2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 30 – NUMBERS: SEQUENCE

This week for the Numbers theme your challenge is to shoot a sequence of numbers. Try to find at least three numbers in a sequence.  A sequence is numbers that follow each other in order, not just a group of numbers together.

“untitled” by Yann Duarte

The sequence can be any ordered list of numbers. The example above shows a sequence of odd numbers in reverse. The repetition of the seat and number pattern pulls you into the shoot and gives you the sense that the seats gone on forever.

The example below shows part of grid of sequential numbers.

“Dirty Numbers” by Håkan Dahlström

For this challenge, if you need to create a sequence, go ahead. The example below is actually several shots combined into a sequence (of sorts). The sequence isn’t complete, but there are two sequences of three numbers. Each shot uses the same technique and framing for continuity.

“Numbers” by Matthew Harrigan

As you shoot, consider framing and other elements besides the numbers. You may be able to find a sequence that isn’t necessarily the main subject of the shot. The sequence may be an supporting element in the shot.

“Feet and Numbers” by Mads Bødker

And old camera gear always makes a great shot, especially when it fits the challenge.

“Polaroid miniportrait, M402, M454, M403 Shooting Sequence” by Kanghee Rhee

  • 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 29 OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – Litter in Nature

We’ve done this before and many challenge members were surprised as to what an eye opener it is to actually look for and find so much trash in our natural spaces.  I for one see a huge difference from the West Coast to the East Coast of the USA and Canada. As much as some countries may look like a dump when it comes to litter in nature, countries like Switzerland make it hard to find litter at all.

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

Plastic pollution of our oceans seems to take center stage as the media reports clouds of micro plastic particles in the Pacific Ocean. This plastic pollution comes from somewhere, our own shores. We don’t just pollute the Pacific Ocean, we pollute our rivers and lakes as well. As portrayed by the image above, plastic trash is present under many forms.

Steve Troletti Photography: Litter in Montreal Nature Parks / déchets dans les parcs nature de Montréal &emdash; Déchets - Parc Nature Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park - Litter

Not all trash pollutes equally. Glass containers are a menace to people as much as they are to our wildlife and our environment. When glass containers find themselves broken they’re an accident waiting to happen.

Steve Troletti Photography: Litter in Montreal Nature Parks / déchets dans les parcs nature de Montréal &emdash; Déchets - Parc Nature Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park - Litter

This 6 pack holder may seem like harmless pollution. It’s actually a deathtrap for many young animals such as geese, ducks and mammals such as Red Fox kits. The young get these loops around their necks and/or bodies. They usually die of a slow suffocating death as they grow into the plastic ring. Always cut the rings before disposing of similar items.

Steve Troletti Photography: Litter in Montreal Nature Parks / déchets dans les parcs nature de Montréal &emdash; Déchets - Parc Nature Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park - Litter

We all need personal hygiene items but there’s a time and place for them. Many of these items don’t just litter and pollute our green spaces. Some, such as condoms, also represent a health hazard to people and pets.

Steve Troletti Photography: Litter in Montreal Nature Parks / déchets dans les parcs nature de Montréal &emdash; Déchets - Parc Nature Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park - Litter

Fast food containers seem to invade natural habitats. They’re all marked with a responsible message inviting users to dispose of them properly. Luckily they’ve evolved from Styrofoam to cardboard minimizing the impact caused by such litter.

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

Styrofoam containers are still used for worms and different bait. In fact most of what’s sold for fishing is packed in plastic. Trash from fisherman seem to be scattered along all the rivers I visit in North America

Fishing line may be one the of the most devastating item left by humans along our shores. Animals of all sizes, especially birds suffer greatly. Waterfowl, especially their young get entangled in the line. I’ve even seen a full grown Great Blue Heron entangled in fishing line in a tree. Luckily, wildlife agents were able to rescue it in time. Not an easy task with such a large bird. For those interested I’ve written a small blog on the impact of fishing lines and hooks on Double-crested Cormorants; http://www.trolettiphoto.com/blog/2014/10/Double-crested-Cormorants-and-other-birds-suffer-because-of-our-Trash

Steve Troletti Photography: Litter in Montreal Nature Parks / déchets dans les parcs nature de Montréal &emdash; Welcome to l’Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park - Bienvenue au parc-nature de l’Île-de-la-Visitation

From night time parties to picnics, hikers to back packers, it seems there’s always a bad apple willing to leave their mark in some of the most beautiful places on earth. When you spend as much time in nature as I do, you just can’t help but notice the negative impact mankind leaves on our planet. These examples barely skim the surface. These images are but a sample of what individuals like you and I can do to our natural spaces with only a handful of trash

For this challenge try and apply all the techniques we’ve practiced over the year to come up with more than a snapshot, create a striking PHOTOGRAPH that sends a message. Although we usually only ask for a photo, I’d like to see a small paragraph that describes the impact and emotion of your photograph, further adding to the editorial value of this assignment.

Remember to respect nature and not to disturb any animals or destroy their habitat in any way during your quest for the perfect image. Also take time to familiarize yourself with local wildlife and plants. Some animals can present a danger, especially if protecting their young. Spiders and Snakes, especially hard to see baby snakes can present a great danger due to their venom. It’s always better to keep a safe distance from any wild animal no matter how sweet and innocent it may seem. Animals should not be fed. Feeding animals often encourages them to approach humans, increasing the risk of injury from individuals who may appreciate them less than you might. Most animals in rescue centers get there due to an encounter with humans.

Get acquainted with plants like Poisson Oak and Poisson Ivy or any other dangerous plants in your area. Some plants not only represent a risk of skin irritation but can also kill you if touched or ingested. Learn to identify the dangerous plants in your area.

The sky’s the limit for this week’s challenge. Get out there and show us what Mother Nature has to offer you! Nature and Wildlife photography can be a great family activity

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.
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2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 28 ARCHITECTURE – LIGHT SOURCE

This week’s theme will be highly successful for those who take the time to actually read this post. If one simply reads the title, and doesn’t catch my explanation, we’ll see lamps and whatnot.

X-actly

But this week I’d like to look around for light sources that are shaped by the structures around us. The example images will help explain.

Light in the shadowsLight & Shadow [Ming Dynasty Tombs / Beijing]

Light casting a unique shadow, or the negative space where light is and is not pass through a building, wall, or other architectural structure.

Red Sky

Or how a light source interacts with the space it is within. This should end up being a big learning exercise for us all! But after this week, if you work hard to find a really great shot, you may walk away with a greater discerning eye for how light interacts with the objects and structures it is cast upon. And that always makes you a better photographer!

IMGP2496mono

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.

American Bald Eagle

2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 27 OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – SYMBOLS of NATIONAL PRIDE!

As you all know it’s 4th of July weekend here in the USA. I’ll take advantage of this 4th of July weekend Challenge to wish a Happy Independence Day weekend to all of my fellow Americans.

Steve Troletti Photography: HAWKS and EAGLES / ÉPERVIERS, BUSES ET AIGLES (Accipitridae) &emdash; Bald Eagle / Pygargue à tête blanche

For many Americans, a great symbol of independence Day in America is the Bald Eagle. It’s also a great symbol for our 4th of July weekend Outdoor Photography Challenge.

The American Flag is also a great Symbol of Independence and National pride for Americans. Although it is the 4th of July weekend in America, I want to expand this Challenge to include our members from all around the world and from every Nationality. Many countries celebrate an Independence Day. I want you to get outdoors and photograph a scene, a symbol of your National Pride.

Around the world National Festivities are often celebrated with fireworks. It may seem simple but fireworks demand a special technique. They also look much better when properly composed with their surroundings.

Steve Troletti Photography: VULTURES / VAUTOURS (Cathartidae) &emdash; Andean Condor / Condor des Andes

It’s not all about flamboyant displays of celebration. We all have a natural heritage, a fauna and flora that is not just indigenous, but a representation of the people who inhabit the land. National Animals and flowers are a great way to share with pride, your natural heritage. The above example, the Andean Condor is Colombia’s National Bird.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Mute Swan / Cygne tuberculé

The Mute Swan happen’s to be both Denmark’s and the United Kingdom’s National Bird. Not surprising as it’s truly a majestic bird.

Steve Troletti Photography: MAMMALS / MAMMIFÈRES &emdash; North American Beaver on his Lodge / Castor d'Amérique sur sa hutte

National Animals’s aren’t just limited to birds. Canada has the North American Beaver to be proud of. Although some argue that the Polar Bear should replace the Beaver as a National Animal, the North American Beaver still holds it’s title of Canadian Pride.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Happy Leaf in Snow! / Feuille heureuse dans la neige!

Plants, trees and Flowers also make the list of National Symbols of pride. Canada is very well known for it’s Maple Leaf. Present on the Flag, it’s also at the center of an agricultural economy, the Maple Syrup and its by-products.

To give this Challenge more of an editorial feel please include a short paragraph telling us why you chose your subject. Share with us the National Pride related to your image.

This is a totally OUTDOOR Challenge. It doesn’t have to be 100% nature as man-made objects are permitted.  If you’re looking for a list of National Animals and Plants, just do a search related to your country of choice.

National Animals on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_animals

National Flower Emblems on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floral_emblem

If you’re going to photograph fireworks here are a few tips from Geoff Lawrence: TIPS for photographing Fireworks: http://www.geofflawrence.com/photographing_fireworks.html

 

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 26 – NUMBERS: ADDRESS

We are back to the “Numbers” theme, and this week we are going to shoot an address.

“117 Fern” by Darwin Bell

For this challenge, try to find an address that is interesting. The numbers should be the most obvious part of the image, but you can include other surrounding details as well.

“Address: YYC 1304″ by Grant Hutchinson

Addresses are found everywhere, so you won’t have trouble finding subject matter. Take some time to look around you this week and show us the most interesting address you find.

“Custom Address Sign 252″ by Margaret Almon

  • 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.

“KK Poon 6″ by Jeremy Brooks

 

2015 Challenge, Week 25 – MACRO: METAL

It’s time for more macro fun! This week, we will be shooting macros of something metal.

“water” by Robert Parviainen

Showing metal objects close can reveal interesting details and make them look like something completely different. If you shoot with a large aperture, you can get some great bokeh effects along with the object.

 

“Iridescent” by tanakawho

“Abstract Macro #32″ by David Hawkins-Weeks

Ordinary objects can reveal interesting details when a macro lens is used to shoot them. Not everything will become abstract; some things remain very recognizable.

 

“Weakest Link” by Michael Pardo

As a reminder: Macro photography is a type of close-up photography. Generally it means that the image on the sensor is life-size or greater. If you have a macro lens or a camera with a macro setting, you can use that. If you have a mid-range focal length lens, such as a 50mm, you can make a “poor man’s macro” by flipping it around and holding it against the camera body. Focus is achieved by moving the entire assembly close to the subject. If you are using a smartphone, the camera might have a macro focus option, or you can use something like an Olloclip macro lens. If you don’t have any macro lens options, just go for a close up image, and do what you can. Remember, photochallenge is about learning new stuff and having fun!

“Brushed Metal Bracelet” by Albert Lynn

  • 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 24 – ARCHITECTURE: SIGNAGE

Everywhere you look you see signs. Traffic signs, retail signs, neon signs, church signs, etc. They are everywhere, and interestingly enough, they all serve an important purpose. They communicate a message. They label the establishment, and sometimes they’re beautiful or creative or just plain awesome!

Deano's Motel Giant Burgers to Go Circus Liquor

I want you to work hard for this one. Please don’t just go take a photo of your favorite burger joint’s sign. Unless of course that sign is truly a great sign. I’m less interested in the value of the establishment to you and more interested in the caliber of the sign. In many communities there are wonderful traditional sign makers, with true artistic skill that create an beautiful landscape of style throughout the community. This is true in Arroyo Grande, CA. It’s almost as if they have an approval committee in the city, to make sure that all their signs have a hint of western expansion, ghost town appearance.

Randy's Donuts, Plate 4

You can’t ignore the notion that neon signs are unto themselves. We could almost do neon as a separate category. And we just may do that, down the road. I know Jeremy would love that.

Blue Skies The Hat, Scene 4

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.

Darth Neon

photosphere

2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 23 OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – PhotoSpheres & 360 Degree Panoramas

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Here’s what we call a photosphere. Although more popular with Android Phone users, I believe the concept was initially pushed forward by real-estate photographers who captured a scene with 4 images from an 8mm lens mounted to a full frame DSLR. Some pros even use computer controlled motorized panoramic heads. It would all be stitched in a professional software solution like KOLOR. The ability to create photospheres is now hitting mainstream thanks to Google. It has also expanded to IOS devices (IOS APP) and a variety of other devices. Small cameras like the Ricoh Theta are specifically designed to capture full spherical images.

photosphere

The images in their rectangular form are called equirectangular images. To be viewed in their spherical form most photographers upload them to Google +, Google Views and/or share them on the Theta360 web site using the Ricoh application. If your equirectangular image was created with a DSLR instead of an Android phone, iPhone or an other compatible device, you will need to add XMP metadata information to your image before it can correctly be interpreted by Google Maps or the Ricoh Theta application. To do so google provides you with the tools on this web site : http://photo-sphere.appspot.com/

Once the correct information is entered and the XMP metadate updated, you can upload your equirectangular images to google maps and it will display as a photosphere with location information. You can also upload your images to Google+ and the Google+ API will take care of displaying your photosphere correctly.

There’s also your 360 degree panoramic images. They’re at times called a Cylindrical Panorama. Basically it’s a 360 degree view around you without the view of what is above you or below you. These are easier to create with a DSLR or any other camera. They can be merged and processed easily in Photoshop or with an application similar to Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor (ICE). Again the easiest way is to use a mobile phone. The android camera app has it built-in. I created the above 360 panorama with my Google Nexus 4. When I create them with my DSLR I like using a 50mm lens.

Here are a few resources for you:

  1. Al Tompkins has an article on PhotoSpheres : http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/visuals/280433/photo-sphere-a-free-and-simple-tool-gives-interactivity-and-depth-to-stories/
  2. Google has a reference page for creating PhotoSpheres and 360 Panoramic images on Google Views : https://support.google.com/maps/answer/3203091?hl=en
  3. KOLOR has some tutorials for shooting handheld and with mechanical assistance : http://www.kolor.com/panoramas/#start

 

YOUR CHALLENGE DEFINED

Since this is Outdoor Photography, we’re looking for this week’s challenge to be completed in an outdoor location. Due to the complexity this challenge may present you are free to choose an urban or natural setting.

Do some research, plan and choose your objective. Will you be creating a Photosphere or 360 degree panorama? A few searches on the internet like “photosphere with camera ***” and “how to create a photosphere with camera ***” should lead you in the right direction.

If you find technical resources that you wish to share that can help your fellow PhotoChallenge members, please feel free to share those links on the PhotoChallenge page @ https://www.facebook.com/photochallenge.org

Since Facebook and Flickr do not support spherical images, you only need to post the flat image of your 360 panorama or the equirectangular image. If you have a link to the animated spherical or cylindrical view on Google, Ricoh Theta 360 or other supported site, please include the link for all to enjoy.

I hope you’re all up to this Challenge. Don’t get discouraged. My first ever 360 panorama was not a great success, but I still like it.
 

I like to create and use Photospheres for my blog. I find it to be a rich multimedia tool that helps immerse my audience in ways that you just can’t accomplish with video and still images. I hope you enjoy the experience of creating Photospheres and 360 Degree Panoramas as much as I do.

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 22: NUMBERS – GEOMETRY

For this week, the numbers challenge will be more conceptual and focus on a branch of mathematics: Geometry.  Many familiar concepts from geometry translate into elements of composition in photography: lines, shapes, repeating patterns, and position. Your challenge this week is to shoot something illustrating geometry.

“Turn Left” by Jeremy Brooks

Shapes, like circles and squares, are probably the most basic representation of geometry in photography.  Buildings and architectural elements with strong lines and angles will make good subjects this week.

“Squares” by Jonanthan Cohen

In many cases, using black and white will draw attention to the shapes and lines in a composition, as in the first two examples. The lack of color brings out the shapes. But color can also make shapes standout. The sharp contrast of the orange lights against black background in the shot below highlights the repetition of circles, and their arrangement on a grid.

“Transformative” by Thomas Hawk

Repetition and patterns are strong compositional elements for photography. Combine that with other elements, like arcs, and the shot becomes entirely about the geometry. The shot below also uses color to emphasize the geometry.

“Geometry” by David Martin

So focus your attention this week on shapes, lines, and patterns.

“hexocular” by Joe

You don’t have to use buildings – lines, patterns, and repetition are around us.

“Crop Lines” by AlwaysBreaking

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 21: MACRO – WRITE

We are back to the Macro theme, and this time around we have a relatively open theme: WRITE! What does that mean to you? There are obvious interpretations, such as a writing instrument, or something written down.

“E7D_1336″ by Michael Provines

“P1000877″ by Butch Dalisay

As a reminder: Macro photography is a type of close-up photography. Generally it means that the image on the sensor is life-size or greater. If you have a macro lens or a camera with a macro setting, you can use that. If you have a mid-range focal length lens, such as a 50mm, you can make a “poor man’s macro” by flipping it around and holding it against the camera body. Focus is achieved by moving the entire assembly close to the subject. If you are using a smartphone, the camera might have a macro focus option, or you can use something like an Olloclip macro lens. If you don’t have any macro lens options, just go for a close up image, and do what you can. Remember, photochallenge is about learning new stuff and having fun!

“MacroMondays_Contradictions 004″ by VinceFL

This week is about being creative! Think about what “write” means to you, and then interpret that using a macro lens.

“A new writing instrument?” by l.dyer

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.