2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 48: BOKEH – GUEST CHALLENGE

I’ve been wanting to try a Bokeh Challenge since I first saw a holiday picture featuring this technique.

Christmas

…and what a more perfect time to try it, than with the holidays coming up? Since one of the many ways to achieve Bokeh is using Christmas lighting.

Bokeh “is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens” as per Wikipedia.

In this challenge, we will be focusing on creating bokeh using light. Either natural sunlight or artificial light. Not just creating a blurred background.

This technique can be used as a backdrop for still life, portraits and nature. It can be incorporated into the picture itself, landscapes and street photography. There should be something for everyone.

When I looked up Bokeh on Pinterest (my favorite site), there was such a variety of bokeh photographs as well as tutorials.

Bokeh Photography Tutorial: 3 Ways to Get Started

bokeh
If you want to push the boundaries of creativity in your Bokeh Photography, I highly suggest you checkout this project (Christmas Wonders) by Eugenia Evoyan on Bèhance

Christmas wonders
Bokeh effect
This Christmas was full of beauty all around, love and happiness. Being inspired by all that atmosphere of the Christmas, lights, I’ve made this series to memorize and keep that warmth of Christmas all year round.

Unfurling into the light

Sunlight in nature is a catalyst for Bokeh Photography.

Signs of Love

Bokeh is not just limited to color, B&W images portray their own unique style.

 

I look forward to seeing everyone’s interpretation using this technique.

Guest Challenge by: Amy Orchard

 

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.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 47: PORTRAITS – GROUP

With the holidays coming up many of us will be taking group photos of family and friends. Some will  be formal, others will be informal. This week for the challenge you get to practice taking group portraits. For those in the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday provides a perfect opportunity to grab a shot for this challenge.
group

For this challenge a group is at least two people, aside from that the size and setting are up to you. Just make sure it is a portrait, not just a picture of a group of people. In a portrait the people pose for the shot, so make sure your group knows you are taking their photo. The shot below is informal, but still a portrait. It came from the US National Archives. It was taken on the street, but the group of kids posed specifically for the shot.

Minority Youngsters Who Gathered To Have Their Picture Taken On Chicago's South Side During A Community Talent Show, 08/1973

You can also go with a more traditional portrait.
Javan Family Portrait 321
Wallace Family Portraits 2009 (10 of 10)

You can also mix in other portrait themes we’ve had this year, like environmental or portraits in nature.
Scott's Run, West Virginia. Johnson family - father unemployed, March 1937

Gather some friends and family for the shot, and enjoy the company as you work. When you’re done you may end up with a great photo you can give as a gift to those in the shot.

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.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 46: URBAN DECAY – SELECTIVE COLOR(S)

Here we are slowly getting closer to the end of the 2016 PhotoChallenge. For some reason it keeps getting harder to come up with FUN and CREATIVELY-MOTIVATING PhotoChallenges. This one came to me like a light bulb lighting up in a dark room. I went from absolutely no idea (Bad Ideas) to this ingenious Challenge.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: City Streets / Rue de la Ville &emdash; BREAKING NEWS: Steve Troletti, Photographer and Adventurer, Finds the Entrance to THE BAT CAVE!

I actually first thought of drabbing or grunging it, at least a sepia/vignette look. Looking through my images, I found the image above and that’s when I realized that selective colors, RED in this case, would have totally changed the image.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: City Streets / Rue de la Ville &emdash; The Haunted House / La Maison Hant�e

Falling onto this image of mine, I figured that allowing not only ONE SELECTIVE COLOR but multiple in targeted areas of the image would better bring-out the photographer’s vision…

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Urban Decay : When Clean Drinking Water Stops Flowing!

Here’s what I tried to accomplish with the image above. I truly wanted to put forward a message of water, more specifically water scarcity. Although all the Urban Decay elements were in place, the colors of the graffiti on the wall overwhelmed the message. Selecting the items necessary to portray the message and applying selective colors to only those items made them standout in the image.

What your final IMAGE will need :

  • The scenery must show some sort of urban decay.
  • Areas of your image that are the most important to portray your vision as a photographer must maintain a level of color/colors.
  • The remainder of the image must be in B&W, GRAYSCALE, SEPIA, etc…
  • A short text to define and portray your vision to the rest of the world.

As usual focus on the in-camera attributes of your image. Apply yourself composition-wise and experiment taking different images at different angles, apertures and height. A tripod is always a great tool when experimenting. You may even want to push your images further with HDR or other technique we’ve covered in the 2016 PhotoChallenge.

 

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.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 45: B&W – TYPEFACE

When we look at words we don’t usually think about the use of typeface. We generally focus on the meaning the words are trying to convey. Whether it’s printed on a page, displayed on a screen, or on a sign the meaning of the words typically holds the most value. For visual designers the style of the words is as important as the words themselves. The visual message conveys as much meaning as the literal text. The challenge this week is to shoot examples of typefaces in signs or other public displays. The key to this challenge is public use of typeface, so books, magazines and other materials around the house shouldn’t be used. You’ll need to get out in public to shoot this challenge.
Drake's Dealership

Typeface is a particular design of type – most often we think of this as the font. Many signs use a combination unique fonts. This challenge is similar to the sign challenge we had last year, but this challenge specifically deals with typeface. By using black and white, the shape of the typeface becomes more important since there are no colors to make the words stands out. Words on signs that stand out in color may not stand out is black and white.

zone 30

You do have to be limited to signs. You can shoot any typeface in public. Graffiti is fine as long as it isn’t handwritten.
NYC #5
Motel Trailer Park, Plate 2
Just Married, Plate 2

Love...

Like many of the black and white challenges, shape and contrast will be the key to this challenge. Look for something unique and think about the choices the designer made when creating the sign.

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 44: Nature, Straight Out of the Camera – GUEST POST

These days, I often find myself looking at my photos I captured from the camera and thinking, “I’ll fix that in post” if I see anything that I don’t like in the image. Uneven horizon ­ I can straighten that. An errant branch ­ I’ll clone it out. Too dark, I’ll tweak the exposure. And there’s really nothing wrong with this except that I often spent hours and hours editing images in post process.

Straight out of camera is a concept not foreign to each of us. I am sure that each one of us, at one time or another have produced images without any need for edits. For this week, I want to challenge each one of us to try to capture the raw beauty of nature, straight out of the camera. Instead of spending a lot of time during post process, I want each of us to spend our time doing what we really enjoy and that is taking more pictures until we capture our perfect nature image.

Early Morning

This image is captured during the early morning golden hour. Even without edits, the lighting during this time of day makes the colors in the shot look interesting. Paying attention to your exposure and white balance will also help achieve images that look very natural.

Sirenis Sunset

The blurred movement of the waves against the rocks with the backdrop of the sunset make this image very dramatic. Straight horizons are very important in landscapes too and since no cropping or straightening is allowed, a level which is available in modern cameras or in some tripods would be a tremendous help.

Yellow Flower

Composition makes this image very striking. Paying attention to composition while shooting makes a lot of difference. Modern cameras have a lot of features that can help achieve this ­ grids, levels, etc. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these features ­ it will go a long way.

Working on the Web Site

Nature is a great subject to try to get that perfect shot straight out of the camera. Take your time and take a lot of shots, as the photographer for this image did. A macro of a moving subject is difficult but with patience and a lot of trial and error, he achieved this amazing shot.

And when all is said and done, the greatest tool you have is your eyes. Take the time to look and critique each of your shot. If you’re not satisfied with what you see, readjust your settings, composition etc, and re­shoot. Take as long as you want and as many pictures as you can. And hopefully with the practice, we learn and we get better. I know I will still edit my shots in future challenges but hopefully, I wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time doing so.

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 43: SPLIT FACE PORTRAITS

Here I am, suffering from an aching infected tooth plus a Strep Throat. As a compassionate human being, philanthropist and of course a humanitarian before all, my first thought is how can I make you suffer as I suffer, but with a portrait challenge 🙂 All joking apart I despise doing portraiture, so I need to find a way to make them fun!

Moka / Ashley

I had a few ideas in mind and Split Face Portraits won this round. The foremost reason, it’s a great way to get started in the Halloween Spirit with make-up and all the accouterments. The image above is a good example of costume VS real life look. We still see the separating line as it is not blended, we’ll get into the blending in a video tutorial.

Vector / Micheal

Traditionally used to show before and after, the concept needs two different images to get started. You don’t have to stick with the Halloween theme, you can capture different people and even match up an individual with their favorite pet.

ARE GEMINIS LIARS JIPOSHY

You can also use but one image and post process one of the halves to your liking. However you do need to capture a brand new portrait to start off with this challenge.

collage idea

I’ve shown you vertically split images finalized in post processing. Don’t let the post processing thwart your creativity. If you want to print your portraits and finish the job OLD SCHOOL STYLE with a pair of scissors, go for it…but please use your images shot and printed for this challenge.

Here are a few tutorials :

A GOOGLE SEARCH will also reveal a few APPs for Android and IOS. Don’t be afraid to complete this challenge  with a mobile device.

This is all about having fun! I know it can be tempting to use images off the Internet to complete this Challenge but this is a photography challenge and the photography part is entirely your responsibility.

A Little disclaimer and advice : Please do not alter individuals to the point of ridicule without their approval.

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 be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
p720610617-6

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

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

So Cannes #9 - Like master, like dog...

Pawn Shop

The Gucci Store

millionaires

Mansion in Mississauga

 

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.
dsc_7631

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…

 

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.

 

 

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.
GRAFFITI ARTIST AT WORK – STREET FAIR IN PORTLAND, MAINE photo by Larry Cotton

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.