2017 Photochallenge Week 26 – Shooting through glass and other barriers

Shooting through textured glass or plastic is nothing new. In fact I found articles and archives dating back to 1956 and I’m sure they hadn’t invented anything new. Google Books has a 1992 article online from Popular Photography.


In fact Photoshop type techniques have been used in the darkroom to expose images on paper through a piece of translucent material. However we’re going to focus on using a textured filter in front of the lens for this challenge. So NO Post Processing Textures. However you can use focus stacking to create a single image from multiple images. Example take one image soft-focused on your texture and one focused through the texture onto your subject. For simplicity purposes most of us will probably be shooting through a translucent or transparent object.

As I was creating this PhotoChallenge in my head a few weeks ago, I started playing with different ideas. The above image on the left was taken in my office at the cottage through bubble wrap. The second one on the right is a little different as I’m using a textured fence for my illusion. These were just tests and instead of only shooting through textured plastic or glass I wanted to expand the reach of this challenge to encompass a wide range of creative endeavors.

Technically the trick is to photograph a scene, object, portrait, landscape, etc. through glass or plastic or some other texture to create an artistic and interesting effect to an otherwise normal-looking image. The above example is a great baseline illustrating what we’re looking to accomplish.


You can also use your translucent object as part of the composition itself revealing some magic in your image.


  • I would use a tripod to hold the camera and make things easier to manage
  • You may also need an assistant to help you hold things in place
  • Gaffer tape can be good, it’s easily removed without leaving glue behind. I use it but I also use duct-tape and electrical tape.
  • A reflector or sunshade to keep the light from hitting your DIY filter. (Optional but can be useful in some cases.)
  • Look around the house for plastic, glass, prisms, crystals and/or anything you can take a picture through. (be careful with sharp glass, use tape to protect the edges)


Claire Lane Photography – 2013 CM Blog Circle {April} Shooting through glass

PetaPixel – Using a Prism for Creative Photo Effects

Raindrops shoot

Naturally there’s always the quintessential raindrops on the glass….


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.


Everything in nature has a life-cycle, a beginning and an end. Death doesn’t always have to be ugly or gruesome. Sometimes vegetation can be just as pretty in its final stages as it is when it blooms. Unfortunately living animals reach us emotionally once their lives have ended.

Steve Troletti Photography: VULTURES / VAUTOURS (Cathartidae) &emdash; Turkey Vulture / Urubu à tête rouge

No matter how sad it may seem, nature always has a purpose in life and in death. Turkey vultures are dependent on death in nature. Their acute sense of smell allows them to find and feed on dead carcasses. They play a valuable role in accelerating the process of decomposition.

Steve Troletti Photography: HERONS, EGRETS, BITTERNS / HÉRONS, AIGRETTES et BUTORS (Ardeidae) &emdash; Great Blue Heron Spear Fishing / Grand Héron harponnant sa proie

Some death occurs through the actions of a predator. In this case a Great Blue Heron harpoons its prey, a fish so that it can feed itself and maybe its young.

Steve Troletti Photography: NATURE & LANDSCAPES &emdash; Happy Leaf in Snow! / Feuille heureuse dans la neige!

In other cases death may just be the end of a cycle as this leaf from an Oak Tree falls in early spring as part of a cycle of life.

Steve Troletti Photography: Montreal - L’Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park 2012 &emdash; Trash Littering the banks of Montreal's Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park

Death may also be symbolic, as in pollution slowly killing off the environment, becoming inhospitable to living creatures.

Steve Troletti Photography: NATURE & LANDSCAPES &emdash; Death Along the River

Nature is not always kind, passed its beauty it can sometimes be cruel. This fish reached the end of the line and will probably be scavenged by Gulls as part of the ongoing cycle of life.

Your Challenge is to document Death in Nature as part of the Cycle of Life. There should be no hand of man involved, keep the setting as natural as possible. There’s always a deeper meaning, a new understanding of nature when we go out in search of death. Feel free to document in a short paragraph the nature value and the impact of your image.

This is not an opportunity to destroy vegetation, kill animals or abuse nature in any shape or form. You must document what you find as an editorial or artistic image. Keep your mind and your eyes open as life and death takes on many forms in nature. (If animal cruelty is detected in any shape or form, it will be reported to authorities.)

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.

2009 Challenge, Day 268: PLASTIC

Today is Friday, September 25, 2009. Today’s theme for the 2009 Challenge is PLASTIC.

Chairs by Thomas Hawk
"Chairs" by Thomas Hawk

A product that is unique to our time, plastic can be found everywhere around us. Today’s challenge won’t be about finding subject matter, but rather turning something everyday and ordinary into an interesting image!

the milkmans dilemma by mugley
"the milkman's dilemma" by mugley

Once you’re ready to submit your work to Flickr, you’ve got to do two important things. First, make sure you tag your photos correctly; “2009challenge″ and “2009challenge268“. Also, if you haven’t already, join the PhotoChallenge group on Flickr. Then, submit each day’s photo to the group’s pool.

Blue Dots by ebergcanada
"Blue Dots" by ebergcanada

To see all of the shots for today’s challenge, click here: