As you all know it’s 4th of July weekend here in the USA. I’ll take advantage of this 4th of July weekend Challenge to wish a Happy Independence Day weekend to all of my fellow Americans.

Steve Troletti Photography: HAWKS and EAGLES / ÉPERVIERS, BUSES ET AIGLES (Accipitridae) &emdash; Bald Eagle / Pygargue à tête blanche

For many Americans, a great symbol of independence Day in America is the Bald Eagle. It’s also a great symbol for our 4th of July weekend Outdoor Photography Challenge.


The American Flag is also a great Symbol of Independence and National pride for Americans. Although it is the 4th of July weekend in America, I want to expand this Challenge to include our members from all around the world and from every Nationality. Many countries celebrate an Independence Day. I want you to get outdoors and photograph a scene, a symbol of your National Pride.


Around the world National Festivities are often celebrated with fireworks. It may seem simple but fireworks demand a special technique. They also look much better when properly composed with their surroundings.

Steve Troletti Photography: VULTURES / VAUTOURS (Cathartidae) &emdash; Andean Condor / Condor des Andes

It’s not all about flamboyant displays of celebration. We all have a natural heritage, a fauna and flora that is not just indigenous, but a representation of the people who inhabit the land. National Animals and flowers are a great way to share with pride, your natural heritage. The above example, the Andean Condor is Colombia’s National Bird.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Mute Swan / Cygne tuberculé

The Mute Swan happen’s to be both Denmark’s and the United Kingdom’s National Bird. Not surprising as it’s truly a majestic bird.

Steve Troletti Photography: MAMMALS / MAMMIFÈRES &emdash; North American Beaver on his Lodge / Castor d'Amérique sur sa hutte

National Animals’s aren’t just limited to birds. Canada has the North American Beaver to be proud of. Although some argue that the Polar Bear should replace the Beaver as a National Animal, the North American Beaver still holds it’s title of Canadian Pride.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Happy Leaf in Snow! / Feuille heureuse dans la neige!

Plants, trees and Flowers also make the list of National Symbols of pride. Canada is very well known for it’s Maple Leaf. Present on the Flag, it’s also at the center of an agricultural economy, the Maple Syrup and its by-products.

To give this Challenge more of an editorial feel please include a short paragraph telling us why you chose your subject. Share with us the National Pride related to your image.

This is a totally OUTDOOR Challenge. It doesn’t have to be 100% nature as man-made objects are permitted.  If you’re looking for a list of National Animals and Plants, just do a search related to your country of choice.

National Animals on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_animals

National Flower Emblems on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floral_emblem

If you’re going to photograph fireworks here are a few tips from Geoff Lawrence: TIPS for photographing Fireworks: https://www.geofflawrence.com/photographing_fireworks.html


The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.