Featured image by Rebecca Krebs – Fabiola – CC – https://www.flickr.com/photos/missturner/17102516750/

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 39: PORTRAITS IN NATURE

Gary and I are filling in for Trevor on the Portrait Challenges. Portraiture is far from my forte, and this one kept me up all night as I tried to come up with something new and unique in order to break the monotony of portraits. Being outdoors in the wilderness for the better part of my days, I figured Nature could be an intricate part of a portrait, not just a background, but a prop for your subject to immerse in.

toddler nature

Being an editorial photographer, the first thing that comes to my mind is documenting a discovery experience in nature. Children’s expression as they discover nature can be just priceless.

Face of the Nature

Framing a child with leaves can enhance a look of innocence. Leaves have a tendency to reflect light, so pay attention as to not let those reflections distract from your subject. Using a polarized filter can also help. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your light by using reflectors and diffusers…

Tina in Field

Blurred out foreground vegetation can add depth and mood to your portrait. Pay attention to direct sunlight on your subject, a diffuser can soften the light. Take great care in properly orienting your subject so the light is just right for the photograph you want to create.

Untitled

Not all vegetation needs to be lush and green, dried out vegetation can add a more dramatic impact to your image. Post processing, contrast and monochrome tones can further enhance the impact.

Serie :: the Children of Ilúvatar 2

Don’t be afraid to create a fantasy scene, nature can provide the ideal setting to let your imagination run wild.

November sun

At times nature can bring on such a sensation of pleasure that it just needs to be photographed and immortalized.

The original goal of the portrait challenges, as introduced by Trevor, was to use a different subject at every challenge. This challenge is as much a great opportunity for a self portrait as it is a great family activity in the great outdoors.

Collapsible reflectors and diffusers are a great tool as well as a polarized filter. If you can get your subject to stay absolutely still by running water, a VND or ND filter can create some amazing effects.

As usual, I always recommend a tripod. It allows you to take your time, think and experiment.

When outdoors please take great care, nature can have a few surprises waiting for you. Educate yourself on plants, insects and animals that can harm you or at times kill you. Don’t rely on what you once knew, nature is changing and adapting to changing climate. Plants like Giant Hogweed can now be found in places you’d least expect. Insecticides based on essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus can protect you from ticks and mosquitos and are less harmful than DEET based products for humans and their pet companions.

hallowwen

Coming this October, a month long PhotoChallenge for Halloween!

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.

 

Featured image by Rebecca Krebs – Fabiola – CC – https://www.flickr.com/photos/missturner/17102516750/

p169817788-5

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 38: MIRRORED WATER REFLECTIONS

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: Art In and Around the City / Expositions d'art &emdash; Reflections of a Sea-Goddess - Amphitrite

 

Water from puddles to the Oceans is an incredible medium in photography. Still water has the ability to produce stunning mirror-like reflections. I took the above image at the World Trade Center in Montreal. The double staircase harbors a statue of the Sea-Goddess, Amphitrite. In front, a large table slab of black marble with water evenly flowing over it. The result, a symmetrical reflection of the scene.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: City Streets / Rue de la Ville &emdash; From the Old to the New / De l'ancien au nouveau

 

Water reflections can be especially interesting at night.  Textures and ripples in your water reflections add a higher level of reality and more depth to your image. Some scenes may necessitate the use of HDR techniques, don’t be afraid to push your limits to capture the image you want.

 

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: City Streets / Rue de la Ville &emdash; Lactantia at night / Lactantia de nuit

 

On a windy night on a reservoir filled with Snow Geese, your reflections can become quite abstract, yet the effect remains spectacular and enhances your overall image. This is a long exposure, over a minute. It allowed for the geese to disappear out of my scene and maximize the reflection.

 

September is a great time for Chinese Lanterns as many botanical gardens and municipalities around the world showcase them. Long exposures allow you to smooth out your reflections, while faster exposures reveal more of the water textures. Infrared is also a great medium to photograph Chinese Lanterns during the day.

 

...reflection...

 

Don’t be afraid to frame your reflections, it can be very efficient when it comes to adding perspective to your landscape images.

 

Puddle Mirror Reflection on Notre Dame
You can also better isolate your subject by framing both the real and the reflected image. This tunnel facing Notre Dame is a perfect example.

 

What you will need to complete your challenge:

  • I almost always use a tripod, especially for night photography. A tripod will allow you to better work your scene and experiment with multiple types of exposures.
  • You may want to use a Circular Polarizer Filter. It will enhance contrasts and will allow you to control the intensity of your reflections. Be careful as it can entirely eliminate reflections.
  • An ND (Neutral Density) filter or a VND (Variable Neutral Density) filter are a great tool to help you acquire longer exposure times during daylight hours.

 

Your final image should have both the subject (People, Structures, Nature…) and it’s reflection on water. It can be captured as a COLOR, B&W or INFRARED image. I highly encourage enhancing the look of your image with LONG EXPOSURES and/or HDR. Don’t be afraid to be creative during your shoot or/and in post processing.

hallowwen

Coming this October, a month long PhotoChallenge for Halloween!

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 37: B&W – SHAPE

One of the key elements of black and white photography is SHAPE. Using shapes effectively leads to strong compositions that draw in the eye of the viewer. Our world is filled with shapes that humans have created like the great pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, or the quilted patterns of farmland you see from planes. But nature also provides shapes – think of the gentle curve of rolling hills, the triangles formed by tall conifers, or the shadows cast by rock formations. Your challenge this week is focus on the shapes within your images.

Convergence

Shapes can be well formed with clear geometry, or you can emphasize more natural shapes that blend into complex patterns. As with all black and white photography, tones and textures can emphasize different aspects of the shot. One thing to pay particular attention to this is the negative space, or blank space, in the shot. Empty spaces in a shot can help emphasize shapes.
We Remember Tomorrow
Dark side

The Zig-Zag

Power

arcs

 

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 36: Ground Level Perspective – GUEST POST

The challenge this week is to stretch your imagination and shift your perspective.  Photographs from ground level offer a very different view of everyday scenes.  Shooting from ground level is beautiful in nature photography, often giving plants and wildlife a prominent position in the frame.

Ground Cover Macro

 

Leaf on a Frosty Morning

Since this technique is an exercise in expanding your artistic vision, it can apply to any number of subjects and environments. Shooting from a low point of view adds an interesting variable to urban scenes, architecture, wildlife, travel, and even portrait photography.

In the line of fire

 

One Market Skylight

As pet owners know, it is always exciting to capture images of your pets in their element.  A ground level perspective can be particularly effective in getting the perfect portrait of your furry family members.

Feral Cat

There are innumerable options for creating a beautiful photograph from a ground level perspective.  Some tools may make it easier, but you really don’t need any special equipment for this challenge.  If you have a tripod that can go very low and a remote shutter release, you may find them helpful.  You may also try using the live view function on your DSLR instead of trying to get your head low enough to see through the viewfinder.  Be creative and have fun!

About the author:  Suzy Korreck lives in Boston, MA and enjoys nature and urban photography.  She began participating in the Photo Challenge in November, 2015 although she has been practicing the art of photography for about 16 years, first learning to process and print 35mm black and white film.  Suzy’s Flickr page can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/suzy_q_snaps

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 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
_TRA8797-light-painting-sm

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 35: LIGHT PAINTING PORTRAITS

We’ve used traditional lighting techniques in previous portrait challenges. This time around I thought we could make things funky by using LIGHT PAINTING to enhance our portraiture.

Black Hole

The above image is the simple and clean approach. One source of light for the subject and the light painting effect.

Self Portrait 5

Things can get crazier even with only one light source such as a laser. You’ll need a long exposure to work something this complex, but with very little practice this remains a very easy goal to attain. EXERCISE GREAT CARE WHEN USING LASERS ON SUBJECTS – AVOID POINTING LASERS DIRECTLY AT EYES – LASERS CAN PERMANENTLY DAMAGE EYES.


This quick beginner’s tutorial (VIDEO) should give you the basic tools to get started with this Challenge.

LightPainting Studio at BeatFilms

You can work with a mix of standard lighting and compliment your subject with light painting or go entirely using light painting as your light source. Although this is portrait challenge, don’t be afraid to experiment with close-up portraits or whole body images.

I wanna be...

You can also recreate an entirely new persona of your subject using multiple light sources of various colors.

A quick image search on Google will give you hundreds of examples to inspire your creativity : SEARCH GOOGLE

TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR CHALLENGE

  1. USE EXTREME CAUTION and communicate well with your model to prevent eye injuries from light sources.
  2. You will need a tripod to keep your camera stable as these images are all going to be long exposures.
  3. A wireless remote trigger is always handy.
  4. You may even want to use an ND or Variable ND filter to make your exposures even longer. (Depends on your surroundings).
  5. Choose a dark location with the least amount of distractions. (Indoor or Outdoor).
  6. Experiment with different lights and colors. Don’t be afraid to add shapes and colored filters on your light sources.
  7. keep moving as you work the light painting to prevent appearing in the image.

 

This should be a great deal of fun and can even 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 #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 34: NIGHT SKY SCENIC

I’ve been putting a great deal of thought in this challenge and I figured I should make it a multi-level difficulty challenge. Meaning, the tools you have on hand at your disposal, I.E. Photoshop, plugins, etc…, will dictate how far you can take this challenge. Bare in mind that even if you don’t have all the tools, the basic challenge will still be challenging. The geographical location of each individual will also affect your decisions as to how you will shoot this challenge as the sky will be very different in the city compared to being lost in the middle of nowhere. With this in mind you will also be able to shoot a twilight or full night sky.

Milky Way goodness

My initial thought was to shoot something along the lines of this image above. Terrestrial features that show (illuminated or not) and stars. Because you usually shoot a starry sky at around 3200ISO, f/2.8 for like 20 to 30 seconds with like a 14mm to 24mm linear lens, you can only have crisp focus on the stars or your scenic features. This means you would have to shoot at least two images with different focus points and exposures. You then would have to blend them in Photoshop. You can even do photo-stacking to enhance the appearance of the stars even further with less noise. MAC users could use an app like Starry Landscape Stacker to get the job done even more efficiently. For the rest of us we have to do this in Photoshop by masking out the foreground completely from each shot, aligning the images, combining them all into a Smart Object and using the “median” stack mode for the Smart Object.

Heavens Above

If you can produce an image like one of the two images above, you’ve outdone yourself for this challenge.

'Last Stop Lights' - Mosfell, Iceland

Some of us may also be lucky enough to get some northern lights in…

Sydney Harbour reflections

Due to light pollution, pollution and clouds, especially around the city, many of us will have to settle for something a little more down to earth. It’s important to get more than a dark sky, so try and shoot during twilight, before the Sun rises or after it sets. Just like on a starry night, your White Balance is always important to get the colors right.

Bridge to the City

If there are no smashing colors in your sky, try and take advantage of cloud texture to compliment your sky and your scenery. Shooting multiple exposures to create an HDR image will probably be your best bet in an urban setting.

LoL (Light on Louvre)

Remember, the moon can also be our friend, so take advantage of your surroundings and the night sky.

 

Tips, tricks and necessities…

  • TRIPOD:  You will need a tripod or an improvised idea to keep your camera steady at every exposure
  • REMOTE TRIGGER: Definitely want to use a remote to trigger your camera or use the timer. If using a remote, use MIRROR UP to maximize stability.
  • APPS: You can use smartphone or computer applications to calculate where your celestial objects will be.
  • COMPASS: If you’re looking for North, a compass may be your best bet…
  • FOCUS: Night time focus may be difficult and your lens at infinity may just not be at infinity. I suggest you manually focus, especially if you have a live view with a zoom feature.
  • LIGHTS: Bring a light that also has a RED BEAM. Using a RED BEAM instead of white light will keep your eyes adapted to the darkness and you won’t be totally disoriented when you turn off your light source. You may also want to bring a bright flashlight to illuminate your foreground in a light painting type effect.
  • FILTERS: I found that filters tend to mess up northern lights or some types of night photography. You may want to remove your clear or UV filter when shooting at night.
  • RAW: It’s always better to shoot RAW for post processing of night time images, especially with stars.
  • NOISE: If you haven’t yet, you may find it useful to apply some type of noise removal. You can get a trial of many different Noise Removal tools online.

I never shoot alone, especially at night. Make sure you feel 100% safe before venturing out into the unknown. If you’re going to go out into the wilderness to complete your challenge, please educate yourself on all the harmful plants and wildlife you may encounter. When in doubt, trust your gut feeling.

To complete your challenge you will need a scenic image with a night sky that contains stars, clouds, illumination, etc… No daytime skies… Your scenery can be dark as a silhouette or it can also be illuminated. The possibilities are truly endless.

 

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 33: B&W – HUMAN BODY

Sometimes the best photography subjects are right in front of us – something or someone you see everyday, but don’t think about as a subject. We see and interact with people everyday, but may not think of the human body as subject of our photography. The challenge this week is the Human Body shot in black and white.

We’ve had portrait challenges all year, so you should be accustomed to asking people to be subjects. This challenge differs significantly from portraits, however.  Portraits tell us a story about a person, or capture some essence of personality – we learn something about the subject in a portrait. This challenge is about form of the human body, not the person.  There is grace and beauty in every human body. Your challenge is to capture that in black and white.
Zen
The examples for this challenge don’t have any faces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include a face in your shot. Any part of the human body can be used, but part of the challenge is to get you thinking about more than just faces.  Faces are fine, as long as you don’t create a portrait.
Twice the Power
For this challenge you will need to focus on the principles of black and white photography: contrast, shape, tonality, texture, lines. Lighting can play a key role in this challenge. The shot above uses a simple black background to make the arms stand out. The shot is also a good example of contrast, in both the technical aspects of the shot and the subjects. Also notice the depth of field. The adult arm at the back is slightly out of focus. Depth of field and lighting are also the key elements of the shot below.
.
The shot below uses contrast, texture and tonality with strong composition to create a dramatic mood. The same shot in color might convey something completely different.
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You also need to make decisions about how much of the body to include in the shot, and how much to leave out. The examples all show a limited view of the human body. The first shot above uses perspective and depth of field to limit how much of the body you see, but the other examples use composition to focus on specific areas of the body.
Hands Fidgeting From Boredom

You can choose to show the entire body, or one aspect or body part. How you frame the shot is entirely up to you, just be sure to focus on the form of the body. That can also include abstract representations of the human body.
Untitled

A word of caution – Flickr is a great place to find examples, but be aware that searching for “human body” will return nude photography. There are many stunning black and white nudes on Flickr that show the natural beauty and form of our bodies, but there also photos that some people may find offensive. Flickr does have a safe search feature to filter out nude images for those of you that don’t want to see nude photography.

Also, nude photography is fine for this challenge, but be aware of the guidelines for the sites where you share your photos. Facebook generally doesn’t allow nude photos.

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 32: White on White – Guest Post

The first thing to understand about this challenge is that it is NOT a black and white assignment.  Your subject should be white and your background should be white.
 
This challenge is about texture, shadow, light and composition.  About seeing form and shape, and about understanding that there are many, many shades of white.
 
Some subjects to consider:
Household items made beautiful with simple still life.

cups

Items from nature will become more polished and perfect when placed on white.

white

Please don’t feel like you are breaking the rules if you allow a little color.  This is why you do not want to shoot in black and white, because the color that you allow to sneak in will create emphasis.
 

Orchid

 Starbucks Coffee

You may be lucky enough to have architecture or landscape to fit this assignment.

Stairs

Or the perfect pet.

white-cat
Look into my eyes....

I hope you enjoy this exercise in simplicity.
 
 
 
Things to try:
Control and manipulate your light source to create interesting shadows and to add dimension and depth.  These photos can look very flat if you don’t put some thought into your lighting.
 
Consider texture.  In your background or main subject, variety of texture will ensure that your subject separates from your background.  Texture will also ad warmth for those who may find this exercise to be a little cold.
 
A white background can be made from a sheet of poster board or paper, as well as any white fabric. Wrinkles are OK!
 
If a little color sneaks in it is OK, although it might make or break the photo. Do not convert final image to black and white.
 
White balance your camera be be sure your whites look white.  Here is what DPS has to say about white balance.
Watch your exposure.  These photos will be, and should be, bright.  But not so bright that you’re blowing out or losing information in your highlights.
 
 
My name is Amy Pflasterer and I teach high school photography and yearbook near St Louis, Missouri. Photography has been a part of my life for a very, very long time.  My first real photography job was for the college yearbook where I learned to shoot sports and environmental portraits.  I have since worked as a wedding and portrait photographer, and for the last 14 years as a photography teacher.  I teach 3 levels of digital photography and keep a small darkroom available for my advanced students.
 
With 2 young children at home, I am no longer pursuing wedding or portrait work but you can see photos I share with my students on Facebook at fb.me/pflastererphoto and Instagram @stlgir1

 

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 31: PEOPLE AND ANIMALS – PORTRAITS

No matter where you live or where you find yourself, there’s always a tight and unique relationship formed between mankind and the animal kingdom.

1- People and animals - 044

Sometimes the bond between two living creatures of two different species can be one at the heart of the greatest friendships. Although we often take pictures, sometimes portraits of our pets, we don’t often take them with our pets.

Cosimo and me. #houndsonthehudson #dogparkplaygroup

Here Dylon captured a selfie with his dog, Cosimo. Although this is the quintessential man’s best friend image, it’s but the beginning of our journey as I really want us to go in depth, capturing every aspect of a sane human/animal relationship.

Kaley & Bailey

Humans have created strong bonds with horses for many centuries if not thousands of years. Today the importance of horses in people’s lives remains an important cultural aspect in many countries around the world.

Shohan

In Mongolia, the Kazakh nomads not only have an strong bond with their horses, but they also have one with Golden Eagles used for hunting. They don’t selfishly use the Eagle, once it has reached sexual maturity, it is returned to the wild to assure future generations of these great hunters.

Falconer

Falconry is still alive and strong today, not only with Falcons, but with a variety of birds of prey including Owls. The falconer and the bird of prey often feel united as one in their task.

Douglas Gets Hugged

Rescue workers already fond of animals, often develop a unique caring bond with the special creatures they care for.

Chelsea McKinney, #ScienceWoman

Sometimes the relationship is purely professional as in this US Fish and Wildlife agent helping preserve our nations wildlife, our natural heritage.

Working Dolphin, K-Dog a Bottle Nose Dolphin leaps out of the water

Many animals, just like our canine friends, are enlisted in our military and they to develop unique bonds with their trainers and handlers.

Gran Retrato!!! Carnavales 2011*-*

Other times people are just two peas in a pod when it comes to their special furry friends.

This PhotoChallenge is full of opportunities opening the door to creativity and variety, as subjects can vary in all parts of the world. To complete your challenge you will need to have at least one person and one animal in your image. As photographers try and develop your very own style bringing to life these special relationships.

We’ve covered a variety of lighting techniques in our portrait challenges for you to experiment with. Color or monochrome images are all acceptable as you, the photographer, will choose the best possible look for your submission.

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_3012_sm2

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 30: INFRARED PHOTOGRAPHY

For those of you who were with us last year for Halloween, we had a Spooky Infrared Challenge, 2015 CHALLENGE WEEK 43: SPOOKY HALLOWEEN INFRARED ANIMATED GIF. I suggest you read it as it is still full of useful tips for this challenge.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

It was challenging above and beyond the photography aspect as it had many technical twists of fabricating a series of infrared images and animating them in post production. For this Challenge, I want us to focus on all the proper aspects of photography and create a well balanced image.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Le chenal La Passe - IR

The above image is your stereotypical IR image from a converted DSLR. In this case, a Nikon D300s converted to full spectrum with a 720nm filter on the lens. You get your bluish tones with whitish vegetation. Being a converted camera you also have the luxury of maintaining your exposure speed.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; The First Emperor's Procession IR - The Magic of Lanterns 2011

In contrast, the above image is created with a non-converted entry level Nikon DSLR with it’s plastic kit lens. (BTW: those cheap plastic kit lens from Nikon are great for IR photography) I composed my image with the camera set atop a tripod. Once everything looked good, I slipped on a Cokin IR filter and made a few exposures between 15 and 30 seconds. It’s that long exposure time that gave me the slick mirror like look on the water. The long exposure also lets in more natural light which in turn contaminated the true IR look. However the final image was an award wining image thanks to this unusual look.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Base of Dorwin Falls / Base des chutes Dorwin

The above image is with the same basic Nikon DSLR. The only difference is I used a Hoya R72 720nm filter. It’s an image of a waterfall in winter from high above. Again a long exposure, especially due to the fact that it was an overcast day with a non-converted camera.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Basilique Sainte-Anne de Varennes - IR

What if you don’t have a infrared filter or a converted camera? Not a problem, even your smartphone will do. I’ve been giving out some D.I.Y. links over the years to make your own filter. A very simple process, buy a positive slide film, don’t expose it, get it processed unexposed. Once you get it back, just cut it to size. Naturally that just works for smaller cameras and phones. There are some exceptions, my fisheye lens has a tiny flat back-end allowing me to tape the film to it. The result, this church above…

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Site archéologique Boucher-de-Grosbois - IR

Here’s an other one with the exact same D.I.Y. setup. I had to put it into practice as I’m recommending it to others. Basically I bought a slide film on liquidation and got it processed immediately, unexposed. All for under $15. I imagine that the lower ISO film will produce a better image, at least be a better IR filter, but that’s just a guess.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Ferme - IR - Farm

Let’s focus on the challenge. I would like you to create an Infrared Image with a mix of vegetation and man made objects. Using the above image as a baseline, you should have a pretty good idea of the direction we’re taking. Remember that even though there’s a great deal of science behind IR photography, the end result is much more art then science.

ir-challenge

Your results are going to vary greatly from one member to an other. The reason is very simple, White Balance, Filter, Lens and Camera combinations will be different. Then there’s the post processing. Some of you may get IR Hot-Spots with a specific lens and you may choose to convert to B&W, while others may choose to conquer the mess of colors in front of them, colors that are just far from reality. The above images demonstrate exactly my point. Two different Lens/Filter combinations gave me two completely different results.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Pont de bois à l'île Grosbois - IR

What you’ll need to complete your challenge:

  • A Tripod – As usual I always suggest a tripod. It keeps your camera steady and maintains your composition, giving you time to think and experiment. For non-converted cameras it’s a must as you will need to keep your camera steady for long exposures.
  • An Infrared Filter – There’s no getting around it, we need to block out visible light as much as possible, letting only the upper spectrum of light into the camera. Filters vary greatly. Your standard IR filter is 720nm but you can find them as low as 560nm. Those in the 800nm spectrum will only produce a B&W image. The D.I.Y. approach is a economic way to experiment. You can even stack two filters together.
  • A Cable Release – A remote way to trigger your camera is always a good way to increase stability with a tripod.

 

WARNING : NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN THROUGH AN IR FILTER

IT MAY APPEAR SAFE BUT WILL STILL DAMAGE YOUR EYES

 

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.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.