This week we’re going to challenge our perception of the things around us. The idea for this challenge comes from my desire to find magic in the brown winter landscape that currently surrounds me, but it could just as easily apply to anyone who has limited mobility and/or travel restrictions due to COVID lockdowns – or any other limitations.
The other day I went out for a walk among tall dry grass with the goal of finding magic. At first all I could see was brown as far as my eye could see, but then I turned around (looking into the sun) and noticed that the backlit grass was glowing orange and with a shallow depth of field, the bokeh looked magical.
In the case of the dry grass, the “magic” was a combination of back lighting and bokeh, but there are many other ways to find magic. It could be that you look at things from a unique perspective. Or it could be that you get close up and use macro to find something interesting. I combined both of those in the photo below. I had noticed this small patch of moss earlier in the year and I wasn’t all that inspired by it until I put my camera on the ground next to it and then it became a magical forest of sparkling dew drops. (The moss itself wasn’t more than ½ inch tall.)
While “good light” can certainly make a scene magical, magic can also be found by looking at your surroundings in terms of lines, shapes, repeating patterns and textures (as opposed to subjects). Don’t forget to look for shadows as part of this exercise. Check out these previous challenges for ideas:
- 2014 WEEK 37: Composition – Lines & Patterns
- 2016 WEEK 25: B&W – Texture
- 2016 WEEK 37: B&W – Shape
- 2017 WEEK 37: Minimalism – Repeating Patterns
You can also create magic in your images with in-camera techniques like Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) or multiple exposures. Recently I was struck by this magical image by Deborah Hughes Photography taken of sunlight streaming through her back door window. But if you’re stuck in an area without any sun this week, maybe you can find magic in the holiday lights that surround us this time of the year. Check out these previous challenges if you’d like a refresher course on some in-camera techniques:
- 2020 WEEK 24: Multiple Exposure Nature Photography
- 2017 WEEK 51: Creative Holiday Lights
- 2017 WEEK 50: Intentional Camera Movement
Whatever you choose to photograph this week, I want it to be something that you walk by all the time and don’t pay any thought to – something that’s so much part of your life that it’s lost meaning. You are allowed to add light to the scene as well as use post-processing to create magic in your scene. And as always, pay attention to composition rules and proper exposure to make the best image that you can.
- Take a photo of a subject that you normally don’t notice in your everyday life in a way that makes it look magical.
- Post your photo during the week of Sunday, December 13 and Saturday, December 19.
- Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo: #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.