digital photography tips with Digital Photo Mentor Darlene Hildebrandt

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10 Photography Challenges

Think you need the latest gear or a new camera to take better pictures? Think again.

What if taking better pictures was as simple as learning to think outside the box and to challenge yourself to photograph differently? Well, it may just be that simple.

  • Designed to push you through your sticking points
  • Help you discover ways to look at everything differently
  • Expand upon your creativity, learn to take more interesting photos

Price: FREE

10 photography challenges book cover

I am a beginner to photography, and the challenges are very helpful

I was thrilled to download your e-book and to be so encouraged with the challenges you put before us in the book. I am impressed with how much information you give away and inspired by that.

I am a beginner to photography, and the challenges are very helpful. I am not naturally creative in this area and so your info has been helping me “look and see”.


If you haven't already downloaded my free ebook, keep reading and sign up to get it. If you already have it, skip down to the discussion part at the bottom of the page.

As a special bonus for subscribers, my new book is designed to push you through your sticking points and help you discover ways to look at everything differently



To Inspire and Challenge You

In creating this book my desire is to give you some ideas to inspire you, challenge you, and most of all get you up and out of the house to photograph something, anything! I also hope that you find some of the exercises thought provoking and challenging to the point that you are entirely outside of your comfort zone.

Some of these ideas I've shared in my classes and workshops, and some have come from, or evolved with, some of my students. This book is a work in progress and I as come up with more ideas I will add to it.

When you submit your name and email address, you'll receive a link to download the book and will begin to get weekly photography articles I write here on the website. You'll get them by email and you can stop them any time you like.

If you're reading this because you subscribed to my newsletter and website updates, you will be notified of any revisions and updates.

If you're not a part of the community, go ahead and use the green form above to join now. You'll get a link to the book immediately and can start with the challenges today.

Import images into lightroom

What's in the book?

  • Shooting Challenges
  • Non shooting challenges
  • Tips for Success


There is no better fast track to learning something new than to practice doing it wherever and whenever you can.

This book of challenges is an idea that came from my experience working with photography students of all ages and experience levels. The one thing I keep saying to them over and over again, but yet most having trouble doing, is to get out there and do some actual photography!

Bonus: As a subscriber, you'll receive emails every time a new photography article is published on this website and a monthly newsletter

Thanks for all the work you’ve put into this.

A couple of weeks ago, I subscribed to your newsletter and I must say … the tips are just great.



We can interact here through the commenting system. I can get a better idea of how you've used the challenges and together we may come up with more.

So, first use the green form above using your name and email address.

Then practice the exercises.

Then, let's discuss them here. Please leave any comments or feedback you have for me on the book below. I also want to hear your experience with the challenges you've tried, or if you're having trouble with any of them. Lastly please share the images you create while doing the challenges and anything else you'd like to share with me and other readers.

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing your images.

Current & Previous Challenges

Photography Challenge – Tell a Story - This month I'm giving you a new photography challenge, to tell a story with your image. Pick a song or poem you like, and create an image that tells that story. This is about working on the aesthetic aspects of photography and less on the technical stuff.
A Day in the Life – Photography Challenge and Tribute to my Grandmother - This month's photography challenge may tug at your heartstrings - at least I hope so. A day in the life project is so valuable to not only you as the photographer but the subject and their family as well. Here's why I challenge you to do this one and do it soon!

  • Colin

    I joined after the publication of your Ten Photography Challenges ebook how can I download it?

    • Darlene

      Hi Colin, thanks for that! The link for the download is in the first Welcome email you receive after confirming your subscription. So first confirm, then read the very next email for the link. If you dont see the email, please check your spam folder in case it got lost in there. If you still can’t find it please use the contact form and I’ll email it to you directly. Thanks.

  • Mark

    I’ve signed up for your site and blog, how do I get your book?

    • Darlene

      Hi Mark – if you can’t find the email, please use the contact form to get in touch and I’ll send you the link manually.

  • Mark, see the comment above yours

  • amy

    I haven’t had a chance to read through the whole thing, but I wanted to take a minute and thank you for sharing your expertise and knowledge so freely. It’s a refreshing change of pace to find someone who is generous with their work such as you. I’m looking forward to reading through the whole thing and I’m excited to practice the suggested exercises. I’m a photography student and have been in my program for about 10 months, but I have decided that the more I learn, the more I realize how much there is I still don’t know! Hopefully I will “get it” soon, but there are so many different factors that make up a great photo. Thanks again for your ebook and your great blog. Amy

    • Darlene

      Thanks Amy, I’m glad you are finding it useful and enjoyable! I see you got it to download successfully!

  • Hi,

    This is really fun! I locked myself in the bathroom and started shooting. By the time I had finished about 80 shots I got really creative, and when I reached 100 images my head was full of new ideas that won’t leave my mind. I may have to continue this challenge with 100 more photos 🙂 I also look forward to starting a 365 day project on music.

    • Darlene

      That’s awesome Randi! Do share a link with us to see some of your images from these challenges. I’d love to see what you came up with from your bathroom shoot!

  • Hi,

    I hope this link is working. If not, please copy and paste

  • Darlene

    Yes that link works, thanks for sharing! I really like this one!

    and this one! great close up shot

    I really like your close ups of the little bottles and how the light was playing off them and the walls, etc. Good job!

    That and I think I’m really jealous of your bathroom! LOL

  • LOL! Thank you, Darlene. I appreciate your feedback. It’s always nice to get comments from someone who actually knows something about photography. !’ll be in touch.

  • Noel Formosa

    Dear Darlene,

    I have read with interest this priceless book. I believe that this is an excellent refreshing course both for amateur, and professional photographers alike. After I studied it from page to page, I realised that this is not just a one time exercise, but these exercises can be done over and over again every few weeks to identify areas where one needs to improve. It is also an ideal self examining process to see how a photographer’s artistic visions are developing.

    In the past I have learned and always kept in mind, that it is not the equipment, that makes a photographer, but how artistic the person taking the photo is. I believe that these exercises are based on this only one true philosophy. I found your book, and your website, to be very inspiring and help me to strive forward to improve in my abilities and my photography.

    The fact that this book was free of charge helped me to appreciate better your work as a photographer, as a photography instructor, and understand better your passion for photography. This work helped me to improve both in my photographic abilities, and in the artistic value of all around us. Thank you very much for your (this) contribution to photography, and for helping others to improve without thinking about financial gain from it.


  • Darlene

    Wow Noel, thanks for much for your kind words. I’m truly glad you’ve found value in this book and my site, and will continue to read and practice photography. Thank you for your recommendation!

  • Saki

    Take a look at when you have time.

  • Darlene

    Saki, I’ve looked, you have some very nice images. But how does that relate to my book? Did you use some of the exercises to get some of your images? Please share with us more about this.

    If you haven’t used my tips I cannot leave the link to your images here. This is a page for discussing how to better one’s photography using tips in my ebook, not for posting a link to anyone’s images as advertising.


  • Judd Harris

    Thank you for the great book! I just finished reading it. I can’t wait to get started with the exercises, fortunately we (my wife and I) are going to take a young man’s senior pictures this afternoon. This will fit in with the first exercise. I am president of the local crmera club and would like to use these exercises with the camera club. Again thank you for the book!


    • Awesome please do! Share it with your camera club and if they all want a copy they just need to subscribe to download it as you did! Thanks so much Judd. Have fun with it and share some images with us!

  • Walked around the subject today. Chose my trombone. would have had a lot more options if I weren’t so afraid of damaging it. 😉

    • Awesome job. Did you take photos that maybe you wouldn’t have before doing that exercise? Did it force you to think outside the box?

  • I don’t know that I took photos that I wouldn’t have before, but it forced me to pull out all the techniques in my tiny bag of tricks. I did things I dont’ often do. And really forced me to think outside the box and explore. I want to try again with someone else with me who can hold it up so I won’t be so afraid of hurting it. I looked at it and my camera and said, “I don’t know which is worth more and which one I’d rather break.” Guess that’s what happens when you combine your two loves.

  • Fonny

    Dear Darlene, I have forgotten how I came across your website a few days ago, because I was so enthralled with the information that I kept on reading and clicking another page and another page and did not return to the original website.
    Your website is not only about photography, you also cover things beyond photography!
    In clear and understandable language you explain technical matters step by step with beautiful examples so that I can understand and see what you try to explain. But above all it is about feeling, a feeling or emotion that you want to capture! That struck me most. It is not only a scenery that you want to take, but a feeling that you want to share.
    In your unique way you also stimulated me to come out of my comfort zone and I am trying to do so. So dear Darlene, thank you very much for this opportunity. I am a working woman but will try to make time available to pick-up my camera again. I wish you all the very best and hope I will one day be able and brave enough … 🙂 to share a picture with you. Warm regards, Fonny

    • Fonny you already are brave just for sharing your thoughts with us! Thank you for your kind words, and yes you’ve got my point exactly. There’s technical stuff involved but there’s also a whole lot more to photography and I’m so glad that has translated over to you as you read my articles.

      Do share with me any time, privately or in the comments. I’d love to see your images and encourage you to continue!

  • Hi Darlene,

    I was thrilled to download your e-book and to be so encouraged with the challenges you put before us in the book. I am impressed with how much information you give away and inspired by that. I am a beginner to photography, and the projects are very helpful. I am not naturally creative in this area and so your info has been helping me “look and see”.

    The bathroom challenge showed me that I can look from many angles and I was very surprised to find I needed many different lighting settings in the one room. I had a creative block at about 70 photos but pushed through and eventually took 128.

    Thanks so much and I look forward to more challenges in the future.

    I posted more photos at

    Cheers, Catherine

    • Catherine, thanks for sharing with us and good job! That’s exactly what I wanted that challenge to do for you, stretch, force you to think and see differently so I’m so glad! Keep up the good work.

  • Kathy

    Be gentle with me.  I’m a complete newbie, using only a point and shoot.  But, I really like the slant of this book toward the art, more than the tech, of photography.  So I tried to do this assignment.  I think I failed in the observer not even knowing the 10 shots are of the same thing, but the encouragement to try all angles still got through to me with the admonishment, “If something catches you eye for even one shot, isn’t it worth a couple more minutes of your time?” I took one shot of this preying mantis – as usual – then I thought,  Why not more?  And I believe there are several interesting variations that are more engaing than the original.  See what you think.

    P.S. the really time-consuming part was figuring out how to use Flicker to share these! Hope I did it right.

    • Sorry Kathy I can’t see your photos, it says it’s a private page. You need to make them public so others can see them too. I look forward to taking a look! I promise I’ll be very gentle.

  • Eris Parker

    Hello Darlene
    Thank you so much for your Ten Photography Challenges. Just what I need. I tried the first challenge but instead of walking around the tea pot I turned the teapot around. Not right. Then I went out and walked around our War Memorial Cenotaph just after Armistace Day. But still I have not quite mastered the challenge. So I shut myself in the bathroom and clicked off over 100 photos – that was an interesting exercise -thankyou.
    If you would like to see my attempts please visit
    cheer Eris

    • Hi Eris

      Turning the teapot is perfectly acceptable! There are times when you can’t move the subject though so then you can only move yourself. If you can move something and it’s better, go for it. I do it all the time. But don’t forget to still look at it from all angles as the light will be different on each side as you walk around it. The light doesn’t change when you turn it though.

      I like the way you started thinking after some time in the bathroom. I like the fact you steamed up the room and got the water droplets. I like the out the window viewpoint and the under the table angle. See, that’s exactly what I was wanting you to get out of it, so good job!

  • krik

    Hi Darlene,

    Pls see my attempt for this first challenge. Please visit and I really want to share some of my photographs but unfortunately my internet connection here was very slow.

    • Kirkstine – I’m not sure I understand. Which challenge were you doing exactly? I don’t have a weekly challenge or do you mean the one where I said to get closer?

      Phillip I’m glad you’re enjoying the tips and my articles! Is there one or two images you wanted me to look at in particular that related to one of the challenges in the ebook? This page is for discussing the challenges in the book and what you went and photographed and learned from them or what you found you had difficulty with. It’s very hard for me to go look through your whole Flickr stream, you have over 100 photos there. Please direct me to one or two that relate to the challenges or one image you want comments on.


  • krik
  • Hi Darlene

    A couple of weeks ago, I subscribed to your newsletter and I must say … the tips are just great.
    Thanks for all the work you’ve put into this. I’ve put in a link to my photos on flickr. If you have the time and are willing to take a look at them … any comments/suggestions are welcome.


  • Susan Hague

    Hi Darlene,
    I downloaded your book some time ago and read through it all. I love your writing style – so clear and relatable. Anyway, today I finally went out and got acquainted with my rubbish bin for the first challenge, and after watching your video on Google Plus I set up an account and have uploaded my 10 plus 1 of the bin here – – I think that at this stage you are actually the only one who can see them apart from me of course. Took me a while to really get into the swing of things but by the end I was actually getting better at it I think.
    Thanks for this course – I’m looking forward to do the other ones.

  • Hi Susan

    Good job on getting out there and doing it, that’s the first step! And for setting up Google Plus. Did you find my walk through helpful for doing that?

    Great job on getting 10 different images. Keep shooting!

  • Susan Hague

    I have got to say Darlene that I wouldn’t have done it – signed up with Google Plus – without you. Very helpful article indeed.

  • Dirk

    Well, tried to get closer hope this will do it

    best regards

    • Very nice image of the bird Dirk, well done. Do you see the difference getting right on your subject makes sometimes?

  • Susan Hague

    Hi Darlene,
    I have just uploaded some macros to the google+ macro community photoshare in response to your interview with Don Komarechka –
    I presume you will be able to access them and would value your comments.

  • Randy Heinsman

    I downloaded your “10 Photo Challenges” a few weeks ago but didn’t get a chance to sit down and look at it during the busy holiday season. Your recent email reminded me that if I want to improve I have to do more than just read – I have to get out there and actually take some pictures. A challenge is just what I need to get me motivated and get me thinking outside my rather small box. This is what initially attracted me to your web site. I have thoroughly enjoyed the book and I look forward to working though each challenge.
    Here are my 10 shots from “Walk Around Your Subject”
    All feedback is appreciated

    • Hi Randy – nice job! You’ve gotten several different looks from one small coffee cup. Now . . . go try a bigger subject!

      I’m so glad you’ve found it inspirational and motivating, keep up the good work.

  • Edgar Arias

    Hi Darlene,

    As others above, I also want to thank you for sharing your book so openly. I really like it.
    I happened to watch your interview with Trey Ratcliffe right before diving into the book, so I just couldn’t help imagining your voice over the words I was reading. Lol (I have the imagination of a 10-yr-old sometimes).
    Anyway, I’ve already read through the whole thing already and found it really helpful.

    Some of the tips also reinforced stuff I’m already doing, like going out to shoot with a single prime lens (I actually like doing that a lot): (the link below goes a I did of an old camera on an afternoon walk armed only with my trusty 50mm lens)

    And yes, I shoot film :).

    Anyway, I shoot on weekends, so I plan to practice 1 challenge per week starting tomorrow.


  • Hi Darlene,
    I appreciate the chance to develop and respond to these challenges . Thanks for this thoughtful set of challenges and any feedback. All the pictures in this challenge are of my great grandmother’s chair in all of its dust old glory. I’ve been obsessed with the image of this chair sitting in a field. At least that was where I started. As you will see, I tend to go close-up (it’s what I love).

    Images on Flickr

    Thanks again!

    • Awesome job Bonnie! Great subject for that challenge also. Did you learn anything from this exercise? If so, what?

      • Bonnie Lewis

        Thank you for your encouragement and kind words! This is the first time that I have used a larger object for the focus of a group of photos. I would like to develop the ability to convey emotion and atmosphere, and I think this may be a good way for me to work on this. I like to shoot close-up and discover the unseen, but I tend to look for abstract patterns, lines, and just plain composition that pleases me. But, I would like to learn to tell a story with my photography. I didn’t really get the picture I wanted to of the chair. It’s still out there waiting. The grey tone picture came close. I will keep trying.

        I will start on the second challenge this week. Thanks again!

  • don kellar

    I am just starting on the projects. Taking that first step is the hardest. It is interesting how when the rest of our lives are going great, we see lots to shoot and when we are stressed, nothing looks great. This is tax season, so you can guess which state I am in. Saw this tree in the light from the porch last night and was impressed by the contrasting bark. Took a few night shots and then decided the next am to make it the subject of the first project. Most of the shots show the use of aperture and depth of field. The trunk shots were taken with f22 and f3.5 for comparison. Here is a link (I hope) to the flikr file which is called project one.
    These were exported directly out of lightroom so the watermarks don’t indicate final pictures or pictures worth publishing.
    Just fun to shoot whatever is available. Open for any comments thanks

    • Hi Don, I really like the ones of the trunk at f3.5! Nicely done, good variety. Tell me what you learned from doing that?

  • don

    Hi darlene
    I spend so much time trying to get razor sharp picsand i forget t realize that what is out of focus is just as important. I pictured the depth offield as starting from end of the lens to a distance. But f3.5 photo shows blur at the lens and out from the focal point. The dof narrowed both ways, near side and far side focus giving two out of focus areas. Using a narrow dof for emphasis of a subject. The two pics of leaves showing the bud and the emerging leaf showed the beginning of spring as it was the only green on the tree.

    I learned to just go do it. Sometimes i cant wait for inspiration. Thanks for your kick in the butt email to encourage us to get started with the projects.

    • Hi Don – yes depth of field starts where you focus and extends in either direction, towards and away from the lens. So really shallow depth of field will create a blurry foreground and background.

      Feel free to share your images as you work through the challenges!

  • My First Challenge, I will be doing this challenge again with a bigger object and posting pictures of that challenge.
    Darlene, thank you so much for all you do!

    • Thanks for sharing. Great work. Keep sharing and shooting that’s the best way to learn.

  • kyleview

    Hi. And thank you.
    Am reading your 10 challenges eBook
    This coming weekend. I will be doing photos
    Looking from a different perspective.
    Started using me camera. Fujifilm s4300
    in apeture priority mode. And already seeing the
    Thanx so much

    • Kyle – glad to hear, can’t wait to see some images!

  • Sylvie

    Hi Darlene,
    Thanks so much for this book. I’ve just started reading it and I can wait to use my new camera now (Pentax K30) . I do hope to be able to take time in the coming days and do the first assignment which is going to be very.. hard to get out of my comfort zone but mainly sharing the pics.
    Hope to be with you soon.
    Aganin thanks so much

    • Good job Sylvie, just taking action is going in the right direction!

  • Destry

    Hello Darlene,

    Thanks for the time and energy that you put in the book to help those that want to get better and photography. Learning your camera, then learning to take advantage of it, I think, is the most crucial part of starting off. I was fortunate to buy my first SLR camera (Canon 450D) off a guy who was trying to sell his dad’s off of Craigslist. Unfortunately, his dad had complications and never got a chance to use the camera at all; so it stayed on a shelf collecting dust. When I first held it in my hand, it was as if it came right out of a brand new box, never opened! The next lens I purchased after the 18-55mm kit lens was the nifty fifty. Awesome little lens for the price!

    Here is to getting “close.” : )

    My dad strumming on the six string.




    • Nicely done! I really like the b/w version. You are certainly in close enough to get the subject and the meaning of the image, great job!

      • Destry

        Thanks Darlene!

        It pays to get close and it takes your photos to the next level. Who wants just “average” photos? 😉

        Looking forward to getting more photos in.

  • Hi,

    I’m new here. I downloaded your “Ten Photography Challenges” ebook on Sunday and am just beginning to read it. How do I sign up for your newsletter?

    I look forward to trying out your challenges.

    Thank you.

    Louise Dandeneau

    • Hi Louise if you filled in the form to get the ebook you’re already on the newsletter list too! Thanks for joining!

      • Louise

        Great. I have the ebook and am receiving the newsletter. Thanks.

        I just started reading the book and I plan to do the first challenge this week (Walk Around Your Subject). I will post photos next weekend. I have a subject in mind, my challenge is how to photograph it in 10 different ways.

        Thanks again. 🙂

        • Hi Louise – that’s awesome. What’s the subject you have in mind? Maybe I can give you some suggestions.

          • Louise Dandeneau

            Hi Darlene,

            I’m planning to photograph my husband’s guitar – alone, not with my husband playing it. I have a couple of viewpoints in mind, but any suggestion would be welcome, bearing in mind that my macro lens and my 15-85mm lenses are being repaired at the moment, leaving me with only my 50mm prime lens for about ten days.

            Thank you so much!

          • That makes it a bit tougher as part of the exercise is to change lenses. Different lenses will give you a drastically different perspective from one another, something you can’t change just by moving around. I’d wait until you have your lenses back. You also may want to choose a larger subject say a car in the driveway. Or better yet – do both!

          • Louise Dandeneau

            Yes, I could photograph my car. That’s a great idea. When I get my lenses back, I’ll photograph the guitar. Any suggestions then for my car? It’s a red Volkswagen Golf City.

            Thanks again for answering so quickly! I sure hope I can take a workshop with you some day in Edmonton. Do you ever give any in Winnipeg? I know plenty of photography enthusiasts that would participate (I’m a member of the Winnipeg South Photo Club – 70 to 75 members).

            Thank you.

  • Hi Darlene

    Thank you for your inspirating writing… I’ve been struggling to get inspired for some time now, both professionally (day job) and my hobby, which is photography.
    I downloaded your eBook earlier this evening and read it in one go. It’s an easy read and to the point. Whilst reading, I immediately started thinking of creative ways to push my boundaries. i will share some of my findings and experiments

    • I’m glad to be your inspiration and help you get going again creatively. Can’t wait to see some images.

  • Jenn

    Darlene… Stumbled upon your website & have sigend up for your eBook. I love using challenges to make me use my camera! I am a total newbie to using DSLR, bought my Canon T2i last April & did some beginner photography classes on-line. I find that if I have some guidance or challenges to complete that’s when the learning happens! My new goal is to complete your challenges in your book..thank you for writing & publishing it on-line for everyone! Also, a big thank you for having a place for us to connect with you & other photographers…it really helps!

    • Awesome Jean! You’re most welcome, keep sharing!

  • Jackie

    Hi Darlene,
    I too just happened to fall upon your site. I have been doing photography on and off for years but get paralyzed by all the new techniques and technology. I am using your “challenges” as a means of ignoring all those pieces that scare me and hopefully get me back into the “shoot” of things. Thank you so much for sharing your information. (Where is the best place to post things? I have a dropbox that I can share with you or is there somewhere else?)

    Again, thank you!!!

    • Hi Jackie – if you can upload the photos to somewhere online such as Google Plus, Flickr or a photo sharing site – then just post the link here on this page that works great! Have fun and glad to see you get back to do photography.

  • Andrew

    Is there a way to share photos only here and not to the public as a whole? I’m asking wanting to share here but not make them available to just anyone.

    • Hi Andrew – hmm, I’m really not sure. You could add them to Google Drive and just post a link here and make it so that only people with the link can see them (settings for sharing in Google Drive). I’m not sure of any other way to do it because if you make them private on facebook or Flickr and give us the link here, we won’t be able to access them.

  • Destry

    Hi Darlene,

    I noticed one of the links in your PDF book called 100Strangers. I joined the group on flickr and ever sense then, its been getting me out more to take photos. I had also read your challenge about walking around your subject or getting different views. Here is one that I took just the other day while walking downtown in San Antonio. This strip has so many tourists and people walking along it, you can’t possibly miss opportunities. Unless, of course, you leave the home without your camera! This one was unexpected but it was fun as I got to meet some pretty cool people.


  • Hello Darlene
    I stumbled upon your site a few weeks ago and printed the ebook you have put together. I received your challenge this week, so today being one of my days off I went doen to the main street where there were some blossom in full bloom. I used this for my challenge. I hope you like them 🙂 but I’m more than open to constructive criticism to improve my photography.

    The pictures were taken in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.

    Happy snapping 😀

    Ed x

  • Hi Darlene,

    I took some shots with close up in mind so here they are for you to view. I couldn’t figure out Google Drive completely so I did this with a guest pass. I hope it works.


      • Very nicely done Andrew! You’ve gotten nice and close and in on one subject for each shot. Can you tell me if you learned anything from that exercise?

        I like this image in your set a lot

        • Andrew

          Yes Darlene I did for sure. I feel like I have looked at thousands of photos of other peoples work on line and published. It always leaves me frustrated because so many of the images were of magnificent landscapes, cityscapes and foreign villages. Still tied down to work and not being able to travel much, I felt like there is no way I can capture things like that. The small southern town I live in doesn’t have much in the way of compelling subjects. Now thought I realize that I haven’t been truly looking. I learned from this that there are images around me I just have to look deeper to extract smaller things from what might be lacking in the larger scene. I believe this is going to help me look and see more. I think even if i get to travel it will help me get more than just the obvious. I’m glad I found your site and thanks for being willing help.


          • Andrew – that’s a perfect lesson take away! Thanks for sharing. Have you gotten to the bathroom exercise yet? 😉

  • Sylvie

    Hi Darlene
    Thank you for your wake up mail. I’ve read the ebook with a lot of interest and I have even starting taking pictures with my new camera but I’ m not confident enough to share them. And I do not have a Flicker account yet ( need to take time to see how it works…). I’m more used to Dropbox.
    Having giving a very chickened explanation,I will try to post some pictures tomorrow ( I just can t do it now as I’m writing this from my IPad )
    Again thanks for pushing me

    • Hi Sylvie! No worries. You could share from Dropbox I think, but I’m not that versed with it, so I’m not the best to answer that. I’d still say Flickr is your best bet if you can sort it out.

      Other options are: Facebook, Google Plus or 500px if you are on any of those sites. Just share a link to the photos or album.

      • Sylvie

        Hi Darlene,
        Thanks for your answer. I’ll try to figure out how Flickr does work tonight as I’m not very keen on using FB as to Google Drive it uses PICASSA and I’m not sure you can see the pictures unless you have an account. The thing with Flickr is that I need to have another E-MAIL address…. Another “code” to remember LOL.
        By the way thanks again for your yesterday mail as it pushes me to grab my camera and take pictures. Actually I usually have my camera with me almost everyday but I’m not confident enough to share them.
        Please wish me luck to get through the “Flickr” thing in order to post some of them…
        Now I do have to carry on….

        • I think with picasa if you share it publicly anyone with the link can see them.

  • Sylvie

    Hi again Darlene,

    Here I am. I do hope the link is working.

    I took others but I’m very disappointed with the result of some of them as they’re blurred…

    • It says you have nothing available to me. You have to make them publicly visible.

      Post a couple that are blurry and I’ll help you sort out why.

      • Sylvie

        Hi Darlene

        Hope it’s not too much and it works… Sorry if so. Just let me know how many I can post?

        Anyway thanks so much for your help and support.
        Have a great day. Here sun is shining at last!!!!!

        • Sylvie – okay I can see them now!

          One request I’d like to make for anyone sharing images, please tell me which challenge they relate to? It will help me make more appropriate comments for you. I’m assuming these are for “walk around your subject” right?

          Great job on the old chair! I see up high angles, down low, under the chair, different focus spots – you can hardly tell it’s all the same thing right? One thing I’d like to see is something with a longer lens, is the 18-55mm your only lens currently?

          You may also benefit from reading this and picking yourself up a 50mm f1.8 lens. I wrote it by the way.

          Tell me – what have you learned fromt his exercise if anything?

          Okay the fishing net and statuettes, and the blurry image issue. Can you tell me what camera mode you used for these? I can already tell you why they’re blurry, do you know why?

          Read this and tell me if you can figure it out – I wrote this too.


  • Sylvie

    Ok next time I ll mention the challenge. I do not know the rope yet.
    Yes it was for “walk around your subject” and yes I do use the 18-55mm lens. I just bought a new camera ( Pentax k30). I don t think that I’ll buy the 50 lens yet. Lol. this excersise has helped me to look around and make me take pictures that I wouldn’t have even dared to take.
    As to the blurred images I didn’t use a tripod and I was wearing the MBT shoes which are not very stable..
    I have a question but I ‘ m not sure I can ask it here. It’ about lightening and the use of flash.
    Many thanks for your comments and help
    Ps I like your post on FB with your picture

    • Ask anything you like here, or on the Facebook page. Thanks re: my new photos! Notice it’s on here too in the sidebar on the right?

      What are MBT shoes, I’m not familiar with those? The reason the images are blurry is because of the slow shutter speed. Even if you had more stable shoes, shooting at 2 seconds or longer is pretty near impossible to get sharp without a tripod. Look at those ones again. What camera mode were you shooting in? Av (A) or Manual?

      • Sylvie

        Hi Darlene,
        At last I have some spare time….
        MBT shoes are walking shoes. MBT stands for “Masai Barefoot Technology,” and the shoes are designed to simulate walking in sand. They are shaped like a teeter-totter (that’s how I call them…) They increase muscle activity, strengthening and toning of the leg, buttock, stomach and back muscles takes place during everyday activities like walking and standing. I use them because they help me to walk as I underwent an arthrosesis of the left foot.
        Back to the pictures. For the blurred ones I used the AV mode. I also use a lot the M mode.

        As to my question here it is;
        I’ve taken few pictures with and without flash but I don’t like both results. The one without Flash is yellowish-orange and the ones without the lightning are too harsh (I even use compensation but still..)
        Can you give me an explanation?
        Hope I did OK with FLICKR and in advance thank you for your help.
        It’s night time here so Good night

        • Sylvie

          Those shoes sound interesting, I’m going to have to google them now!

          Okay let’s look at your photos one by one:

          – with flash and it comes out quite strong
          – what do you feel you want to correct or change about this one? How harsh the flash looks?
          – this is because of your camera settings. You are at ISO 100 and f14 which means that the camera is NOT very sensitive to light, and you’ve closed down to a very small aperture. The shutter speed is 1/30th. So what all that adds up to is that with those settings you are pretty much not capturing ANY natural light and the entire exposure is being done with the flash.
          – on camera flash, especially the little tiny built in ones are very harsh because they are small, my camera doesn’t even have one and I rarely use a flash on the hotshoe pointed directed at my subject for this reason
          – by looking at your last image I can tell that there IS some natural light there to use, you just need to change your settings
          – by changing to ISO 800 f5.6 you can shoot at 1/40th of a second, add the flash and it will be a lot more balanced
          – when you say you used “compensation” what do you mean? on the overall exposure or on the flash?

          It won’t let me see the second image

          – this one is very dark (under exposed) and orange
          – were you on Manual mode for this one?
          – can you tell me why it’s too dark?
          – why might it be orange? what setting controls the color tint of your image?

          – is blurry right?
          – what mode did you use hear Aperture priority?
          – your settings are ISO 100, f5.6 1/5th of a second with a 55mm lens.
          – do you know why it might be blurry? if you had to guess? based on those settings above – what setting controls motion?

          same problem as this one and this series

          – settings: ISO 100, f4, shutter speed was 4 seconds.
          – HINT: do you think you can hold the camera steady for 4 seconds without a tripod?

          Same issue again here

          – ISO 100, f14, for 2 seconds.

          So what can you change to make them less blurry? I’ll tell you it has nothing to do with depth of field, this is motion blur.

        • Sylvie – I’d recommend you read these three articles I’ve written over on the Digital Photography School site, I think they will help.

          Manual, Aperture and Shutter Priority modes explained

          5 tips for getting sharper images

          Why a 50mm lens is your new best friend

  • I haven’t done this before, hopefull this link to flikr works.
    I had fun photographing my son’s boots.

    • Well done, you moved around, shot through the grass and the boot pull on straps. Lots of variety and that’s great. What did you learn from doing it?

      • Rebecca

        The more I moved around the more interesting the photos were.

        • You mean each successive one was more interesting?

          • Rebecca

            As I walked around it was interesting to see different views of the boots and see them in different and more unusual ways rather than just straight on. That made the photos more interesting, I think.

  • Angélica

    Hola Darlen: Estoy viendo tus artículos, por cierto muy buenos. Me suscribí a tu libro pero al bajarlo, encuentro que no esta traducido al español, por lo que se me hace muy difícil leerlo. Me podrías informar como lograr su traducción? Todo el resto tiene traducción instantánea.
    Gracias por tu generosidad, un saludo

    • I’m very sorry but my site is in english, I have no plans for translations at this time.

      Lo siento mucho, pero mi sitio está en Inglés, no tengo planes para las traducciones en este momento.

  • Jenn

    Here is my walk around the apple tree…hope this link works!

    • Yes that link worked! Good job with that! Is this near where you live or in your yard?

      The only other things I’d suggest to add more variety in the images is to try using a wider lens. Do you have anything wider than the 55mm you used? Do you have the 18-55 also?

      If so try some with that lens at the 18mm end. Maybe get right under the tree and shoot up into it with the wide. Try some other options.

      Nice selection using that lens though. Did you get anything from the exercise?

  • Here are my tries at the second challenge. I think it ended up being more macro versions of ordinary items.

    • I didn’t see the website show up. Here it is

      • Hi Rebecca – I can see them now!

        Yes they do seem like macros LOL. Did you do more than one image per item? Don’t forget exercise #1 – walk around the subject. Take more than one per image to develop the scene. Just get in that habit always.

        I really like the idea of the paintbrush against the wall and the shadow.

        Do you see how some of them are blurry? It’s the same reason and same solution to Slyvie I mentioned above. Read my comments above to her and go see those articles.

        Does your camera have different modes? What mode did you shoot in?

        • Rebecca

          My camera is a basic point and shoot Cannon powershot. I have been playing around with shooting in manual and learning some of the options in this camera before I upgrade. I noticed for the paintbrush that the ISO was very low and I tried to stablize the camera and it helped a little to clear up the image. I guess I should of changed the ISO.
          I did take 4-5 shots of everything, I just included my favorites. I think I could of done a little more walking around, but I was having a little difficulty figuring out different ways to shoot the items.

          • Hi Rebecca yes the images were blurry because if a slow shutter speed and increasing the ISO would help.

  • Darlene, thanks for the e-book and all the great ideas. And thanks to all the people who have shared their photos! I’m just getting started, but here is a link to some of my photos – about half were taken this week for this challenge, but then I discovered a few close-in shots that I already had, and added those as well.

    I’m looking forward to more challenges!

    • Hi Leah – sorry which challenge are those for? One from the email or one from the book?

      The one of the spiderweb on the fence is really well done. To get them to show up is tricky and you’ve done that nicely.

      I also think the one of the metal object is successful, party because I can’t tell what it is. So you’ve done a good job of hiding its identity and make an abstract.

      • Leah

        Hi, Darlene,
        I see now that I didn’t understand the assignment correctly – it was the one from the email, week 3 challenge – I’m trying to play catch up, so my mistake.

        I got lucky with the spider web, the sun was hitting it just so.


        • You may have been doing the “get closer” quick tip. That’s good too.

          Go back and read the “walk around your subject” part in the email and go to page six in the ebook for the full challenge description on how to do that part.

          But you did take action and got out and took some photos so award yourself for that!! Don’t worry about doing things right or wrong.

          • Hi, Darlene,
            here’s another try:

            There is a “Tow Mater” kind of truck parked in the driveway – the roofers left it there over the weekend. It is so close to the neighbor’s fence on one side and the building on the other, it wasn’t possible to get any “whole” views – but I did walk around it and get some shots.


          • Awesome, now you’ve got the right idea! Fabulous!

  • Phil

    A close up of patterns in the sand after the tide had gone

    • Sorry we can’t see your image Phil, it has to be uploaded and shared publicly.

  • Phil

    Hi Darlene,
    Sorry. I am new to all this web sharing stuff. Have changed the viewing to public.

    Another go at uploading ‘patterns in the sand’


  • Rebecca

    I was hoping this would fit into one of the challenges, but I’m afraid it doesn’t exactly. I was asked to take pictures of my son’s class. It was my first time ever posing people. I keep repeating “move around” “walk around” as I was taking the pictures. I was amazed at what a difference it made as I moved around and one shot would be okay and from a slightly different angle it would be incredible. I shot 300 pictures in a 20 minute recess so it was quite the move fast and try to remember everything I have learned experience. I have really appreciated your book and your tips and I can tell that my pictures have improved dramatically. I was hoping you wouldn’t mind looking at these and letting me know if something stands out that would improve them. Also if you know any good articles on posing friends. I struggled with positions to put two friends in. I found plenty on couples. Thank you so much for your ebook. It is fabulous.
    I will take these pictures off after you have looked at them to protect privacy.

  • Gordon

    Lesson #5. Found this interesting sculpture while at a wedding in Minneapolis, so my link for the 10 shot assignment.

    Am hoping this is the correct way to allow others into the Flickr site:
    Looks like Rebecca’s, but it’s not highlighted, so I need help with getting images here.

    Thanks Darlene for your excellent tutorials and this site.

    • @Gordon great photos of the statue! I’m not sure what you mean by “Lesson #5” though. Challenge #5 in the ebook is to “limit yourself” but I’m assuming this is the walk around your subject one, is that right?

      • gordon

        Sorry about the confusion…yes, these are for the 10 shot walk-around challenge.
        Ok, onward and upward to week #4. Thanks.

    • Leah

      as a fellow “traveler” – one who is following along and absorb the lessons – I wouldn’t mind seeing some of your bathroom shots. Like you, I can’t imagine taking 2 – let alone 6 -let alone 100 – photos in my also small and not very tidy bathroom. If you wouldn’t mind sharing, I think it would be inspiring to see what you’ve done.

      • Gordon

        Hi, Leah. Loaded 19 for you. I didn’t edit any, just as shot. Some need to be cropped or shot from better angles, but I was surprised at how many photos were waiting in that little room. The mirrors help to create different effects. See so many more that I could have, should have worked on. So, with that in mind, next time I’m going to pre-clean the bathroom, take in a couple of lenses, and try to make sure I have enough time to play.
        Have fun…..

  • Gordon

    Darlene…….today decided to try the 100 shots in a bathroom; now I have a small bathroom, nothing fancy, just the basics.
    I figured I could find 6 shots for sure, but 100, YIKES!! Not only was this exercise fun and challenging, but there are way more than 100 possible shots in that little room. As they were loading to the computer I was coming up with more ideas that hadn’t occured the first time around…yup, went back and did some of them. Not sure if you wanted them posted or not (surely not all), but the exercise made me slow down, look, and try to find a different viewpoint.

    • @Gordon you can share if you like but I love hearing about your experience and what you’re learning from each of the challenges. That was exactly the point of that one, so well done.

  • Gordon

    Darlene…….today decided to try the 100 shots in a bathroom; now I have a small bathroom, nothing fancy, just the basics.
    I figured I could find 6 shots for sure, but 100, YIKES!! Not only was this exercise fun and challenging, but there are way more than 100 possible shots in that little room. As they were loading to the computer I was coming up with more ideas that hadn’t occured the first time around…yup, went back and did some of them. Not sure if you wanted them posted or not (surely not all), but the exercise made me slow down, look, and try to find a different viewpoint. Appreciate your 10 Photo Challenges ebook and the many tips, tutorials you’re making available.
    Regards, Gordon

    • Great that was the point, good job!

  • Jenn

    Here are some of the photos from the challenge of “taking stuff out of your garage”. I know it is suppose to be “junk” but this was in my garage & I created a bigger challenge by NOT taking it out of the garage…mostly cause I didn’t know how to start it!

    I just can’t get myself to do the bathroom shots…can’t stand our bathrooms! Maybe tomorrow if it’s still raining cats & dogs!!

    • Jenn

      The apple tree shots were from the “walk around your subject” challenge.

    • Jenn yes the idea is to make something that we see as ordinary or ugly look interesting. I like the car shots though good job on those. You could go in the garage for round two and this time pick tools and ugly stuff!

  • ROY

    HI Darlene
    Downloaded your books last night,have just read the first 10 Challenges I really enjoyed the way you say what you say.
    I am a bit of a sentimentalist probably something to do with my age 75 AUG. Will have to read it again and again to soak up everything you mention.Started photography 60 years ago but families and mortgages and life get in the way Started again 3 years ago worked my way up to a D700 Nikon and love it .But cannot get in to a rhythm and cannot make up my mind as to what type I want to follow I think your comments in you first book are starting to stir things up a bit lets hope so. Thanks once again

    • Go get ’em Roy! We’re rooting for you!

  • Philip Hallam
  • Hi Philip

    I love the self portrait in the mirror! Seems you had to get creative with it. What’s the last one with boots? I can’t tell what it is, most of the image is out of focus. Was that your intention?

    • Philip Hallam

      The boots are small cakes of soap (about 2 inches long). They are in the soap dish with the sink basin plug and the oof foreground is the hot water tap. Yes, it was meant to be oof as I am experimenting with shallow depth of field. Maybe too shallow in this case.
      The self portrait in the mirror seemed to be the obvious way to go with the mirror photo!

      • I see now! The thing with really shallow depth is you have to nail focus on the thing you want focused. I don’t see anything sharp in that image like maybe you were too close for your lens to focus? It looks like the back wall is closest. The eye goes to areas of: sharpness, brightness, color and contrast. There’s nothing sharp so we’re left to wander around trying to find a subject.

        The really out of focus thing in front of the soup isn’t helping either. Try moving positions so that’s not there and focus on the little soaps.

        • Philip Hallam

          Another look at this photo and I totally agree with you. The focus was meant to be on the boots and plug in the soap dish. I did want the hot water tap as a slightly oof part of the photo to show that the things in the dish were in a bathroom. Not everyone has gumboot soap so I was hoping the HW tap may have thrown a clue in that direction.

  • Philip Hallam
    • Philip – there’s no time restrictions on the challenges, you can do them whenever you can and are meant as ongoing practices you can revisit any time. So no hurry.

      I love your quote about learning to see images, that’s great!

      I really like the one of the spider web and the upside down old red tricycle. They are very simple and clean and you see the subject right away.

      One thing you want to watch is your shutter speed. What mode and what settings did you use to take these photos? A few of them are a little blurry from what appears to be camera shake (too slow of a shutter speed using the camera hand held).

      • Philip Hallam

        Hi Darlene,
        I didn’t realise there were no time limit restrictions which will make things easier. I do enjoy my photography so much more when I am not under pressure.

        I take your point re camera shake. I was trying to catch up and a gloomy day combined with little time that day meant that I used high ISO and large apertures, thus avoiding the tripod. (ISO 1600 and f4 or thereabouts for most of those shots in Aperture mode.)
        You are right. The shutter speed was a bit slow on some of those shots which were away from the door and the light. The 2 shots you mentioned were in the best light!

        Feel free to use my quote if you want to

  • Philip Hallam

    Hi Darlene,
    These are 3 of my “walk around the subject” photos.
    This tree is only 30 metres from our door and I have taken dozens of photos of it over the last couple of years, (particularly in winter.)
    The moon shot was taken a few days ago and the other 2 today. (Sunrise and sunset.)

    • Seriously Philip! You have a GREAT eye! I’m not kidding.

      Those are all really well exposed and composed but more than that, they have feeling. Especially this one

      As for the exercise on walking around it, I’d love to see more! What else did you do with the tree? Try different lenses, close ups?

      What did you learn from doing it if anything?

  • Philip Hallam

    Thankyou for your comments and encouragement Darlene. I have worked hard at ‘developing my eye’,so to hear those words from somebody who does not know me personally just makes me want to work harder.
    You also made me realise that I did not complete the challenge properly as I have always used that tree as a foreground for clouds, fog etc. So, out in the frost this morning for some different shots that I had not done before.
    One side of the tree is hollow as you will see from the photos. Inside the hollow were 2 birds nests and a wombat is also living directly under the trunk in a hole that he/she has dug. Moss and texture of the wood also make a good subject for macro photography. I had to lie down in the frost to get the wide angle vertical shot.
    What did I learn? I learned that because you see something every day, doesn’t mean you know everything about it and photographic opportunities must pass most of us every day.
    I was pleasantly surprised to see the shadow of the tree was visible through the bottom hollow of the same tree and that will only happen at this time of the year.
    Thankyou for prompting me, otherwise I would not have ever thought of this shot.


  • gordon stevenson

    Hi, Darlene. Attached photos for Challenge #2 – Hidden Treasures.
    Attempted a couple with light painting. Not too many exciting treasures in the
    garage sale collection.

  • Beverly Edgmon

    Yes, I did exactly as you asked and walked around a subject and used different angels. I think this might be the first time I saw quality of light on a Mimosa bloom. After that, II was really inspired and I feel I got a very nice shot of a Clearwing (hummingbird) moth and a swallowtail butterfly. But the very most important was the light that flickered in my head. I don’t know that I will always see it, but SEE IT I DID that day! Maybe I will learn to post shots soon?

  • Photostop Photography

    Hi Darlene,

    I am a fan of your photography and also of your writing skill! I am attaching the Challenge #1 pictures. Please let me know your view. I am so much inspired by your words that I snatched some ‘me time’ and tried to shoot those pictures. I wish to learn more from you. Distance matters, I am far so cannot join your workshops but I check your works regularly and feel great thinking I have the same passion as yours.

    Thank You so much for this effort to share your knowledge with me 🙂


    • Hi Photostop (do you have a name? It’s nice to know the person behind the photos)

      Good job on your first challenge. Tell me what you learned by doing it? Did you take photos differently? More of them?

      Are you open to a further step on it? If so – try and choose another subject that’s a bit larger like say an old truck or vehicle. Try and get a bit more variety in distance: wide angle, long lens, close ups, far away, pieces of it, make it small in the photo, etc.

      I’m a bit curious about the large watermark across the middle of your images as well. There is much debate on watermarks and whether or not they actually work an image theft deterrents or not (most people say they don’t work, I tend to agree) and whether or not one should use them or not. Here’s a few resources, you decide:

      Hope that helps.

      • Photostop Photography

        Thank you so much Darlene. That was really prompt reply. Firstly, I am Sayantani, a mom of 4 years old, currently residing in India. Stealing some ‘Me Time’ is a dream for me right now, still I dream to take good pictures and be more confident about it.
        I started learning how to watermark(which I think I have not learned well enough) because someone took few of my photos from my blog and made a collage of it in his/her profile. But still I think that I should think of some other way to protect the pictures. The video is really interesting, it made me think that I have wasted time and made my pictures look nasty by putting big watermarks. I am sure you are not able to realize the real pictures to criticize the pros and cons in them.
        While taking the pictures, I realized it needs to increase patience a lot to provide different angles from same shots. For me Portrait is really difficult and I am a fan of Macro and portraits. (I also went through the video interview of Don, I really like his work).
        To take vehicle picture in a lonely place in the cities of India is a challenge itself due to population and pollution. But I will try and send you those soon.
        I have a 105 Nikon lens and 70-200 Nikon lens. I used both in last Challenge. Can I use those to capture all the variations in a subject?

        • Nice to meet you!

          As for the watermarks I’d have to agree. I’m moving towards not using them at all. If people take my images I’m not going to worry or spend time on it.

          For variety of lenses you may want to add a wider lens than that. 70mm isn’t super wide and unless you have a full frame camera. With a cropped sensor it’s a 105mm which is quite long. What body do you have?

          • Photostop

            I agree with you regarding the watermark issue. With the advance technologies, its easy to remove them so there is hardly any need to spend time creating them.

            I have a Nikon D80 with a 50mm & 18-200mm lens kit and my husband (he is also very much interested in photography & gears) bought a D800 recently. I am trying to learn the basics of those cameras. I wanted to take a Nikon 12-24mm but its a bit more expensive so I am not sure about other good wide angle lens for those cameras.

            I am not a fan of 70-200 because I really like Micro and wide angle photographs.
            Can you suggest something?

          • Hi Sayantani – I’m a bit confused, before you said you have a 105 and 70-200, now you say you have a 50mm and 18-200mm. So which lenses do you own?

            They will behave very differently on your D80 to his D800. The D80 is a cropped sensor, the D800 is full frame. So the 18-200 on your D80 is really more like a 27-300mm. If you want a truly wide lens you will need something like the 12-24 or a 10-24 made especially for APS-C or cropped sensor bodies. The wide lenses will all be in that same price range. The 18-200 is a kit lens and as such is one of their lower grade, lower quality lenses. Any time you have a really large zoom range (18-200) like that they cannot make the same high quality optics as in a lens with a shorter range like the 12-24mm.

            You can look at something like these:

            Sigma 8-16mm this is a very popular lens

            Sigma 10-20mm f3.5

            Sigma 70mm macro lens

            Nikon 80mm micro

            Unfortunately once you start getting into the specialty lenses they are not inexpensive. Macro, fast zoom lenses, fast prime lenses – all come with big price tags due to the complex optics required to make them.

            If you don’t want to spend that much on a macro (micro) lens you could try extension tubes that help your existing lenses focus closer

  • Hi Darlene,

    I posted my link Challenge#1- Walk Around Your Subject once before, but not sure if that worked, so posting it again.
    Believe me or not, you made me to literally complete this project, and I am happy about it. I have never learned photography but it’s a lifelong passion for me. I am not a pro but want to make it my profession. But everything is a dream and I have a dream to learn about this art as much as possible. Your writing skill is as motivating as your pictures and I just love your work. I hope you will help me to learn and succeed.

    Your book is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! I lost myself while reading it..!!!!


    • Photoshop yes your first comment was posted, it just takes some time as I moderate and approve all comments. I get a lot of spammy comments trying to advertise stuff so I sort through them to find the real ones and sometimes it takes a day or two. I commented on your original comment. Thank you for your compliment for the book, I’m so glad it’s helpful.

      • Photostop Photography

        Got it! I will definitely wait for your response from next time 🙂
        I am just adding the link of my blog to view, I know it’s terrible to see those watermarks. I promise to keep clean and clear pictures from now onwards.
        Please let me know your view about the pictures I shoot in your convenience. You criticism is sooooo much important for me 🙂
        Here is the link :

        And thanks again for taking time to view the Challenge Pictures!!! You are my Idol 🙂

  • Photostop

    Hi Darlene,

    I have used the D80 for years with 50mm and 18-200mm lens. Now for D800 I have 70-200mm and 105mm lens.

    I have never checked these lenses that you linked, they are very impressive, I think the Sigma 8-16mm/10-20mm are for D80. Do you think they will give somewhat equal results as 12-24mm in D800?
    I like the sigma 70mm but I have a question, will it work more or less same as Nikon 105mm that I already have?

    I come across few troubles while taking pictures as I have never done any course on photography.It will be very helpful if you suggest something:

    1. Indoor Portrait : In natural light on a gloomy day, what will be the best camera settings.
    2. Sunset : What is the best way/settings for good sunset shots.

    As an amateur, I have lot of silly questions which all the time come to my mind, I apologize for that.

    I am preparing for the Challange#2, though in India there is no such basement/garage sale, yet I have to figure out something that’s quite similar to the recommendations in your book 🙂

    Thank You!


    • I found your questions, sorry I missed this!

      To try and answer some of them, one by one.

      Wide lens – yes the 8-16mm is about the same as 12-24mm on a full frame camera, like the D800. It as specially designed for the smaller sensor cameras, so if you buy that lens it will NOT fit on your D800, only the D80.

      Macro lens – Your question about the 70mm and 105mm are tricky because it depends on which camera body you are using it with. If you put the 70mm on the D80 it will be similar to using the 105mm on the D800. You mentioned you wanted something for macro which is why I suggested those. But if you put the 105mm on the D80 it will be more like a 160mm, much longer. Because the D80 is a cropped sensor camera it is multiplying the lens focal length by a factor of about 1.5x.

      #1 – indoor portrait, do you mean using natural light as by a window? That is a very hard question to answer in a short comment. I teach a 12 hour weekend class on this where we cover this subject over two days so difficult to answer in a few sentences. The short answer is – it depends. I can never tell you what the optimal camera settings are without knowing: your subject matter (adult of child, single person or a group), your intentions (do you want a blurred background?), and your equipment (do you have a tripod?)

      I almost always use a tripod when doing indoor, windowlight portraits because there isn’t a lot of quantity of light, but if you set up correctly there is usually nice quality of light (soft and directional). If I’m photographing a single person I usually use f2.8 to blur my background (get them away from it also), and set my ISO to 400 to start, 800 or higher if my shutter speed gets too slow. If it’s an adult they can sit still for slower speeds than a child so I adjust accordingly. Usually I’m shooting at something like this: ISO 400, f2.8, 1/15th of a second, on tripod, using my 85mm f1.8 lens or my 50mm f1.8 lens.

      You can read more articles I’ve done on portraits here:

      #2 sunsets: 3 quick sunset tips for you (maybe I will do an article on this)
      – first expose for the sky, letting the foreground go into darkness or silhouette
      – set your white balance to add more drama or color to the sky, try shade or cloudy or adjust the K scale towards the higher numbers
      – put something interesting in front of the sunset, a tree, building, something that has a recognizable shape and adds interest to the image. Just sky isn’t as interesting visually.

      Keep shooting!

  • Geoff

    Here are two of my pictures taken with the challenge to limit myself. I limited myself to my 50mm lens and manual focus.

    • Very nice, I really like the shallow DoF on the fence shot!

      So tell me – what did you get out of the exercise?

  • Photostop

    Hello Darlene,

    I tried to manage some picture from a locked room (I don’t have any basement).
    Here is the link for Challange#2 Hidden Treasure:

    Thank You.

  • Photostop

    Sorry for this 2nd message, due to slow connection I am not sure if I am able to send you the link for Challange#2
    Here it is again:

    If it’s still not showing please try this:

    Thank You.


    • Good job, are those things in your garage? Things you normally pass by? Do share what you learned by doing this challenge.


  • photostop

    Hi Darlene,

    Due to no internet connection I am late to reply. I really donot have any garage/basement here. I have a locked room and the stuffs there are used as the subject. But I am not happy with the outcome. It could be quite impressive and better if I could find some vintage and totally unused item to shoot. I am waiting for a good bunch of pictures if I can find for the next project and impress you a bit 🙂

    I had few questions last time in the reply of July 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm. If you have some time to discuss them either in your website or here, that will be great!

    Thank you so much.

    • It’s not about WHAT you photograph, it’s how. That’s the point of the exercise, to get you to look at ordinary, even boring things and think about how to make them look interesting in a photograph. Lighting, angle, lens – all change how the object will appear. Think a little more about those things and less about what is actually the thing in the photo.

    • Sorry, not sure I saw your questions. I’ve been busy with a project over the weekend and just about finished it. Where did you send or post your questions?

  • photostop

    Hello Darlene

    This is the link for Challange#3 :

    Please let me know if you can view them. I have no fancy bathroom, stuffs are also not that impressive to shoot, still took about 45 pictures (sorry about not taking 100, I couldn’t find anything else).

    I will be waiting for your expert comment on how much I need to improve and in what area.
    Thanks & have a very nice one!


    • Hi Sayantani

      I don’t see 45 photos I only see 9, where are the rest? It’s hard to know how you did on the project without glancing over them all for this one. Each of those 9 images: did you take different variations of those shots? The hanging light for example, did you take 4-6 of that object?

      This exercise is an extension of the first one “walk around your subject” to get you to think outside the box. Look around take more photos of the same thing from different angles, in different ways. How about the bathtub, the drain, the shower spout? Did you try turning on the water and try some moving water shots? Did you flush the toilet and photograph it swirling down? If there’s a window (I’m assuming there is outside the curtain) did you photograph out of it? Did you try some wide angle shots if you have such a lens (if I remember you don’t have one is that right?)

      That’s what I mean by thinking differently. Does that help?

      So NEVER ever consider any exercise you’ve done a failure! The fact that you did it has already moved you forward. It’s the process of continued learning and practice not getting it right or perfect on one exercise.

      • Photostop

        Thank you so much Darlene for your view that I should concentrate on the subject and not how it’s coming out. I was judging myself negatively all the time that I can’t take good pictures and got frustrated.
        Though my bathroom is really small with limited items,yet I can try again the Challange#3 with the shower shot etc and upload some more pictures.

        The question I asked last time was:

        “For D80 I carry 50mm and 18-200mm lens. Now for D800 I have 70-200mm and 105mm lens.

        I have never checkedbefore these lenses that you linked, they are really tempting & impressive, I think the Sigma 8-16mm/10-20mm are for D80. Do you think they will give somewhat equal results as 12-24mm in D800?
        I like the sigma 70mm but I have a question, will it work more or less same as Nikon 105mm that I already have?

        I come across few troubles while taking pictures. It will be very helpful if you suggest something:

        1. Indoor Portrait : In natural light on a gloomy day, what will be the best camera settings.
        3. I got a chance to shoot few snaps of a customer inside a studio. I failed to take perfect pictures. That was embarrassing. How to shoot quickly inside a studio with artificial lights ?

        As an amateur, I have lot of silly questions which all the time come to my mind, I apologize for that. ”

        Thank you..

        • For the D800 yes the 12-24mm will give you the same result, and the Sigma 70mm will be a bit wider view than the 105mm but if you already have a macro (micro) I’d go with the wider lens and something between the 24 and 70 also, like a prime 50mm f1/8.

          #1 I did answer your questions about portraits, see above.

          #2 in a studio? Like a photography studio? Sorry, I really can’t answer that – WAY too complicated for a short text answer. Do you have studio lights? Using speedlights? On or off camera? Studio lighting is really complex – advanced techniques. Master natural first, learn about lighting and then move to the studio. Get a light meter and learn about ratios. I’d recommend signing up for Sorry not a short answer.

  • Photostop

    Hi Darlene,

    Sorry for the above repeating questions….I found your answers in my email after I dropped the reply. I am thrilled to get the idea that a tripod is needed actually to shoot the indoor portraits as my shutter speed always slows down in gloomy days.. I got the right way. Thanks 🙂

    For sunset I need to learn about the K scale and the white balance. I never thought about those. I need to waork hard 🙂
    I am giving you a link of sunset pictures I took when I was in NY (sorry for the big watermakrs, I don’t use them like that now after getting your suggestion) If you have time please let me know where Ishould improve.

    I have a new question though 🙁

    I got a chance to shoot few snaps of a customer inside a studio. I failed to take perfect pictures. That was embarrassing. How to shoot quickly inside a studio with artificial lights ?

    • Yes it is really hard to even see your images with that watermark on it, never mind enjoy them. I’m glad you can see that now.

      I really like #2, 6, 25, and 32 – partly because of the shape and interest other than just sky. But you’ve got the right idea there keep going.

      I think I answered your studio question by email, right?

  • I love it when people come together and share thoughts.
    Great site, stick with it!

  • Jodi

    Hi Darlene, this is my first time reading your ebook and I just did your first challenge. Little bit about me, I like to do photography as a hobby and would LOVE to make them look more professional. And I am mostly shooting pics of babies/toddlers. Thank you so much for your site, and book and this website! It’s pretty awesome you willing to help others.

    Well here is my Challenge #1. Any and all comments/praise/criticism are appreciated!

    • NICE job Jodi! That is really well done. You’ve got all angles covered, back front, sides, up and down. Close up and far away, details and whole thing.

      So tell me – what did you learn from doing this exercise?

      • Jodi

        I really think a big lesson for me was to just get out there and actually DO it. I love to make things look interesting through the camera lens already but just getting out there and shooting the pictures, working with the camera and the settings to make good pictures…that’s what I came away with.

        • Awesome thanks for sharing!

  • Ruby

    Darlene, is a bridge too big to use for “walk around your subject?” And if so, would a torpedo in the park be big enough? I can’t get ON the bridge now, but I have some shots from this Spring when the creek behind it flooded and it was closed, and I have a view from a few blocks away, a nice walkway under it with a view from a city park on one side and from a small marina on the other, and I can walk right up to where the road enters it.

    • Yes that could work. It’s anything you can do multiple angle of. Remember do try some super close ups as well maybe detail of the bridge itself.

      • Ruby

        Darlene, the stretch of riverfront with the bridge in it is going to be my project. Between the heat, the cloudless skies, and the death of my beloved Minolta Z3 I can’t get a shot just now that I need for the “Walkaround” of the bridge, but I accidently did a walkaround at another site on Monday that I just posted. I was working on bracketing with the Z3 and getting familiar with exposure control on my DSLR, which won’t bracket automatically. I’m learning to use Flikr and didn’t realize the photostream posts in reverse order to the sets, so the order is wonky. You can ignore the first 3 and last 2! The two photos after the photos for your challenge #1, Walk Around Your Subject ” are posted because they have a question for you in their captions. I only have 2 sets, you’ll see yours!:-)

        • Awesome job! Probably one of the best examples I’ve seen of this assignment. Give yourself a pat on the back.

          • Ruby

            Thanks! It was loads of fun. It’s funny I wasn’t doing it consciously, but the challenge was “percolating,” because I generally try to keep man made things out of the landscape, and that trip I “put them together.” I like the flavor that brought to it! I’m looking forward to the basement/attic next week, although it may be things in the gazebo!

  • Tania

    Hi Darlene!
    I’m technologically challenged and am unsure as to how I upload / download my photos for the challenges so you can see them. Do I need a flicker account or something like that??? Thanks! Enjoying it by the way!

    • Yes Flickr is one way. It’s free to join then share the link to a single image here.

  • Hi Darlene!

    I have just completed the first challenge – walking round your subject and taking different photos. I chose an old Nuffield tractor in our paddock – actually, I couldn’t walk round it as it was backed into the trees, but I climbed up a ladder and photographed from up top instead (they didn’t turn out so well…). I learnt to appreciate my wide angle lens from this exercise – I normally don’t use it very much and loved using it when the animals came along to help add interest to my subject! I also decided that it was quite an interesting subject once I got into it – especially the colours with the sunlight on them – something I would normally never consider shooting. At the moment I only shoot in Jpeg, haven’t mustered up the courage to try RAW….. I hope the link works (I’m new to this!):

    • Yes the link works just fine and you did great! The photos of the tractor are really good! I really mean that. I love that you talked about using your wide angle lens more and what you learned. Some of the details and close up photos you can’t even tell it’s the same object. Really, really good job!

  • Greg Varney

    Hello Darlene,
    I enjoyed reading your “10 Challenges…” ebook. Thanks for making it available to us. I enjoy taking photos and am actually improving. Your book has nudged me out of my comfort zone, and I thank you!
    The link below is to where I posted photos I took for Challenge #1. It is a photovoltaic array located at the Issaquah hatchery. Walking around to find different views was great fun–forcing me to find a different aspect of the panel to see. I tried different focal lengths, as well as a several macro shots.
    I look forward to the next one!

    • Really good job. So glad you’re finding it helpful. If there’s anything I can help with let me know.

  • Hello Darlene,

    On Oct. 18, 2013 I was in SoHo, Manhattan. I saw a statue that interest me in which I liked the details. For the first time I decided to take photos of the statue from different angles. Today, October 20, 2013 I read an article which lead me to your ebook. I decided to submit those photos for your review and input. I will do another photo shoot for this challenge to the specification in the ebook. Would you please let me know if I am heading in the right direction.

    Photos for Challenge #1 Walk around the subject can be viewed at the following website:

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us.


    • Hi Gloria, yes you are headed in the right direction! The only other things I’d suggest you add is changing your lens focal length. They all seem to be pretty similar. Do you have a wide lens? Or a really long one? Try those as well. Go across the street with a long lens. Make the statue small in the frame with a wide lens. But absolutely the right direction!

  • hchriste

    I have not shot the 100 photos of the bathroom, I picture in my head some shots but justdon’t seem to take my camera into the bathroom.

    • So what is stopping you from doing this one? How can I help?

  • Thanks so much for the informative book. I have been a student and practitioner of photography, off and on for over 50 years, and still find much to learn about this great medium. Right now I am sharing this renewed journey with my son, as he has chosen photography as a career choice. A few wrinkles and challenges in that, as he has Down syndrome, but this has not in anyway hindered his passion or negatively impacted his emerging gift. The photos on his website are all his, with dad offering composition and exposure advise, but it’s his eye that sees what to shoot – with the exception of the front page shot of him. The photos right now are mainly of our cross Canada trip 2 years ago – a bit of a long story there, all explained on the site. We are working on turning this into a book, and are going to reach out to other young people across Canada to finish the project – and all those future collaborators, it’s planned that they too will have an intellectual challenge, as I have now met scores of young people, through Special Olympics, that share this interest in photography. To nurture and expand their talents and gifts, I was intending on providing input on how they can turn their snapshots into more appealing photographs, and I think recommending they join and download your e-book would be a phenomenal start. Sorry – very long winded, and did not intend on self promotion [again, this is for my son], but in the many different online resources I’ve found, I believe this is where we should be. Wishing everyone here a Merry Christmas.

    • Kurc wow what a great thing! I’m so happy your son has found his passion and you are helping him with it. I seem to recall we’ve emailed about this have we not? If we haven’t please send me a link to your son’s website and project. I’d like to help out however I can. Email me through the contact form or reply to any newsletter! Thanks for reading and encouraging young people!

  • Karen Rog

    As a beginner I value your tips and challenges. May this be the first of many. I have forwarded this onto friends and family.
    This is a photo of my son – we are learning together. Cropped and taken from below.

  • C. Mallon

    I went through this process to get this free book, now I can’t find it. Is this an actual download or is it online reading only? When I try to search back through my history online, it gives me a “bad root” message. HELP? I really want to read thru this book but now, can’t find the darn thing! And, Darlene is away on vacation of course, lol. Any assistance is greatly

    • Yes I just got back to over 800 emails and messages to answer so if you’ve emailed I’ll get to it when I can, sorry about that. My webmaster is also my husband so he was away also. The book is a PDF you would have downloaded originally.

  • shelby taylor

    you’re sight has very useful articles and tips – I think I’m ready for the challenge! thank you for the time you put into this. s-

  • Tony Hague


    OK, so I finally got round to doing Photography Challenge #1, heres a link to the Flikr set.

    You’re right, life and work does have a nasty habit of getting in the way, but hopefully I will see it through to the end. No, let me re-phrase that. I WILL see it through to the end

    Thanks for the website and your passion. Its becoming infectious ;-))

    • I like the rephrase much better! Sorry for my delayed response. Been a busy couple months doing photo tours and trips. Here for a while now!

      Great job on the boat photos. My question back to you would be – by doing that, did you find that you took photos that you normally would have missed? Did you stretch yourself a bit?

      • Tony Hague

        Thank you Darlene 🙂 Hope you had a great time with the tours and photo trips. I took a lot more photos than I uploaded and yes I found myself climbing into things, looking around more etc. One piece of advice I would give to people is when you get down on the ground to get the really low shots, check where you’re about to lay first!! I had a very close call to something nasty a dog had left behind 🙁

  • Akshat Jain


    I’m doing the Photography Challenge #1 and I’ve taken some pictures using my Sony Xperia M phone and edited using VSCO Cam. 🙂 Here’s the link

    Hope you like it. 🙂

    Your website is amazing. Thank you Darlene 🙂

    • Thanks Akshat! For the challenge were all those for the one exercise? It’s not exactly what I meant though. Pick one thing like the boat. THEN do at least 6-10 photos of just the boat. All different.

  • Tony Hague


    WOW, its amazing what you can do with just a couple of days off work. Here is the link to my Challenge # 2 set on Flikr

    Now for the third challenge. (Thinks to self: Will Darlene allow me to lock myself in the kitchen and not the bathroom???)

    • Well that’s your call. I chose the bathroom because they are usually small and one would think “limiting”. Kitchens are larger and have more things to work with. The idea there was limited subject matter – maximum creativity. What did you end up doing?

      Commented on Flickr on the images

  • Fred Veneski

    One of the shots I took for Challenge #1. I walked several times around the mound where the petroglyphs are and shot at different angles. By getting lower I was able to get better shots and more of their story. I spent a lot more time here than the last time I was in the area. Off to the next challenge

    • that’s the idea, get you to explore one subject more fully – think and see differently

  • C. Mallon

    The most interesting thing in my bathroom…. lol.. which isn’t saying much from this photo! My word, bathrooms are boring and one thing it made me do, go clean it!! Ya get to see how dirty and grungy things are up close on the monitor, lol…

    • too funny, you’re about the 20th person to come to that same conclusion LOL.

      I like how you’ve tilted here. Did you play with different settings? Try some with a slow shutter speed and some fast to freeze the water? How many of the 100 shots did you come up with? It’s not about finding interesting things, it’s about making something interesting with your images.

  • dennwaf .

    I recently learned that “Getting Closer” pays. I have an 18-135mm lens and spend too much time at 18mm. I put my old Minolta 50mm lens on my Sony A37 camera (APS-C sensor) for some indoor candid shots and quickly changed back to the old standby 18mm because I wasn’t getting much in the frame. What I discovered later was that the shots with the 50mm were my favorites by far. I think I’ll move even closer with the 50mm or zoom in with the 18-135mm more often.
    Thanks for the E-book Darlene, I’m going to try hard to go through the exercises and add some of them to my Flickr page soon.

    I’m new to DSLR, not quite a year yet and working hard to get off Auto mode.

    • Good notice! The other thing is that you CAN get closer with the 18mm lens and still make good photos. You just have to get REALLY close to the subject. 18mm on an APS-C isn’t all that wide even – about 27mm. I use my 17mm (on full frame so it’s a true 17mm) a LOT. But knowing why to use it and HOW to use it effectively takes practice and experience. Only way to get that is to keep shooting.

  • Chuck the “Picture Guy”

    I have not started the challenge, yet, but will. I do have one question regarding the bathroom photos. I have two bathrooms in my house, one is quite a bit smaller than the other, so, can I sort of pro-rate the number of photos between the two? or should I try for 100 photos in each?

    • Chuck I’d say just pick one and go in. It doesn’t really matter it could be a bedroom for that matter. The point is to limit yourself to what is in front of you. Anyone can take a couple photos but after you take shots of the obvious things you have to start pushing yourself to look closer, look harder. Think more creatively.

  • I haven’t had the opportunity to start any of the challenges from the book yet but here is a link to my Flickr site if anyone would like to see some of my photographs!

    • Really hard to do and comment on Wayne. If you post something from the exercises I will be happy to comment.

  • john ferrett

    So glad I found the 10 challenges. It has spurred me on to take my DSLR out of AUTO!! My photo is of an old “Hidden Treasure” A couple of old Teddy bears with sentimental value. I decided to experiment with the depth of field by using the mirror. “Thank you Darlene for your challenges” You have really inspired me to improve my photography. Please critique, but be kind, I’m only a beginner !!

    All my other “experiments so far” are on Flickr Have a look if you like !!


    • Good job John! Getting out of auto is one of the hardest parts. So you’re half way there already. Not sure what you mean by “using the mirror” do you mean teddy up front and the one behind is a reflection?

  • Photography Challenge #1

    This is an area I will really have to work on. I often find it hard to be imaginative about other perspectives or settings I might choose for my photos. It seems I get an idea in my head about what I want from the scene and have to push myself to attempt another strategy. Often, though, when I get the photos loaded into Lightroom, I can visualize the other ways I could have set up the shot and then I kick myself for not being more persistent. This set is the 12 shots that I liked out of the 20 or so I took of the piano keys. The 3 shots below are my favourites of the set. I really tried this time!

    • well Betty! These are great! The added flower petals are just lovely and I love the angles and settings you’ve used. I’ll take a look on Flickr and comment. But I’d say you’ve done a great job.

    • wow, those are spectacular

  • Dianne Fuson

    Challenge 1 I have been working on this challenge for some time. I had hoped to do some landscapes but the weather wasn’t very cooperative. Hopefully this link will work. The set is entitled Challenge 1- Now to challenge 2.

    • I think for limited subject the strawberries did well. I like that you tried different angles and cropping. I can’t see your camera data though so I’m not sure if you changed lenses at all or aperture/shutter speed to create variation. Although as they aren’t moving shutter speed isn’t really a factor here.

      Tell me did you learn something by doing it?

      Ready for #2?

      • Dianne Fuson

        I used 3 lenses, – 18-135, 70-200, and 90mm macro. In this instance I found that the 70 -200 gave the shallowest depth of field (berries with chalkboard in background) although I may not have varied my apertures enough with the other lenses. #2 soon

  • Mike Vincent

    I am still on the first challenge. There is enough in this one concept alone to keep me busy. I live in a lovely part of London called “Little Venice”. My favourite shot is of this little bridge. I am looking at it from different points of view. Using Darlen’s challenge, how can I see this differently for maximum impact is quite confronting because, it means taking a walk outside my comfort zone of life. Hope you like the shot.

    • I Mike, I think we’ve corresponded by email. Keep working the scene and do it as many times as you want. In fact I recommend doing this exercise pretty much all the time for every subject. Make it second nature.

      • Mike Vincent

        Thanks Darlene, great advise. I am practicing and enjoying the process.

      • Mike Vincent

        Yes we did thank for your message.

  • Mike Vincent

    Same Place, different view.

    • Anastasia

      I absolutely love this one. The warm/cool contrast and the details are awesome. The lines are great, too!

  • Mike Vincent

    seven more and counting.

  • Rod Ramsell

    How’s this for a bathroom shot? I actually took it recently for an assignment requiring “abstract” photos. I titled it “flushed” and think it’s self explanatory.

  • Rod Ramsell

    How’s this for the bathroom shot? It was originally taken for a contest with “abstract” as the theme. I titled it “FLUSHED” needing no further explanation.

    • ah there we go! As for “the” bathroom shot. The idea was not to come away with one award winning shot, but to explore creativity. I think you’ve certainly done that here but tell me – did you get to 100?

      • Rod Ramsell

        I haven’t actually started the lessons. I just read about the bathroom shots and knew I had taken this one for an online contest. I’ll try the 100 shots tomorrow and let you know How it comes out.

        • Guest

          One thing about the bathroom lesson… the longer I stayed, the more creative I had to get in order to keep shooting. Thanks for the challenge.

        • Rod Ramsell

          One thing about the bathroom lesson… the longer I stayed, the more creative I had to get in order to keep shooting. Thanks for the challenge.

  • Wes – I’m guessing this is a model, toy car – is that right? So the idea is to get all different shots. I like that you got close up. But what about the whole thing? If this is a tiny car then it’s likely just too small to work with. Get outside and find a real car on the street – do the same exercise. It doesn’t have to be a special car, or it could be a mailbox, or firehydrant. Just one object that you can walk around all sides.

    • Yes, This is a toy car. I will look for a new subjects and remember to get all parts of the subject. Thanks

  • I can’t see your image on this one Mike. What do you mean building trust? For challenge #1?

    • Mike Vincent

      Hi Darlene,

      I am getting my project mixed up. I have been doing some Street Portraites and it has been great because I lost my hearing, I have to lip read and open conversation with people. This has led to some nice shots with some interesting characters.

      • nice! amazing how human beings can connect without words. I’ve had some amazing interactions in places I don’t speak the language either like Turkey and Nicaragua (working on my Spanish)

    • Mike Vincent

      I am getting my projects mixed up.

  • Sorry can you post a link here? I can’t see your images and do not have time or way to search for them

  • Daniel

    Please, Darlene, what size is required to upload photos? Thank you.

    • to share them here? I’m not sure that’s a requirement of the Disqus system. I’d say make the email size, you don’t want massive files online anyway

  • Nathalie B

    My collage of my first challenge pictures! I decided to go for the bottle lol I enjoyed the exercice, it was fun! I do enjoy taking photographs but I am not really technically inclined although I did play with aperture but w/o knowing what I was doing.

    • this is a cool idea – 9 very different images good job!

      • Nathalie B


    • Super! 🙂

      • Nathalie B

        thank you 😀

      • Nathalie B

        thank you 😀

    • Marcelo Penha

      Nathalie, your pictures inspired me to do the challenge. Thanks and congrats

      • Nathalie B

        So happy you like them, I must say I haven’t been following up on these challenges

        • Marcelo Penha

          Nathalie, you should finish … your are very talented and even still being an amateur, I’m not easily impressed with anyone.

          • Nathalie B

            Thank you so much Marcelo, yes I should finish! I didn’t stop taking photos, no worries, that would be like stopping to breathe 😀

    • That was absolutely awesome. Well done

  • I want to believe you that with practice I will eventually take photos that are amazing. I struggled with the first challenge but here are a couple of photos I took with a very old digital point and shoot camera. It actually takes pretty good pictures I would like to be able to blur the background and can’t figure out how to do it.

    • blurring the background requires 3 things:
      – a longer lens (not a wide one that usually is on most smaller cameras
      – a large aperture and you being able to control it
      – distance from the background.

      Try not to worry about those things so much and do what you can with what you have. Think about different angles, higher, lower, zoom in, zoom out. Try to make different images of the subject using those changes.

  • Wow! thanks for your answer, I will work on challenge 1 a little longer. Kay

  • Daniel

    Although I think I have
    an utter lack of creativity I’ve happily noticed I’m improving in my
    photography and I feel good about the results of this challenge 1. I’ve played
    with the angle, exposure, background and light; these photos are some examples.
    I’m sure they aren’t masterpieces, but they aren’t very bad at all, are they?

    • This is a good effort for sure, yes. I would suggest trying a slightly larger subject though, it will give you more options.

      • Daniel

        Thank you, Darlene. I will try what you say. It’s true there are more options with a larger subject.

  • Allanna Jessup

    Hi Bit slow on getting around to doing the challenges but had some time today and sat in the bathroom. Have come to three conclusions I need to take 100 photos to get 3 I like, I am not a bathroom photographer and boy do I still have a lot to learn. Have posted to Flikr address below

    • Those look great! and 3 out of a 100 isn’t far off what pros get so don’t feel bad. Photography is process, not a destination. You have to shoot the other 97 to get the 3.

  • Allanna Jessup


    Did the garage challenge today. As I was editing photos I realised there was a great theme of a oranges and reds coming through in the photos. I selected 10, tried to stitch them, this didn’t work, so chose again the three I liked best.

    Makes me realise that I don’t observe as much as I should in taking photos.

    Cheers Allanna

    • good observation about your lack of observing LOL! glad you got something out of it

  • Hi! I am just a really lazy person or a very busy one I think. I haven’t started working on the challenges. But promise to this week…starting today. Thanks!

    • you can do this!

      • Yes, I will start tomorrow. Saturday! 🙂 Took loads of photos this week of my workplace – store getting stripped bare and will be renovated soon. Then today of a project – the BEFORE pictures. I am terrified looking at the fab results of other talented people here so I started the office photography kind of thing.

  • Kim Passmore

    I have done the first 3 challenges. Walking around the subject in challenge #1 was great. What a big difference the change in light angle makes on the subject in multiple ways! The focus is a little sketchy as this is the first time I have gone fully manual on close up shots and I didn’t realize that the DSLR’s have a second focus ring (unlike my old Nikon FG!). I can see clearly now:). I found a few items in our basement for Challenge #2 and tried to make them look interesting (or more beautiful). Challenge #3 was the most difficult so far. I had no problem taking 100 shots but light was a bit of a challenge, especially when I had really high shutter speeds using my zoom lense to capture the water drops from the tap – fun though! I am going to try to put links to the photo albums I posted on facebook (which I made public) of a few pictures of each challenge.

    • so just curious – why manual focus? I find the digital cameras really hard to focus manually unless you’re on a tripod and using live view and zoomed in view.

      Good job on the garden shots – I really like that you changed what you focused on when shooting through that silver tube thing.

      I would challenge you to try #1 again. Yes you want all the way around and I’m glad you noticed the light changing – but you also want to change up other things like: lens focal length, get closer, get up higher, get down low, change the aperture etc. I think to get more variety you simply need a larger subject. Choose an old car or park bench or something a little larger and give it another go.

  • Kim Passmore

    This is Challenge #1 Take 2. Chose a larger subject, used 3 different lenses, multiple focal lengths and multiple angles. Because I bracketed all my photos I ended up taking over 300 shots! I pared that down to 121 and then chose my favourites and have a link to those below. My photo shoot started in the rain (with a plastic bag over my camera) and finished in the sun. I found that I am really bad with wanting to centre my subject!

    • YES! well done, I love that you got some inside of the rusted bits, and got underneath it.

      Next question – so why did you bracket? What mode do you use on your camera? Why do you feel you need to bracket? I’m assuming you mean one darker and one lighter right?

  • Kim Passmore

    Hi Darlene, The shots I took with the 50mm and the wide angle were taken fully manually because they were old lens’ I was using on my Nikon D3000 body. I unfortunately dropped my camera off the bathroom counter when I was doing the bathroom shoot when the strap got caught on the drawer handle (ouch!) The camera seems just fine but I need to get the lens checked so I used my old one. I don’t own a wide angle lens but wanted to try one so I borrowed my dad’s old Nikon lens. I bracket (darker/lighter) some of my shots when I am shooting outside because I can’t always tell in the view screen if the exposure is exactly what I think I want. My zoom lens shots were done on aperature priority with autofocus. I also made an incorrect statement as your question made me realize I didn’t actually bracket all my shots, just some of them and others I just took at multiple focal lengths to see the differences in the shots and decide which one(s) I liked best. Cheers, Kim

  • Meg B

    I’ve been working on Week #1’s challenge…close up. I’d like to post some of the work here, but my pics are larger than what’s allowed. You can see them on flickr.
    I’m excited about this journey into photography and welcome input to help me improve. I enjoy looking at other photographers’ work.

    • Sorry that link takes me to my own Flickr sets to organize them. You need to get out of the organizing section to the actual album or set where the photos are and share that link. Love to see them.

  • Meg B

    Thanks Darlene for the suggestion. I’m logged into my page and hope this link works.

    • yes that worked – but I’m not sure how it does exercise #1 “walk around your subject”?

  • I just read your book Darlene and got totally inspired and just took out the cam this weekend and took on the first challenge. I also am dedicating myself to 365 days on one subject. I chose coffee and all the things that surround coffee and the culture of coffee. I haven’t locked myself in the bathroom yet but I’ll let you know how it goes when I do. I’ll also let you know when I’m posting my first pics from the challenges on my blogsite, and send you the link. Thanks a bunch!!!

    • awesome! great idea and you get to sample some good coffee along the way too!

  • Erika

    Challenge #1. Having a great statue to photograph made it easier. I came up with over 10 different angles but culled it down to my favourites. Lots of close ups because there was lots of clutter in my background.

  • Erika

    ok here is my challenge #1. I had more then 10 angles so had to cull it down to 10. It helps to have an awesome statue to photograph.

  • Guest


  • I just posted the pics from the first challenge to my blog, (giving you due credit for your inspiration;) ). Check them out:

    • thanks for much! If you make the mention into a link people can click on it to get over here

  • Nancy Cachia

    Hi all, so I finally bought my camera a few days ago…now I don’t know really where to start! These are some pics for the first challenge, I’ll certainly be doing this again, as I have lots and lots to learn!

    • nice all from the one same table?

      • Nancy Cachia

        Yes 🙂 was glad nobody came in to see me in action though!

        • Why is that? Don’t be embarrassed over doing your photography – ever. Do it proudly, take your time, enjoy it. There is no reason to feel self conscious doing something you enjoy.

          • Nancy Cachia

            Thanks a lot for your encouragement! I really appreciate.

  • Ramona Boston

    I’ve registered and confirmed my registration more than once but cannot get the email after that with the link to the ebook. Thoughts?

    • send me your info via the contact form and I will have a look to see where it’s stuck

  • Thanks Darlene for the five weeks of inspiring articles. These 12 images are a part of the first challenge. I’ll continue to post more coffee shots on my blog. My carrot stick is that If I complete the 10 challenges then I’ll invest in buying a new DSLR. Now I’m using a point and shot, (which I love anyways…it’s a Panasonic DMC-ZS1).

    • love the coffee cup, can’t see the second set though it didn’t seem to upload

  • Marie here are the images you sent me. They post just fine for me – I’ve done not a thing to your files. Sorry not sure why it didn’t work for you. How did you add them? You can drop them right it the same box where you type even.

    • Marie Puddicombe

      They do look fine here. When I tried to insert the photos, I did an “insert” as opposed to the drag and drop. Maybe that was my problem. Thanks again.

      • Perhaps, I’m not even sure how to do “insert” actually. Try it again with a drag and drop to test.

    • Anastasia

      I love the curl!

  • They make a good collection. If you were going to variety there is a lot similar about them. Try doing the exercise with a different subject and go for variety.

  • Sharon Leach

    These are pics of the first challenge. It’s a vase that belonged to my Mom. I understand why this is a “challenge”! It really made me think outside of the box which was good for me, but enjoyed it!

    • I like your out of focus image in the series, very creative

      • Sharon Leach

        Thank you!

    • Marjorie Bull

      My fave is the closeup of the handle; I also love the detail of the cherries.

  • Sharon Leach

    I guess my pics didn’t come through??? Don’t know what to do!

    • Sometimes it takes a bit for them to show up. They are here twice now it seems.

      • Sharon Leach

        So sorry! Will be more patient!

  • Sharon Leach

    Here are pics from the first challenge!
    It was a challenge…took me out of my comfort zone, but good for me!

    • Good job on variety. Now, keep doing it on everything you shoot but next time choose a larger subject – it will give you more options.

      • Sharon Leach

        Thanks! I thought about a larger subject after I started but decided to just stick with it.
        Now into garbage!!!

  • I’m happy with this oportunity to learn and pratice photography. For the first time I shot people that I didnt know and I have to explain what I was doing. I also did play with aperture and I realize that I didn’t know what I was doing. The tree I made last week. I planing to picture a single object too. Again thank you very very much for the oportunity to take your classe.

    • photos in the car wash, I love it! Good notices on the areas you need more work. Now you can practice that!

      • I hope I can notice those areas you mentioned. But I realy need to pratice. Thank you.

  • I just finished challenge #1. I started off not knowing what I wanted to shoot so I just started shooting and then things got easier. These are just a couple of the pictures I took. See all the pictures at

  • Guest


    [url=]Cheering for Brazil. #clickaday day23 June 2014 #soccer #fifaworldcup[/url] por [url=]Picolo[/url], no Flickr

  • Guest
  • Challenge #2 hidden tresures. Also all challenge here:

    • I like how your view changes over the challenge. The skateboard is your strongest image of the set.

  • RLBOSTON2014

    Walking around, challenge #1

    My good fortune my neighbor has a pumpkin patch! I may even go out and catch the morning light.

  • RLBOSTON2014

    My first challenge! And it was. I have been challenged by chain link fence of late although it certainly provides a certain feel. Here is my neighbor’s pumpkin patch.

    • Anastasia

      I really like this set. The textures are beautiful and the subject is interesting. There is a lot to look at in the photos of the curly stems on the fence, but I think you did right to put a few in black and white to make it easier to focus. My favorite one is 10093; I just love the green organic look of the fence.

  • RLBOSTON2014

    #1 Walking Around – Neighbor’s Pumpkin Patch
    Seems I’ve been dealing with chain link fence a lot lately!

    • but it works for framing! those are all good images, well done

      • RLBOSTON2014

        Thanks! On to hidden treasures.

      • RLBOSTON2014

        Thanks! Two weeks!? Seriously!? My life has once again run away with me.

  • Kim Passmore

    Hi Darlene, I have been getting out as much as I can to practice, practice, practice. I am working on getting comfortable with the settings and buttons on my camera, such as changing white balance, focus settings, exposure compensation, etc. At the same time I am really trying to work on composition and lighting. I was wondering if you would provide constructive criticism on a few of my photos – to see if I am on the right track? Thanks so much! P.S. I have also really been working on Challenge #10 and find it very interesting and valuable. I think I’m driving my family crazy:)

    • You are doing well with composition. The top image of the boats is great, love the chain fence in front. The kitty and the bottom sunken boat – the challenge there is lighting at midday, toughest thing to make look good. If possible shoot it again at a later time of day.

      • Kim Passmore

        Thanks so much Darlene! I must say I was pretty pleased with the boat reflection photo:) Yes, that midday light is tough. I will definitely go back and try those types of shots again later in the day (sunrise is much too early this time of year!) Cheers, Kim

  • Shutterbug

    Hi Darlene, I signed up for your photography course and I downloaded the book and I printed it out but just after that we went to New Zealand for a couple of weeks and therefore although I was busily taking photos, I wasn’t able to get your messages and focus my pictures on the way suggested. And now you have almost got to the end of things I have some catching up to do. I have been very busy since we got back but I will revisit your suggestions and see what I can do.

  • Guest

    See below images from my first challenge. This is the Gateshead Millennium bridge and is photographed a lot. I like the fourth image the most, with just the wires and the sky.

  • Number 09 (Tony)

    See below images from my first challenge. This is the Gateshead Millennium bridge and is photographed a lot. I like the fourth image the most, with just the wires and the sky. I tried to get some new angles, that I haven’t tried before.

  • Sharon Leach

    These are 10 of my 100 shots in the bathroom! I kept looking at my count of photos and it took some thought to get it up to 100! I even took my cuppa coffee to get me through!!
    I did notice that my bathroom colors are quite boring, LOL!!!
    Also realized that I really have to somehow step up my creativity!
    Very challenging!

  • Sharon Leach

    This is my treasure. It’s an old sewing machine table. My husband, a lover of wood is anxious to see what’s under all the paint.

  • Shutterbug

    I downloaded the e-book on shallow depth of field and boker photography and went out on a damp and overcast winter day to shoot some things around our rural block and I ended up with this one which I am pleased with of a baby carrot seedling. I also ordered a neutral density filter so I could then experiment with photography from the other e-book I downloaded which was on long exposures.

  • Shutterbug

    Not sure why my picture isn’t there, I’ll try again.

  • Angela L


    My name is Angela and I am very new to photography. I bought my first dslr about 2 months ago and I have been reading and shooting like crazy. I am reading your book and doing the challenges (along with a 52 week challenge from Boost Your Photography). My photos for the first challenge are at the following link and I would love, love, love feedback! Thank you for your book and website, I am learning a lot!

  • HI Angela – really good job on this. You’ve changed up all sorts of things and got lots of different angles. So tell me, did you learn anything from doing this?

    • Angela L

      Well, I learned that it is really hard to get good pictures on a busy street (trying to avoid getting the cars that are going by, etc). I also learned that it is ok to get out in the middle of a busy area and just take pictures (while everyone else is looking at you funny, wondering what you are doing). Also that there are many different ways to look at a subject. Lastly, I think I have now learned how this discussion board works! Sorry about the multiple posts! I look forward to doing the next challenge.

  • Angela L

    OK, so I attempted the bathroom challenge today. I learned that I do not like photographing bathrooms, at least mine! Boring! Here are a few shots, I really don’t like any of them, but these are the best. On to the next challenge!

    • Angela, great job. Did you do the full 100? People who’ve done it to the end have found they their best shots came later when they were forced to get more creative. Did you try running the water and shooting that? Or swirling around in the toilet (clean water I hope please!)? What about light fixtures? Did you try any shots with slow shutter speed and blurring on purpose? Or zooming during the exposure? Just some ideas for you.

  • Anastasia

    Hi Darlene! I’m Anastasia, and I’m currently working on my BA for Graphic Design. The past year, I have been focusing on drawing, photoshop, etc., but everything I do leads me back to the camera. Right now, I only have a point-and-shoot. Come September, I intend to have a DSLR (Nikon D3200, if possible). Thus, I will probably be doing the challenges twice … if that’s okay. I am going to start working on #1 with my point-and-shoot to reacquaint myself with seeing the photo before I take it.

    Thanks for making this available!

  • Marjorie Bull

    Hi Darlene; I’m a retired college professor. About four or five months before I left teaching, I decided to try something I’d never done before as a project to keep me from turning into a total couch potato once the job was no longer dragging me out of the house. So I picked ten of my best pictures and sent them off to a couple of microstock photo sites. Whaddaya know–one agency accepted three of them! I was off and running.

    Two months later I had a sale. Another three months and I had a second sale. I got my own website — — and got accepted at a couple more microstock sites, and through stubborn persistence raised my acceptance rate from 30% to about 65%. Sales increased slowly but surely. I’ve built my portfolio to nearly 2000 images with that first agency.

    And now, four years later, I am so burned out I could just drop in my tracks. I haven’t changed the photos on my website in over a year; I’ve only sent about a dozen new photos to the agencies in the last two months in spite of a resolution to send 50 or more every month. I REALLY NEED a pick-me-up. So I’m going to set myself a goal to work through your challenges and see if that sparks me into life again.

    • Hi Marjorie – first of all great job on all the stock images and even doing that! Wow very impressive.

      I do hope these challenges give you some ideas. If you get my regular emails I’m going to be adding a new feature on the website soon to in the form of weekly challenges, so watch for those too!

  • Angela L

    Well, here is my attempt at the garage challenge. Luckily I do have a lot of stuff in my garage, but still found it very challenging and made me realize again how little creativity I have. The six items, cowboy boots, a chair, a mat, screws, a bird house and an extension cord. The cowboy boots were shot in RAW, my first attempt ever! Of course it took me 4 hours just to get my new PSE program to open it and figure out what to do with it, but now I know!

    • Angela L

      For some reason I can only get 4 to load, here they are!

      • I love the bird house!

      • Marjorie Bull

        They’re all super, but if I had to pick a favorite: the chair in the wildflowers. Love it!

    • so keep in mind that creativity is cultivated and it takes time so don’t be so hard on yourself if it’s not there just yet. Keep doing the exercises and shooting – it will come.

  • Bruce Sutherland

    the sculpture I chose turned out to be in the shade all the time,so the sky seems very grey. Went back early in the morning still shady but got some better shots. Had a lot of fun doing it.

    • great idea going back in the morning – now you’re thinking like a photographer!

  • Bruce Sutherland

    Test post.

  • Bruce Sutherland

    well here are the photos from my made me think about the setting, had few more but they were worse.

    • Marjorie Bull

      Love the one with the axe.

  • Bruce Sutherland

    the bathroom challenge was great for learning more about my tripod, two second delay and long exposures. the time past quickly but the photos came slowly. in a very small bathroom.

    • great job! Looks like you need a new light bulb! 😉

    • Marjorie Bull

      Love the mirror and faucets. And WOW! did you straighten out the drawers while you were at it, or are they always so much neater than mine?

  • Dlync

    Thoroughly enjoyed doing challenge 1. My images are of the Waler Memorial in my home town. As I took the photographs in my lunch break I had to go back twice to get all the pics I wanted. Looking forward to doing Challenge 2.

  • Bruce Sutherland

    For my 53 week challenge, I have chosen the vegetable garden. So here are my first two.

  • Marjorie Bull

    First challenge completed! That was fun. I shot about 250 pix over 3 days, using my Canon Powershot A2200 and my Nikon D3000. What did I learn? (1) I do love my macro lens and it was SO well worth the investment (2) Cloudy/rainy weather really does give the best light, especially for pix of white flowers (3) the point-and-shoot has a softer focus than the DSLR–true also of my other p&s cameras–and the closer the shot, the softer the focus until it is truly out of focus, even though it thinks it is focused (4) I actually like the cinderblock wall background (5) the old girl can still wind herself into a pretzel to get the shot, it just takes a lot longer to straighten out and stand up again than it did back in the day.

    Photo album here:
    Please LIKE and SHARE my page.

    Arranged into a movie here, but I think the quality is severely degraded in the process:

    • Great job! You have gotten a lot of variety out of this one subject. Particularly effective, I think, is the one of the flowers looking back into your yard (at 1:37 on the video), the close up of just all white flowers (at 2:02), look up at the sky (1:51) and the last shot at 2:32. Really well done.

      As for the focusing thing – all lenses have a minimum focusing distance. If you go any closer it will just simply not be able to focus. Macro lenses allow you to get closer because their minimum focusing distance is smaller. This is why you pay a lot more for them, they are built differently to accommodate this.

  • Marjorie Bull

    A few more from the first challenge (if they’ll upload now)

    • what plant is this Marjorie?

      • Marjorie Bull

        It came to me as a “volunteer” so I can’t be certain, but by diligent searching on the internet I am fairly sure it is a wild phlox.

  • Marjorie Bull

    There we go–have to drag and drop only one at a time.

  • Bruce Sutherland

    Marjorie, just had a look at your flowering shrub. You did a great job with it, working the different angles. The white flowers around green buds, very good.

    • Marjorie Bull

      Thanks, Bruce. That’s one of my favorites.

  • Bruce Sutherland

    new vegetable photo.

    • Marjorie Bull

      I love the contrast in texture between the smooth leaves with their heavy ribs and the frilly flowers.

    • nice! and dinner too!

  • Jo-Anne Chadderton

    Challenge 1 completed. I think even something old and broken has charm. No longer a safe seat but instead a place for things to grow. It was fun trying to shoot from different angles. I wouldn’t have thought of it before this, so a good lesson learned. I have attached a link to my flickr challenge album, where the selected photos cam be seen.

    • Great variety of images, love the close up of the lichen. Glad you found value in doing this.

  • Barb Pendl

    1st Challenge: Hello Friends, Lately, I have been really interested in exploring cell phone photography. The focus & exposure on some of these is pretty rugged but, I’m determined to see what’s possible. More images shot with other cameras in my quiver coming soon. Smiles, Barb

  • keepntch

    Wasn’t ready to face bathroom photos yet, I knew if I shut myself in I would end up cleaning instead before I would use the camera, consequently used my Macro Lens and spent the day shooting what I consider treasures in and around the house and yard. Really need to learn more patience with set up and sticking with the tripod.

    • Fantastic! I love the one of the green leaves! Great lighting. Whatever you decide to shoot just keep doing it! Good job.

      • keepntch

        I have noticed on some of my pictures that I share that once they are on the internet they don’t look as sharp as they did on my computer. I shoot in raw and so when converted to jpeg they are still good sized files so I don’t think it is that. Do those leave look fuzzy to you? I have been trying to decide whether to take them down because they don’t look as good as they do in Lightroom.

        • if you post files that are too large to be displayed online the browser or platform has to “crunch” them and sometimes they look less sharp. Facebook is famous for that. What size are the images you’re outputting for online? In pixel size not file size.

          • keepntch

            It looks like this one was 500X500, probably too big. I have been just exporting them from Lightroom 5 in jpeg format and haven’t been paying much attention to the size, although have not had any turned back as being too large. What is the best size?

          • That size should be fine. If anything it’s too small which is why they look soft. Do you add any sharpening on export? I recommend choosing “sharpen for screen”

          • keepntch

            Thanks Darlene, I went back re-exported with the sharpening changes and then looked very closely at the original and I think it is just a soft picture. I will try taking some more. I am still fairly new at this process and am learning the technical aspect as well as Lightroom 5. I think I just need to take more and more for a while.

          • Shooting more often is the key! You’ve hit the nail on the head there!

  • Jo-Anne Chadderton

    Challenge 2 completed. I was a bit blank with what to shoot in the garage but when I started to look at it in small photo sized lots I came up with some interesting ones. I have loaded them all onto Flickr for anyone to view, but here is the first one.

    • Awesome great job! That’s kind of the point of this exercise is to get you seeing things that normally get overlooked. Start seeing like a photographer. Well done.

      • Jo-Anne Chadderton

        Thanks Darlene, now into the bathroom! Hmmm it’s cold and rainy today so it’s is a good day for a bath 🙂

    • Yes exactly! Photographers see things differently and starting to look for smaller areas of interest is heading in the right direction.

  • Hi! 🙂
    I’m also posting a collage – example of Challenge 1. None of the shots has been edited in any way.

    I have to say, that whenever I take a shot of an object, I always do ‘the round’ 🙂 just to check later, which of the shots most pleases my eyes :).

  • Hi! 🙂
    I’m also posting a collage – example of Challenge 1. None of the shots has been edited in any way.
    I have to say, that whenever I take a shot of an object, I always do ‘the round’ 🙂 just to check later, which of the shots most pleases my eyes :).

  • Guest

    And here’s another example.
    This sequence I took for the drink – photo challenge.

    • Drink photo challenge? I don’t remember posting such a challenge. Sure it was here?

  • keepntch

    I have been mixing challenges and lens this past week. Macro was my choice the first week and challenge and for Challenge 2 I started with the Macro, tried 50mm Prime (don’t like my focus perception) and have to admit didn’t stick with it for long. I discovered that the Macro really does have a small area of focus and for my hidden treasures didn’t like it so switched to the 18-55mm Nikkor lens. These hidden treasures are in the garden.

    • Cute gnomes! What did you mean by, “tried 50mm Prime (don’t like my focus perception) ” – ??

      • keepntch

        It is manual focus, I don’t think my brain, glasses and the camera work well together. I switched to my 18-55mm lens. I think I mentioned that I was playing with the lens and until I did some reading and playing I don’t think I really understood DOF differences on the different lens. When I used my 40mm Macro on those little leaves from a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t really focus in the right place which is why it looked soft, at least I think that is why. So when I tried to manual focus with the prime lens and take into account the DOF or area of focus I didn’t like the results. Does that make sense? I also think that when it looks in focus to me it really isn’t in focus, it still is fuzzy out of the camera.

  • Nathalie B

    sorry I didn’t reply earlier, I must have missed your message! Thank you and so happy you like them.

  • keepntch

    Darlene, your ongoing program has helped, it has kept my options in front of me instead of looking at what I have done in the past and just wishing I was out taking pictures. I played with different lenses, lighting, and even rain drops. My photography equipment is spread out all over the place, ready to be put into action rather than neatly stored in the cupboard. I remember reading that the best camera is the one you have with you and try to take it with me most of the time. Your booklet is something that can be kept on on my computer desktop and read as a reminder of the myriad ways to get going and motivated. I am sharing a few of my photos some I haven’t post processed because I’m not sure where to go with them. Thank you. The yellow daisy was taken using the light box we talked about.

    • Oh that does work well for the flower. I love the rain splashing, great captures!

  • Mike

    So this is my challenge #2. I work in a shop so my “garage” is a little bigger than usual. Good and bad…Tons of this to shoot, but tons of things to shoot. Here are the 6 that turned out the best. Thanks!

    • Mike

      Not sure why it added so many times. Sorry about that.

      • no worries – some great close ups in here!

        • Mike

          I rented a 50mm 1.8 and shot these photos. Sure is fun to see how much backround blur you can create.

  • Robert

    Hi Darlene.. Just started with the challenge today after fighting with the couch fighting with the couch for a while… Please comment if you would like to…Thank you

  • Tom Vorderer

    Just started reading your book. Love it!!! You said early on that the black and white setting on your camera wasn’t the best way to take black and white. Which is the best way?

    • Hi Tom – thanks glad you are enjoying it! The best way to do b/w is to convert it later using Photoshop or Lightroom. You have more control over the tones that way.

      • Tom Vorderer

        Thank you. Your book has inspired me to set a plan to move forward with my photography.

  • Barbara Pendl

    Hello Friends, I’m a pro videographer but lately, I’ve been really interested in experimenting with cell phone photography. Here are a few images from my 3rd round with the 1st Challenge. Smiles, Barb

    • Very cool, yes I tend to use my phone the same way!

    • Marjorie Bull

      Love these! Dragonflies are gorgeous, and I had no idea cell phone
      photos could be this good. My cell phone is so old it doesn’t even have
      a camera. After seeing this, I may have to upgrade. 🙂

  • Guest

    Hello Friends, I’m a pro videographer & I’ve been really interested in experimenting with cell phone photography. The phone I use has 10 megapix, shoots 4320 X 2432 at highest quality in the JPG format. I haven’t installed any 3rd party apps to enhance the phone’s capability but, enjoy using Photoshop to post-process. Practically speaking, cell phone photography has been a really convenient way to document behind-the-scenes activities & fun that happens on the pro shoots I do. Here are a few recrops w/ selective color images from my 3rd round with the 1st Challenge. Smiles, Barb

    • Barbara Pendl

      This post is duplicate to the first one with dragonfly photos below. Dunno how to delete yet. Apologies.

  • Becky

    Couple examples from first challenge. Not great but have to start somewhere. The others are on flickr at Appreciate your time and critique.

    • Hi Becky, overall I’d say really good job lots of variety. One thing to watch is your white balance. Some of the images look a little blue, was that your intention?

  • Carmel Cornelia Lalo

    My collage of an old BMX bike that was lying around outside ..forgot to change the lens though!

  • Carmel Cornelia Lalo

    Photos didn’t upload the first time so here goes!!

    • Yes they are all really good shots. If you want maximum variety though get some of the whole thing, use a wider lens also, try some with more depth of field also. On their own really good shots.

    • Your images show up here

    • I like these. Nicely done

  • Carmel Cornelia Lalo

    My Photos and explanation did’nt show first time and I maybe was supposed to make the collage before uploading time lucky. My would be collage is of an old BMX bike lying around the yard ..hope you like them .thanks

    • Becky

      I think they are great shots! But we will wait to hear from the expert!!

      • Carmel Cornelia Lalo

        Thanks Becky, How did you manage to see the pictures though because i don’t see them at all on this page. Baffled!!!

  • tim

    I hope this worked

  • Sue

    I have tried the first challenge, unfortunately I couldn’t find a grid with 10 squares so went for 12 instead. Not sure if these are too similar but I’d be interest to know what others think.

  • Joseph Galea

    Thanks, great book! Loving it. Made me leave my office at noon in the scorching sun, enjoyed the exercise and the experience. Trying to figure out settings, still green. I’ve loaded on flickr challenge #1 photos taken today of a foot bridge near my place of work.

  • Joseph Galea

    Great book! Thanks. You really got me going. I left my office last Friday at noon in the scorching sun (still sunny in Malta at this time). Was trilled. Still very green with settings. Have put my challenge #1 photos on flickr.

  • Willy R

    Hi Darlene. To be frankly I did some homework but not everything. I’ve been engaged with some voluntary work fundraising for 60+ plussers at KIBRAHACHA our center here in Aruba.
    Kibrahacha is a tree that grows in Aruba and is a very hard type of wood. Twice a year in the month of April and October the complete tree flourishes a nice Yellow for a day or two. The third day you have a yellow carpet of flowers on the ground as wide as the branches go. To come back on my homework at the center self they helped me download the 4 free e-books. I must say that on first impression I have learned very much. I did try to work in the backyard with the camera trying to get some birds and flowers in the picture. I’ve not succeeded very much but I will try to send them with the help at the center this coming week.

  • Marie C

    I have completed the first exercise. I had a lot more fun with it than I thought I would. Here is a link to my flickr account where I have shared the images.

    I would appreciate any feedback people are willing to give.

    • emily schiller

      Marie–I really enjoyed your piano images. What a great subject! All those lines and curves give you so much to work with. My favorite is the second to the last photo across the keyboard ending with the painting on the wall. I liked where you chose to put your focal point and the narrow depth of field. They give the keyboard and its reflection a kind of texture and even some sense of movement. The soft, curving black reflected line at the end of the keyboard is perfect. Just a great design element that almost creates the sense of a crack in the far wall. I just wish that painting–which intrigues me–was hanging straighter on the wall. It would seem–for me–more intentional. Though the slant could be seen as part of the other-worldly approach in the image. Lovely work!

      • Marie C

        Thanks so much for your feedback! I had a really good time with the piano. I think I could have spent at least twice as much time with it and not exhausted the possibilities.

  • Joseph Galea

    Hi Marie. I liked you photos, especially how you managed to get different angles and perspective. Mine still look like the same thing. Need to experiment more. Yours were inspiring.

  • Jolene

    This is my attempt at getting closer. I really liked the strange corner building downtown and wanted to incorporate it in the background. Although the statue is the close-up figure, I’m not sure I would consider it the focal point. Thoughts?

  • lesson one; getting closer…..

  • my first submission, and my first lesson, getting close

  • Joseph Galea
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy.S

    Images for the week challenge #Walk around your subject.

  • Norma Roed

    I have a problem sending photos on this site……..either too large or too small . I will try Challenge #2, taking in small resolution. Do I have to use flickr? disqus? help thanks

  • emily schiller

    Thanks so much, Darlene, for this opportunity. After a few tries, here are my shots for Challenge Number 1.

  • norma roed

    Challenge #1 cannot get correct size, will try again with #2

  • Angela Mendel

    Hello, I’ve recently discovered your web site and im trying to photograph as much as I can. Here are a few examples, hope they meet the first challenge, “get closer”.

  • Angela Mendel

    I just started back up with photography, and I’m trying to shoot every week. Here are a few of my “close” photos, nothing exciting, just practicing with what I have around home.

  • Susan Robertson

    It was a challenge to take 10 different photos of the Amaryllis! One does certainly need to walk around the subject or objet one is photographing. It makes me realize I need to move my feet to determine the best angle, lighting, etc. for the photograph. The 9 photographs are the best of the ones I took. Looking forward to any feedback!

    Darlene, I have resized my photos to a size that ought to download but will not. I get the error they are too big! Help!

  • Susan Robertson

    Finally, able to download my photos from challenge #1! And, it was a challenge to try and get 10 different photos. The exercise reinforced, for me, that I do need to look at all of the possible angles, different positions, etc. to get some unusual shots and interesting. My feet need to be on the move before shooting!

    Looking forward to the next challenge!

  • Susan Robertson

    Darlene, does it take time for the post to appear or is it instant? Just wondering as I have posted two times and neither are showing.

  • Susan Robertson

    Obviously, the postings are instant so I had better try, yet again, to post my photos from challenge #1

  • Susan Robertson

    Hopefully, the photos will post or I give up! I have tried multiple times with no success! Keeping my fingers crossed!

    I am open to any feedback! The activity certainly did make me realize my feet need to be moving around the subject or object I am photographing, to determine the best position, angle, lighting, etc. The activity has hit the point home!

  • Susan Robertson

    Darlene, I made 3 posts, last night, and none seem to be posted still. Where have they gone? I spent a great deal of time, yesterday, resizing the photos as they were too large and it obviously still did not work. Help! It has become too frustrating for me to continue trying but I do want to post the 9 photos I took for challenge #1.

  • Susan Robertson

    It does appear I have conquered the technology which is not a strength of mine! I am keeping my fingers crossed that when I hit the post button, it does!

    I enjoyed challenge #1 as it did force me to think outside of the box and not take the same old photo! It certainly did reinforce the fact that I need to move my feet when deciding from what angle, level, etc. There are many perspectives, settings, etc. to consider.

    Looking forward to challenge #2!

  • Susan Robertson

    I have mastered the drag and drop to post the photos for the challenge #1! It was fun to do and stretched my thought process to get the different photos. Yes, one does need to move ones feet to shake up the mix and not take the same old photo, all the time.

    Looking forward to some feedback and doing challenge #2.

    • Hi Susan – looks like you did get some variety in your shots on this challenge. I would actually urge you to try it again with a larger subject like a car or a house. I see you’ve varied the lighting too which is great. Did you try wide and long lenses also?

      • Susan Robertson

        Darlene, I did try wide and long lenses, as well as, playing with the ISO. What is the value of trying it again with a larger subject? Does it give me more opportunity to move around? Just wondering!

        Next, I am going to do your monthly challenge, using a fixed lens. I bought a Sigma 19mm f2.8 lens, a year ago, and have never used it. So, your monthly challenge is a great opportunity for me to get to know the lens. Thanks for providing the challenge!

        I do not know where to start with Challenge 2 from your ebook. It is not the type of photography I ever do. I enjoy mainly landscapes, wildlife and flowers. So, the challenge would a huge step for me! Help! I guess I just jump in and get an object from my basement and see what I can make it in to.

        Looking forward to doing the monthly challenge!

        • Susan – yes a larger subject gives you more options. It will more drastically change if you shoot a car with your 19mm lens from one foot away, versus a 200mm from across the street. You can’t do that with a flower.

          Don’t over think the second one. Just grab any old thing: a box, an old shoe, a hammer – then see what you can find interesting about it to photograph. This is an exercise in seeing things you normally pass by and overlook. Put it in different lighting conditions, shoot for texture, etc.

          • Susan Robertson

            Thanks, Darlene!

            I will pick some object and just start shooting and let the creative juices flow, for challenge #2!

            I will wait for warmer temperatures to redo challenge #1. Only -35C this morning!

    • Marjorie Bull

      Counting from the top…3, 6, and 9 are my faves. That last one has so much energy!

      • Susan Robertson

        Thanks, Marjorie, for your votes! Greatly appreciated! I do enjoy photographing flowers, especially unusual ones. I just came back from the Amazon Rainforest. I have a photo of a flower i took that reminds me of candy floss! I will try to remember how to make the image smaller and post it at a later time. I am just new to my iMac!

  • Susan Robertson

    Any body out there to provide some comments on my photos, below, from challenge #1!

    Darlene, the monthly challenge you sent out today is just for me! I have a lens I bought a year ago, a 19mm, f2.8, I have never used. So, this is the month to start, I say!

  • Marjorie Bull

    When I decided to spend hard-earned cash on something more than a point-and-shoot camera, I had in mind that I wanted to take pictures of the moon, huge pictures of the moon. Last night I went out to bring in the mail, and look what was waiting for me! I ran to get the camera, changed lenses and tweaked settings, and here’s what I got. Well, yes, I tweaked just a little in Photoshop, and cleaned up some fuzziness where a thin mist blurred the lower edge of the moon, but this is the best I’ve captured yet. Best of all, I know what I need to do to get even better. (Longer lens, and a good solid tripod instead of setting the camera on top of my car.) Just had to share.

    The two other bright objects are the planets Venus and Jupiter.

    • Susan Robertson

      Marjorie, what an amazing shot! I can actually see detail on the moon! What lens and camera did you shoot it with! Just wondering. I look forward to seeing more!

      • Marjorie Bull

        So glad you like it, Susan! It was about an hour past sunset, the sky was still a little bit light, and the weather was very clear. I was using the Nikon D3000 with 55-200 zoom lens; and I set the ISO to 800, zoomed in as tight as possible, and pointed auto-focus at the lower edge of the moon where it had the maximum contrast to work with. Post-processing in Photoshop; I removed some noise and some power lines and tweaked the contrast a little, which brought out the details. Happy shooting.

        • I was reading about the proximity of the planets to the moon just the other day and then here’s the picture.

    • super stuff.

  • P James

    Ok, here goes. New to this forum. Tried challenge #1 yesterday. Kept the subject matter simple and small to practice lighting and Depth of Field. Hope the photos upload properly.

  • Steve Archdeacon

    Thanks for all the tips as I just got the CANON 50mm f/1.4 lens and I’ve been practicing with it a lot since I got it. Here are some pics I’ve gotten with it so far:

  • P James

    In challenge #1 I used my 60mm macro primarily but also used my 70-300. For challenge #2, “Garage Art” i was addicted to my macro lens. Still trying to figure our how to make the photos appear smaller on this forum but here are my favorites from today. All of these were in my garage.

  • P James

    Challenge #1 – Walking around your subject – 2nd attempt. It wasn’t what I had envisioned but I did eventually acquire a few angles. Considering it was -14 C outside, I managed. Will return to try some night shots also. Bathroom challenge…here I come.

    • really like what you’ve done here! great variety!!

      • P James

        Thanks! I really appreciate the comment. Your Challenge Book is very inspiring and has gotten me off the couch (only took me a few weeks to motivate myself). Hours after completing the Garage Art challenge I was still imagining different setups and lighting with random objects. That was fun. I’ll try it again this time using different lenses. And the church I’m going to shoot at night with different lighting setups too. Your site has so much information! Thank you!

    • lee kivi

      That is a nice variety of shots

    • Marjorie Bull

      I love the leaves with the arched windows in the background, and the rosary crucifix is wonderful.

  • P James

    Locked myself in the bathroom challenge….I shot well over 100 images. These are a few that I liked.

    • love the water drops and the blue shower water

      • P James

        Thanks, these challenges are wonderful for pushing the creative envelope. I’m still working on that while fine tuning the technical parts of the captures. The blue shower water shot used 2 neutral density filters so I could shoot at about 3.5 seconds and lit the water from behind/above using two small LED flashlights.

    • lee kivi

      I like the blue water one also and the second to last candle shot

    • Marjorie Bull

      I love the one of the shower with every tiny separate drop sparkling.

  • lee kivi

    Here are 7 of my 10 shots (the collage was too big to upload with all 10) for the first challenge. It was a 2 part challenge for me, getting the different shots and trying to stay warm since it was 15 degrees F. outside. After that, I’m looking forward to locking myself in the bathroom for an hour to do the next challenge.

  • lee kivi

    I don’t know what happened but when I hit the post button my picture didn’t show up. I’ll try again.
    Here are 7 of my 10 shots (the collage was too big to upload with all 10) for the first challenge. It was a 2 part challenge for me, getting the different shots and trying to stay warm since it was 15 degrees F. outside. After that, I’m looking forward to locking myself in the bathroom for an hour to do the next challenge.

    • lee kivi

      Help!!! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I post my photo, it shows up until the next time I log in and it’s not there. Any suggestions?

      • P James

        I’m new to the forum and have only just figured out how to post images to Google+ and how to add the link here. That will be the next way I post images here. However, when I posted the last three times, I simply dragged and dropped images directly from my computer photo library right into the box below the one that says “Join the discussion…” I drag one photo at a time and wait until it shows up as an image within that box and then did the next one. Once I had them all in the box, I clicked on the grey button in the lower right corner that says “Post as (insert your name)” It would take a minute or so to load in. The photos appear like you’ve seen them. Also, there may be a setting in Disqus, under your ‘account that’ maintains privacy? I’ve looked at my settings and they are not set to private. That’s all I can think of. Hope it helps.

  • lee kivi

    Thanks P James, I’ll see if it works this time.

    Here are 7 of my 10 shots (the collage was too big to upload with all
    10) for the first challenge. It was a 2 part challenge for me, getting
    the different shots and trying to stay warm since it was 15 degrees F.
    outside. After that, I’m looking forward to locking myself in the
    bathroom for an hour to do the next challenge.

  • lee kivi

    Doesn’t look like it’s working, I dragged images over, I see them in the picture section, I hit post and the photo is there until I come back and then… nada. A message came up this time saying it couldn’t find any attached images.

    • P James

      I checked the help menu. Max file size is 2 mb, file types accepted are .jpg, .jpeg, .png.
      And I have changed my privacy settings to see if I can still post a sample pic.

      • Carol McCall

        This is sooo Beautiful!

      • Marjorie Bull

        That’s gorgeous! I love snow in pictures, or through a window, just not up close and personal. Really nice shot here.

        • P James

          Thanks for all your comments Marjorie. This was captured from a moving vehicle (no, I wasn’t driving). Landscapes and frost….something magical.

    • I’m not sure what you’re experiencing Lee. In the bottom corner, you just click the image icon and choose an image. Put a few words into the comment section and post. I’ve just tried this and it seems to work. Make sure you’re logged into your disqus account of course.

  • lee kivi

    Thanks for all the responses to my problem of not being able to post pictures,I’m trying one more time. The picture is a jpeg at 1.7mb and I upload it to the proper area (the picture icon). The picture appears in the proper area, I’m signed in and the button says post as lee kivi. At this point everything looks good. After I hit post, my photo is still there, but when I come back later…no photo. Maybe it’s a commentary on my photo, I didn’t think it was so bad it should be rejected:-))

    • P James

      Congrats on finally getting the images posted!! I really like the variety. What did you use to make the collage?

      • lee kivi

        Thanks! I used Picassa for the collage, its a free program that works
        pretty well for me. With it you can do basic edits to a shot like
        cropping, contrast,fill light, some color adjustments and about a dozen
        different effects., It also has a variety of frames that you can add to a photo.

      • You can also use PicMonkey for collages:

  • lee kivi

    It looks like maybe it worked this time. I don’t know what I did different, but the photo is still there:-)

  • Have the perfect subject for my year long challenge, I have a puppy that is 8 weeks old, In a year’s time she will be a dog, not a puppy so this will get me in gear to her baby book, no excuses! I actually took these yesterday but I’m not really sure which to use, Jazzy by herself or with her buddy, Patches. At any rate, now I am committed to making her book.

  • Carol McCall

    Just starting out and know nothing about settings on a camera. So I love this e-book with the challenges and have done challenge one. Needless to say the beauty I was seeing with my eyes does not come out in my photography. Okay I do have other photos that will not load. I did walk all around this beautiful tree snapping photos at other angles and some close ups. Will try again later to post others. Would love to be able to fly over it to get that very top view. Just a little to tall for me. lol Thank you ever so much for the e-Book. Now on to Challenge Two.

  • For the 52 week challenge I am doing pictures of my puppy. 1st one wasn’t to good but the 2nd was more in focus and shot from a better prespective, laid down flat on the ground, the first week it had rained and the ground was muddy. I do have some special challenges, my pygmy goats see me laying on the ground and they come over to see what is going on and will stand on top of me for a better view. Talk about challenges! The first photograph in this collage is from week one and the rest are from week 2.

  • Tonia Lee

    I love close ups. Thanks for the tips. The camera sees more than our eyes can see. Some things are most amazing when we get the camera to see for us!

  • Between your “pushing” me to get in gear and DPS I have learned so much in such a short period of time, (now I’m sure that you can teach an old dog new tricks). I got my first DSLR for Christmas and didn’t take but a couple of shots on auto until I discovered you. Not only am I sticking to my 52 week challenge to myself but I can even see where I am improving every week. I have the nerve to just go ahead and shoot pictures even if they are all going to be deleted since I learn something every time I pick up my camera. Darlene, thank you so much for all your support and help. I don’t know if you know how much your support means to beginners who don’t have any photography buddies to bounce things off of.

    • Thanks CC that means a lot to me also!

      • NeutralDensity

        In it for the praise. That doesn’t surprise me.

  • Krystle Mosley

    I haven’t been able to do an actual challenge yet due to crazy kids! So I take advantage or those beautiful little girls, and this is what I came up with. I also have done a few newborn sessions so I’ll add one of those too.

  • Annie G

    Nathalie, I love your images and am also inspired. Hope to be posting soon.

  • Annie G

    Darlene, This is the most fun I’ve had with my camera since I bought it! Thanks so much for this website, it helps so much to have a challenge to get motivated. I’m enjoying this a lot and look forward to meeting new challenges.

  • Marjorie Bull

    Darlene, I just want to assure you that I am far more active in taking and editing the pictures than I am in posting my progress here! When I get a dull grey day with a dull grey mood, I just dip into the Challenges book and it really helps me get back into gear.

    I want to share my method for No. 8, Look At Art, because it’s something others can so easily do.

    I have an artist friend whose Facebook page is almost entirely devoted to re-posting artwork she finds on the FB pages created by various museums and galleries, ranging from the biggies (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York , Art Institute of Chicago etc.) to the local ones in her town. She follows them all, and I follow her, and every morning I am greeted by twenty or thirty artworks of various levels of fame and mastery. It’s a delightful way to start the day, just looking for one minute–or even ten seconds–and asking “What do I like or dislike here, and why?”

    If you don’t have a friend to do it for you, it’s easy to set it up yourself Just find the museum pages (use the search box and after you’ve LIKEd one or two, Facebook will suggest more for you) and FOLLOW them so you receive their posts regularly.

  • Ben Weaver

    This book has really helped me start out in the world of photography. I am a total beginner, but following the challenges has helped me take some good photos that I am proud of and that friends who have been doing this for years agree are well taken, composed and captured photos. I decided I wanted to do a project, but the full month, 52 week and 365s were simply too intimidating for a newbie like me, so I adapted one for myself. I wanted it to last a good while to fully instil the habit of taking photos and thinking about what I’m going to go out and try to capture as well as always looking around me for unexpected opportunities. I decided to stick to one theme per month for the next six months and post my best shot from each full week each month and therefore have 24 photos to complete the project. I post them on Facebook for friends and family and to my flckr account too As always, praise is nice, but constructive criticism is more welcome! I must add that there is no post-production on any of these photos (even cropping) because part of the aim of the project is to learn to take the better shot in the first place. Here are my first two weeks, the theme for June is Water.

    • Marjorie Bull

      Both really good pics, but the second one, where the water is actually the subject of the photo, is terrific.

  • Ed Vellis

    Would love some feedback, but sure how this works???

    • Marjorie Bull

      All nice work, but my fave is the yellow wildflowers with the gnarly tree trunk.

  • Boletta Fretheim

    I’m doing a B/W challenge. I love photographing dogs..this one is mine. The light is different in B/W more challenging, but I like how these turned out.

  • Kelly

    Great ideas – challenged myself to take 30 pictures in 30 days of black and white subjects for black and white photos. Still a work in progress but it made me think of both composition and contrast and made me get out there with my camera again.

  • Karima Brooke

    I took the Challenge of walking all round an object and photographing it from different angles – in this case, my little local Youth Club in the early morning. I was amazed at the brightness of the colours!

  • Bob

    Here are a few pictures of a few of my fishing buddies on a little lake south of Caroline, AB. They kept me company last Tuesday while I caught a few rainbow trout.

  • Jenn

    Hi All! Here’s my submission for challenge #1. I’m open to any feedback. Thanks!

    • These are awesome. Love it. A walk around the book shelf. I especially like the top down view, but they’re all quite good.

      • Jenn

        Thanks so much Rob! I appreciate your feedback 🙂

    • Carmen Ray Anderson

      really nice collage of different vies of the bookshelf. Love the light

      • Jenn

        Thanks, Carmen! I get great light in my apartment. Definitely makes for some nice photos.

  • Benjamuna

    My bicycle…

  • Benjamuna

    Oh my….. Pictures are too big – help…

  • madeline schwarz

    Tried both challenges at once – getting closer, and walking around (shot underside through the glass). The moth was fairly bland, so I converted it to B&W.

    • Marjorie Bull

      This is SO beautiful! Proof, if any were needed, that color isn’t everything.

    • Carmen Ray Anderson

      these are beautiful

  • madeline schwarz

    Tried getting up close as well as going around (underneath) this moth. Decided to convert to B&W since it was a fairly bland image.

  • Marjorie Bull

    I decided to do a 1-year weekly challenge. Every week I’m taking one of my pictures–new or old, doesn’t matter–and adding the text of a favorite quotation that seems to match it well. This is a triple challenge: first to get a truly excellent image, second to find a quote that captures the essential “feel” of it, and third to add the text in a way that doesn’t look like I just slapped it on any-which-way but chose the font and the formatting to make a statement. They’re suitable for sharing on social media (everybody please feel free to share) and I’ve made them available for sale on Redbubble dot com. (username there is MarjorieB) So far I’ve been at it for three months and have twelve posters,. Here’s a link to the Facebook album.

  • Marjorie Bull

    A favorite from my poster project.

  • Marjorie Bull

    A favorite from my poster project. (The newest is always my favorite until the next one is finished.)

  • Matthew D

    I did the “walk around” challenge tonight in my garage.

  • Craig Ferry

    I was out walking today to do some the first challenge and spotted a little color in a dying flower garden. The link shows some of the shots that I took.

  • Seliosa

    I signed up for the ebook but I still haven’t received the download link!

    • Please check your junk or spam folders to see if it went in there. If you do not find it use our contact form and I will look it up for you.

    • Did you receive it? Use the contact form to let me know your email and I’ll check for you.

  • David Gross

    It was a VERY busy week in the Florida Keys. The camera is now with me ALL the time, above and BELOW the water.

  • David Gross
  • Dick Zuilekom

    Hi Darlene. You got me working allright ! After buying a new camera and reading all about apertures, shutterspeed and ISO I went for the walkaround excercise.
    Great fun !

  • Darlene Conlon

    Will be starting challenge one today, actually pretty excited to do this lol

  • Paul C

    I need to get the book again but it keeps saying I am already signed up

  • Carlo

    Hi, great book! Here are my first attempts. Any advice welcome to get better shots.

    • Marjorie Bull

      I LOVE the road between the trees! Such lovely tangled branches. And the interplay of warm and cool light on the tree trunks and boughs is a subtle but wonderful form of contrast.

  • Laurna Macnear

    Unable to sign up, says I’m entering an invalid address.. both I tried are definitely good 🙁

    • Hi Laura, sorry we were out a bit over the holidays. Did you get it to work?

  • Carmen Anderson

    Hi Darlene, I am trying to access the challenge book and unless I am mistaken, I have not received an email with the link, yet. Please have a look and see if there is a technical error 🙂

  • Carmen Anderson

    Hi, I have a series of different views of my subject, but I don’t know how to make them into a collage or smaller images to upload here 🙂

  • Eric Michaels

    I sort of fulfilled some of Challenge #1 on my vacation last summer. I took several different photos of the same area of the Snake River in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and did one in color and one in black-and-white. I hope they come out big enough to see!

  • Carmen Anderson

    Finally got the first challenge into a collage… admittedly a very poor collage but a collage nevertheless. These photos were taken at the local dam, and I see sharpness is a problem for me.

    • Hi Carmen – great effort here. I can see lots of variety. Did you figure out what was causing your sharpness issues? Was it shutter speed?

      • Carmen Anderson

        Thank you Darlene. I have a camera shake problem all the time, as I have a constant tremor. I think I can minimize it if I shoot at a higher shutter speed, which can’t work all the time, so I must use the tripod more often. Also, I am still getting to grips with focus

        • Yes that will do it, keep working on that. You’re going in the right direction.

  • Carmen Ray Anderson

    Challenge Number Two: I am still trying to understand how to focus my camera but I think I have some pretty sharp images here… This was fun

  • Joost Lohman

    Yesterday I did the “Walk around your subject” challenge. Here is a collage and a link to my Lightroom page:

    I really enjoyed doing this; looking forward to your comments.

    • Carmen Ray Anderson

      you have some lovely shots here… it looks like you had fun, and the light you had that day was wonderful

      • Joost Lohman

        Thanks Carmen

    • Marjorie Bull

      Lovely little church, and lovely images of it! I especially like the one in the lower right corner.

      • Joost Lohman

        Thank you Majorie, much appreciated.

  • Carmen Ray Anderson

    These are some results from my bathroom challenge….. in my case a closet with loo and shower…… no space for tripod hence high ISO and noise. Wondering if my focus is improving?

    • They look sharp to me, but hard to tell at this size. Look at them on your computer at 100% viewing size.

      • Carmen Ray Anderson

        Thanks Darlene 🙂

  • Chris Tygesen

    Here’s the ones that turned out from my “Walk around your Subject” Challenge 1. Really had to think about what would be interesting in what I was seeing and it’s also fascinating to me how the camera sees differently than I do.

  • Chris Tygesen

    Here’s the ones that turned out from my “Walk around your Subject” Challenge 1. Really had to think about what would be interesting in what I was seeing and it’s also fascinating to me how the camera sees differently than I do. (Re-uploaded as collage.)

  • Bob Costall

    Here are 3 images from my Challenge 1 – Walk around your Subject. I chose to “walk around” a rather ordinary bridge over our Whitemud Creek. Of the 58 images I made I wound up with at least 7 images I really like and only one of them showed the whole bridge.

  • Louise B

    First time, newbie! I was checking out the Christmas tree decorations and this is what I discovered. Thought I would move in closer! Oly. OM D E5 M2, ISO 1000, 0EV, 17mm 2.8mm, 1/40. Thank you for the challenges opportunities!

  • Andrei Dragusan

    i did not get the download link :(… pls help!! thank you!

    • I have replied to your email.

    • Andrei Dragusan

      i got your email with the link, thank you so mutch. i have to read it now, i read a few pages today on my way to work, i come back with new photos soon 😀 thany you once again!! best wishes!! Andrei D.

  • Rinku Roy Choudhury
  • Emmy Mcgowan

    Hi. I have still not received my free ebook. I have requested it several times. How to I get it? Thanks

  • Russell Rusty Smith

    Hi, I really don’t have any images pertaing to your 10 challenges that you outlined in this PDF. Well? I do have a lot of images, but if you look at my web site and other social image sharing sites that I post to, you can see how Chapter 8 has influenced my art. “Look AT ART, Lots Of IT!” had special meaning to me.

    This is what art means to me:

    Art is one form of diverse media, to communicate the human condition. Today it is a compilation of all media, in history, the human emphasis on life.

    Art started out as a tool to record history, and events; “this is how we did it, and we were sucessful.” Before written language, the only form of recording events is through drawing pictures on cave walls and sculptures. Skipping about a million years or so, art became a way of illustrating religion, mythical stories, and historical events capturing an event in a single instance where spoken language failed us. Like a circle around a campfire and as the story changes hands, as it is passed to each person. Not an effective nor accurate way of recording history.

    After the Sumerians invented written language and mathematics, it was hard to pass on their stories to the average person, who could not read and write. Only the elite could afford education. So Art reverted back to pictures, but the paintings and sculptures became more detailed. Moving forward a couple thousand years, and Christianity enveloped Europe, the Roccoco period influenced art to be as realistic as it could be. Here we have Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Micheal Angelo, recording the Pope’s law and the aristocratic hierarchy.

    Moving ahead another 800 years…The industrial revolution was upon us. In the mid-1800’s photography became more available. WW1 and the American Civil War, gave birth to a new form that could actually capture an event, moving, and accurately. The term “take my picture”. or steal a moment in time became universal slang for photography. During WW1 the motion picture emerged as a means to communicate to the public of what was actually happening on the front lines.

    For a dozen or so French painters, saw photography, and asked themselves: “how can we compete with Photography?” They realized that photography relied solely on light, these painters applied light theory to their paintings. They said that “there is no true color for any shape. A shape relies on the quality of light for it’s color and tone.” And their subjects changed from Biblical and aristocratic portraits to normal everyday life subjects similar to street photography.

    This point in art history that photography and painting merged together as art form. and That’s what art means to me.

  • Marij Bär
  • Marij Bär
  • Marij Bär
  • Marij Bär

    today I started challenge 4; my project is taking a picture every week of my cats