Every week you create work in the extremely limited confines of a Shooting Challenge. But this week, you took photos however you wanted, creating art from your own perspective. Here's what you do when you can do anything.

Winner: The Beachcomber

Last night was probably one of the greatest nights of my life. On the beach with a friend, a camera, tripod and a flashlight. First time attempting a long exposure shot of any type and it went off without a hitch. The camera in question is my Nikon D5000 with a standard 18-55mm lens, ISO 200 and f/3.5. Focusing issues burned the first couple shot and then I got this one. Who knew a peaceful night on the beach could be turned into mayhem simply by walking with a flashlight.
- Greg Rosen

Power Mannequins

For my free for all challenge, I went out to my usual playground, a series of former coastal defense bunkers used to protect the country from a potential Japanese invasion during WWII obviously that never happened, so all the facilities were abandoned and now the hills are covered with crumbling concrete fortifications. It seemed like an appropriate place for a shot free from the oppressive Gizmodo master! I brought out Jane the mannequin and was inspired as soon as I saw the old gun mount. I thought it would be cool to do a "color wheel Jane" shot. Taken with a sparkler and a few cheap Target red green and blue flashlights. I traced Jane with each color (and the sparkler) and moved her to the next location and repeated.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Iso 100, 15mm, f/ 5.0, 346.0s.
- Eric Mulligan

Death at Joshua Tree

We made plans to visit Joshua Tree, but since we had been there before and the Salton Sea was just an inch below Joshua Tree, on the map, I decided to take the family there instead. Having never been there, we were all very excited. The kids talked about swimming in the water and playing in the sand. I was hoping I would get a chance to do some fishing. We pulled up and saw the water with the mountains in background. It was a beautiful sight. Then we opened the door and the stench of dead fish hit us like a semi. My wife looked at me in disgust and the kids held there noses. Since we were already there I convinced everyone to get out and have a look around. The beach, if you could call it that, was covered with hundreds of dead Talapias. What looked like white sand on the shore, upon closer inspection, were millions, if not billions of fish scales and fish bones! All around the Salton Sea was death... That's when I took this photo. Canon EOS Rebel T2i, f/7.1, 1/200 sec, iso 100.
- Neil Hong

The Final Boss: Laser Arms

This Shot was taken of a Friend of Mine named Kim Hidalgo, I had attempted this as a concept before varying result as its difficult to get people to stay as still as possible for that long of an exposure. But what is the Purple?! One of my Favorite and most dangerous tools, The Wicked Lasers Arctic S3 1000MW Spyder Laser ! It had a Cross-Diffused lens on, Was set to low-Power (100mw), And it was VERY carefully guided through the shot For an exposure of almost 3 minutes. She stayed in each position for a bit longer than the last to make it brighter as we went up keeping her head as still as possible. The Strangest part about this laser, is the the UV From it seems to be converted into some sort of white balance adjustment, making the JPEG a BRIGHT Pink, While the RAW is a DEEP blue. A massively obvious difference. Taken on a T3i, F/11, Exposure was 173 Seconds (She was a champion), ISO-200, Using a Stock 17-55mm Canon Lens, From a Tripod, Using a Remote to start/Stop the exposure.
- Reid Godshaw

Dark Drop

For this challenge, I decided to try to photograph water drops. I read a tutorial about Corrie White and water drop photography on DIYPhotography, though I didn't expect to replicate her work. I had to take this outside due to lack of light in the house, and not having a macro lens also added to not coming up with a top quality photo. Basic editing, boosting level/curves, dropped blue saturation, and cloned out some unwanted specs in the water. Hopefully in the future I will have the equipment to make better water drop photography. Nikon D3000 – f/8 – 1/1000 sec. – ISO-200.
- Spencer Lund

To Rock

Took this at Winter Jam in Mobile on Sunday night. Featured in the shot is John Cooper of Skillet, one of my favorite bands ever! The show was amazing and, since I had already seen it in Atlanta, I knew when everything was going to happen so I got some really good shots. Of the 300 or so shots that I took, this was one of the best ones as far as composition goes. Only edits to it were a slight brightness bump and conversion to black and white. Canon Rebel T2i w/ 50mm prime. 1/200 sec at f/2.0, ISO 400
- Chris Morey


For this weeks challenge I decided to have a go at making a diorama in the style of Matthew Albanese. The river is made from baked sugar, the rocks from home made play-dough and the foilage is various pieces of moss from the garden. The far tree-line is made from broccoli. The clouds were photographed by shooting cotton buds through a glass sheet. All in all, for a first attempt it's reasonable but not in the same class as Albanese's works. Then again I had a new-born baby on my arm for quite a bit. Shot with a canon E0S1000D with a polarising filter and a blue graduated filter on top of that. Quite a bit of photoshopping to get rid of bits of sand on the water.
- James Slade

Laser Team Unite

I took this shot in my garage of my friends Sean and Kaleb with a 30 second shutter and a laser pointer. We didn't have a tripod, so we left it on a side table and it actually turned out alright! What I didn't expect was how well the light from the laser pointer would illuminate their faces. Nikon D5000, shutter: 30 seconds, aperture:f3.6, iso:640.
- Evan Johnston

Ice Abstraction

The process to get this shot was a long one. I originally wanted to get a picture of the cracks that form in ice cubes when you pour a room temperature drink over them. This effect was proving difficult to capture. so I moved on to a new method. I put about a half inch of water in to a five inch square plastic container and let it partially freeze. I removed it from the freezer and ran it under cold water work a second, which caused cracks and fissures to form. I then added a few drops of food coloring that would seep in to the cracks. Back it went in the freezer and the process was repeated maybe 20 times over the course of about 24 hours. Sometimes, I'd rinse the outer layer of ice off as it was getting too coated in food coloring. Other times, I'd add more water to keep the ice from getting too thin. After leaving it alone in the freezer overnight at what was it's thickest variation (about 1 inch), it didn't want to crack in the morning, so I gave it a gentle whack with a hammer to help get the food coloring deep into the ice. When I was finally happy with the look and color of the cracks, I set up on the flat surface of my stove to shoot. I got my tripod set to point as close to straight down as possible by leaning it against the oven door and got the lens three to four inches above the ice. I had placed my piece of cracked ice on a sheet of aluminum foil (shiny side up) and used the pair of 50 watt halogens in the hood vent of the stove to light it from above. The foil then reflected enough of the light to make it almost seem like it was lit from underneath. This shot came from early in the first batch of photos I took. Over the course of the next 24 hours, I kept the process going, but nothing came close to looking right. Full disclosure, I did run the pic through Photoshop CS5; but only to adjust the vibrance and saturation ever so slightly. Nikon D3100, shutter speed 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, focal length 55mm, mounted on tripod, facing almost straight down about 3 to 4 inches above subject.
- Gabe Loewenberg

Some remarkable entries this week. But boy, you folks really like your lasers, huh? Maybe we'll need to make that a theme to its very own challenge some time. See the full galleries below, and the big shots on flickr.