HAKA

2015 Challenge, Week 11 : OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – HAKA

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

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

HAKA positions

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

Backlit HAKA

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

HAY HAKA

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

Steve and Francois HAKA

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

HAKA Princess

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

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 10: NUMBERS – 50mm

In many ways photography boils down to numbers. The F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, and focal length all determine the technical aspects of a shot. This week your challenge is to use a single focal length: 50mm. The subject is wide open. Shoot anything you want, but shoot it at a 50mm focal length. If you have prime 50mm lens, use that. If you only have a zoom lens, set the zoom as close to 50 as you can get it.

(Edit) If you have no control over your zoom, here’s an alternate challenge: Shoot any number that’s a multiple of 50.

“Pastel (

Helios 77M-4 50mm f1.8 m42)” by Sorin Mutu With the proliferation of zoom lenses and camera kits, it’s easy to experiment with framing by simply changing your zoom. Using a single focal length forces you to move to try different compositions. When you move, you see things differently and may come up with a better shot. Spending a week with a single focal length will change your perspective on framing.

“Canon EF 50mm F1.4 Testshot” by 55Laney69

Before zoom lenses became the norm, 50mm was a standard lens. Every photographer had a 50mm lens, for good reason. 50mm allows you to shoot a wide range of subjects. It may be the most versatile focal length there is.

“50mm Chicago” by Brian Koprowski

You can everything shoot from landscapes to portraits with a 50mm. They also perform well in all lighting conditions.

“Dibs the Cat” by Derrick Story

If you don’t own 50mm prime lens, I highly recommend getting one. Prime lenses are generally sharper than zoom lenses. I have a 50mm prime lens that is my first choice. It’s tack sharp and goes down to F1.4. But if you don’t have one, use what you have. All DSLR kits come with a zoom that will allow you to shoot at (or near) 50mm.

“Bubble Nose” by Bill Bumgarner

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 9: MACRO – NATURE

We are back to our Macro theme, and this time will be focusing on nature macros.

“Water Drops” by Sergiu Bacioiu

Insects, water droplets, flowers — the possibilities here are endless.

“You’re The Only One” by Lotus Carroll

This is another subject that can work in both black and white and in color. You can also find lots of subjects no matter what the season in your area.

“Autumn’s Crystals2″ by John

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!

“Net-Winged Beetle” by Mika Andrianoelison

If you want to really challenge yourself, try using a water droplet in your image as a lens to show details of what is behind the droplet.

“pussy willow and dandelion” by Steve Wall

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 8: ARCHITECTURE – BRIDGES

This week, we will focus on architecture. Specifically, bridges.

“Williamsburg Bridge” by Thomas Hawk

Bridges can be very flexible subjects for a photographer. You can shoot them in black and white or color, day or night.

“Rotterdam: Erasmus Bridge” by Roman Boed

“Dongting Bridge” by Steve Webel

Try shooting in both landscape and portrait orientations. Try a square crop. Since bridges tend to be both tall and wide, you can often emphasize different parts of the structure simply by changing the orientation of the image.

“Through The Bridge” by Tuncay

“bridge pylons” by David

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org. or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’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.

“Sayers Covered Bridge” by James Walsh

Wind sculpted snow

2015 Challenge, Week 7 Outdoor Photography – WIND

After fighting a bad cold for a week, I decided to get out of the house and find some inspiration for this week’s Outdoor Photography Challenge. It didn’t take long. As I crossed a small pedestrian bridge, I found myself blasted by a very cold winter wind. I looked down to the frozen river and it suddenly all became clear, WIND!

Wind had sculpted the snow atop the frozen river much like it does with the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert. Although wind in itself is invisible, it’s effect on our environment are on the contrary, quite visible.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Wrath of GOD - IR

The sculpted snow captured the long term effect of Wind. Long after the wind dies down it’ll still be there. We can also capture the present movement of wind in a long exposure. The cross remains still as it is solid and solidly anchored into the ground. Meanwhile the surrounding leaves and branches swing back and forth with the wind.

Steve Troletti Photography: GULLS, TERNS / GOÉLANDS et STERNES (Laridae / Sternina) &emdash; Translucent Feathers - Ring Billed Gull / Plumes translucides - Goéland à bec cerclé

Birds themselves can take advantage of the wind. This Ring-billed Gull harnesses the power of the wind to hover steadily above the river’s flowing waters patiently scouting for its next meal.

Birds aren’t the only ones who harness wind. For thousands of years man has harnessed the wind with sails to propel it’s ships. We now create our own wind to propel amphibian crafts. This Hovercraft is the perfect example of a fully artificial wind powered man-made craft.

Tornado.JPG

From Dust Devils to Tornadoes to Hurricanes, Mother Nature often has the final word when it comes to harnessing the destructive power of wind. There are endless possibilities when it comes to documenting wind. Whether it’s the after affect or the direct effect wind currently has on our environment, Mother Nature and Man or in a constant tug of war with wind.

It’s still an OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY Challenge, so you have to go outdoors to complete your challenge. Try and apply all the techniques we’ve practiced over time. Pay attention to your composition and distractions in the background. Come up with more than a snapshot, create a PHOTOGRAPH that tells a story. 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.

Please don’t take any unnecessary risks completing your challenge. 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 (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.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 6: NUMBERS – Prime Numbers

This week your challenge is to shoot a specific type of number – a prime number. For those that need a refresher on prime numbers:

A prime number (or a prime) is a natural number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself.

That’s the definition of a prime number from Google, and you’re probably familiar with the first few: 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, etc. I expect we’ll see a lot of shots with those numbers, but if you what to really challenge yourself, here’s a list of prime numbers to 1000: http://primes.utm.edu/lists/small/1000.txt

For this challenge shoot actual numbers, not a group objects. This challenge is about the actual numbers.

“7” by Martin Gommel

You can shoot the prime alone, or in a group of other numbers. You might even get lucky and get multiple primes in the same shot, like the one below.

“[8/52] 47 45 43 41e” by tomekmusicv

Remember to think about the technical aspects of the shot, not just the number. The shot below uses depth of field to focus attention on a specific number. Also notice the lighting. It’s natural light, but comes from behind so the frost stands out.

“29, 83, 6″ by Franz Jachim

The shot below uses repetition and lines, as well as depth of field. Also note that the numbers are not the subject, they are just an accent that breaks up the color.

“Seats ready for people_Design Museum Copenhagen” by Rob Deutscher

If you like math, shooting prime numbers should add some enjoyment to the challenge. Maybe we’ll even see some creative shots based on mathematics. I just like prime numbers. They feel natural to me, and I tend to notice them more than other numbers.

“13” by Alexander Makarov

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) per theme shot during the week of the challenge 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.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 5: MACRO – COMPUTER

It’s time for another Macro challenge! This time, lets point our lenses at that thing we are sitting in front of. And yes, your smartphone is also a computer, so feel free to explore it via macro images if you wish.

Computers have become part of our everyday life. But have you taken the time to look at them closely through your lens?

“VGA Connector” by Programator2

Connectors can be interesting when viewed close up, but don’t forget about the guts of the beast.

untitled, by Eivind Sorgenfryd

“Central Processing Unit” by Luis Romero

This kind of subject can really lend itself to a black and white image. Try making a few of your images this week in black and white, and see if you prefer that over color.

“Industrial Macro #5″ by Christian

“Who Needs Information?” by Shawn Clover

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!

“CPU Pin Graveyard” by Arthur Caranta

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
DSC_6354_DxO-st-bruno-red-barn-snow2-sm

2015 Challenge, Week 4 Outdoor Photography – MAN MADE IN NATURE

I’m taking over for Trevor this week with yet an other Outdoor Photography Challenge :-)

This week I want to focus on Man Made objects in nature. This is in huge contrast to last year’s Nature and Wildlife themes which excluded any man made objects.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Mon pays c'est l'hiver / Winter WonderlandAs in the above image your setting is to be in a nature type environment. This old red barn contrasts with the wintery white forest. Pay attention to the rules of composition as they remain important throughout the creative process.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; L��tang de la Maison de l'arbreYou don’t have to be in the middle of a forest. This image taken in Montreal’s Botanical Garden immerses you in nature yet in the middle of metropolitan Montreal.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Fall is definitely here / L'automne est bel et bien làAgain here, the Montreal Back River in a nature setting. Two man made dams and a bridge in the distance. The hand of man is more and more present as we venture into our natural environment.

_TRA7031-totocheSometimes it can be your own little private getaway, a treehouse nestled in a pine forest!

Man made objects are everywhere. Some old some new. Focus on a man made object nestled in a natural setting. Experiment with different angles, depth of field and lighting.

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! Outdoor photography can be a great family activity.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org. or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 3 Outdoor Photography – TREES

The 2015 Challenge is off to a great start. Gary just gave us a great mind boggling challenge that had me looking at everything from a great new perspective.

I’ve decided to change things around from Nature & Wildlife to simply Outdoor Photography. It may seem trivial, but deep down under my thinking cap there’s a devious plan to challenge everyone through 2015. Naturally I’ll keep a focus on nature. This is at times challenging because we have members from all over the globe experiencing different seasons at different times, differently. We all know winters are a little different in Long Beach, CA than they are in Long Beach, NJ.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Winter Fruit for Thought / Fruits de l'hiver pour une penséeTrees breathe life into our planet. They do so at so many levels, directly and indirectly. They provide food and shelter for wildlife and humans. They also prevent erossium and evaporation of water as they grow along waterways. Outdoor photography is generally editorial and this week we’ll document life in and around trees.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; American Robin / Merle d'AmeriqueWinter may seem like a barren time for trees but that isn’t true at all. The berry of the Shadbush provides nutrition for many Northern birds through the coldest months. This very fruit has made it possible for the American Robin to survive and strive further and further North expanding into new territory.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Juniper Berries on the Rocks - Baies de genièvre sur glaceAs you go even further North, evergreens take over. The Juniper tree not only provides shelter for a variety of wildlife throughout the winter, it also feeds them with it’s berries, just like the Shadbush.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Survival - Cold and Windy Day! / La survie - Journée froide et venteuse!Sometimes it’s just not that obvious. At -22C this little Nuthatch is scouring through the bark looking for hibernating insects, larva and maybe some hidden seeds and nuts. It’s beak is perfectly adapted for this task.

Raton laveur - RaccoonTrees not only provide food and shelter for birds. Many mammals like squirrels and this baby Raccoon will find refuge from cold temperature and predators inside a hollowed out tree. Every hole in every tree has a story to tell.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)Not every hole in every tree is home to something cute and cuddly. Weather permitting, many Spiders make trees their home. There’s no better place to hide than in the fortified walls of a tree trunk

Sans titre Some insects even build their homes on, in and around trees. This Wasp Nest is a good indicator of the life present around this tree throughout the warmer months. In turn these wasps also provide food for birds and their hatchlings.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; The Fox and Squirrel... / Le renard et l'écureuil ...Sometimes the tree doesn’t provide lunch, It’s what stands between you and your lunch. Both predator and prey can benefit from trees.  How efficiently they interact with trees can make all the difference when it comes to survival.

LumièreLeaves will die and fall to the ground. This annual process will help replenish nutrients in the soil for future generations of trees to grow healthy.

This tree is growing along a stream. For now the stream will provide water for this tree to grow. With time the tree will provide the shade to prevent evaporation. This will help maintain a water source for animals and agriculture throughout the summer months.

Don’t let your gear bog you down. The above image is an Instagram taken just a few weeks ago with a two year old Nexus 4 Smartphone. The best camera is the one you have in your hands at that time. Learn the true limitations of your equipment and then capitalize on its strengths.

For this challenge try and apply all the techniques we’ve practiced over time. Pay attention to your composition and distractions in the background. Come up with more than a snapshot, create a PHOTOGRAPH that tells a story. 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.

I’ve but barely unearthed the surface of what trees can do for our planet. They have an impact on our daily lives and mass deforestation in one area can affect climate around the world.

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 (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.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 Challenge, Week 2: NUMBERS – 10 and Under

The first week of 2015 flew by, now it’s time to introduce the second theme for the year – Numbers. This year I’ll posting themes that have to do with numbers. In many ways numbers define our lives. We count our age (north of 40), size of our family (5 in my house), our weight (for good or bad), anniversaries (married 22 years), employment history (6 jobs) – just about everything can be described in some way by numbers.

Even photography is defined by numbers: shutter speed, F-stop, focal length, ISO,  memory card, sensor megapixels, and, well, you get the idea.

For this week we’ll keep it basic – take a photo of a number 10 or under. There is one constraint: no addresses. Every home and business has a street address so those are easy. Your challenge is to find a number, then make an interesting shot. You can take a picture of a single number, or a group of numbers, as long as the number(s) are 10 or lower.

“Numbers..” by Søren Rajczyk

As you frame your shoot, think about the technical aspects of your composition. The shot above frames a repeating pattern with a strong leading line. The use of black and white enhances the lines and emphasizes the tones. You can imagine the numbers continuing forever.

“Numbers in the orange” by Leonid Mamchenkov

This shot also uses repetition with lines, but contrasts the brightly colored seats with the small, black circles holding the numbers.

“25 / 52 Numbers” by Sergio García Moratilla

You can also use depth of field to focus attention on a specific part of the frame.

Numbers sound like simple subjects, and they are. The challenge isn’t in the number – it’s in taking something that is commonplace and looking at it in a new way. With the subject determined, your challenge is in the composition. Don’t just snap a picture of the first number you find. Get creative and focus on the composition. We all will use the same numbers, but each of us will create a different photo.

“4 Plane” by AlwaysBreaking

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.