We only think about our skin when something is wrong—it's dry, winkled, or broken out—but our skin is more than a map of our imperfections. It's a record of our lives.

Winner: Grandmother


This is a portrait of my 89-year old grandmother. Rather than showcase wrinkles for the sake of showcasing them, I wanted to take an old Hollywood style portrait with slightly more disconcerting light and show the effect of aging on a face in general and skin in particular. The loosened neck skin is also apparent. The quest is to continue to see that old beauty, beneath the skin, which requires empathy.

Tokina 100mm f/2.8 on Nikon D7000. Only one light, Nissin SB-800 equivalent in homemade softbox (apx 2'x1') placed slightly below face level, approx a metre away from her. She was watching TV.


To bring out max wrinkles, it should have been a harsh light at a grazing angle rather than a head-on softbox, but my purpose was different. I want to be able to see this without feeling like a tourist in a South American village, standing in front of an old lady's patio.

- Vishal Bondwal

Luna Moth


I took this photo hiking in the Daniel Boone National Forrest over Memorial day weekend. I thought the Luna Moth's soft alien like skin contrasted nicely against human flesh

Sony NEX5T. ISO 100. 26mm. f4.5. 1/500 sec.

- Devin Cheeks

Dutchess County


This is my sisters leg featuring everyday skin and a tattoo of a map of Dutchess county. Shot on a Canon 60D with an EF-S10-22mm lens, ISO 500, 1/200 sec at f/4.5.

- Clairmont Miller



This weekend, the family and I visited Zoo Atlanta. I thought it would be an interesting twist to photograph an animal for this challenge. This aldabra giant tortoise had some interesting texture to its skin. My son got to feed it later that day. Canon EOS T3; EF 75 - 300 mm lens; f/5.6; 1/100 sec; 300 mm focal length

- Chris Sears



I have wrist-cutting scars on my wrist from a "the Depression... my depression. I was depressed there." phase back in high school, almost a decade ago, which will likely never go away for the rest of my life. The directions of my scars are somewhat alarming, but don't actually mean I was suicidal - I simply didn't know the across-the-road and down-the-street distinctions back then. That plus the two Xs made for some very interesting and eye-catching features, which led to questions - which I wasn't ready to answer in any way other than fibbing.

For eight years, I'd been wearing wrist sweatbands that cover the entire scarred area whenever I'm out in public or at school or work - only being comfortable enough to expose the scars when I'm with trusted close friends and significant others - so as to keep the questions and stares at bay. A couple weeks ago, however, I realized that I've unknowingly become somewhat fine with not covering up my scars in the presence of people who'd previously not seen them, or new people I'd just met. I'm not completely there, yet, and still cringe at the possibility of people asking me what's up with my scars, but I'm looking forward to the day when I can proudly own up to my past mistakes and potentially help those who may be about to go through the same issues.


Taken near sunset with the stock Camera.app on an iPhone 5S, because my DSLR battery was dead. Minor brightness-contrast applied to the JPEG, plus toning down the blue saturation.

- Terry Kimura



The base image was captured with an iPhone 5S using a low key photography technique to bring out the natural texture of the skin of the hand. Using Paint.net 3.5.11, the image was contrast and brightness corrected. Than the image was converted to a B&W, and finally, Sepia 2 filter was applied to give it a natural even skin tone.

- Jonas Demuro



I shot the model with direct sunlight behind, as if shooting into the sun. I wanted to create just the starkest of skin hints with black being the empty space. The shot was taken at 10:30 in the morning, no filters, no props, just a straight shot. I had the camera set to monochrome, then desaturated back to B&W in photoshop. Camera: Canon T3i
Lens: Zeiss 50mm, ISO: 200, Shutter: 1/640, Aperture: f16

- Lee Tomkow

Mi Abuelito


Mi abuelito, tomado hace tres 4 años con Ilford. iso 50. 60 mm 2.8. Nikon F100

- Trodrigo Ergueta



I took my girlfriend and her daughter to the Aquarium in Riverhead, NY. Inside one of the smaller tanks was this beautiful orange starfish, perfectly sprawled out on its tank decor, I felt the need to snap a shot. You never said it had to be human skin. iPhone 4s, No Flash, Tap to Focus. Technique- Press camera lens as close to glass as possible to avoid major glares, tap on target to focus. Contrast edited on amateur editing website (picmonkey.com)

- Christopher Bringas

Just Noticed


I spent a day outdoor with my family and just noticed that my father was aging. I decided to snap a photo and see what I come out with. Added some sharpening and came out this photo. Probably the only photo I have of my father today.

Used: Canon Mark D II, with a 24-70mm f/2.8L Lens.

- Adolfo Ortiz

What a range this week—from beautiful to funny to haunting portraiture. Thanks to everyone who put their own skin in the game this week. The full shots are on flickr.