WEEK 48: B&W – Paper

This week we’ll be exploring the creative possibilities of paper. Paper is interesting because it can both reflect light as well as transmit light depending on whether it is being frontlit or backlit. Paper can be bent, folded, crumpled, stacked, fanned, and/or cut to create interesting designs and textures when viewed through the lens of a camera. I encourage you to get creative with your photos this week!

66:365 Paper landscape by Jin Choi

66:365 Paper landscape by Jin Choi

The photo above is an example of light transmission through multiple layers of curved paper that creates an abstract landscape. Notice how less and less light is transmitted through each sheet of paper. There are many photographic options to explore with light transmission through paper. Have fun with it!

2015 WEEK 50: B&W - Shadows by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

2015 WEEK 50: B&W – Shadows by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Feel free to experiment with light shining through paper cutouts as well. Paper lanterns can create unique patterns on a ceiling or wall when lit in a dark room, but you can experiment with cutouts in a single sheet of paper as well.

Folded Paper by Jon Nicholls

Folded Paper by Jon Nicholls

Positioning the light in front of the paper and off to the side will enhance any ridges created by folding or crumpling the paper. You might create an abstract image as above, or if you’re so inclined, you might enjoy some origami or other folded paper sculptures.

Paper Towels and Window Blinds by Sam Cox

Paper Towels and Window Blinds by Sam Cox

Feel free to experiment with “filters” in front of a light source to create different shapes of light and shadow. The straight slats of the window blinds become much more interesting when they bend over the curved edges of paper towels in the photo above.

Seu Sami. by Werllen Castro

Seu Sami. by Werllen Castro

Consider the creative possibilities of photographing stacks of paper (or books) edge-on as in the photo above. You can get creative with the lighting and/or use different shades of paper (or paint) to add a feeling of depth.

Love Heart by Judith

Love Heart by Judith

Or you can get creative by opening the pages of a book and using a dark or light background so that the negative space becomes the subject of the photo as in the image above.

Toronto Star by Neil Moralee

Toronto Star by Neil Moralee

Note that the paper in your photo does not need to fill the entire frame – it can be part of a larger scene. In the photo above, the newspaper is positioned in the frame and lit in such a way as to make it a major part of the composition even though it takes up relatively little space in the overall photo.

This week’s challenge:

  • Create a B&W image of paper. It can be abstract or pictorial – the choice is yours.
  • I encourage you to experiment with the way light interacts with paper to create a unique image.
  • Your final image should be a B&W grayscale image. You can come to that image any way that you would like from capturing B&W in camera to converting in post-processing.
  • Don’t ignore proper exposure, contrast and composition which are especially important in a B&W image.

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to our active community on our Facebook GroupFlickr Groupor 500PX group (or all three). Tag the photo:  #10thanniversaryphotochallenge #2018photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • 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 2018 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.


About thedigitaljeanie

I’m a self-taught photographer and way back when I used to love taking photos, but I allowed a business that I started in 2004 to take over my life and my photographic repertoire was reduced to quick product shots and how-to tutorials. When I joined the PhotoChallenge in December 2015, I was looking to rekindle my creativity and bring some joy back into my photography. I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back. I believe that photography can change the way we see and interact with the world around us. Some people may think that I hide behind the camera, but I feel that I experience the world in a much more intimate way when I am creating a composition in my viewfinder. In those moments distractions disappear, my mind focuses and I am fully present. It is just me and my camera capturing a moment in time that might otherwise go unnoticed. My background is as varied as the photos that I take. I’ve trained and worked as a software engineer, a massage therapist, an English teacher in Vietnam, a photo restoration artist (which is how I learned Photoshop) and for the past twelve years I have run a small software business with my husband where I have been published in numerous books and magazines, appeared on PBS television, created designs for fabric, quilts and machine embroidery and won awards for some of my quilts. It should come as no surprise that I am intensely curious about life and love to learn new things. I am blessed to live in the beautiful state of Colorado, USA in the Rocky Mountain foothills outside of Fort Collins with my husband and cat. You can find me online at: Photos: flickr.com/photos/the-digital-jeanie/ Day job: KaleidoscopeCollections.com Facebook: facebook.com/jeaniesa

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