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.

 

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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.

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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 )

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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

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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.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 49: B&W and INFRARED – PLACES OF WORSHIP

Filling in for Gary I’ll stick with his B&W theme. I’m however going to take two different angles with this challenge. For those of you who are ready for INFRARED PHOTOGRAPHY, we have the outdoor of a place or worship (CHURCH, TEMPLE, etc….) in INFRARED. I’ll even entertain some false infrared colors. Since I didn’t give you guys a warning ahead f time to get ready for INFRARED you can shoot this challenge like a regular B&W challenge.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Basilique Sainte-Anne de Varennes - IR

I personally purchased an Opteka 6.5mm fisheye lens for my Full Spectrum Nikon D300s. I had a blast with this lens, a fantastic value for around $200. Not having a fisheye is not the end of the world as you can take several images to photograph your scene and then stitch them together.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Église de Sainte-Famille - IR

Like the previous Church, this one is symbolic of Southern Quebec Parishes established at least one century ago. They’re actually from two neighbor towns, Varennes and Boucherville in the Province of Quebec, Canada

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Rockingham Church and St. Leonard's Anglican Cemetery - IR

This is a much older church nestled in a small town in Ontario, Canada. It’s nestled on a little hillside and has an historical cemetery spread throughout the grounds.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Saint-Vincent-de Paul IR

You don’t need a close-up! Here’s the entire Parish of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul bordering the Montreal Back River in the City of Laval.

Église de Font - CHâbles Suisse

Things can get much older in Europe as this image of the Church of Font next to the Castle Ruins. Font is a small town in Switzerland located next to the Medieval town of Estavayer-le-Lac on Neuchâtel Lake.

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For those adventurous enough, here’s a little chapel nestled atop a mountain in Auvergne, France. (Chapelle de Brionnet à Saurier Puy de dome – Le pic de Brionnet, pays d’Issoire en Auvergne)

Religious or not there’s plenty to photograph across the globe. Always show respect for a place of worship no matter your beliefs.

In infrared you will definitely need a tripod, I always use a tripod as it allows me to hold the camera in place, think and experiment.

_tra6764_stitch2-neige-pre-alpes-steve-troletti-sm_edited(COVER IMAGE – The Church of the commune of Sorens in the Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland(CH)) You can see the Fribourg Pre-Alps in the background….

 

 

RESOURCES:

CLICK HERE for a DIY Infrared Filter search on Google

CLICK HERE for an Infrared Post Processing search on Google

 

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.

2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 52: ARCHITECTURE – open

This week is short and sweet. I’d like you to take some time and go back through all the architectural themes, and select either your favorite theme, or the one that was the hardest for you. Explain to us why, in your submission, and how you did it better this time, or how you’ve improved. This shot proved to be the hardest for me because I wanted to avoid what so many of you had already done. Then the spookiness of the result I was so proud of.

BSA Scout House, Ventura County Council

 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 #photochallenge2015.
  • 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 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 48: ARCHITECTURE – BARNS

Barn

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI’ve exhausted my original list of ideas! So I hit Flickr’s Explore, then Instagram’s Explore, and presto! Barns. How have I never had us shoot barns?

Old Barn//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Well, luckily they’re self explanatory. But I don’t want to hear any excuses, even if you live in an urban environment, you can find a barn close by. Many law enforcement agencies have a “mounted devision”, see if you can photograph their barn. I checked out 5 US major metropolitans, three of which should already be snow covered, each had some sort of special barn within 20 miles of downtown. When it comes down to it, if you Google around, you’ll find something. You Southern Hemisphere peeps obviously have nothing to complain about.

Back to the Car Barn

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsMessage me if you’re truly coming up empty, you urbanites. Everyone else probably already knows what barn they’re going to shoot.

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

Now, the challenge embodies more than taking a snapshot of a barn. Whether or not you joined us last week, or years ago, we’ve all been learning new techniques. Go back and scan through some of your own submissions, and get motivated and maybe reminded of some ideas you could apply to photographing your barn.

Hoffman's Dairy Garden - steel barn with pumpkins 2 - 148

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI think it would be important to use a tripod for this one. You can shoot it wide. You might have to, based on how close you must be to the barn. Maybe you can shoot it across a field, with a zoom, putting it in a greater context. 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 #photochallenge2015.
  • 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 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

        The view from the Good Luck Bar - The Sheds @ 1 Fox//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

2015 CHALLENGE WEEK 44: ARCHITECTURAL – INDOOR…

So this week could feel like my latest architectural post, that was actually written quite well by Steve Troletti. But don’t fret. It’s actually going to tap on techniques we’ve learned all throughout this year’s challenges, and should really not be a large challenge for most.

Miller Cottage

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI’m introducing the notion that architectural photography, indoors, is really a crossed skill for real estate photography. Ever played around on Zillow, dreaming? Ever actually been looking for a new place? What’s the result? HORRIBLE PHOTOS of the new home. You could actually, if you’ve considered semi-professional or even professional photography, be taking these skills you’ve acquired and applying them to generate revenue.

DSC_0744//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Here’s the deal. You either HDR or use real lights, to do it like a pro.

DSC_0764

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsHere’s my story with “real estate” photography. I considered myself an advanced amateur photographer. My mother saw greater potential in me, and she was an interior designer, retired now. She knew that I could handle the challenge, and asked me to consider becoming her portfolio photographer. As an interior designer, she needed professional shots of all the work she was doing. I mulled it over. I bought a book, actually a couple of books. I realized that I needed just the right wide angle lens for these kinds of shots, and didn’t have it. So, as payment for my first gig, she bought me the lens I needed. I was a Nikon guy then, and the Sigma 10-20mm (there are newer better options out today) was a God-send. It actually became one of my favorite two lenses for all occasions. I dearly miss an ultra wide, now that I’ve switched to the FujiFilm XF system. There’s 3 at the top of my Amazon XT-1 wishlist, in no particular order. FYI. 🙂 Fast forward, I’m shooting all her stuff, and it was awesome fun. If I’d had the time and gumption, I’d have pursued some more interior design clients, and maybe the higher end real estate clients. Over the years I found a couple of really good folks to follow and learn from. One being Scott Hargis. Just looking at his work, I learn so much. I take his Flickr feed fullscreen and just wander around, learning so much.

SD2013: Middlebury College Kitchen//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This week’s challenge is to take what you’ve learned and apply it. I’ll link to a couple of blog posts that will help you more than I can, so read them! Scott’s blog I linked to above is mostly images, but he’s written some good posts as well. Also, he’s got a book you might consider as well, especially if you want to pursue this farther beyond the themed week. He’s all about lighting interiors instead of the HDR method.

Dining Karen & Jim

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsFYI, my method was to light them as well, and mom’s company simply set up an account at Samy’s Camera, and I called in what I needed for each job, to rent. I started out with the overkill, getting large Prophoto and Broncolor set ups. Such a waste of mom’s money. Once I realized I could achieve all I needed with a Pelican case of speed lights, I’d PocketWizard them all together, and presto I was getting the same results, with smaller, easier to hide, lower cost lights.

However, I think the majority of you will find the challenge easier if you use an HDR method. But here’s the deal, don’t over do the processing. You don’t want me know it’s HDR. This is the time for restraint with this technique. If you have more than one speed light (aka flash) and can control them both with your camera, or even a cheap set of Chinese made triggers, go with that method. 

Lacock Village & Abbey (NT) 25-09-2013

I hope I’ve motivated you to do what we already know how to do, but with a little purpose. If you’re shooting your own home or a friend’s, consider tidying up more than you would normally. Declutter everything. And you might consider removing ANYTHING personal. Let’s buck up and treat this one like you’re trying to sell that room!

20.Wyban.21N.SE.WDC.30jan06

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsOh yeah, one more thing…USE A TRIPOD! And try to level the camera. The goal is not angled walls. We want clean lines and everything orderly. The photo above is a great, bad example of how not to do it.

SD2013: West Virginia//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 #photochallenge2015.
  • 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 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

[photo credit for featured image: Symmetry, mmmmm good, by Trevor Carpenter]

2015 CHALLENGE WEEK 40: ROOM WITH A VIEW – HDR

Filling in for Trevor I’ll focus on his Architectural theme for the PhotoChallenge. This week I was thinking of a little technique that is often used for real estate photography and portraying rooms in a catalog.

Kabania – Cabanitas – Totoche – Interieur / Inside – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

https://theta360.com/widgets.jsHDR is often used to portray the inside of a room with the outdoor view from the windows on one well exposed image. A minimum of two images is necessary, although three works better. One with the room well exposed and one with the windows well exposed. Once blended in HDR, you will have a well balanced image of the interior and the exterior view. The above HDR image is in a 360 degree photosphere which is great for online virtual tours. Good Morning//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

If you don’t use HDR with at least two images and rely on your camera’s automatic settings, you’ll have an image resembling the one above. The result, blown out details in the window and most probably an underexposed interior.

Room View, Hollywood Beach Marriot

Nothing can be more inviting than being able to show an ocean view from inside the room. In this case the view sells the room.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsLiving Room View

Same goes for this living room view above. The view is as much part of the decor as the leather couch and the wood log interior. The final image was created from 11 images incrementally exposed. To make the look real, we usually use what is referred to as a PHOTO REALISTIC HDR rendition. HDR often results in a cartoonish look. That’s not what we’re looking for. We want it to look as natural as possible. You’ll have to pay attention to color saturation and hue when blending your images.

To complete this challenge you will have to:

  • Capture at least two images with different exposures to create one well balanced image of an interior with it’s view clearly visible. The image can be a standard flat two dimensional image or a 360 degree photosphere. (Refer to our photosphere challenge)
  • Blend the two or more exposures to create one image that has a photo realistic look.

Your image has to document the room as well as the view. Make sure the room elements such as decor and walls are present in your image. We want more than just a window frame with a view. We want to feel the hidden charms behind the room in question.

Both Lightroom and Photoshop now include HDR functions. HDR blending options are now available in most photo editing software including mobile phone apps. They are often now part of your camera settings and can be programmed and blended in your camera or phone. Therefore the tools to complete this challenge are now readily available for mainstream photography as well as mobile phone photographers.

Your best friend in this case will be a tripod to stabilize your camera or phone. Each image as to match exactly in order to be well blended to one HDR image.

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 #photochallenge2015.
  • 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 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.