WEEK 47: Left to the Imagination – 2017 TREVOR CARPENTER PHOTOCHALLENGE

For this week’s challenge, the goal is to leave part of your image up to the viewer’s imagination. By doing so, the viewer will spend more time looking at your image, trying to mentally fill in the missing pieces. By engaging the viewer’s imagination this way, you can create a more memorable, enjoyable photo. As well, since people often see what they want to see, the viewer may fill in the missing pieces in a way that is most special or meaningful to them.

There are a number of ways to engage the viewer’s imagination: You can do so by obscuring part of the scene, by making the viewer wonder what is happening (or what is going to happen next), or by leaving something out of frame entirely. The options are wide open to your creativity as a photographer.

Let’s look at some examples:

Kiss on the Bridge – Eric Minbiole

In this shot, we assume that the couple is kissing, though we can’t actually see them. Their embrace is left to the viewer’s imagination. In particular, by showing just the feet, the photo is much more interesting and memorable than if we’d seen the entire scene.

Negative Space – Jozef Filo

I absolutely love this image: While the person is the main focal point of the image, we can see virtually none of her– from below, we see only a silhouette; from above, the figure is completely obscured by the dark background. Who she is, what she looks like, or where she is going is left completely to the imagination.

Out of the Mist – Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

In this image, the fox is staring intently into the distance. Perhaps it has seen some prey? Perhaps it’s looking for shelter from the cold? It’s up to the viewer to guess. The high-key mist adds to the feeling of mystery, as it obscures most all of the background.

Bad News – Eric Minbiole

In this photo, it appears that the man is reacting to some very bad news. However, the viewer is left to fill in the details on what might have happened.

For this week’s challenge, the goal is to take a photo where the viewer’s imagination fills in the blanks. How you do that is completely up to you– Obscure part of the image; make the viewer wonder about something; leave part open to interpretation; or leave something out entirely. As always, I encourage creativity, or any out of the box ideas you may have. Get your camera, be creative, and enjoy!

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
  • 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.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

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About Eric Minbiole

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been absolutely fascinated with anything technical– electronics, computers, cameras, gadgets, etc. Growing up, I loved taking things apart to see what was inside. While I couldn’t always put things back together, I loved trying to figure out how things work. Because of my love for all things technical, I pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering, and currently work as a Software Engineer. I’ve been fascinated with photography ever since borrowing my parents 110 film camera when I was young. It’s been a great hobby ever since: I love experimenting with photos, and trying new things. I especially love technical and/or trick photography. (“Gimmicks!”, as my wife jokingly calls them 😉 ) While I’m comfortable with the technical side of how to shoot, I struggle more with the artistic side of what to shoot in the first place. This is one reason I quite enjoy this group: There are fun, interesting ideas each week. I joined PhotoChallenge as a participant in 2014, and am amazed at how much this group has helped me learn. Each week, I look forward to the fun, creative challenges that Steve, Trevor, Gary, and Jeremy put together. Most importantly, the weekly challenges give me the motivation to get out there and take photos each week. (Otherwise, I suspect my camera might be gathering dust on the shelf.) As well, interacting with the fantastic members of the group– discussing suggestions, techniques, what works, what doesn’t– has been an invaluable help. I am absolutely thrilled to join the PhotoChallenge team– I’ve learned so much from the group, and hope that I can give back a little bit. If you’d like to see some of my photos, please check out my flickr page.

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