Photo Challenge Entries

Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge – Week 1

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Yesterday I went to Craven Farm to take some practice photos for Cee’s new challenge that’s all about composition. In this first week of Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge, she asks us to take photos in our comfort zone of focal length. Do we like to zoom in and get close to our subject? Or, do we like to use a wide angle to include the setting around our subject?

At first, I thought my comfort level was probably getting in really close.  With flowers, squirrels and birds, I like to zoom in really close to fill the frame. But after snapping a few photos at Craven Farm, I realized that when I’m out away from home, I still have the tendency to try to get all of my subject within the frame and I often try to include the landscape in the photo. And this, unfortunately, can lead to very boring photos unless the landscape around the subject happens to be dramatic, beautiful, or at least interesting. The photo above is a good example of that. The pumpkin people and strange beast of burden were interesting to see but didn’t make for an interesting photo.

Same with this family of turkeys.

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The turkeys were fun to watch (I didn’t know they made such soft, sweet little chortling sounds) but they made for kind of boring photo subjects. Nobody is going to look at a photo like this and say, “Wow!”

So, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to get a little closer than I normally would and went against the instinct to include all the of the subject within the frame.

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Much better, although we lose the context of the pumpkin-head boy and it turns out that turkeys are kind of hideous close-up.

For the bonus assignment of this challenge, we were supposed to practice taking photos of the same subject using different focal lengths. I did it wrong and used my feet instead of my lens to get closer to my subject. 😦 But it was still a good learning experience. 🙂

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In the first one, I stood back and got all of Old Pumpkin Granny in the frame. She’s kind of cute but nothing in this photo really pops.

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Then I got a little closer. I like the composition better but it’s still kind of a bland photo. Different lighting might have made a difference though. I got out to the farm too late for good light.

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Then I got really close, just getting Old Pumpkin Granny’s head, hat and one shoulder in the photo. I also got off to the side a little bit and it helped the colors not get so washed out by the sunlight. I definitely like this shot the best. This shot shows her hunched shoulders and makes her look more like the old woman that she is supposed to be.

Although I didn’t get the farm and landscape photos that I hoped for and I did part of the assignment wrong, this was a good learning experience. Next time I go out for a photo walk somewhere, I think I will see different photo opportunities than I did before. Thank you, Cee, for sharing your knowledge with us and for challenging us to get out of our comfort zones!

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17 thoughts on “Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge – Week 1

  1. Moving your body instead of a zoom is more than acceptable. I like what you did with this post. Wonderfully done. I agree with you I like the last photo best too because it shows the shoulders better. And moving to get the sun in the right spot was brilliant.

  2. A very worthwhile challenge.

    Like you, I tend to prefer close-ups, but in my new location, I am certainly learning more about composition and landscapes. But its still about the light. Shame you didn’t get good light at the Farm. It makes all the difference.

    1. It’s great you’ve got a spot to get out to get landscape photos. That’s something I would like to work on and apparently really need to work on, given how my distance shots turn out.

  3. What a great post!

    I was nodding thinking, yep, yep all through the first section. I LOL’d when I got to the part about the hideous turkey.

    I still do too many of the include everything type photo, like your first example. They aren’t bad to take, they provide context and a photo diary of places I go and things I see. But I agree with your assessment that they are seldom wow photos with any artistic flair.

    Really nice job with the bonus challenge. Adjusting for light can be so difficult.

  4. I do like taking those include everything kind of shots because, like you say, they are like a photo diary. I like looking through my archives and remembering where I’ve been and what I’ve seen.

    Poor turkeys. They’re not going to win any beauty contests!

  5. Congrats on being featured, Trisha. I liked your post best last week. I thought you did a great job of describing everything and providing example photos.

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