Photographic challenges
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Old 11-30-2005   #1
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Default Photographic challenges

Have you ever set up any photographic challenges for yourself?

For instance, there are times of the year when I find it particularly difficult to photograph outdoors: dreary, gray winter weather, for instance. In those cases, I sometimes challenge myself, with the notion that there's always something to photograph, by making a personal challenge such as this: stand among some depressing, gray trees and without taking ten steps one way or another, make a photograph worth looking at. This forces me to look around me differently than I normally would. Helps to have a macro lens.

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Old 11-30-2005   #2
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Just yesterday I assigned myself the project of photographing my own bathroom with the goal of making it look inviting without doing undue violence to reality. Shooting the interior of a small room offers its own set of challenges.
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Old 12-12-2005   #3
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This last spring, I challenged myself to add the sun into some of my spring photos. Making the rays dropping down into the photo from the sun without blowing them out and without making the rest of the photo dark. It was a challenge and had some nice results. Not very many, but a couple.

Also last winter I was bored on a weekend, so I decided to try some photos with a few candles in a dark room with a rose in front of them. I tried to use the light of the candle to light the rose. Results were nice, but need to work on composition and have to try it again. Maybe this year I will succeed at it all the way around.

Those are probably my biggest challenges in the last year.
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Old 12-12-2005   #4
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I've confined myself to about 2500 square-foot with the challenge of getting as many "keepers" as
I could.

Another challenges is to restrict yourself to one lens or focal length for a shoot. It's interesting
how your mind kicks into high-gear looking for possibilities instead of improbabilities...

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Old 12-12-2005   #5
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Default Re: Photographic challenges

I challenged myself and others from our local camera group to lock themselves in their bathroom with their camera for no more than 10 minutes, take 10 different pictures with the same focal length and strive for creative shots. A really good excercise to see what is right in front of you that we often tend to overlook. I've also seen a similar exercise where you take 10 pictures in your backyard, none of which the subject is of living matter (i.e. no plants, no flowers, no kids, no pets, no bugs, yada yada yada).
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Old 12-12-2005   #6
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One of my biggest personal challenges was to photograph a belted kingfisher. This was one of the most difficult birds for me. It took over 2 years and I finally did get a good shot of one. Making personal goals and or challenges keeps it interesting for me.
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Old 12-17-2005   #7
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I have a semi-permanent challenge in that I'll often attach and stick to one lens, and the lens will be one of my older Zuiko manual focus lenses. It's liberating in an odd way as you have to focus (pun intended) on the basics a lot more. That's what I've come to love about digital - you can use it as a training platform much more easily than in the film domain.
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Old 12-17-2005   #8
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One of my friends has a black cat with a white throat and stockings and some other white markings. One of the challenges I have taken on is shooting this cat so that I retain detail in both the black shadows and the white highlights. This has proven to be quite a challenge because she won't pose or stick around while I adjust the lighting. My camera's dynamic range isn't all that great either, so it takes a lot of care to avoid burnt-out highlights or blocked-up shadows.

Here is the straight-out-of-the-camera version of one shot where I was successful in retaining detail, but the background and surroundings are absolutely horrible.
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Old 12-17-2005   #9
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Photography is just a challenge for me period!* I don't need to make things anymore difficult than they already are!*

Seriously though - I took bird photography up a little more this past six months and have been working on technique, not so much the photographic technique but working on the approach to my subject etc. It's a BIG challenge depending on the type of bird.





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