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Make the Ordinary Look Extraordinary – Photography Challenge

Each month here on Digital Photo Mentor I offer up a new photography challenge. You may have seen challenges on other sites, but mine are a little different. These challenges are not merely a theme to shoot, they push you outside your comfort zone, they may be hard and uncomfortable and you may want to quit.

But the idea is that if you really want to take your photography to the next level – you have to do something different than you're doing now. Only by trying new things, and doing that which is hard, will you advance. So – are you ready for this month's challenge?

Make the ordinary look extraordinary

It's relatively easy to take photos of things which are beautiful and inherently interesting like sunsets, puppies, children, flowers, etc. But to photograph everyday, ordinary, boring things – and make them look interesting, and aesthetically pleasing to the viewer, is a bit harder.

A fish-eye lens add an odd distortion to things.
A fish-eye lens add an odd distortion to things.
An organ in an old church at night with some light painting becomes a spooky subject.
An organ in an old church at night with some light painting becomes a spooky subject.
Motion blur added by moving the camera during the exposure.
Motion blur added by moving the camera during the exposure.

Last month's challenge – be one with your tripod

Last time around I urged you to use your tripod for everything you shoot, for an entire month. Here's what some of you had to say about the experience:

  • Eugene Shuler said: This challenge caused me to become familiar with the new tripod and more comfortable with using it. In the past, I only used the tripod for night shots and landscape shots. Now, however, I am quit comfortable with using it for portrait shots as well. It only took two or three sessions to attain that level of comfort. The greatest improvement I've noticed is better focus with less blur than before. In the future, I will have no problem making sure my tripod is with me whenever and wherever I am photographing. Referencing your challenge title, “I am now one with my tripod.”
  • Kim Passmore said: I went to Montreal a few weeks ago. I did a lot of outdoor daytime shooting and ALL my shots were taken on my tripod except for some panoramic skyline shots and some ground level shots of the snow. And of course all my indoor shots were on my tripod as well. I found that my shots were all tack sharp, and looked so much better than if I had done them hand held, and because it takes time to set up the tripod shot, I found that I spent a lot more time choosing my composition and framing of my shots. I can notice a definite improvement in the quality of my photos now.
  • Mary James noted: I had not used a tripod until recently so for me it is a huge challenge. Initially I found it very awkward but I am surprised how quickly one adapts. I still feel rather conspicuous when using and haven't done any portrai shots yet. Once tripod is set up I do find it feels better having hands free and engaging with subject of interest on a different level. 
  • Mary again (this is a good one to take notice of for everyone): Ah, the tripod … don't go out without it! On a recent brief trip to Sydney I made sure the tripod was packed, BUT then felt that being out about with visitors didn't quite lend itself to carrying it around with me – big mistake. They would not have been bothered in the least, so I was really giving way to my own anxieties of being too conspicuous.

And the winner is . . .

Congratulations to Mary for being selected from the eligible entries! Your prize is on its way to your email inbox now. Thanks everyone, as always, for participating and being willing to try new and challenging things.

Details for this month's challenge

ordinary to extraordinary photography challenge
Try black and white, and a shallow depth of field.
ordinary to extraordinary photography challenge
Get close to capture fine details (notice the spider web?) and try black and white.
ordinary-extraordinary-750px-03
Shoot in black and white, and try some light painting in the dark.

Finding ordinary things shouldn't be all that hard – look around the room you're in now, what do you see: books, papers, shoes, DVDs, tissue, plants, furniture, etc? The challenge here will be how to photograph these things to make them look more appealing and interesting. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Try macro photography and get some close-ups of little details. Things sometimes look completely different at that level. Read: The Ultimate Guide – Macro Photography for more tips on that.
  • Do some special effects like maybe light painting, or motion blur.
  • Use different qualities of light: try hard light, then switch to soft light.
  • Shoot from a funky camera angle: down low, up high, through something, put the object on a piece of glass and shoot from underneath it. Angles which we don't normally see in our daily lives are instantly more interesting than images shot at eye level.
  • Use shallow depth of field and add some bokeh in the background.
  • Shoot it in black and white or convert it using your favorite processing software.
  • Photograph it at night, or in the dark with a spotlight or flashlight.
  • Shoot for texturemake sure the light enhances the texture of the object.
  • Go ultra wide with a fish-eye lens if you have one (or you can borrow or rent one for a day).
  • Make a silhouette by backlighting the object if it has an interesting shape.
ordinary-extraordinary-750px-10
Try macro photography.
ordinary-extraordinary-750px-14
Macro and a shallow depth of field makes this make-up sponge seem like it's from another world.
I love antiques and have a few old relics around my house that look great close-up.
I love antiques and have a few old relics around my house that look great close-up.

This is a doorknob in my house.
This is a doorknob in my house.

My cat likes to hide in the window and I captured just her eye behind the leaf using my smartphone.
My cat likes to hide in the window and I captured just her eye behind the leaf using my smartphone.
Photograph your morning coffee and snack.
Photograph your morning coffee and snack. I added extra grain here to give it an old film photography look.
A camera bag close-up (this one was actually taken at WPPI, I don't own this bag).
A camera bag close-up (this one was actually taken at WPPI, I don't own this bag).

To be eligible to win the prize:

In order to participate in this challenge and be eligible for this prize you need to:

  1. Take a photo of something ordinary and boring, and make it look exciting.
  2. Tell us what the object is (if you nailed #1 above we may not even be able to tell from your image) and what you did to make it look different. Did you employ one or more of the ideas mentioned above? Something else? Do tell us your technique!
  3. Upload your photo and shooting info by the cut-off date of April 3rd, 2016 (11:59 pm EST or UTC-5)

You may post more than one photo, and do this as many times as you like over the month. The more you practice the better you'll get at it, like anything.

Photograph for texture.
Photograph for texture.
Use a really wide aperture and create some bokeh. This is a plastic ornament.
Use a really wide aperture and create some bokeh. This is a plastic ornament.
This could be a week in your yard, but photographed using reverse lens macro it becomes visually more interesting.
This could be a week in your yard, but photographed using reverse lens macro it becomes visually more interesting.

Prize

A $50 Amazon gift card to buy yourself a photography book of your choice, so you can continue your journey and keep learning.

Cheers,
Darlene-1-250x130.png

You are here: Photography Challenges » Make the Ordinary Look Extraordinary – Photography Challenge

lightroom alternative photo editing software

  • DavidR8

    How about this…
    Shot close up, f2. handheld on the side of the road while walking…

  • DavidR8

    And then there’s this…

    • Awesome, remember to tell us how you achieved the images to be eligible for the prize.

  • Tran Bui

    This is picture of lotus leaves. I took this picture by iPhone, at 08:00AM on the way from parking lot to office. Then I converted it to black and white.
    I would appreciate your criticisms.

    • Mick Miller

      When I first saw this photo I thought they were paper muffin cups turned inside out. The only thing I could suggest is to use the cloning tool to burn in the bright leaf at the lower bottom right. For me turning the picture to B&W created a sense of mystery. I was wondering how many MP is your iPhone.

      • Tran Bui

        Thanks for your comment. I thought the bright leaf at the right bottom may increase the sense of mystery.
        I used iPhone 6, not very sure of its MP :).

  • tkgold

    Shot with an iPhone from the top level of a stunning staircase at a museum in Chicago. I just held the phone out over the opening and clicked. The stair is lit by daylight. Can you see the koi in the water at the bottom?

  • JHellyer

    Last summer I saw this old weathered tree in Rocky Mountain National Park which looked amazing. Took this very close looking up the tree to capture the spinning of the grain. However I was really unhappy with how it turned out as the bright blue sky in the background washed the tree out. Reading your post I opened LR converted it to black and white, dropped the contrast way down and bumped up the clarity and POP! Now I love this photo.

  • This was shot in my hotel room. I drop something behind the TV. As I looked behind he TV, I noticed the horizontal wood panel and the reflection of the natural light from the window and the lamp above on the mirror. I framed the way I liked and took this shot.

  • Sophia

    This is water on a black reflective tile panel. I shot it up close and lit it with a speedlite in a dark room. My aperture was small for a really shallow depth of field. It actually came about as I was photographing a wet mop. The light in the water caught my eye so I got really close and manipulated the speedlite to make the water really glisten. I call it “raindrop galaxy” 🙂

    • Great job! You used a small f-number like f/4 or a small opening like f/22?

  • Stacy Moe

    This is my daughter practicing her dance solo. I had my ‘big’ lens on (70-200) and this is what I could fit into the frame. It’s one of her favorites from that day (although the color/exposure/focus is not the best IMO)

  • Stacy Moe

    Snowflakes on moss. I was having shutter withdrawals in the dead of winter, so ventured out into the woods, hoping to see an owl or something ‘exciting’. Just got as close as I could and still focus on the snowflakes with my 55-250 lens.

  • fijianseas

    Graffiti on a picnic table at a Kansas City BBQ joint. I liked the dirty texture of the bright blue table. ISO 100, 27mm, f4.0 1/800

  • Ransel Yoho

    This is a reflection of high intensity kitchen lights rays on the surface of my cell phone taken today with a Samsung NX Mini [f1.8/ISO200/17mm/1/50sec]. Processed in Lightroom, blur added in Photoshop.

  • Mark Allen

    I crawled in real close and took this image of this fungi growing on a log in a overcut area near my home. Didn’t have my macro with me, so used the 24-70 that was on the camera when I grabbed it.

  • Mark Allen

    We used to call these suicide knobs when I was much younger. I was on the wheel of an old tractor on a dilapidated barn we found just driving around.

  • Mike

    Hey Darlene! Thanks for these Challenges, they always seem to help get me out taking photos. This is a picture of a light array at our local zoo. By itself was kinda cool but to get this shot i used about a 2 second exposure and did a bouncing ball kind of pan. There were a bunch of photos that came out of this night but this was by far my favorite with all the colors.

    • Awesome that’s the idea! Glad it’s working for you. I’ll keep posting them as long as you guys keep doing them!

  • Terry Titmarsh

    Monthly Challenge – March 2016. I attach a photo of clock and watch faces arranged in a Fibonacci Spiral (as close as I can get it). I took the photos with my IPad Air using the camera function with a macro lens attachment, for several, to really show how a simple everyday item might be more interesting. Arranging multiple clock/watch faces took some time but was a good challenge. I used Collage Pro HD to do the arrangement and resize the individual faces in the spiral. I was aiming to have a viewer’s eye start on the left hand side and follow the spiral to its centre. I added a little lens flare using LensFX to give the arrangement a little bit of extra sparkle. Hopefully my effort demonstrates how an everyday item can bring a smile to a face.

  • Emmie’s Grandpa

    I was walking around the “back forty” in the morning as the sunbeams were starting make their way through the trees. I saw this lone pine needle, spotlighted in the shade, defying the odds by having landed upside down on a small limb instead of landing on the forest bed like the millions of others. I shot it with my 105 macro which is a fun lens to walk around the woods with. I easily blurred the background at F/4 and processed it in Lightroom by converting the image to black and white, reducing the contrast to make the background even moodier and used an adjustment brush to re-sharpen the needle itself.

  • Eric Michaels

    I took a photo of the sunset at Doheny Beach in California. I then used the “Paint” effect from NCH PhotoPad and applied it several times. What I feel I have here is the sunset pared down to its essence; slabs of color that still tell the “Sunset” story. The orange sky, the bright setting sun, the sunset colors on the water, and the dark shoreline cast in shadow can still be made out but in a highly impressionistic style.

    • Dick Zuilekom

      Highly original, Eric Nice shot !
      Dick Zuilekom

      • Eric Michaels

        Thanks, Dick.

    • I agree, cool effect.

  • Gregg Hasenjaeger

    Texture of the ice, and snow on the branches.

  • Gregg Hasenjaeger

    Again texture of the snow and texture and formations of the ice plus motion in the water.

  • Gregg Hasenjaeger

    I’m going to just let you enjoy this one. There are too many aspects for me to list (in my opinion).

    • Jorge Custodio

      Lente invertida

    • Gregg Hasenjaeger

      I went for maximum depth of field to show all the various textures and detail in the water. The colors and textures are what drew my attention to this image just waiting to be captured. The depth of everything above, below or breaking the surface of the water were interesting.

      • Agreed. Did you try the shot with and without a polarizer? it might cut the reflections so you can see even more under the water.

    • Nice images Gregg. How are they making the subject look different or extraordinary to you? It’s all in how you see it – tell me?

  • Under the Deception Pass Bridge, Whidbey Island, WA. Canon 7D w/28-200mm. Hand held, 1/100 sec @ f6.3, 57mm ISO 200.

  • Maria R

    Twinkling lights from a floor lamp. Nikon D3100. Nikkor 40mm. I always wondered how pics got a blurry background (bokeh) without using Photoshop. I read a bunch of articles, got myself the Nikkor 40mm lens and voila. I’m seeing things in a different light.

    • Awesome! I love how you did research, got a new piece of gear to help you do it and achieved what you wanted. Great job.

  • C E

    An ordinary clothes line; decorated by nature; captured with a macro lens

  • Joie Fadde

    Window Shadows on the Window Sill. Noticed these shadows one morning while at work and being I had my camera with me at the time (Was on the roof taking a Manhattan Skyline Panoramic earlier), decided to take some creative shots of the shadows.

  • Mark Stanley-Adams

    Detail of the volume control knob on an electric guitar. I shot this using natural light coming through a large window mostly behind and to the left of the subject, and held my hand above the knob, just out of frame, to knock out the reflection off the top surface. Shot with a Canon 500D through a 100mm macro lens. 1/30 sec at f/16

  • jon lipinski

    Hello, this is a picture of a hinge on a very rotten old farmyard gate. I went out and shot everything in black & white as a personal challenge. Some looked great, some not so great and some quite yuk! Anyway, hers’s my offerings. They were taken with my 35mm lens on my Nikon D3200 (C sensor). The first was taken at f3.5 the second at f1.8

    • LOVE the second one! See how that narrow depth of field really brings your attention to the sharp parts.

  • jon lipinski

    Here’s a picture of a wooded area that was up on a ridge above me with the sun behind it. I managed to hide the sun behind a tree. Handheld at f16 and camera mode set to Black & White. ps. I’ve been reading a great book by John Walmsley ‘Mastering Black and White Photography’. Well worth buying.

  • Tony Hague

    Spaghetti
    Shot from above on my green chopping board, natural light. f3.5 1/4s

    • jon lipinski

      Great angle shot of an seemingly uninteresting subject! The green chopping board gives it an even more pleasing look – I love this photo 🙂

      • Tony Hague

        Thank you Jon, I appreciate the kind comment 😉

    • lee kivi

      That did turn out well

      • Tony Hague

        Thank you Lee

    • Glenda McDonald

      I like it. Looks like some sort of macro shot of a flower.

      • Tony Hague

        Thanks Glenda 🙂
        My first thought was it looked a bit like one of those fibre optic lamps

    • Karen Boggs

      I think this is great. I never would have known it was spaghetti if you hadn’t identified it.

      • Tony Hague

        Thank you Karen 😉

    • Great job and indeed the green cutting board adds just a hint of color.

  • jon lipinski

    These are a pair of adjustable spanners (or monkey wrenches for our friends across the pond) that belonged to my dad. They were photographed with a 35mm prime lens set at f1.8. I added a vignette in Lightroom and some heavy grain and ‘old camera’ effect in Corel Paintshop Pro (a cheaper but amazingly good alternative to PhotoShop). Hope you like it. 🙂

  • Mark Stanley-Adams

    I have a very small spirit level which I use on my tripod. For this shot, I placed it on an old lightbox (which I use to view my 35mm slides and negatives). I rather enjoy the abstract quality of the lines and shapes formed by the bubble’s prismatic properties. I shot this through a Canon 100mm macro lens at 0.4 sec and f/11, mounted on a 500D body. Yes, I know it’s an old camera now, but I’m very attached to it.

    • Jadene Huston

      Nice pic Mark. I love your profile shot even more! Is there a story with that one?

      • Mark Stanley-Adams

        Thank you, Jadene… I’m chuffed you like it. As for the profile pic, not much of a story – a photographer friend of mine was trying a couple of strip-lights he’d just picked up, and asked me to pose for him. He said ‘animate your face!’, and this was the result. I must confess I generally don’t like seeing pics of myself, but he did a great job with this one.

        • Jadene Huston

          It’s such a great image and pose. It screams creative genius at work! I want to try that sometime! All the best.

          • Mark Stanley-Adams

            And all the best to you as well 🙂

  • Darren Webley

    My glasses on a learn to play golf book. Taken with my Nikon D3300 and Tamron 70-300mm lens. A 4 second exposure to blur the flames and tweaked in Color Efex Pro to give it a warm glow.

    • jon lipinski

      A cosy looking lounge. Is that scotch I see??

      • Darren Webley

        I have to confess it’s cold tea. I drank all the scotch the previous evening.

    • lee kivi

      Nicely done

    • Fantastic!

  • Dick Zuilekom

    Bicycle “Power plant “

    • hey it worked!

      • Dick Zuilekom

        That’s why you’re the Mentor and I the simple newbie !
        Thanks, Dick

  • P James

    Wire Art. 60mm Macro on Canon 70D. F9, 1.6 Sec, ISO 100. Main light is overcast window light. Post processing in Elements with a radial blur.

  • P James

    Condensation. 60mm Macro. Window light, white balanced for shaded light. Really loved the pattern of the droplets and the reflections. Moisture inside the plastic dome of a miniature greenhouse with young seedlings.

    • jon lipinski

      Hi there P James. I really love the reflections – nice shot.

    • lee kivi

      Good job

      • P James

        Thanks Lee. I am kinda addicted to this challenge.

    • Karen Boggs

      I really love this. Water intrigues me.

  • Note pad bent to create waves

  • Note pad bent to form waves

  • Claudina Di Martino

    This is a train track. It was my first shootting with my camera, a Nikon D7100 with a 18-200 lense. I laid down on the ground to take the shot. I used the minimun depht of field possible. My intention was to make it look like a road. It has no post processing at all (I didn’t know how to do it back then! ha ha) Hope you like it!

  • Jadene Huston

    My first real food photography. Looking at them makes me thirsty. Natural light, iso 100,1/6, f18, 105mm macro. Great challenge because I’m looking at everything differently now.

  • Jadene Huston

    My first attempt at food photography. Looking at these lemons makes me thirsty! Natural light, iso 100, 1/6 sec. f18, 105mm macro. CC welcome. Thanks for the challenge Darlene. I’m looking at everything differently now.

    • Great – that’s the idea!! Photographers see things that others pass by every day. I was with a group of family members in Vegas once and we were walking down the strip. They all passed over the crosswalk – I stopped and picked up an old fashioned key that was there. None of them saw it.

  • Annie G

    Lots of really cool entries this time. This is a fun challenge. Hope you like this shot I took at a local flea market. An old suitcase with a lot of stories to tell.

  • Susan Handy

    Old paintbrushes by candlelight on fabric, taken with a Sony A7II/Zeiss 55 lens, tweaked in Lightroom.

  • P James

    60 mm macro at 2.8. Lit by the distant setting sun. Converted to black and white in Elements. Just some baubles laying around on my wife’s dresser.

  • Gail Wilson

    Gold bodypaint brought out so much extra texture to skin under studio lights. Taken with a Canon 7D MarkII and a tamron 18-200 mm lens.

  • Carol Senske

    I have two photos so far – loving this challenge! The first is a puddle of leaves shot today. I moved the camera as I pushed the shutter to get a nice blur for an abstract image. Manual mode with 1/40 s, f 8.0, ISO 200, focal length . My camera is a Canon T4i and I paired it with a Tamron macro lens, 90 mm 1:1

    The second photo is from my cell phone while I waited at a train station for my sister to arrive. The rain on the windshield made the parked cars and town buildings look marvelously strange and wriggly. I actually took a series of pictures because the images intrigued me:>) 1/290 s, f 2.6, ISO 50, focal length 2.8 mm. Tis is a TracFone Samsung Galaxy Cell phone.

  • Graham Smith

    Also shot in a hotel room one evening to stave off boredom. I made good use of the three sheets of writing paper in the drawer, to make a snoot, a reflector, and a “softbox” or scrim. The bottle was on a small worktop with a harsh downlight above it. One sheet of paper was held between the two to turn the downlight into a much softer and larger light source. The second was curled and stood up on edge behind the bottle, to provide a reflected backlight, and the smooth reflection in the pool of water. The third was rolled into a cone shape and placed over my speedlight – aimed past the bottle and onto the background reflector.
    Once the bottle had roughly the correct level of water in it, I laid it down, formed the puddle with a teaspoon, and also used the spoon to gently feed water into the neck of the bottle to form the droplet.

    • Carina Widdifield Le

      Nice use of available materials. I particularly like the reflection.

      • Graham Smith

        Thanks Carina

    • Very creative!

  • Emmie’s Grandpa

    Used an off-camera flash from below to transform my normally sad-eyed basset hound Woodrow into “Nightmare on Woodrow Street”.

    • LOL!!!! I love this!!!!

      • Emmie’s Grandpa

        Thanks Jenny. This is my first contest. Very humbling and a reminder of how many talented people are out there and how constipated my thinking can be in comparison.

        • Constipated LOL, but you are getting outside your box which is a good thing! But oh my poor Woodrow.

    • that is cool!

  • In the Vege Garden #1: Purple Winter Cabbage.
    Image created using my new Lensbaby Composer Pro with Double Glass Optic
    lens on my Nikon D5100. I had the f/4 aperture disc inserted, to create
    a shallow depth of field. ISO-400.

  • In the Vege Garden #2: Gardening Boots.
    Image created using my new Lensbaby Composer Pro with Double Glass Optic
    lens on my Nikon D5100. I had the f/4 aperture disc inserted, to create
    a shallow depth of field. ISO-400.

  • Mick Miller

    Could this be a photo of a black hole in expanding veil of gas and dust 10,000 light years away taken by an amateur astronomer, or a quick shot in the living room of a relative?
    I don’t know if this photo qualifies because I took the original photo on 1/18/2015 with a Nikon D5200; VR 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 G Nikon lens at 22mm; Auto (ISO 2000); 1/30s-f/4; Focus Mode AF-S; AF-Area Mode: Wide Area; VR: on; Metering:Matrix; Picture Control: STANDARD…
    Tonite (3/5/2015) I edit the photo in Paint Shop Pro 9, had a hard time getting the end result I wanted, it took several attempts. I edit my photos to use for a desktop background with the short cut icons on the left & the Window Gadgets (clock, calendar date & slide show) on the right. I also flipped the end result 180 degrees. OK, here is what the original picture is, a shot of my brother’s parrot, Bebe’s eye, he has pass on since I took the picture.
    Darlene, I really like the picture of your cat looking thru the plant & the morning coffee & snack. I got the idea of flipping the shot from one of your articles.

  • Mick Miller

    This picture was shot on 1/18/2015, So I don’t know if it qualify. I had fun editing it though. I use Paint Shop Pro 9 to crop it & rotated the original 90 degrees to get the final image. I worked on it early this morning 3/5/2016. The original photo was, Nikon D5200; Nikon VR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G lens, at 18mm; focus mode: AF-S; AF-Area Mode: Wide Area; VR: on; f/3.5; 1/60s;Metering; Matrix; Auto (ISO 1000); Picture Control STANDARD; Scene Mode: Color Sketch. I zoomed in to do a tight crop to get final image. It’s of wooden slats doors that separate the living room from dining area and a chair arm. I was going for an geometric artistic image

  • Mick Miller

    To get this final image I flipped it upside down, did a tight crop on the floor carpet taken with Nikon D5200 in Scene Mode: Color Sketch with Nikon 18-55mm lens at 18mm; AF-S; VR: on;f/3.5; 1/60s; Metering: Matrix; Auto (ISO 1250); White Balance: Auto; Picture Control: SD; Sharping:3. I was going for the look of blood cell moving thru the veins.

  • P James

    Some Black and White fun on an old trunk that serves as our “coffee table”. 60 mm macro, natural light, vignette and grain added in Elements.

  • Jenni Palmer

    I took this picture with the wine glass sitting on my cell phone with the torch app on and all other lights off. I used a longish exposure of 8 sec to get the star burst of the light source…..and yes the wine was lovely

    • David Brown

      Love the star burst and the fact that it’s Spanish wine!

      • Carina Widdifield Le

        Ditto to what David said – nice work! You could display this in your kitchen or dining area – very elegant!

  • David Brown

    Looking into a reflector telescope. Chose to add a little grain and use black and white to make the photograph a bit more “industrial”

  • Ron Vandenbosch

    the dish / 85mm – 1.4 – iso100

  • David Brown

    Sitting in a bar having a drink and noticed this reflection on the table. Goes to show , always have a camera available!

  • Scott Whiteman

    Wow, there are a lot of great images here. As like some here, this is my first time I have entered anything like this. This was shot in my garage at f/3.5 @ 1/125

  • Nicole Elizabeth

    Beaver Marking
    This photo was shot in a local park in upstate New York. Nikon D5100; 50mm lens.

  • Carina Widdifield Le

    Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter!
    This is a guttering downspout on the side of my house.
    I liked the textures of the metal, wood siding and brick together. The diamond pattern in the gutter bracket made an interesting pattern and the drops of paint (it really is paint) keeps the eye moving within the composition.
    50mm, 1/60 at f6.3

  • Heather

    First attempt at freelensing. Nikon D5200 50mm

  • Bella Carina Imagecraft

    The downspout of the guttering on the side of the house. I liked the diamond pattern made by the metal bracket and how the paint splatter keeps the eye moving within the composition.
    f6.6 1/60s

    • Karen Boggs

      I like it.

      • Carina Widdifield Le

        Thank you, Karen!

  • Dee Dee Werner

    I wanted to try some macro photography and came up with the idea of shooting fruit close up. It wasn’t until I backlit this lemon with a flash light, that it finally popped!

  • Mike Burke

    Abstract sunset created by panning camera on tripod for a 1.3 second exposure. Nikon 1 V1, 28mm at ISO 400 f/7.1

    • P James

      Wonderful image.

  • Tammy Raasch

    Shoot with my iPhone, at a cemetery, then cropped and created a mirror image

    • P James

      Stunning.

      • Tammy Raasch

        Thanks

  • P James

    “Looking back through time.” Image of a simple flower captured by shooting through the open back and lens of an antique Franka bellows camera. Franka was set to “bulb” so I could keep it’s shutter open while I framed my shot. Trying to think “outside the box”. 60mm macro, post conversion to B&W in Elements, crop and grain texture.

    • Carina Widdifield Le

      I love the composition and the creative way you framed the flower with the antique camera. I especially like the contrast between the light and softness of the flower and the dark angles of the bellows.

      • P James

        Thank you so much.

    • Well you certainly were outside the box on this one! But inside the camera LOL!

  • lee kivi

    Does Anybody Know What Time it is?

    I don’t usually shoot macro, so I thought lets do that in B&W and tried different lighting for the shadow.
    Shot at 55mm, f5.6 and and a ss of 1/50.

  • Iveta Meldere

    My first oak leaf macro photo. Natural light.

  • This was made using a pile of dead brown, drifted leaves by my driveway. Really, not very attractive and certainly didn’t strike me as a photo subject! I walked past it many times this month, but last Sunday I thought why not try a few shots and see what happens? I tried the zoom burst technique and was surprised by the colour and pattern that were brought out. The result made me think of feathers. f/22 1s ISO 100
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/akmitchell/25150316843/in/dateposted-public/

  • Pamela Tellez Farmer

    Knob in the dark from Glow bowl light. Toilet in blue.

  • Another image from the same leaf pile, a spot I passed by many times as being too ugly and plain for photography. I posted one earlier, made with zoom burst. This one was done with intentional camera movement. f/22 1s ISO 100 using Nikon D750. I found it interesting how two different methods can create such varying results with the same subject. https://www.flickr.com/photos/akmitchell/25523898400/

  • Pamela Tellez Farmer

    Cabinet door knob in b&w

  • DavidR8

    I must be missing something because I don’t see a photo posted by anyone named “Mary”… I love to see it though!

  • Iveta Meldere

    One more experiment with leaf.Enjoy:)

  • Karen Boggs

    I’m having trouble getting my images small enough to post here. Any advice?

    • What size are they now? In kb? Have you tried resizing them in Canva or PicMonkey if you don’t have Lightroom or Photoshop? They need to be under 2mg if I recall correctly for disqus to accept them. If they are full size out of camera that is likely too big.

      • Karen Boggs

        Thank you for your response Darlene. I use Silkypix as that is the software that comes with the Pentax cameras. I did download Paintnet and was finally able to see what the MB were.

        • Did you get it to work?

          • Karen Boggs

            Yes I did. I downloaded Paint.Net and it made it easy. Thank you

      • Karen Boggs

        Darlene, I want to say that this is the first time I have participated in any of your challenges though I have been receiving your emails for some time. I have had a GREAT time with this! I feel like this challenge has really helped me understand light better. Also, I take my camera with me daily when I go to work. I am always disappointed if I didn’t see something that I wanted to capture or didn’t have the time to stop. This challenge has shown me that I can be more in control of my photography. Thank you so much!

  • Riddhish Gajjar

    Marbles
    This shot is of a marble used by the kids to play on streets and I took it at really low angle by lying on the floor in my home. I have cropped the image in order to get really close and focus on only one marble. There are 5 marbles in a row which won’t be seen in the photo.

    Thanks and regards
    Riddhish

    • Karen Boggs

      nice!

      • Riddhish Gajjar

        Thanks

  • P James

    This is Emma. We had her for 18 years. Sadly, she left us tonight. This is one of my favorite photos of her. Thanks to Darlene and a host of other dedicated photography professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and talents, I get to capture memories of those around me who I cherish and love. At least she’s with her big brother Finnigan, a gentle yellow lab who left us 5 years ago. Nuf said. Not a spectacular image, just a nice tight close-up. Not really intended for the challenge, but I needed to share through the tears. Peter.

    • Karen Boggs

      I’m sorry for your loss. I know how much it hurts to love such sweet members of our families.

      • P James

        Thank you so much.

  • Karen Boggs

    A door lock. I used a 100mm macro lens with f8 2.5s and 100 ISO. This is a new lens so I am having fun experimenting. This is a fun challenge. My first time participating in one and posting and that has had a learning curve as well.

  • Karen Boggs

    My bronzed baby shoes, a big thing at one time. I used a 50mm prime lens. f11 20s and 400 ISO. I had sharper images but chose this one with the gentle blur.

  • Karen Boggs

    One more. Crayons. f11 2s and 100 ISO.

  • lee kivi

    This looks like wood-grains but it is a close-up of a backlit acrylic candle holder in B&W.
    ss320, iso1600, 140mm at f5.6

  • Karen Boggs

    Garden weed. 100mm macro lens f2.8 1/60s and 100 ISO

  • Karen Boggs

    Dandelion. 100mm macro lens f3.5 1/1250s ISO 200.

  • Karen Boggs

    looking into a flashlight. 100mm macro lens, f5.0 .6s ISO 200. Used posterize effects

  • Karen Boggs

    ok my favorite one tonight. A backlit feather. 100mm macro f16 8″s 200 ISO white balance was set to CTE

  • kerry

    Quite possibly the world’s only light painted show blower! Tripod in snow bank, mittens, etc but it still looks like a snowblower in the middle of the night! Canon 6D

    • LOL only in Canada hey Kerry!

    • I bought a new state of the art snowblower last year and didn’t even have to use it

  • Pat Sheehan

    Shovels, hanging on a display. iPhone 6s minor edit with Snapseed. Shot for texture, abstract quality and depth.

  • Karen Boggs

    I am adverse to purchasing photoshop software because the price high and this is a hobby not my profession. I have downloaded GIMP on another computer but I could not on this one because it is not compatible with Windows 10. So I found Paint.Net. I took this picture early on for this challenge. I tried using glowsticks and I kept twisting and rearranging trying to get the effect I wanted until ooops the glow stick sprung a leak all over my counter top. I then tried to spray it on purpose over some tissue paper. I threw some crayons on top. The photo was not what I wanted. So I decided to try using some of the effects form Paint.Net and this is what happened. I like it because it looks like the crayons are becoming part of blown glass. I used two effects one was polar inversion and the other was twist. The original picture was taken with a 50mm prime lens, f7.1, 6″s, and 200 ISO.

  • P James

    For my final submission, I have to thank Karen Boggs for posting some innovative and compelling images. This jumpstarted the creative side of my thinking, instead of just shooting macro, which I tend to use alot, I stepped outside the box and used a different shoot-through medium. So, except for using Elements to make the image smaller for uploading, this is straight out of camera. Shot in diffused sunlight coming from the cloudy day, inside on my kitchen counter I found some every-day things and voila. Used a 24-70 lens, zoomed at 38mm but cropped in as tight as the lens would allow, 2.8 at 1/400th, ISO 200. I like the results. Peter

    • Karen Boggs

      Well, thank you! This is very appealing and shooting through a glass of water is a very interesting idea.

      • P James

        It was something “new” to try. Probably not a novel idea in the world of photography, but it was fun to experiment. For me, this is the rewarding power of these challenges. We get to experience each other’s view of the world around us and I get great inspiration from that. So, thank you. And I took down the photo of my cat, Emma. After some consideration I felt that this really wasn’t the correct forum for that post. But I did truly appreciate your comment.

  • P James

    Ok, that was my second-last submission. Here’s the last one. I’ll just call it “sprinkles”. Just a nice tight macro. 2.8 with a lightening vignette.

  • Rita Heinrichs

    My piano at night,the light is from above. I looked for a pattern in shape of the keys and carefully wedged them down with a wad of paper. I used a 40mm lens at 5.6 and ss at 1/20. Second photo- The most patient model I have ever worked with. I had hoped to create a rainbow but it didn’t work so I used bubbles instead-ISO 200, ss1/40 at f5.6. This is my first attempt at re-sizing a photo to fit disqus requirements, I’m not sure if it will work. I am beginning to think differently about how to take photos, I did use a tripod and appreciate the challenge of this challenge and the wonderful and imaginative images sent in by everyone.

  • This challenge is now over and I will be closing the thread. The winner will be announced shortly – look for the next challenge soon.

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