Thursday, May 4, 2017

PhotoChallenge 2017 Week 15: Low Key

Last year I discovered the online PhotoChallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

PhotoChallenge 2017 Week 15: Low Key

This week's challenge I actually posted on time, but am only getting around to doing my short blog post now.  Low key photography usually uses a black or very dark background and most of the tones are in the shadows.  This effect is easy to pull off with post production, but this week's challenge specifically required getting this effect in camera.  

I took this following picture of the outside of the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C.  This arch was in the shadowed side, away from the sun, but I really wanted to get a shot of the details.  I did take a few more shots with a lighter exposure, but they lacked the impact and shadows of this one.  I did nearly no manipulation to the shot in Lightroom other than basic boosts that most RAW shots require.  





Here's a bonus older picture from when I first got my DSLR camera in 2014.  I took this wild flower shot in a shady forested area.  The flower was in a ray of light so the dark background really seemed darker.  I'll admit this shot was a bit of luck, but since then I've learned how to do this on purpose!



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

PhotoChallenge 2017 Week 17: Storytelling--Emotion

Last year I discovered the online PhotoChallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

PhotoChallenge 2017 Week 17: Storytelling--Emotion

This one I actually posted on time!  The idea is to tell a story with a picture--harnessing some human emotion to get more impact from the shot.  Some pictures are just "pretty" while others may not be beautiful but can still have emotional impact.  

For my shot I used a WW1 memorial that I came across in my home town of Waconia, Minnesota on a walk with my wife.  The memorial is small and frankly the soldier has seen better days, but I wanted to make this work for photo.  I tried several angles and nothing was looking good.  Finally, I joined my wife in the shade of a drooping evergreen tree and realized I could get a picture through the dangling boughs.  Once I got this back into Lightroom I turned it black and white and then added some split toning to add a bit of tint back in.  Almost a low key shot, this one is dark, but the light is mostly on the age-scarred face of the soldier.  



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

PhotoChallenge Week 9: Red

Last year I discovered the online PhotoChallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

PhotoChallenge Week 9: Red

This particular week's challenge involved posting your histogram with it, but I didn't get that fancy!  Due to snow and lack of time I missed the deadline for this challenge, but still went back later and completed it!  Here's my sad and cold looking cardinal...



Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 Photochallenge: Minimalism, Monotone Landscape

Last year I discovered the online Photochallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

2017 Photochallenge Week 7: Minimalism, Monochrome Landscape

I was actually excited about this one, just since it pushes you to find an unusual subject.  I thought for sure I was going to have tons of winter corn fields with one straggly tree to take shots of, then it hit 60 degrees and all the snow melted.  Then I got busy and fell behind.  I ended up taking this shot of some trees against a mild sunset off my deck.  I desaturated the shot until all you get is a mild hint of pink around the clouds.  The trees are probably too busy to really call this a minimalist shot though.





Here's a bonus shot!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

2017 Photochallenge Week 5: Year of the Rooster

Last year I discovered the online Photochallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

2017 Photochallenge Week 5: Year of the Rooster

This week's challenge was to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rooster.  Pretty open ended subject matter.  I almost didn't do the challenge at all, but ended up finding a taster glass from Brewery Vivant out of Grand Rapids that uses a rooster as a logo.  Perfect!  I blended this shot with one of fireworks I took in the back yard on the 4th of July.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

2017 Photochallenge Week 4: Rule of Thirds, Toys & Games

Last year I discovered the online Photochallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

2017 Photochallenge Week 4: Rule of Thirds, Toys & Games

This week's challenge was to use the classic Rule of Thirds to place your subject in one of the invisible grid lines if one was to cut your photo into thirds horizontally and vertically.  As bonus one was encouraged to use toys or games as a subject.

I had already set up my still life stuff for last week's challenge so I grabbed a couple of cute gnomes and placed them in front of an old painting of my Grandma Stolen's.



Monday, February 27, 2017

2017 Photochallenge Week 3: Self Portrait Without Self

Last year I discovered the online Photochallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

2017 Photochallenge Week 3: Self Portrait Without Self

The idea of this week's challenge was to include something of yourself into a shot without making this a selfie.  I was intrigued by the way people interpreted this challenge.  I tried a few things but ended up doing a still life of my Harry Potter book collection.  This says a few things about me: I'm a nerd, I have ceramic dragons, and I own He Who Is Not To Named's wand.