2017 Photochallenge week 13 – Minimalism – Panning Motion

 

14698821588_a3748890b4_o
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.

14573458987_4e391ec6a7_o.jpg
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.
6465119037_835af0e4b6_o
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.

2569367987_24a2a963f1_o
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.
12493140405_cc96b74d28_o
speed of light, by Jonathan Cohen

2017 THROWBACK CHALLENGE, WEEK 12 : ARCHITECTURE – WINDOWS LOOKING OUT

Normally this would be a guest challenge but I have yet to organize them for the 2017 PhotoChallenge. I decided to try something new this week, sort of a time warp as we go back in the PhotoChallenge Archives. Not too far, the 2015 Challenge, Week 12 : ARCHITECTURE – WINDOWS LOOKING OUT.

For those of you who participated in the PhotoChallenge back in 2015, it’s a chance to improve and compare your work. For the rest of you, there’s plenty we’ve already covered that you can apply to push your limits and create the ultimate image. From HDR to Portraiture ,this is probably one of the most versatile challenges.

Here we go back in time for the Week 12 of the 2017 PhotoChallenge.

We sometimes think of architectural photography as looking at a building from the outside. A great deal of architectural engineering and design is often invested in giving a look from the inside to the outside. Windows and glass paneling connects us with the outside world, illuminating the indoors and often enhancing its appearance.

Coit Tower City View

Not all windows have glass panes. Many older structures in Europe and the Middle East have but openings carved out of the structure and protected by shutters when necessary. I find it connects us better with the world outside our four walls.

NYC Window View (a la Edward Hopper)

Not all windows give us the dream view we’re all contemplating. For some it’s but the hustle and bustle of urban life. This New York City Hotel Room view is the perfect example.

Pier Window

Even this abandoned building on the peer has a dream view through its industrial windows that are the envy of many Malibu homes.

I'm a young one stuck in the thoughts of an old one's head. (205)

You can add portraiture to your architectural image thus enhancing the sense of being and of welfare.

Breakfast with a View
At times Photo-Realistic HDR techniques of two or more images are needed to fully capture the ambiance of a room. The brightly lit outdoor scene needs to be balanced with the poorly lit view of the room.

Our friendly community guidelines 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 11 – Storytelling – In my town

Back to storytelling this week! The challenge in short:

  • we’re going to shoot a series of three images (simply add all three images in your main Facebook post)
  • in black and white
  • telling a story about your home town

Where our first storytelling challenge was about you, this week, we’re going to explore our surroundings. With so many participants from so many areas and countries, I’m really looking forward to seeing what makes your home town so special, and most of all, so dear to you.

So take your camera and start hunting for those typical people, street views, buildings that characterise your city. Or capture the rolling hills, quaint shops and community gatherings of your small town. Your grandparent’s house, your old school, the place where you met your future husband or wife…or the desolate isolation of the big city where you’re still trying to find your own sense of home. Anything goes, as long as it’s about you.

whitby
Whitby Harbour – Maaike Groenewege

About series

Series are a great way of telling a story, because the images in a series allow you to highlight various aspects of your topic, add a sense of time and gives you a certain structure to work with. In a good series, the images reinforce each other.

How do I make a series?

Putting images together doesn’t automatically create a series. The secret of a great series is that all images together form a coherent whole. You cannot leave any of the images out, without loosing some of the overall impact. This means that every image is a great image in itself and  adds to the effect of the series as a whole.

How do I connect my images to form a coherent series?

By Topic: the most obvious way, each of the images shows an aspect of the same topic. This is where your storytelling qualities have a chance to shine. What are you going to show? And why? Remember that sometimes, ‘not showing’ can create a very strong sense of suspense.

markthal2
Mensen van de Markthal – Maaike Groenewege
markthal3
Mensen van de Markthal – Maaike Groenewege
markthal5
Mensen van de Markthal – Maaike Groenewege

By shape: another way of creating a coherent set is by using the same ‘shape language’ in your series, such as squares/lines or  soft/blurry/undulating. Pay attention to contrast as well: your series becomes less strong if there’s one picture that catches the eye. In that case, consider killing a darling. Or two.

 

rennende-jochies
In Transit – Maaike Groenewege
plaza
In Transit – Maaike Groenewege
station4
In Transit – Maaike Groenewege

By perspective: another way to help you create coherence is to use the same perspective and distance to your subject in each image. This will create a natural flow from image to image, and will keep the viewer from having to switch too much.

Of course, there are many more ways, feel free to experiment!

Inspiration

For some great street/city/series photography, make sure to check out www.martinroemers.com, home of award-winning photographer Martin Roemers.

For examples of series photography, visit Lensculture’s section on visual storytelling/

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 10: Frame Your Subject

For this week’s composition challenge, we’ll explore creative ways to Frame Your Subject. Framing uses foreground objects to surround the main subject in the background. Doing so draws your eye into the photo, right to the subject. This is a great technique to help create more interesting, memorable photos.

phillytunnel_sm

Philadelphia Tunnel – Eric Minbiole

The shot above uses the tunnel as a frame for the landscape. Not only does it help lead the eye towards the clouds and the landscape, it also gives the picture a much better sense of depth. If this had simply been a picture of the clouds, you might not give it a second look. However, by adding the framing, the photo becomes much more interesting and memorable.

cupcakes_sm

New Year’s Resolutions – Tonya Bender

The photo above is one of my favorite examples of framing. While the cupcakes themselves are beautifully arranged and photographed, it’s the combination of the cupcakes and the surrounding pan that really make this a fantastic photograph.

The framing can be virtually anything. It can be a bit more subtle, like the branches around this deer:

deer_sm

Peek-a-Boo – Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

… Or the framing can be more “obvious”, like the literal frame, below:

frameframe_sm

frame – Mario Mancuso

For this week’s challenge, you should frame your subject in an interesting, unusual, or fun way. Your framing can be most anything that you want– Natural, man-made, subtle, or obvious. You are encouraged to get creative and have fun with it!

Optional Twist: As I noted last time, my challenges will include an optional twist. This week’s twist is “Splash of Color“. (Last week, we focused on images that were predominantly red; this week’s twist is the opposite– add a splash of color to an otherwise muted image.) As before, the twist is completely optional. Regardless of whether or not you follow the twist, your photo should still use framing as part of your composition.

Get your camera, and have fun!

Banner Photo: Into the Woods – Eadie Minbiole

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 9: RED

Everyone did a great job in our last histogram challenge! However, I noticed some confusion in the comments that I thought would make for a good follow-on challenge. Before we go any further though, I want to reiterate that the shape of the histogram is not important. There seemed to be some confusion about this. The truth is that there is no ideal shape for a histogram. What is important is that the width of the histogram should typically span the entire tonal range without blocking up against either side. (There are of course exceptions to this rule and we’ll explore some of those later in the year.)

rmnp-with-histo

Rocky Mountain Rainbow – Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Some of you followed this guidance perfectly in the last histogram challenge and yet you felt your image looked overexposed. You’ll be happy to know your eyes were not deceiving you! The answer can be found in the RGB (colored) histograms. In my last challenge I asked you to focus solely on the Luminosity histogram. That works fine for most photos, but can be inadequate for photos with a strong color cast (such as a sunset) or a predominant color (such as a red flower) as in the example below:

overexposed-red-with-luminosity-histo

Hopefully the above photo looks overexposed to you. The red tones look blotchy without a lot of detail. However the Luminosity histogram looks fine – maybe even a bit underexposed. To figure out this apparent discrepancy, let’s take a look at the individual RGB histograms. (The RGB histograms give us information about the individual red, green and blue colors that make up every color in your photo.) It doesn’t take a whole lot of sleuthing to discover that the Red histogram has a spike at the far right side, i.e. detail is blown out in the red tones of the photo.

overexposed-red-with-rgb-histo

Blown out detail in the red tones is a fairly common issue with digital cameras. Luckily it’s easy to adjust for it once you know how to identify the problem. If you are ever concerned that you’ve lost detail in your photo, take a look at the RGB histograms. If you see a spike on either side of any of the histogram, you’ve found the culprit. To correct the issue, you simply need to adjust the exposure compensation on your camera until you no longer have any spikes blocked up against the sides of the histograms.

red-flower-proper-with-histos

Anthurium – Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Note: The spike on the left side of the histograms above is on purpose. This is one of those exceptions to the rule that I mentioned above. In this image I wanted the background to be solid black, i.e. no detail. So in this case, the spike tells me that I achieved that effect. The important aspect of the histograms above is that there are no spikes at the far right side of the histograms, so no detail has been lost in the lightest parts of the image.

********************************

Optional info: If you’d like to know the technical details behind why the Luminosity histogram sometimes fails to give a complete picture, read on. If not, skip down to the next line of asterisks for this week’s challenge. This is not required reading. 😉

To better understand why the Luminosity and Red histograms look so different, let’s compare the color and grayscale versions of the overexposed photo. In particular, focus on the two areas where the red detail is most blown out.

overexposed-red-vs-gray

If we look at the gray (luminosity) value of those two points, it should be obvious that they are squarely in the darker mid-tones, i.e. nowhere near white.

midtones

If you think about it, this makes sense. Imagine a red color and then imagine that same tone in B&W. It would not be white or anywhere close to white, right? That is why the Luminosity histogram is insufficient as the only tool for determining proper exposure. The Luminosity histogram reflects only the gray values of an image, but it is entirely possible that a single color may get blown out even though the color itself is in the middle of the Luminosity range. Luckily our cameras give us the tools we need to spot this problem so that we can make adjustments while we’re taking our photos: the RGB histograms.

 

********************************

If you haven’t already guessed, the challenge this week is to take a photo of something RED and also post both the Luminosity and Red histograms in the comments:

  • At the very least, the color red should dominate the photo. If desired, it might completely fill the frame.
  • Think “bright red”. While there are some stunning images with deep red tones, this week I want you to focus on making the red tones as bright as possible without losing detail.
  • You will have an easier time if your red object is not shiny, but your choice of subject is up to you.
  • Please post both the Luminosity and Red histograms in the comments under your photo. (You can post the Green and Blue histograms as well if they are part of the same display as the Red histogram.)

What you will need to complete your challenge:

  • A camera with the ability to show the RGB histograms when reviewing photos on the LCD –or– a phone app which does the same. Some cameras show the RGB histograms right along with the Luminosity histogram, but other cameras show them on a different screen. You’ll need to look in the instructions for your camera. Here are some iPhone apps and here are some Android apps. (Be sure to read the app details to make sure it has a histogram. A “live histogram” means that the histogram is active while you take the photo, but may not be viewable afterwards. If that’s the case, you can simply take a screenshot to capture the histogram while your camera app is on.)
  • Knowledge of how to change the exposure in your camera or camera app. This may be needed if you find that your histogram is not optimal and you need to adjust your exposure. If you don’t know how to do this, look up “exposure compensation” in the manual for your camera.
  • The easiest way to capture the histograms on your camera LCD is to simply take a photo with another camera.

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.
  • The posted image should be a still image or an animated GIF, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 8: Long Exposures Animated GIF

This may sound a little strange, but it’s as much fun as you can have with a camera, a computer and a little time on your hands. If you let your imagination run wild, there is no limit to what you can create. The foremost objective of this challenge is to produce a unique visual experience to dazzle your 2017 PhotoChallenge Community Members.

4377021589_861f064e35_o-1

The above image by Pedro Belleza is the perfect example of what we’re looking for, an animated GIF with a mix of long exposures. There’s also an added little touch of Tilt-Shifting. Long Exposures have been covered several times in the past ( SEARCH LONG EXPOSURE CHALLENGES ) and animated GIFs as well. ( SEARCH ANIMATED GIF CHALLENGES )

16423617015_f3787d8ab0_o

Since we’re working with light, long exposures are by definition easier to create at night. With a few simple tools you can work your long exposures during daylight hours. We would usually use a Neutral Density filter or a Variable Neutral Density Filter to reduce the amount of light entering the camera through the lens. For those of you who want to avoid the cost of a pricey filter, you can always use a pair of dark sunglasses from the dollar store. Here are some DIY ideas on a GOOGLE SEARCH

deluz

Incorporating Light Painting and many other techniques we’ve covered in the past will help you create your very own unique touch for this PhotoChallenge.

What you will need to create your challenge image :

  • When working with long exposures, a stable tripod is a must. I would also suggest a wired or wireless trigger to make sure the camera doesn’t  move when pressing the trigger.
  • A way to reduce light. A store-bought filter or a DIY project. You will also want to reduce your ISO and close your aperture to increase your exposure times.
  • This will demand a bit of planning for each frame of your animated GIF. You may want to create a little story board to maintain your creative focus throughout your shoot.

When it comes to creating an Animated GIF there are plenty of resources online for which many are free. You can also use Photoshop and other purchased software.

Searching for LONG EXPOSURE ANIMATED GIF on Google will reveal plenty of inspirational images.

Our Friendly Community Guidelines are 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.

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…

14249023484_0b77bdd9ed_k

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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!

6404509379_8313f260e2_o
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.