About Tonya Bender

I am a self taught photographer from Allegany County Maryland where I reside in Little Orleans with my husband. My interest in photography began 20 years ago when my husband gifted me with my first film camera, a Canon AE-1. I dabbled in nature photography as well as portraits for a few years until shortly thereafter I put photography on hold to pursue my education in laboratory science and Chemistry. Upon graduating I combined my passions of learning and photography while exploring, practicing, and fine tuning my artistic style. With the use of my creative eye, my camera, and my processing skills I seek to create images that inspire emotion, thought, and interest. I first joined and started participating in The Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge in 2014. From the moment I submitted my first photo I knew I had found a new home. The members were so accepting, informative, and encouraging. I spent the next 6 years participating, learning, and creating in ways I never thought possible. I became more confident in my work which encouraged me to enter photography shows and competitions in which images I have created as a result of The Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge have won top prizes. A few years into my journey at The Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge I became a Guest Contributor and have written several of my own photo challenges for the group. I am honored to now take on a more permanent role as a contributor and administrator in hopes that my story and my challenges help inspire others just like this group has inspired me! If you are interested in seeing more of my work please check me out on Flicker at https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyajbender/

2021 Week 14: Creative Shutter Speed

This week we are taking a trip back to our camera settings and focusing (no pun intended) on specifically shutter speed and why it is important both technically and creatively. READ MORE →

2021 Week 6: Light Meter and Intentional Exposure

Remembering back a few weeks ago we learned that there are three things that influence the exposure of an image in a given level of light, aperture, shutter speed, and READ MORE →

2021 Week 3: Exposure Triangle

ne of the most important yet intimidating skills of photography is correctly achieving exposure. “Correct” exposure involves a combination of many elements and can be both technical as well as artistic and therefore is often left for the camera to decide automatically. Whether the photographer allows the camera to decide on the exposure or chooses to set it themselves, it is always achieved by three key factors: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO- thus referred to as the exposure triangle. READ MORE →

2020 Week 22: Haiku

Haiku is not a word historically associated with photography. Although brief and minimal, haiku are powerful narratives that tell a story and even paint a vivid picture. Our challenge this week is to take a photo utilizing the haiku essence. For some additional creativity, I invite you to explore haiku poetry and even choose a poem that resonates with you by trying to visually capture the poets words. For a deeper experience you could even write your own 17 syllable (5-7-5) haiku for your image. READ MORE →

2019 Week 36: Surrealism

Surrealism is more than just a concept, it is an intellectual and creative mental process committed to representing the world in strange and abstract ways. This artistic movement first began READ MORE →

2019 Week 29: Juxtaposition

This week we are going to explore the concept of Juxtaposition, which is defined as “an instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or READ MORE →

2019 WEEK 18: Abstract Landscape

What I like most about abstract photography is the unlimited creativity it allows, it is a type of photography that opens the imagination and embraces experimentation. This week we will READ MORE →

2019 WEEK 9: Found Still Life

For this week’s challenge we are putting a twist on Still Life by photographing inanimate subject matter, whether natural or man-made, as found and without interference by the photographer. Since READ MORE →