Welcome to week 5 of the 2016 Photo Challenge. We’re back to Black and White photography. For this week your challenge is to shoot a barrier. It can be any kind of barrier like a fence, wall, door, or wind break. The examples in this post are physical barriers, but  you can get creative and shoot something that represents a mental or emotional barrier.
Thames Barrier Long Exposure//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This challenge is intentionally vague and subject to interpretation. You should be able to find something to shoot, that means you should focus on the technical aspects of the shot. The shot above is the Thames Barrier, something I’ve never seen in person but based on the shot above, I’d love to see it someday and photograph it. I found several shots of the barrier, but choose this one because of the long exposure. The barriers are frozen while the water and clouds give a sense of motion. The photographer was deliberate in the use of shutter speed. The tones and textures also make this a great black and white shot.


Fences are obvious barriers, and all too common. Composition makes the shot – perspective with short depth of field and leading lines. Black and white emphasizes the technical aspects of the shot and the texture of the wood. The shot below uses a similar perspective, but a longer depth of field. Again, the grain of wood stands out but also enhances the leading lines.


Black and white can be as much about tones and texture as strong lines. The fence  examples have strong lines, but also rich textures.

Perch Rock Lighthouse, New Brighton//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Other elements of composition you should look for are curves and repetition. The shot above uses both, while the shot below is about the repetition of lines in police barricades. 

SFPD Police Line Do Not Cross//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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 and #photochallenge2016.
  • 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 2016 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.