Tag Archives: Facebook

Great Blue Heron landing

2015 Challenge, Week 15 : OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – MIGRATING BIRDS

The Spring bird migration is finally in full swing and will hit the Northern States and Canada this weekend. While the Northern Hemisphere is in Spring Migration, Fall migration is taking place in the Southern Hemisphere. This week we’ll focus on the newly arriving species for each of our very own localities.

For those of you who are new to this, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has you covered in the USA with their migration forecasts : http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-10-17-april/ I’m sure similar information is available on the web for just about every region in the world

Large birds of prey to the minuscule hummingbirds are in route to their summer nesting grounds. Some have a yearly migration route as far as Argentina to Northern Canada and back. In the Greater Montreal Area Owls, Red Polls, Juncos, etc… head north in Spring to make room for their Southern Cousin’s arrival.

Red-winged blackbird - First migrant

Red-winged blackbird – First migrant

One of our early migrants is the Red-winged blackbird. They huddle by the bird-feeders hoping for a warmer day. They usually get caught in unpredictable weather from late winter storms to extremely cold nights.

Black duck fending off Mallard Duck

Black duck fending off Mallard Duck

The most common ducks are quick to follow. With Spring fever in the air territorial conflicts are quick to come about.

Canada Goose Feeding

Canada Goose Feeding

Geese aren’t far behind. These large water fowls not only look for water but feed on grass and the remains of last year’s crops until a new vegetation starts to flourish.

Great Blue Heron landing

Great Blue Heron landing

As soon as a creek melts open the Great Blue Heron makes its presence known. One of the last herons to leave in December, it promptly makes its way back in early Spring.

Black-crowned night heron

Black-crowned night heron

I was however very surprised to find this Black-crowned night heron perched in a tree so early on in the season.

Great egret

Great egret

Even more surprising was this Great egret. All of these herons have an inherent fear of man. Your presence may spook them, so be careful. If they fly away, just settle in and be patient. If there’s food they will be back. Just avoid loud noises and jerky movement.

Mating Lori parakeets

Mating Lori parakeets

Some birds are already mating and nest building. It’s important to keep a respectable distance to totally minimize our impact on these birds. We don’t want to stress them to the point where they leave their nesting grounds, especially if eggs are already in the nest.

Please show the up-most in respect for our feathered friends. We want to capture a natural looking image of a relaxed bird. A stressed animal will show in your images and lower the appeal all together. Take time to observe the birds and get familiar with them. Birds are curious in nature and if you’re patient, still and quiet, you’ll be rewarded.

This Photo Challenge is entirely about having FUN OUTDOORS! PLEASE KEEP MAN MADE ITEMS OUT of your image as this theme is entirely NATURE based.

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 12 : ARCHITECTURE – WINDOWS LOOKING OUT

We sometimes think of Architectural photography as looking at a building from the outside. A great deal of Architectural engineering and design is often invested in giving a look from the inside to the outside. Windows and glass paneling connects us with the outside world, illuminating the indoors and often enhancing its appearance

Coit Tower City View

Not all windows have glass panes. Many older structures in Europe and the Middle-East have but openings carved out of the structure and protected by shutters when necessary. I find it connects us better with the world outside our four walls.

NYC Window View (a la Edward Hopper)

Not all windows give us the dream view we’re all contemplating. For some it’s but the hustle and bustle of urban life. This New York City hotel Room view is the perfect example.

Pier Window

Even this abandoned building on the peer has a dream view through it’s industrial windows that is the envy of many Malibu homes.

I'm a young one stuck in the thoughts of an old one's head. (205)

You can add portraiture to your architectural image thus enhancing the sense of being and of welfare.

Breakfast with a View
At times Photo-Realistic HDR techniques of two or more images are needed to fully capture the ambiance of a room. The brightly lit outdoor scene needs to be balanced with the poorly lit view of the room.

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.
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.

2014 Challenge, Week 35 Nature & Wildlife – Textures and Patterns

One may ask, where do I find textures and patterns in nature? The answer is quite simple, EVERYWHERE! This may in fact be one of the most eye opening experience for new photographers. In many cases it’s as simple as pointing your camera in a random direction. (Surrounded by nature of course)

bark patternFind yourself up-close and personal with a tree and you’re apt to find textures and patterns.

Hoenderloo ForrestTake a step back from a tree and you get a pattern of trees. In this case the image is complemented with texture, the texture offered by the ground covering.

P1010137Get close to a rock face and and again you’re bound to find texture, patterns and perhaps both. Pay close attention to lighting. Textures often change with lighting. You may want to experiment with a flash, a reflector or take advantage of the sun’s own light at different hours of the day.

Moning in Bac Son ValleyAs was demonstrated with the trees, Not only can we get up close with rocks, the same may apply as you take an exaggerated step back. You may just be presented with a pattern of mountain peaks and textures from the ground to the sky above.

free_high_res_texture_132Leaves are an other great example of texture and patterns in nature. Converging, leading and non leading lines make up complex series of patterns and textures. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives. Zoom in and out of your subject exploring the different facets of nature.

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! Nature and Wildlife photography can be a great family activity.

With this nature and wildlife theme, keep man made objects out of your images. Nature has enough to offer on its own to satisfy every aspect of this theme.

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 #photochallenge2014.
  • 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 2014 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2013 Challenge, Week 52 : DOORMATS

Here we are Week 52, the final 2013 Photo Challenge. As you all should know by now the 2014 Photo Challenge will be bigger, better, more challenging and especially more fun! I invite you all to read Trevor’s post for the upcoming 2014 Photo Challenge. (http://photochallenge.org/2013/12/13/2014-will-be/)

For this final but short Challenge that will carry us through the remaining few days of the year, I chose Doormats as a theme. I was inspired by the variety of fun and amusing doormats I was greeted by as I visited friends and family throughout the Holiday Season.

"Slide to unlock" doormat

It would appear that our modern lifestyle and mobile technology has had a creative influence on doormat designs…

the homecoming ... 133365

You never know who, or what will be standing on your doormat when you open the door. This may be a good time to introduce your recurring object for the 2014 Challenge.

Doormat for lunch

Even a standard boring doormat can come to life as it becomes a play toy for a little newcomer to the family this Holiday season.

1994-wbsheet06-frame11-mushrooms

Sometimes it’s just not the doormat that’s interesting. Upon closer inspection you may be tempted to photograph what gathers or maybe what’s growing on your doormat.

Don’t leave home without your camera. Doormats are everywhere just waiting for your special touch to capture them for the final 2013 Photo Challenge.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 48 : RUST

I was walking along an old decrepit mill when I realized that there was a certain appeal to all the old rusted metal. From texture to color it gave a totally new take on everyday common metal objects. The older the item, the longer it corroded, the greater it looked.

Rusted Fence

Rusted Fence

It inspired me to start a new photography project based entirely on rust. Above is one of the first images captured on this historical site. A basic link in a rusted old fence.

Rust

Just about any piece of metal hardware you find on an old abandoned structure is bound to show signs of rust. Of course if you’re searching in the middle of the Mojave Desert, rust might make itself a little scarce.

Rust & Crabs

Old Crab Shacks are no match for mother Nature and offer tremendous opportunities to photograph a piece of history. From the tiniest nail to the entire shack the possibilities for photographing rust are endless.

Paint and Rust

You often don’t have to look too far to find rust. It can be as simple as an old screw in a wooden fence.

So start your search, let your imagination go wild and get creative bringing us all those rusted old pictures.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 44 : FEET

The inspiration for this theme came to me from a girlfriend of mine who literally takes a picture of her feet every place she visits. She would sit down, hold her feet up placing a site of interest in the background and click away.

Feet + Surf

Nothing like a picture of your feet to preserve the vacation memory of warm sand and surf on the beach.

Chinese Bound Feet(5)

Feet pictures can also have an editorial essence documenting cultural differences as in this image of a women with Chinese Bound Feet.

foot prints;

Even if the feet aren’t there anymore, they can leave traces as in these foot prints.

Hands & Feet

Feet aren’t just for grownups. Babies have feet to…

Bear (Bare) Foot

Remember it’s not just people who have feet. So let your imagination run wild and have fun with this week’s theme.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 41 : SILHOUETTE

Many photographers use the technique of photographing people, objects or landscape elements against the light, to achieve an image in silhouette. The light might be natural, such as a sunset or an open doorway, a technique known as contre-jour or it might be contrived in a studio (low-key lighting). Silhouetting occurs when there is a lighting ratio of 16:1 or greater. The exposure is set for the background, usually with an aperture at 9–11 and a shutter speed around 120–200.

Silhouette - Dancing on hay...One of the easiest ways to get back lighting for your silhouette work is by using the naturally bright light from a setting sun as I did in this image taken in a hay field in France.

Silhouette

Bright light reflecting off of water will help you create the silhouette effect for waterborne objects and animals such as these geese.

9th Floor Silhouette

Well lit doorways and windows are another great way to achieve a dramatic looking silhouette effect.

Silhouetted Kaz

You don’t need direct sunlight from a setting sun. In this case a brightly lit mid-day sky is all it took to provide the necessary light to create the silhouette of a dog.

Let your imagination run wild and show us your best silhouette image of the week.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 40 : MOTION

For week 40 I decided to add a little more complexity and photographic techniques to the PhotoChallenge. Photographing objects in MOTION should allow you to push your skills a touch further. You’ll find two basic categories of images that help you portray MOTION.

  1. Blurred subject with background In focus, generally accomplished with the use of a tripod.
  2. Blurred background with subject in focus, accomplished with a tripod or by panning camera to match the subject’s speed.

Motion and Stillness - BlueprintIn this example the camera is still. One subject remains still (The Man) and the other subject is in motion (The cars). While the individual remains still like the background the vehicles in movement on each side are captured blurred producing the effect of motion. A slower shutter rate is necessary to complete the effect.

motion townSimilar technique used in this image as well. The camera remains still to maintain a focused background, A slower shutter speed and the speed of the train  allow the motion to be captured.

panningFollowing your subject in motion (PANNING) will tend to blur your background while maintaining focus on your subject, thus capturing motion once again.

These are basic techniques that can produce some amazing results when you add just a touch of your very own creativity.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

2013 Challenge, Week 36 : CONDIMENTS

We all have our favorite foods such has a cheeseburger or hot dog. What makes them even more special is the ability to customize and personalize our food with the use of condiments.
SaucesMost diners start off with the basics, Heinz Ketchup and French’s mustard….
Some excellent condiment action on those tofu burgersA burger just isn’t a burger unless you apply one of the millions of combinations that makes it special for you. From the basic mustard, relish and ketchup to onions, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, lettuce, hot sauce and whatever tickles your fancy.CondimentsCondiments aren’t limited to our favorite American fast foods. Our favorite Asian creations have their very own special assortment of condiments to spice things up.T-BoneSome of us just can’t enjoy a good steak without our favorite steak sauce. Some of the more popular steak sauces are Heinz 57 and A1. Some steak houses offer their very own special creation.

Participating in the 2013 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.