2020 Photo Challenge #1

Once upon a time I ran a challenge for those of us who love photographing benches (2015) and although some fellow bloggers have suggested running that challenge again, I think benches have had their time in the spotlight. However, I have been thinking of ways to challenge myself (and possibly you) this year and decided to challenge myself by trying out various photographic techniques, skills or concepts. If you would like to join in then I have a 2020 Photo Challenge page set up to explain the simple guidelines and proposed monthly assignments.

January’s theme / technique: Composition and Framing

Composition and Framing is dictated by the camera and lens equipment as well as where you can and cannot stand whilst viewing the subject. Challenge yourself by using a prime lens or not using the zoom on your lens so you have to physically move to take the shot. Often the more creative images come about from taking the time to move around a subject. We’ll explore some of these techniques over the coming months, but for now consider these tips:

    1. Horizontal vs vertical – which looks better? Why?
    2. Missing parts of people or objects irritate the viewer and create an incomplete image. It distracts the eye. So watch the edges of your image.
    3. Rule of thirds
    4. Look for frames – These come in two types, natural or man-made. Natural would be an opening in trees or a rock formation with a hole in it. Man-made frames are doorways, windows or arches. All of these help contain the subject or scene in a form that is very pleasing to the eye.
    5. Watch your background. Make sure that there is nothing there that would detract from your subject. Things like chimneys or lamp-posts growing out of heads and other subjects diverting the eye from the main subject. You want balance by not going in too close but including enough of the environment of the subject or object to contextualise it.
This week's assignment - clearly identify your subject. Begin by explaining your choice. How will you draw attention to it?

I am going to use the same subject throughout this month, but you don’t need to. Each assignment will look at different ways of arranging the subject elements and to recognise the key ingredients of a scene.

My subject this month is the Godrevy lighthouse. Photographed many times and from many different angles and locations. I’ll begin with a photo taken from the town of St Ives itself which overlooks St Ives Bay and towards the north Cornish coastline. On a winter’s day the colours are rather muted shades of ochres and grey and white instead of the usual vibrant colours. The lighthouse quietly lurks in the background, roughly using the rule of thirds by positioning it in the top third of the frame, whilst in the foreground is a blurred observatory tower which I thought neatly balanced the image, the rounded cupola echoing the rounded shape of the rock on which the lighthouse stands.

Unfortunately a branch from a tree mars the bottom right of this image but I was reluctant to crop that out as it altered the balance of the photo so on point #5 I failed.

[Olympus E-M10 Camera with a 40-150mm zoom lens, focal length: 125mm, F.stop: f/5.4]

If you would like to join in with my 2020 photo challenge then please take a look at my 2020 Photo Challenge page.

No complicated rules, just a camera required 🙂

    • Create your own post with some information about how you composed the shot.
    • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
    • Add the tag #2020PhotoChallenge so everyone can find your entry easily in the WP Reader
    • Get your post(s) in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in February.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.