2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 30: Wheel of Photography ;-)

Trying to make everyone happy while creating a PhotoChallenge is a hard thing. Fortunately for me, I found a new approach that will make life much easier by potentially making you all responsible for your own PhotoChallenge themes. It may not make you HAPPY, it may make you MISERABLE, but lady luck will be the one to decide ūüôā

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/the-photochallenge-wheel-of-fortune

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¬†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‚Äôs image.
  • Don‚Äôt leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

 

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE WEEK 2: VIEW FROM UNDER THE BRIDGE – HDR

First and foremost, I want to wish you all a Wonderful New Year and a BIG THANK YOU for being part of the 2016 PhotoChallenge.

Here it is, my first PhotoChallenge of the year. Keeping up with my traditional Outdoor Photography themes, I’ll be bringing a multitude of different techniques to apply in both urban and natural settings. As you all know by now, every 4th 2016 PhotoChallenge will be a guest post from one of you. You’re all welcome to volunteer and contact me with your contribution to become one of our next Guest Challengers.

Snowy Winter Scenes are a real challenge on this¬†El Ni√Īo year. Suisse Romande, the western French speaking part of Switzerland has yet to accumulate any snow in the lower elevations. Montreal, Canada had no snow for Christmas and this weekend the temps are above freezing. Winter snow storms are translating into torrential downpours.¬† Southern California has been anything but sunny.

For this second PhotoChallenge of the year, I decided to get us to photograph a point of view from under a bridge. One, it will keep the rain off our heads. Second, it’s challenging from a composition point of view. The true challenge remains lighting. It’s generally darker under the bridge than it is out in the open. Since I want you to include parts of the bridge’s understructure, I’m making this an HDR PhotoChallenge.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash;

I chose to photograph my PhotoChallenge image above with a full-frame fisheye lens. Your perspective will vary greatly depending on the focal length of the lens you choose. I added an extra ounce of challenge by including the bright soon to set Sun piercing through the clouds in my image.  I also applied a little defishing to the final image to give it a more linear feel.

challenge-hdr-sample-steve-troletti

As illustrated by my RAW Image Thumbnails above, I initially shot 10 images each at 1.5 stops interval. This allows me to get some detail in the bright sunlit areas to the poorly lit underparts of the bridge. In post processing I selected only 5 of the 10 images, those I felt gave me the range I needed to get the most out of every area of my composition. To keep things simple I used LightRoom’s HDR merge and completed to final image adjustments in Photoshop. Third Party dedicated HDR software will give you a much higher image quality. On the flip side, you can¬†use the built in HDR features of your¬†camera or smartphone as in the image below.

DSC_8733-HDR-Edit-under-papineau-bridge-sm2

To complete this challenge I highly suggest you use a tripod. Even when using the built in HDR camera functions, stability is your best friend. Your image will need to illustrate a landscape/cityscape style view from under a bridge. It must also include elements of the underparts of a bridge’s structure. Depending on your focal length you may end up slightly next to the bridge. Please be careful not to put yourself in arms way of falling objects. Remember snow plows also clear bridges projecting snow to either side.

I want to stress that for the 2016 PhotoChallenge, we’re emphasizing taking your time to properly compose and capture your scene. This is meant to be photography, not a snapshot session. The final result should be a well composed image with well balanced light that is pleasing to the eye. Don’t be afraid to experiment with manual settings, different apertures and shutter speeds. In the right circumstances, long exposures can add a dramatic effect.

Here are some inspiring examples found on Flickr

HDR Photo of a Lifeguard Tower on Singer Island//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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

Elisabeth Bridge//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 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‚Äôs image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don‚Äôt leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 CHALLENGE WEEK 43: SPOOKY HALLOWEEN INFRARED ANIMATED GIF

VERSION FRANÇAISE / FRENCH VERSION

Here it is, the spookiest and most anticipated PhotoChallenge ever, right in time for Halloween 2015. Your Challenge, if you’re not too afraid to accept it, will be to create the spookiest animated infrared GIF ever.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

Every year for Halloween, I create an image for my blog. Last year I created the above image. This year I wanted to do a little something more and share the process as¬†a Challenge for the week of Halloween. Hopefully you’ll find it challenging, rewarding and a great¬†motivation for your creative mind.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

https://theta360.com/widgets.jshttps://theta360.com/widgets.js

Your first step will be to find the Spookiest location for your PhotoChallenge shoot. We chose to setup¬†in front of a¬†Mausoleum¬†at a local cemetery as illustrated in the above Infrared PhotoSphere.¬† We’ll leave the details of your spooky location up to you. However since this is an Infrared Challenge, you’ll most probably have to stay outdoors in the mid-day sun to maximize you’re exposure capabilities.

For the last two months I’ve given you a heads up on the fact that we will be shooting an Infrared Challenge. Hopefully¬†by now you should have purchased a filter or created one with the DIY video posted above.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

Once you’ve chosen your spooky location, you’ll need your spooky subject such as a goblin. In my case my standard issue wildlife photographer camo-pants with my Laguna Beach Hoody complimented my Dollar Store Halloween Mask.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

If you’ve been following The 2015 PhotoChallenge and participated in the WEEK 35: Translucent Outdoor Long Exposures Challenge, then you should be able to create an image as pictured above, left. The left image is the result of a long exposure with the subject only exposed for a fraction of the total exposure, thus making it translucent. The right image is done in the same process, a long exposure but with an Infrared Filter fitted to a non-converted DSLR instead of a Neutral Density filter.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

Installing a 720nm IR filter on your non-converted camera will have a result equivalent to at least 5 stops of light reduction depending on the hotfilter used by your camera manufacturer. The effect will be similar to that of an ND filter but the image will be red unless you can set an in-camera white balance under IR. Then you will have rusty and copper tones instead a monochromatic reds. A simple B&W conversion will suffice for the challenge. If you wish, you can attempt false IR colors to make everything even more bizarre.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

In order to fulfill the challenge you will need to capture a minimum of two images in Infrared. One with just your scene as in SPOOKY IMAGE 1 above. You will also need to capture a second image. This one will be of a translucent ghostly apparition as we’ve practiced in a past challenge. This time we’re just looking for Infrared images processed in B&W to facilitate the challenge and increase the eerie spook factor. This is the simple approach. You can as an alternative shoot your subject elsewhere and with the use of a layer mask animate it atop your original image.

Now that you have your two or more images, it’s time to put them together into one animated gif. Remember the larger the image size and the more images you animate together, the bigger your file size will be. Keep your final image size as small as possible and limit the amount of images animated to no more than four. Processing and saving your image as a grayscale will also decrease the final file size of your B&W image. The above video illustrates the technique to create an animated gif with Photoshop. There are several online animated gif creators that should work. I haven’t tried any but click here to search.

Happy Halloween Steve Troletti Photography

…and voila, by now the above GIF should have completely loaded and you should see the animation of four images in an endless loop. This will be my 2015 Happy Halloween image for my Blog at Steve Troletti Photography.

You should be able to post your animated GIF directly to Google+ or Facebook with no problems. In Flickr you will have to provide the link to the original photo.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

If you want to venture into false color IR, I suggest you take a look at this article by Chris Swarbri

Here’s an other one by John Harte

Here’s a video illustrating one more technique

 

Wishing you all a great Halloween on behalf of the entire PhotoChalenge Team (Trevor, Jeremy, Gary & Myself) Have a great week of Spooky Photography.

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‚Äôs image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don‚Äôt leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

A special thanks to Eugenie Robitaille Design Media for technical assistance.

 

 

2015 CHALLENGE WEEK 39: PANNING

Since the November 25, 2015 Challenge will involve a great deal of work, I decided to be nice and base this week’s¬†Challenge on an easy but seldom¬†practiced technique called PANNING. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the above cover image by Apionid¬† ūüėČ

panning jeep

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsPanning usually involves moving your camera along an horizontal axis while following a moving subject. It can be anything in movement such as a bird in flight, cyclist or a jeep as in the above image. A slower shutter ¬†speed is used to accentuate the movement in the background while following the subject to keep it relatively sharp. ¬† Red Fox Chasing Squirrel by Steve Troletti If you have multiple subjects moving at different speeds then you will only have one subject showing up clearly on your image. In the above image the Squirrel is moving faster than the Red Fox. I was panning and focused on the Fox’s head in addition to the reduced depth of field of my Telephoto Lens. ¬† kick scooter panning, bilbao//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

A slower moving subject will be easier to manage as it will more easily remain in sharper focus. Although I’ve done panning at Formula One Races with fast moving cars, I always practiced ahead of time with Cyclists using the track outside event schedules. In this case the B&W look adds to the overall artistic feeling of the image.

Guglielmo in altalena

A few tips you may find useful:

  • Shoot handheld for freedom of movement. A monopod to remove vertical movement may be useful but not a Tripod unless the scene is really rehearsed.
  • If your subject is close enough you can use a Flash to help make your subject sharper. The strobe will freeze motion at 1/1000th of a second or faster.
  • Use a 50mm Full Frame equivalent or wider to maintain stability and depth of field. The wider the lens the easier to control.
  • Experiment with different shutter speeds (I.E. 1/15, 1/30, 1/60…) depending on your subject’s speed and ambient light.
  • Keep your camera in continuous focus mode in order to better track your subject.
  • A smaller apperture to increase depth of field will help keep the subject in focus as well.
  • ALWAYS REMAIN AWARE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT. YOU DON’T WANT TO GET HIT BY YOUR SUBJECT OR ANY OTHER MOVING OBJECT.

HEADS UP:

As I previously mentioned my next challenge is a Spooky Infrared Challenge for the entire week preceding Halloween. An Infrared filter will be necessary. You don’t need a modified camera but keep in mind that all camera/lens combinations will give different results. Image quality won’t be the primary factor so you can procure yourself a lesser quality filter for the challenge. It should be a 720nm Infrared Filter similar to the HOYA R72. You can even make your own as in this DIY Project¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CveDYDieaFg

 

//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‚Äôs image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don‚Äôt leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

 

Great Blue Heron landing

2015 Challenge, Week 15 : OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – MIGRATING BIRDS

The Spring bird migration is finally in full swing and will hit the Northern States and Canada this weekend. While the Northern Hemisphere is in Spring Migration, Fall migration is taking place in the Southern Hemisphere.¬†This week we’ll focus on the newly arriving species for each of our very own localities.

For those of you who are new to this, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has you covered in the USA with their migration forecasts :¬†http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-10-17-april/¬†I’m sure similar information is available on the web for just about every region in the world

Large birds of prey to the minuscule hummingbirds are in route to their summer nesting grounds. Some have a yearly migration route as far as Argentina to Northern Canada and back.¬†In the Greater Montreal Area Owls, Red Polls, Juncos, etc… head north in Spring to¬†make¬†room for their Southern Cousin’s arrival.

Red-winged blackbird - First migrant
Red-winged blackbird – First migrant

One of our early migrants is the Red-winged blackbird. They huddle by the bird-feeders hoping for a warmer day. They usually get caught in unpredictable weather from late winter storms to extremely cold nights.

Black duck fending off Mallard Duck
Black duck fending off Mallard Duck

The most common ducks are quick to follow. With Spring fever in the air territorial conflicts are quick to come about.

Canada Goose Feeding
Canada Goose Feeding

Geese aren’t far behind. These large water fowls not only look for water but feed on grass and the remains of last year’s crops until a new vegetation starts to flourish.

Great Blue Heron landing
Great Blue Heron landing

As soon as a creek melts open the Great Blue Heron makes its presence known. One of the last herons to leave in December, it promptly makes its way back in early Spring.

Black-crowned night heron
Black-crowned night heron

I was however very surprised to find this Black-crowned night heron perched in a tree so early on in the season.

Great egret
Great egret

Even more surprising was this¬†Great egret. All of these herons have an inherent fear of man. Your presence may spook them, so be careful. If they fly away, just settle in and be patient. If there’s food they will be back. Just avoid loud noises and jerky movement.

Mating Lori parakeets
Mating Lori parakeets

Some birds are already mating and nest building. It’s important to keep a respectable distance to¬†totally minimize our impact on these birds. We don’t want to stress them to the point where they leave their nesting grounds, especially if eggs are already in the nest.

Please show the up-most in respect for our feathered friends. We want to capture a natural looking image of a relaxed bird. A stressed animal will show in your images and lower the appeal all together. Take time to observe the birds and get familiar with them. Birds are curious in nature and if you’re patient, still and quiet, you’ll be rewarded.

This Photo Challenge is entirely about having FUN OUTDOORS! PLEASE KEEP MAN MADE ITEMS OUT of your image as this theme is entirely NATURE based.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post¬†one¬†original¬†(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‚Äôs image.
  • Don‚Äôt leave home without your camera.¬†Participating in the 2015¬†Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 12 : ARCHITECTURE – WINDOWS LOOKING OUT

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 it’s industrial windows that is 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.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post¬†one¬†original¬†(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‚Äôs image.
  • Don‚Äôt leave home without your camera.¬†Participating in the 2015¬†Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 11 : OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – HAKA

This week I decided to change things around a bit. I still want to get you outdoors since this is outdoor photography. I’m bringing back a theme from 2013, the HAKA, also known as the Maori war dance. Rooted in ancient polynesian culture, the HAKA has been brought back to life with the ALL BLACKS, New Zealand’s national Rugby Team.

Wikipedia describes the HAKA as; The¬†Haka¬†(plural is the same as singular: haka) is a¬†traditional¬†ancestral¬†war cry,¬†dance¬†or challenge from the¬†MńĀori people¬†of¬†New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.

HAKA positions

For those of you into Rugby, the All Blacks Rugby team performs a ritual HAKA prior to every game. The first step will be to familiarize yourself with the various positions of the HAKA. Although the WHAKA is the most commonly used position, have fun experimenting. The more participants you get in your photo the better it will be!

Backlit HAKA

Since this is an OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE, the setting is as important as the models performing the HAKA. Take care in finding the perfect outdoor spot for your HAKA. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lighting. Backlit subjects and silhouettes will add a creative touch to your HAKA as well as give anonymity to a shy participant.

HAY HAKA

Just because you’re the photographer doesn’t mean you can’t participate. Don’t forget your tripod, set your camera timer and join your HAKA.

Steve and Francois HAKA

Not all HAKA pictures have to be planned ahead and organized. Some can be spontaneous and just as much fun to make.

HAKA Princess

This Photo Challenge is entirely about having FUN OUTDOORS! Get creative and have fun with family and friends creating the best HAKA ever.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post¬†one¬†original¬†(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‚Äôs image.
  • Don‚Äôt leave home without your camera.¬†Participating in the 2015¬†Photo Challenge is fun and easy.