAIR IN PORTLAND, MAINE photo by Larry Cotton
GRAFFITI ARTIST AT WORK – STREET FAIR IN PORTLAND, MAINE photo by Larry Cotton

 

GRAFFITI ARTIST AT WORK – STREET FAIR IN PORTLAND, MAINE photo by Larry Cotton
GRAFFITI ARTIST AT WORK – STREET FAIR IN PORTLAND, MAINE photo by Larry Cotton

 

Searching out and photographing graffiti can make for a fun and adventurous day (or night). For me there is a thrill in visiting abandoned buildings, old industrial parks and exploring underneath bridge abutments.

This subject lends itself to many photography tools: HDR, flash, light painting…..Have fun! Be safe!

 

Photo by Larry Cottn
Photo by Larry Cottn

 

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.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • 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.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
Featured image by Rebecca Krebs – Fabiola – CC – https://www.flickr.com/photos/missturner/17102516750/

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 39: PORTRAITS IN NATURE

Gary and I are filling in for Trevor on the Portrait Challenges. Portraiture is far from my forte, and this one kept me up all night as I tried to come up with something new and unique in order to break the monotony of portraits. Being outdoors in the wilderness for the better part of my days, I figured Nature could be an intricate part of a portrait, not just a background, but a prop for your subject to immerse in.

toddler nature//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Being an editorial photographer, the first thing that comes to my mind is documenting a discovery experience in nature. Children’s expression as they discover nature can be just priceless.

Face of the Nature//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Framing a child with leaves can enhance a look of innocence. Leaves have a tendency to reflect light, so pay attention as to not let those reflections distract from your subject. Using a polarized filter can also help. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your light by using reflectors and diffusers…

Tina in Field//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Blurred out foreground vegetation can add depth and mood to your portrait. Pay attention to direct sunlight on your subject, a diffuser can soften the light. Take great care in properly orienting your subject so the light is just right for the photograph you want to create.

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Not all vegetation needs to be lush and green, dried out vegetation can add a more dramatic impact to your image. Post processing, contrast and monochrome tones can further enhance the impact.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Serie :: the Children of Ilúvatar 2//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Don’t be afraid to create a fantasy scene, nature can provide the ideal setting to let your imagination run wild.

November sun//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

At times nature can bring on such a sensation of pleasure that it just needs to be photographed and immortalized.

The original goal of the portrait challenges, as introduced by Trevor, was to use a different subject at every challenge. This challenge is as much a great opportunity for a self portrait as it is a great family activity in the great outdoors.

Collapsible reflectors and diffusers are a great tool as well as a polarized filter. If you can get your subject to stay absolutely still by running water, a VND or ND filter can create some amazing effects.

As usual, I always recommend a tripod. It allows you to take your time, think and experiment.

When outdoors please take great care, nature can have a few surprises waiting for you. Educate yourself on plants, insects and animals that can harm you or at times kill you. Don’t rely on what you once knew, nature is changing and adapting to changing climate. Plants like Giant Hogweed can now be found in places you’d least expect. Insecticides based on essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus can protect you from ticks and mosquitos and are less harmful than DEET based products for humans and their pet companions.

hallowwen

Coming this October, a month long PhotoChallenge for Halloween!

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.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • 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.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

 

Featured image by Rebecca Krebs – Fabiola – CC – https://www.flickr.com/photos/missturner/17102516750/