Monday, December 29, 2014

Photo Challenge #4: Holidays

After playing along with Erin's 30 Word Thursday weekly challenge on her Treasures Found Blog for the past year I have finally taken the plunge and started taking photography more seriously.  Starting with my iPhone, I soon found that the limitations of that device were getting to me.  Upgrading to a Cannon Eos Digital Rebel SL1 camera, I have started experimenting more with technique.  I have also invested in Photoshop Elements 12 and most of my post-production on photos will be from that program.  As a way to force myself to try new things, I'm doing a weekly photo challenge--each week focusing on a different photography or editing technique.  Some of these may be simple and others more difficult.  I encourage any of my readers to take part in the challenge!

The photo challenge for this week was simple: Take Holiday themed pictures of any type.  I didn't specify Christmas, so Kwanza, Hanuka, Festivus, pagan Solstice dances, etc. all were fair game!  I was hoping to get some photos of Krampus throwing some bad children in his bag to be eaten later, but didn't catch him this year...

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a picture of two of our cats passed out under the Christmas tree like furry presents.  The day was incredibly overcast and lighting was terrible.  I had to throw the camera onto a tripod to get the exposure somewhere usable.  Even then I'm not entirely happy with this shot.  But the cats are cute and they weren't about to move into better position for composition...

Again, I struggled with lighting on this one.  With grey light filtering through the window and under the shade of the tree, this present shot just didn't quite cut it without messing around with it.  I added a blur to soften this one up and give it a more dreamy feel.

This one is for my wife!  She loves penguins, and we received these hefty wooden guys from her sister's family for Christmas.  I used a white border to simulate the snowy surroundings that we lacked this Holiday season.

I took a ton of pictures of crumpled wrapping paper carnage after our orgy of gift giving, but most of them didn't have the contrast I was looking for.  Again, I blame the dreary gray light and the lack of any lamp in the room for most of this.  Briefly a ray of sun shone through under the tree and I got this ONE shot that looked OK.  I decided to add a poster effect to accentuate it a bit.

And what says Christmas more than Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury from the Avengers?  Sam and these cool beers were part of my Christmas present so I tried taking this shot from several angles.  I liked the from below shot as well, but this one just had a cinematic point of view to me.  This one would have worked well for last week's challenge as well.

Thanks for checking out this week's work!  I hope you all had a great Holiday season.

For next week's Photo Challenge #5:  Sketchy!  Take two or more photographs and use photo editing software to change them to pencil sketches.  I've tried this a few times, but mostly just on a whim.  This is a good excuse to specifically look for a few photos that will lend themselves well to this type of effect.


Todd said...

I like all of them!! Lighting is always tough inside and since I HATE using a flash (future challenge?) I will go to extremes with shutter speed and ISO settings. I would never have guessed these were taken on a dreary day....great job!!

Eric Wentling said...

Thanks Todd. Flash Challenge accepted!