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Photo Challenge Thread (PCT): Challenge yourself!


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Photo Challenge Thread (PCT): Challenge yourself!
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GSpotter
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: A small town near Wolfsburg, Germany
 
2011-11-09, 14:00

This time, I'm trying something new: I don't have a fixed theme. Instead, each of you should first think about what you shoot normally. And then you should take a picture you normally wouldn't do. Challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone, try something to broaden your experience.

Examples / Suggestions:
- If you are a nature photographer, try a model shoot or some street photography or architecture
- If you are a party animal, documenting your club nights - try to catch a sunrise in nature
- If you normally just take snapshots - pre-visualize a cool scene and try to create it
etc.

Surprise me - and maybe yourself!

The rules are as usual. Entries welcome and encouraged from anybody, regardless of whether you have participated in the challenge previously. All entries must be taken during the period of the challenge itself. No heavy editing or photoshopping. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (11.59 PM - Central European Time / GMT +1, Friday, December 9, 2011.

BTW: I got the inspiration for this challenge from this Phlearn episode.

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin

Last edited by GSpotter : 2011-11-09 at 15:41.
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evan
Formerly CoachKrzyzewski
 
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2011-11-09, 14:57

For the past few months I don't regularly shoot anything so this topic's pretty open ended for me!
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ezkcdude
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2011-11-09, 15:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSpotter View Post
Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (11.59 PM - Central European Time / GMT +1, Friday, November 9, 2011.
I better hurry!
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GSpotter
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: A small town near Wolfsburg, Germany
 
2011-11-09, 15:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
I better hurry!
Well seen. I prolonged the deadline a little bit extra for you...
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Chinney
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2011-11-09, 17:54

Cool idea. I'll have to give this some thought.
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billybobsky
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Join Date: May 2004
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2011-11-09, 20:48

hmm. Not sure what I'd do... I guess I don't do indoor photography all that much.
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AWR
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
 
2011-11-10, 04:44

Good one. While I'll have to give the subject some thought, I'll start with a pledge to take the camera off the Auto setting and use a raw file!
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Xaqtly
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2011-11-17, 00:35

Here's my entry. I spent a few days with my gf at Spring Mountain Motorsports, driving Corvettes very quickly around a track. One of the guys there drove his 458 Italia from Vegas, and he was able to take it out on the track a couple times.

The challenge for me is taking motion photography. I have a hard enough time with stills, and that's still pretty much all I take shots of. So fast motion shots are way out of my comfort zone. This is also an example of trying my hand at panning, because that's a Ferrari coming down a straight section of track and I had to set the camera on rapid fire mode and try to track the cars as they went past.

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GSpotter
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Join Date: May 2004
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2011-11-30, 17:39

Bump.
Xactly needs a bit more competion to be challenged ...
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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2011-12-01, 15:28

I think leaving the topic too open ended makes it more difficult, but that might just be from my perspective.
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Chinney
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2011-12-01, 20:14

I still hope to enter. November has been a crazy month, but December should be better. I have an idea, but it may be difficult.
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AWR
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2011-12-03, 17:08

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billybobsky
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2011-12-08, 17:34

This was a challenge: the entity in this image (a computer on the fritz, and its monitor) was transient, changing every time the computer was rebooted -- this particular aesthetically pleasing set of lines no longer exists. I wanted to capture the image but didn't have my preferred kit of photography gear and was left with the shitty camera on my flip phone. And so you have: Fry's Computer is Fucked


DSC00003 by billybobsky, on Flickr
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2011-12-08, 19:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSpotter View Post
And then you should take a picture you normally wouldn't do. Challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone, try something to broaden your experience.
A wild entry appears!



Ways I challenged myself here that I normally wouldn't do:
  • Socializing with coworkers outside the workplace.
  • Playing a sport that doesn't require a Wiimote.
  • Drinking a regularly replenishing stream of alcohol.
  • Standing in choking distance of cigarette smoke cloud.
  • Being in a country on the opposite side of the world from my home.

Yes, maybe the intent was for the style of photography to be different, not so much the circumstances around taking the photo. Don't care.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2011-12-08, 23:20



What made this so difficult was I had "behind the scene" shooting to do. While I normally have a photojournalistic approach, I had to work extra hard not to get into the way of the video crew that was shooting the program.

Bonus shot:

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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PB PM
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2011-12-09, 16:10

So my challenge was to improve in the area of still life photography, which I realized I needed to work on after last months challenge. Here is my entry for this month.

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AWR
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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2011-12-09, 22:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWR View Post

My shot up there ^^
For this PCT, I posted the photo that I did because it was inside, involved an inanimate object that I couldn't eat, and was taken with a phone. Usually my snaps are of my family, or of nature or sights in their setting. Here, the subject is everything without context. Rare for me.

Deadline, kiss my arse!
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Chinney
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2011-12-10, 08:07

Yeah, can we can an extension on this one? A few days?
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GSpotter
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2011-12-10, 18:10

OK, as I'm currently quite busy myself, I'll extend the contest for one week (until next Friday)
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GSpotter
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2011-12-16, 13:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinney View Post
Yeah, can we can an extension on this one? A few days?
Time is running out ...
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GSpotter
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Join Date: May 2004
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2011-12-20, 15:49

A difficult challenge which makes the judgement not easy.

PB PM: Obviously out of your comfort zone (no bird in sight ). The jewels are a bit dark though, the should look a bit brighter and sparkly.

turtle: An intriguing shot, makes me thinking about the story behind the picture.

brad: Definitely way out of your comfort zone. Honorable mention for the most challenging environment.

billybobsky: Interesting composition, reminds me of some modern art building.
Probably quite a challenge to shoot with that 'camera'.

AWR: Nice find, but I think you could have challenged yourself a bit more.

And so we come to the winner:

Xactly: Great shot, very clear, could have been from a product shooting. Not easy to shoot and definitely a challenge when you are not used to shooting motion shots.
(BTW: To take the challenge to the next step, you can try to use a slower shutter speed when panning to blur the background and increase the impression of speed).

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Chinney
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2011-12-20, 21:39

I am sorry, Gspotter. It just turned out to be impossible this month. My challenge would have been even taking a photo over the past 4-5 weeks, which I have not done.

Congrats to Xactly.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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AWR
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
 
2011-12-21, 08:14

Nice one, Xactly! A worthy winner for a challenging PCT.

GSpotter, you're on the money on my critique. I'll keep thinking. (That said, Brad's back story, yada yada about how striking the setting is.... I think that's him down in Cameron Village on his Tuesday night with the lads. As he didn't win, I won't take it further.)

Looking forward.
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Xaqtly
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2011-12-22, 13:02

Wait, I won? o.o

Wooo! Thanks y'all. GSpotter, I did try a bunch of different shutter speeds to get more motion blur outside the target, but in every case the car I was shooting was also fairly blurry. I wasn't able to match my panning speed to the car's speed quite right so the only way I was able to get a clear shot like the above was to up the shutter speed.

Also, the above shot was very nearly the only shot I took out of about a hundred that was completely in focus. I have no experience with pro level cameras vs my camera, a Canon T2i, and I thought that maybe my camera's ability to focus quickly on a moving target in rapid fire mode is just not good enough to get consistently well-focused pictures on fast targets. For reference, at that part of the track the cars are going around 80, up to maybe 100 MPH.

So I have no idea if I could get better pictures like this simply by getting a vastly better full frame camera (with a better/faster AF system) like you guys use or not. I don't know how much of it is just me doing it wrong vs. the limitations of my camera. I'll post some of the other pics I took from the same day and you can see what I mean.

Anyway, question about the next challenge - would you guys like to go ahead with a new one, or wait until after the holidays?
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billybobsky
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Join Date: May 2004
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2011-12-22, 14:15

go ahead
timing won;t matter...
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GSpotter
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Join Date: May 2004
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2011-12-22, 15:15

I have a few free days now, so I'd say go ahead.

Regarding the action shots: A good AF surely helps. Sensor size doesn't matter: Prior to the D700, I had a D2Hs (I bought one of the last new stock at a good price). Only 4MP, but great quality (for its time). And the AF was one of reasons I switched from the D200. The D200 just didn't stand a chance compared to the D2Hs (which basically was an optimized camera for sports photography).

If you think your AF is not fast enough, you could try to go "old school" (Esp. with motor sport events with many repetitive laps): On the first lap, prefocus on the 'best' position, then disable AF and do not change the settings. On the next lap, follow the action until you have the same frame as when you focussed on the first lap and then click the shutter...

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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2011-12-22, 15:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaqtly View Post
Wait, I won? o.o

Wooo! Thanks y'all. GSpotter, I did try a bunch of different shutter speeds to get more motion blur outside the target, but in every case the car I was shooting was also fairly blurry. I wasn't able to match my panning speed to the car's speed quite right so the only way I was able to get a clear shot like the above was to up the shutter speed.

Also, the above shot was very nearly the only shot I took out of about a hundred that was completely in focus. I have no experience with pro level cameras vs my camera, a Canon T2i, and I thought that maybe my camera's ability to focus quickly on a moving target in rapid fire mode is just not good enough to get consistently well-focused pictures on fast targets. For reference, at that part of the track the cars are going around 80, up to maybe 100 MPH.

So I have no idea if I could get better pictures like this simply by getting a vastly better full frame camera (with a better/faster AF system) like you guys use or not. I don't know how much of it is just me doing it wrong vs. the limitations of my camera. I'll post some of the other pics I took from the same day and you can see what I mean.

Anyway, question about the next challenge - would you guys like to go ahead with a new one, or wait until after the holidays?
The T2i's centre AF point should be good enough (make sure you are in continuous focus mode, not sure what Canon calls that) You want your shutter speed to be around 1/60s and pan with the car, but it will take a lot of practice to get it right.
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