2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 42: OUTDOOR TINY PLANETS

Tiny Planets or Small Planets as some call them are created from rectangular pano images or equirectangular images created for 360 spherical views. I’ve always been a bigger fan of full spherical images (PhotoSpheres) but lately I’ve been having some fun with my images by turning them into these bizarre little planet like perspectives.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PhotoChallenge &emdash;

Making them is not as difficult as one may think. They’re actually simpler to make with an Android or IOS based smartphone so SmartPhone Photography fans will definately have a blast. PC users, especially PhotoShop users won’t be left behind in the dust either.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PhotoChallenge &emdash;

I’ll take you quickly through my workflow, but will add links to tutorials documenting other methodologies.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PhotoChallenge &emdash;

I create most of my basic images with a Ricoh Theta or I use an Android SmartPhone to create a basic PhotoSphere. At times I also use my DSLR with a Fisheye and blend the images. Don’t forget that we had a PhotoSphere Challenge back in ( 2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 23 OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – PhotoSpheres & 360 Degree Panoramas ) that should be helpful as a reference as well.

I then use an Android application called THETA + by Ricoh. It’s also available for IOS. Even if you don’t own a Ricoh Theta, the APP will assist you in creating your tiny planet from a PhotoSphere. There are also a multitude of TinyPlanet APPs available for Android and IOS.

You simply manipulate your image to your liking and save it.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: EQUIRECTANGULAR 360 DEGREE SPHERICAL PANORAMA - STREET VIEW PHOTOSPHERES &emdash;

Naturally the entire process works better outdoors. Your image will have to include a decent amount of sky from edge to edge. The image above is one I used for a TinyPlanet and is a good example of proportions to use. It works well from a rectangular perspective, as an equirectangular image and as a PhotoSphere as seen below. The advantage with an equirectangular image VS a Rectangular Pano is that you will have ends that match each other.

 

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

https://theta360.com/widgets.js

Here’s a little tutorial that goes a little deeper into the creation of your tiny planet adapted for PhotoShop Users.

Little Planet Photos: 5 Simple Steps to Making Panorama Worlds

 

Here’s a Video Tututorial and a simple search on YouTube will give you endless results.

Like all photography Challenges, your end result will totally depend on your initial image. It’s in your best interest to apply yourself and carefully plan out your initial Pano or Equirectangular image to achieve the best results in post processing your Tiny Planet.

You can search Google Play for your Android Phone App : https://play.google.com/store/search?q=tiny%20planet&c=apps&hl=en

You can search the APP Store for your IOS App : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-planet-photos-and-video/id425996445?mt=8

There are plenty of resources on the web and a simple GOOGLE SEARCH will probably overwhelm you.

 

hallowwen

 

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 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.

 

 

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.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, OCTOBER: SPECIAL HYPERLAPSE HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE

Due to last year’s overwhelming success with the Halloween Challenge, we’re back with another fun-filled PhotoChallenge. I personally love Halloween so no one had to twist my arm to come up with a brand new Challenge. Back in July we teased you with a little Hyperlapse video as we were just starting to work on our 2016 Halloween Challenge. For those who missed it, here it is below…

//www.zenfolio.com/zf/core/embedvideo.aspx?p=7c4c5abd.10

 

Since then we’ve been hard at work to create a very special Halloween Hyperlapse to truly introduce this special Month Long PhotoChallenge. You heard right, you’ll have the entire month of October to work on your Halloween Challenge. This means our weekly challenges will continue as-is. It’s only on OCTOBER 30th and the 31st Halloween Day that you will post your final 2016 Halloween Challenge Hyperlapse.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PhotoChallenge &emdash;

Our first stop, The Dollar Store! Just like last year, small budget is our middle name. No use in spending big money when you know there’s always a special bargain waiting for you that will look just great on camera.  Once the mask and the props were selected, it was off to a secret spooky shooting location.

 

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PhotoChallenge &emdash;

Before we go any further, I need to get you up to speed on what a hyperlapse is. It’s not much different from a timelapse for the exception that the camera travels a lot further during the shooting. The internet is full of resources and a simple search for hyperlapse photography should return more than enough information. I would have to say that one of the better tutorials to grasp the overall essence of an Hyperlapse just has to be this one by DigitalRev TV. I invite you to watch it below…

 

 

Here’s another great tutorial by Rob & Jonas’ Filmmaking Tips

 

 

Once you’ve captured your images, you’ll have to do some basic editing to get the light balanced throughout each image. I went a step further and added a vignette with some desaturation. I used Lightroom’s sync feature to get my edits onto every image of my hyperlapse. It looks like the suggested program to put them all together seems to be After Effects by Adobe. Realizing that not everyone has access to After Effects, I went low budget in the assembly of my hyperlapse and used a free movie editor that comes with windows 10, Windows Movie Maker. Same goes for Mac users, just use Imovie. We’ve even been able to do one from start to finish using a mobile phone app called PicPac which gave us the choice of saving our hyperlapse as a video file or an animated gif. This is our first test created with the PicPac app to get an overall idea of our costume choice without having to go back and forth to the computer between shoots.

 

And here for the piece de resistance, our final Halloween Hyperlapse, your inspiration for this year’s special October Halloween PhotoChallenge.

 

//www.zenfolio.com/zf/core/embedvideo.aspx?p=03e7633b.10

 

Compared to my initial Hyperlapse tests, I used bigger steps between frames. I also used less time from frame to frame in the final edit. I did that to make things a little jerkier and give a spookier effect, sort of like “The Blair Witch Project” without the close-ups. The smaller the steps between frames the smoother the animation will look. When you’re being chased by a monster, smooth is the last thing that’s going on.

Remember, you’ll have the entire month of October to plan shoot and assemble your Halloween PhotoChallenge.

I recommend you use a tripod and make sure your spooky model moves more or less the same distance between every frame as the camera does

When making things spooky, selective colors, B&W and Infrared help make things spookier. Vignetting is also a good tool. I was looking for a dark grey day to shoot, go figure, just sunshine everyday.

You don’t have to add sounds and music, but if you do, make sure you don’t break any Copyright Laws, choose only CC or Public Domain files.

Depending on the size and length of your hyperlapse you will have to choose to save it as an animated GIF or a VIDEO format. This is the FIRST and ONLY time that it will be acceptable to post a video as a final product of your PhotoChallenge. No matter the medium, it’s still called Hyperlapse Photography. You can choose to upload directly to Facebook or share your video from a video host such as YouTube.

This Challenge is totally about having FUN before anything else. Push your creativity to the limit and don’t be afraid to get your family and friends involved. If you can, team up with a fellow PhotoChallenge member.

 

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 40: GRAFFITI – GUEST POST

1

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.

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.

Untitled

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/

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 38: MIRRORED WATER REFLECTIONS

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: Art In and Around the City / Expositions d'art &emdash; Reflections of a Sea-Goddess - Amphitrite

 

Water from puddles to the Oceans is an incredible medium in photography. Still water has the ability to produce stunning mirror-like reflections. I took the above image at the World Trade Center in Montreal. The double staircase harbors a statue of the Sea-Goddess, Amphitrite. In front, a large table slab of black marble with water evenly flowing over it. The result, a symmetrical reflection of the scene.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: City Streets / Rue de la Ville &emdash; From the Old to the New / De l'ancien au nouveau

 

Water reflections can be especially interesting at night.  Textures and ripples in your water reflections add a higher level of reality and more depth to your image. Some scenes may necessitate the use of HDR techniques, don’t be afraid to push your limits to capture the image you want.

 

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: City Streets / Rue de la Ville &emdash; Lactantia at night / Lactantia de nuit

 

On a windy night on a reservoir filled with Snow Geese, your reflections can become quite abstract, yet the effect remains spectacular and enhances your overall image. This is a long exposure, over a minute. It allowed for the geese to disappear out of my scene and maximize the reflection.

http://www.trolettiphoto.com/zf/core/embedgallery.aspx?p=1709cbaf0f6f05211CCCCCC00e111111F5F5F5DDDDDD555555CCCCCC.2

 

September is a great time for Chinese Lanterns as many botanical gardens and municipalities around the world showcase them. Long exposures allow you to smooth out your reflections, while faster exposures reveal more of the water textures. Infrared is also a great medium to photograph Chinese Lanterns during the day.

 

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

 

Don’t be afraid to frame your reflections, it can be very efficient when it comes to adding perspective to your landscape images.

 

Puddle Mirror Reflection on Notre Dame//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
You can also better isolate your subject by framing both the real and the reflected image. This tunnel facing Notre Dame is a perfect example.

 

What you will need to complete your challenge:

  • I almost always use a tripod, especially for night photography. A tripod will allow you to better work your scene and experiment with multiple types of exposures.
  • You may want to use a Circular Polarizer Filter. It will enhance contrasts and will allow you to control the intensity of your reflections. Be careful as it can entirely eliminate reflections.
  • An ND (Neutral Density) filter or a VND (Variable Neutral Density) filter are a great tool to help you acquire longer exposure times during daylight hours.

 

Your final image should have both the subject (People, Structures, Nature…) and it’s reflection on water. It can be captured as a COLOR, B&W or INFRARED image. I highly encourage enhancing the look of your image with LONG EXPOSURES and/or HDR. Don’t be afraid to be creative during your shoot or/and in post processing.

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.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 37: B&W – SHAPE

One of the key elements of black and white photography is SHAPE. Using shapes effectively leads to strong compositions that draw in the eye of the viewer. Our world is filled with shapes that humans have created like the great pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, or the quilted patterns of farmland you see from planes. But nature also provides shapes – think of the gentle curve of rolling hills, the triangles formed by tall conifers, or the shadows cast by rock formations. Your challenge this week is focus on the shapes within your images.

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

Shapes can be well formed with clear geometry, or you can emphasize more natural shapes that blend into complex patterns. As with all black and white photography, tones and textures can emphasize different aspects of the shot. One thing to pay particular attention to this is the negative space, or blank space, in the shot. Empty spaces in a shot can help emphasize shapes.
We Remember Tomorrow//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Dark side//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Zig-Zag//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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

arcs//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.