Still life with lemons – Maaike Groenewege

2016 PhotoChallenge, Week 12: Still life – Dutch masters – Guest Post

This week’s challenge takes us back to the 17th century, the golden age of Dutch painting. It was in this period that still life (derived from Dutch ‘stilleven’) emerged as a separate category in the fine arts. Since it was forbidden to depict any religious symbols in Protestant Holland, Dutch painters focussed on capturing everyday scenes: flowers, food, dead animals, and manmade objects like glasses, plates an pitchers.

Willem Claesz Heda – Still life with gold plated bowl

Willem Claesz Heda – Still life with gold plated bowl

Still life paintings from this period are characterised by an incredible sense of detail and realism, and painters were true masters of light. As such, they’re a wonderful inspiration for us photographers. This challenge is all about light, and using it to capture different textures, surfaces and reflections. And of course, a still life is a pre-composed image, so go and delve into those second hand shops and look for pewter plates, china, glassware, withered books, perhaps even a skull…

Types of still life

Still life painting comes in different categories. For each category, I’ve listed an example from the 17th century, and one from a contemporary photographer.

Vanitas – Symbolising the vainness of earthly life, with skulls, hourglasses, old books and withered flowers.

 

Vanitas – Harmen Steenwijck

Vanitas – Harmen Steenwijck

 

Vanitas – Marije van der Klugt

Vanitas – Marije van der Klugt

 

Pronk (lit. ‘to show off’): an ostentatious display of the wealth of the owner, with rare foods, luscious colors, rich draperies and precious china and silverware.

 

Still life with aquamanile, vegetables and a nautilus – Willem Kalff

Still life with aquamanile, vegetables and a nautilus – Willem Kalff

 

Still life after Willem Kalff – Levin Rodriguez

Still life after Willem Kalff – Levin Rodriguez


 Ontbijtjes (‘Little breakfasts’), Banketjes (‘little banquets’) and Toebackjes (‘little tobacco scenes’) depict a more sober kind of scene, with one, or just a few, objects of humble origin.

 

Still life with asparagus – Adriaan Coorte

Still life with asparagus – Adriaan Coorte

                                                      

Still life with lemons – Maaike Groenewege

Still life with lemons – Maaike Groenewege

 

I hope you enjoy this challenge and look forward to your take on the Dutch masters. Veel succes!
About Maaike Groenewege

I live in the middle of the Netherlands together with Significant Other (who features regularly in my Photochallenge images) and my two cats Bumper and Pebbles (who are also no stranger to modelling). I’ve been glued to my compact camera for the last ten years, still love my Sony RX-100 and switched to a Nikon D7200 in 2015. I love street photography, conceptual photography, macro and still life.

I’ve just finished the entry course at the Dutch Photo Academy, and will start a degree in Photographic Design at the University of Applied Photography in August 2016. You can find my portfolio at www.maaaike.nl (that’s right, there’s three aaa’s in there. Just for fun J )

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.

 

 

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2016 PhotoChallenge, Week 11: PORTRAITS – BOUNCE

As we advance in our portrait creating skills, new techniques will open up doors for us that we’ll later discover enhance even our most basic photographs. More often you’ll find yourself even planning ahead to include some of the tools you may jerry rig or even purchase.

Andrew

This week’s theme for taking a portrait, of a new subject, includes the use of a light bounce. Now, there’s a few things I insist that you use in your setup. First, this shall be a two light source photograph.

Lisa Bettany (Natural light, whiteboard/umbrella bounce)

That doesn’t mean two lights, but two light sources. What I mean is that a single light source from one side of your subject (one of any four directions, preferably not in front.) Then we BOUNCE a reflection of that primary light source into the opposing side.

Flare! lens flare... :(

Naturally your bounced light will be much less powerful and more soft. The cheapest tool to buy is a white piece of card board or foam board. Mere dollars at a craft store.

Johannes (darktable)

These two options should help you realize how affordable it will be to add a tool like this. I have accumulated several different sized CowboyStudio reflectors over the years. Take note of the sizes. For a decent balance of bounced light, it needs to be large enough. If you get one too small, you’ll be limited on how far you can be from your subject.

September Challenge, couples portrait

Also, you’re either going to need an assistant to hold the bounce, or use a clamp system. I have several free standing light stands and a couple extra tripods. Then I just use woodworking clamps to hold it in place. But more often, I use an old, heavy based, boom mic stand. I hange my bounce from the boom part of the stand. Works great every time.

Jennifer and the shiny gate...

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.
  • Extra Rule for the Portrait Challenges, you must shoot a new subject for each portrait.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 10: OUTDOOR – Brenizer Method

Most of you are probably wondering what the “BRENIZER METHOD” is… It’s simple, it’s a technique by which you simulate the look of an image captured on a larger format camera by taking many pictures with your smaller format camera. The technique was pioneered by New York Wedding Photographer, Ryan Brenizer.
Steven & Cyndi | The Long And Winding Road

Wikipedia defines it as : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenizer_Method (Please Read)

“The Brenizer Method is a photographic technique popularized by photographer Ryan Brenizer. It is characterized by the creation of a digital image exhibiting a shallow depth of field in tandem with a wide angle of view by use of panoramic stitching techniques applied to portraiture. The combination of these characteristics enables a photographer to mimic the look of large format film photography with a digital camera. Large format cameras use a negative that is at least 4×5 inches (102×127 mm) and are known for their very shallow depth of field when using a wide aperture and their unique high level of clarity, contrast and control. Image sensor formats of common digital cameras, in comparison, are much smaller, ranging down to the tiny sensors in camera phones. The Brenizer method increases the effective sensor size of the camera, simulating the characteristics of large format photography.”

It may sound difficult, but it’s barely slightly more work than creating a stitched panorama. In fact it’s often referred to as the “BOKEH PANORAMA

There’s even a FLICKR GROUP dedicated to images captured using the BRENIZER METHOD : https://www.flickr.com/groups/1121852@N21/ 

It’s not only filled with tons of examples, there’s a discussion thread that should answer most of your questions.

Kelsy '11 | In Focus

Here are a few tips to capture your image:

  • I haven’t done this in a long time but I suggest using a 50mm/85mm on a crop factor or a 85mm/105mm on a Full Frame.
  • I definitely recommend using a tripod at first. It’s not 100% necessary but it helps.
  • Set your camera to manual focus. (You can acquire your subject with AUTO-FOCUS but once your subject is in focus, switch your camera/lens to manual focus)
  • Set your white balance manually. This will prevent inconsistencies that can sometimes occur with automatic white-balance.
  • Set your exposure to manual. This will make sure your scene is equally exposed throughout every frame.
  • Open your aperture to maximize the BOKEH effect of out of focus areas. Use the shallowest depth of field possible for your subject.
  • It’s a good idea to apply lens correction prior to stitching the images to reduce mismatching due to distortion.

M6

Some shoot using a circular motion starting from the center, clockwise and expanding out at every turn. I find that confusing and hard to relate and overlap your images in post processing. I use an horizontal motion from the top left, shooting to the right and overlapping images. Like a typewriter, I lower the angle and start again from left to right until I have reached the bottom right corner of my scene.

POST PROCESSING (STITCHING)

You will need to stitch your images. If they are JPEG images your camera may already have applied lens correction. If you shoot raw, I recommend applying lens correction and the same identical basic processing steps for every image prior to stitching. You can complete your post processing of the image once the stitching is successful.

To stitch your images you can use Photoshop (maybe even lightroom now). There’s a free Panorama Image Stitcher for Linux, Mac and Windows called HUGIN. Windows users can also download and use for free the Microsoft Composite Image Editor (ICE)

Pano 1-Edit-2-Edit.jpg

In order to complete your challenge you will have to shoot OUTDOORS. Your subject can be anything or anyone. Try and have your subject relatively close to you compared to surrounding objects. This will maximize the effect keeping your subject crisper in comparison to the out of focus environment of your scene. You probably will have to practice a few times before you shoot your final image.

 

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.

EXTERNAL LINKS

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL – http://digital-photography-school.com/5-steps-to-rock-the-brenizer-method/

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 9: B&W – ENTROPY

For this week you need to get in a mindset for a little chaos and disorder and find things that are falling apart. The challenge this week is Entropy.   We’re not dealing with the definition of entropy related to physics, your challenge deals with the other definition of entropy: gradually declining into disorder. You’re looking for deterioration and degeneration, things that are crumbling,  decomposing or otherwise breaking down. And you need to shoot it in black and white.

Weathered and Beaten - Iceland
Pay attention to texture and tones in your subject. The airplane above makes a great subject, but black and white accentuates the texture of the metal and ground. Likewise with the shot below, the textures of the decaying truck stand out. They would be great shots in color, but the use of black and white draws your attention to different attributes of a photograph that you might not notice in color.
Decayed Dodge bw.jpg

You can also use black and white to set a mood. The shot below feels a little haunting and mysterious, at least to me. The place may not be that haunting in real life, but it looks a little scary in this shot.
Deep in the forest, there was...

And don’t forget you can always shoot with your phone. There are many great photo apps for iOS and Android that will allow you to shoot in black and white. Both of the next examples were shot on iPhones using the Hipstamatic app. If your pressed for time, pull out your phone and start experimenting with different apps.

Point Reyes

Abandonment

If this challenge sounds familiar, it is. We’ve done Entropy in the past for challenges, but this time it’s a black and white challenge. Entropy is one of my favorite things to shoot. I love seeing things reverting back to a natural state. We have a lot of order, rules, and boundaries in our modern world, so I like to see nature taking some of that away.  

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 8: Dominant Depth of Field Blur – Guest Post

This week’s challenge is to create a photo with shallow DOF blur dominating the frame, in both the foreground and the background, with only the most important part of the scene (Your Subject) in sharp focus.

Depth of field

The challenge here is to do this in camera, not in post-processing…do not photoshop blur into your picture!!!

Stand out

Those photographers who have this technique already under control might want to try doing it with a lens much shorter or longer than the one they usually work with.

Magnetic-core Memory

Pay attention to all the elements of your photo, not just the ones in focus, because lines and contrasts can distract from the main subject even when they are blurred. Keep your compositions simple with an interesting subject.

leaf

You probably will have to work closer to your subject than you usually do. Using manual focus makes close work much easier. This site has a calculator which will help you determine how far your subject must be from your lens to be sharp: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm.

 

Challenge by Michelle Maani: I started my photography journey in 2006 when I bought my first digital camera, a pocket point and shoot that I bought to record a trip to Europe that summer. I was very disappointed with my shots! I’ve gradually worked my way up through better cameras and learning how to use them. At some point I became enamored with bird photography, and that has been my primary focus for several years.  Now that I have retired I am taking classes and learning what I can do with my camera and about other forms of photography, and I feel like a whole new world has opened. I live in the “other Vancouver”, in Washington state in the US.

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.

 

 

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2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE WEEK 7: PORTRAITS – YOUR LOVE

Now right away, you introverts are going to immediately decide to photograph your dog or cat, or something other than your one true love on this planet. There is a chance that your love isn’t available all week, maybe out of town for something, etc. That’s fine, work your way down the list.

The Color of Love

Yet I deeply want you to consider creating a wonderful portrait of your loved one. The goal here is for you to work hard enough that you can frame this photograph and display it for at least you to enjoy. (Let’s try to keep it tame enough to share with the rest of us too.) 🙂

Bill

I want to remind you that photography is not just about a snapshot of something in time. It should tell a story, or have some deeper meaning. This is your opportunity to express that. So, search around on Google Images or Flickr for portraits that strike you as a loving creation.

Portrait

I’d encourage you to get in closer than you might normally. Closer than a bust shot, but a clean head shot. Don’t forget that the eyes speak the whole message, and the burden is on you to capture them just right.

Birthday Sherpa

As far as lighting is concerned, you could do what we did last time, stick with natural, primarily light coming through a window, etc. However, don’t be afraid to add some additional light. Whatever you do, DO NOT SHOOT A PORTRAIT WITH AN ON-CAMERA FLASH! I’d rather you use another lamp, or a speed light that can be triggered from you camera, off-camera. In fact, make that a personal rule from now, do not shoot portraits with on-camera flash, ever.

Sincere

I plan to photograph my wife, sitting near a window, and I’ll use a bounce to reflect in a little diffused light from the opposite side. If you don’t have deflectors or diffusers, don’t worry. Hit a craft store or crafts section at Walmart or Target, and get a piece of foam core board. Stand it up in a chair, or get another person to hold it. Then just bounce the light from the window into the shaded side of your subject.

Patrick

 

Oh, and one more thing…I’m adding one guideline for my themes only. Each portrait you shoot must be a new subject, all year. That’ll only end up being 12 or 13 portraits, so sniveling won’t be tolerated. :-)

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.
  • Each portrait subject must be a new one, over the course of the 2016 PhotoChallenge.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE WEEK 6: OUTDOOR – HOT/COLD

Winter has been kind to Northern Folks this year. Barely a few days of extreme cold and snow is barely visible in many places where it should be abundant. Even Switzerland is having a hard time keeping a snow cover in the valley areas. Meanwhile our neighbors to the south, in the Southern Hemisphere are experiencing summer in a more stable way.

No matter what’s going on outside, you’re still looking for ways to keep warm in COLD weather and cool in HOT weather. Often this brings about a contrast we can capture and document on our cameras.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Northern Canada, you may even have the opportunity to find ways to keep warm indoors in the ice cold rooms of an ICE HOTEL.
Cold and Hot

With the milder winter, attendance seems to be up when it comes to winter activities. There’s no better way to warm up than by a bonfire after a long day of winter activities.

Snowshoe and Bonfire by Mt Hood Adventure

This challenge is open to interpretation. It should remain an outdoor challenge but exceptions such as an ICE HOTEL are more than acceptable as they pretty much bring the outdoors, indoors. It’s also open to metaphorical interpretations. The contrast of this “HOT SPOT” awning with the  COLD snow and icicles is a perfect example…

Hardly

In stark contrast, those experiencing HOT Summer Days in the Southern Hemisphere will be looking for sources of COLD. During those HOT summer days you may just be resorting to extreme measures to keep cool.

too damn hot

Sometimes we just can’t find two individuals who agree if it’s HOT or COLD. In that case we just dress accordingly.

Juxtaposition

This challenge is meant to be fun without having to focus on specialty techniques. Since you won’t be distracted by complicated photographic techniques, we want you to focus on the basics of photography.

  1. COMPOSITION: Take the time necessary to compose your image.
  2. SHUTTER SPEED: Your subject may be still or moving. Use the proper speed to communicate movement or freeze motion.
  3. APERTURE: You may want to shoot at a wide aperture to better isolate your subject or close thing down to display wide areas in full focus.

 

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 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 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

 

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE WEEK 5: B&W – BARRIER

Welcome to week 5 of the 2016 Photo Challenge. We’re back to Black and White photography. For this week your challenge is to shoot a barrier. It can be any kind of barrier like a fence, wall, door, or wind break. The examples in this post are physical barriers, but  you can get creative and shoot something that represents a mental or emotional barrier.
Thames Barrier Long Exposure

This challenge is intentionally vague and subject to interpretation. You should be able to find something to shoot, that means you should focus on the technical aspects of the shot. The shot above is the Thames Barrier, something I’ve never seen in person but based on the shot above, I’d love to see it someday and photograph it. I found several shots of the barrier, but choose this one because of the long exposure. The barriers are frozen while the water and clouds give a sense of motion. The photographer was deliberate in the use of shutter speed. The tones and textures also make this a great black and white shot.

Fence

Fences are obvious barriers, and all too common. Composition makes the shot – perspective with short depth of field and leading lines. Black and white emphasizes the technical aspects of the shot and the texture of the wood. The shot below uses a similar perspective, but a longer depth of field. Again, the grain of wood stands out but also enhances the leading lines.

Beach

Black and white can be as much about tones and texture as strong lines. The fence  examples have strong lines, but also rich textures.

Perch Rock Lighthouse, New Brighton

Other elements of composition you should look for are curves and repetition. The shot above uses both, while the shot below is about the repetition of lines in police barricades. 

SFPD Police Line Do Not Cross

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 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 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE WEEK 4: FREEZE MOTION – GUEST POST

This week’s theme is one of my favorite effects: Freeze Motion Photography; also known as High Speed Photography. This great technique allows you to stop a moving object at a single instant in time, yielding a stunning visual effect.

The hair flick

In this shot, the camera captures the instant that the model flicks her hair back, such that you can see individual water droplets frozen in time. While it’s a relatively simple shot to take, the effect is mesmerizing.

There are a couple of different methods for freezing motion. The easiest method is to simply use a fast shutter speed, such as 1/1000 of a second. Because the shutter speed is so fast, it tends to freeze the subject at one instant of time. This technique is relatively easy to do, and does not require any special equipment— you can use most any camera.

To take these type of shots, you’ll typically want to use “Shutter Priority” mode, which is “Tv” on Canon, and Mode “S” on Nikon— these modes allow you to select the exact shutter speed that you want. More advanced users can opt for Manual mode.

Umbrella Levitation

One simple, fun option is known as “jump levitation”. This photo was relatively easy to shoot: The model jumped with the umbrella, and I snapped the picture at the same time. If done right, it gives the illusion of floating in the air.

There are countless great shots that can be taken this way— a baseball leaving a pitcher’s hand, a bird flying, someone splashing in a puddle. Use your imagination.

The second, more advanced method is to use a camera flash to stop the motion. Modern camera flashes use extremely short bursts of light— in the range of 1/10,000 of a second! While it takes a bit more setup, this method allows you to work indoors (where there is less light), and produces razor-sharp results.

For this method, you should shoot in a dark location— either outside at night, or in a dark room. The only light should be from the flash. Because the flash is so fast, you capture that exact moment in time, with no motion blur. Following are a couple of examples.

IMG_5460_1

Water droplet shots can produce amazing results. To create shots like this, fill a shallow pan with water, and use a medicine dropper to create the splash. Adding a brightly colored background (which reflects onto the water) and/or adding food coloring to the water can make the shot even more interesting.

As a final example, taking photographs with talcum powder is relatively easy, and looks great. This image was created by flicking two makeup brushes together, and shooting the small cloud of talc.

Talc in Motion

One last note is that these shots require a lot of trial and error. You might need a dozen (or more) shots until you get the timing just right. (For example, I selected my favorite talc shot from more than 100 attempts.) Don’t give up! Remember, digital pictures are free: Just keep trying a bunch of different times until you get something you like.

Good luck!

 

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 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 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

This special edition PhotoChallenge was written by our guest and member of the 2016 PhotoChallenge, Eric Minbiole. We hope you enjoyed it. We surely loved it and want to extend our thanks to Eric for his participation. You can enjoy Eric’s online images at https://www.flickr.com/photos/eminbiole

If you want to share your Special Challenge with your fellow members, contact Trevor, Gary or Steve.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/maykelstone/10367733783/in/photolist-gNam3K-pi3X3k-e91mym-74FLED-em3W9j-ekXkxg-7CtgNF-ewk4Ab-qXVYKY-7GraBu-fkjMkT-7qg9Zx-8Fjy1v-eMjrtS-dTy7XE-dTszk4-8tQ6CB-6U3wUN-8tFa8z-pi1Tj9-oqYE8i-em479u-8sKtB4-85FMC1-aqNFot-eM83a2-Msv4v-p3pkL7-9B8bir-pbHwy1-pi1Tro-8FjBkZ-aoVJ9X-oNCu5x-e2FpAf-85ebZs-8vemgv-oNBgc1-psGW6Y-9DuwYd-atqLUK-axzfUY-p1yHJv-83w9ea-8sKssp-8vur9x-dEh7WV-oUf9Wv-eMjroA-8sNph9

2016 PhotoChallenge Week 3: PORTRAITS – SIMPLE NATURAL LIGHT

simple portrait

This year it is my hope to offer you opportunities to shoot portraits of people, better than you’ve done before. Snapshots will no longer be acceptable. Planning ahead will be necessary, in order to have success. Using tools to know where the sun will be for outdoor portraits will be hard to not avoid. This is the year to step it up!

Miranda!

With portraiture, you may find that some of the themes overlap a little. Just focus on the published theme, and integrate what else you’ve learned when it’s appropriate.

Under The Sun X

This week’s theme of portraiture is a simple single subject in natural light. No deliberate us of artificial light. No flash or speed light. No off camera lights, other than the sun. This doesn’t mean that you must shoot out of doors though. Natural outdoor light, diffused through a window can be the most soft and gorgeous light.

Ben - Stranger #50

If you choose to shoot outside, and it’s new for you to do more than snapshot, take into consideration the placement of the sun. In general, shooting in direct sunlight is a terrible mistake. Until you master the artistic value of it, it will only give you darkness on your subject, or yucky shadows. For now, avoid it.

Alice au parc Duden

Target overcast days, mornings, afternoons, or bounced light. Your subject in a balanced shadow will be real easy to find. Let’s try to focus on a headshot or a bust. No full length yet, just to keep it simple. Simple, simple, simple…and clean balanced light are the goals of this challenge. There’s so much more to consider, and we’ll get to it in time.

A tool that will help you find when and where the sun will rise, set, and be above is The Photographer’s Ephemeris. There is a browser app, and mobile apps. Buy them! The iOS version is $8.99, just bite the bullet! I have it on my iPhone 6S Plus, and my iPad Air 2. Unbelievable tools to plan for where the sun will be. Trust me, once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever planned a photograph without it. The desktop app, via the browser, is free. So you can play with it, and realize what you’re missing.

Here’s a few articles that will expand upon what I’ve shared much better:

Oh, and one more thing…I’m adding one guideline for my themes only. Each portrait you shoot must be a new subject, all year. That’ll only end up being 12 or 13 portraits, so sniveling won’t be tolerated. 🙂

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.
  • Each portrait subject must be a new one, over the course of the 2016 PhotoChallenge.

[Featured Image Credit: “Portrait” by Maikel Stone.]