Babies. Friends. Moms. Girlfriends. Grandparents. Not only did Gizmodo readers take some remarkable portraits for this week's Shooting Challenge, but they gave us a tiny but intimate peek into their lives.


Winner - Baby Flop

My nephew baby Zach I find one of the hardest things is to shoot a newborn baby. As they get a little older, hand puppets and toys will get toddlers to look up and smile. Infants on the other hand do not smile, and do not hold still. This was a hard shot to do, all morning he was flopping all over the place and crying. When I had my sister hold him he would stop crying, however you could not see detailed characteristics. We then came up with the idea to lay him on her arm, and shoot him from the side. What we got I would consider priceless. Canon 60D, 43mm, f/4.5, ISO 100, Flash Fired, Edited with CS5.
- Joshua Young

Guard in Daejeon

This shot was taken at the National Cemetery in Daejeon, South Korea. This is a guard that works at one of the monument buildings on site. He is there to sign people in, otherwise he's got all the time for a small photo-shoot with me! I like the look of his b&w uniform with the traditional Korean architecture design in the background. I did not use any lights or equipment, just the natural light and my camera. Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon EF 28-135 lens. ISO 400, f5.6, 1/250sec, 38mm
- Alla Ponomareva


Simple Wet Plate Portrait

I use the Wet Plate Collodion process. 10x10 clear glass Ambrotype, 8x10 Deardorff with a Dallmeyer 2c brass barrel lens, F2.2. I photograph people unadorned, just a simple portrait...
- Christopher R. Perez


Caminante Argentino

We are two travel blogger for currently spending our 3 month in Buenos Aires. I would like to introduce you to Juan Carlos Balvidares, the "Caminante Argentino", who's been around the world, sharing his music beyond the borders of his native land. We met him in front of the Recoleta Cemetery, where he was performing. Finding out that I'm from Germany, he told me that he's been there and also walked across the rest of the world, making money by playing his original songs on the streets. Shot with the Canon 7d, 50mm prime lens, f 3.2 at 1/80.
- Juergen


The Girl at Knaresbourough Castle

Not to sound too brown nosey, but always enjoyed checking out the shooting challenges here on gizmodo. It lead me to buying my first DSLR, so I thought it was my time to take part and see what comes of it. Last week I decided to plunge into the world of old school lenses, the kinda ones you find on the end of a zenit, with the help of an M42 adapter I was set to go. Plucked for a 58mm Helios 44-2, an old Russian lens, and one of the earlier builds, which were notorious for their wild flaring at wide aperture. I took this as a pro rather than a con, with the hope they'll create dreamy images in direct light. My chance came a few days ago as myself and my girlfriend were taking a drive, noticing the great sunset I quickly drove to the most scenic area I could think of: Knaresbourough castle, overlooking the bridge and the river. Grabbed my new lens itching to give it the usage it deserved, luckily she's not shy so manage to get some shots in before the sun set. Shot with Canon 500D/Rebel T1i at f/2.0, 1/2500 sec and ISO 400.
- Louis Hvejsel Bork


The Smiling Pianist

Took this picture of my girlfriend at our university. She loves playing piano so I decided that there's no better way to capture her character than a portrait in front of a grand piano. Canon T3i, 18-55mm, ISO: 2000
f/3.5 1/40s
- Jonathan Nguyen


Elvis Lives

My roommate (yes, we're in college), ordered this ridiculous shirt online and we decided to have a photo shoot. The goal of the photo shoot was to make my roommate look like as "cool" as possible (hence the ciggarette and sunglasses) but we ended up getting a great picture out of it. Shot against a wall in our dorm, with natural and artificial light (as you can see in the glasses), and partially retouched in Aperture. Neither of us smoke, by the way. The cigarette was only added for looks. Shot on my Canon t2i with an ISO of 3200 with an 18-55mm lens shot at 55mm, f/5.6, 1/60th of a second.
- Jimmy Jorgensen


Miss Columbia

Walking through Central Park yesterday and I run into this character...

"Excuse me, sir - "
"Miss," he interjected, with a flail of his hands. "Miss Columbia, Queen de la Queens es mi nombre!"
"Miss Columbia, I always see you around New York City, especially marching in the parades." I commented.
"I love the parades," he started, "but I was kicked out of the Saint Patrick's Day parade because they told me they do not want gays in the parade."
"That's terrible. I'm sorry to hear that" I said, and then he interrupted my sympathy with this gem of a line:
"But I told the police officer that I'm not gay, I'm a lesbian!" as he flapped his dress.


Clearly he has told this joke a million times over, and as much as I want to say he is a jolly man, there's something very tears-of-a-clown in this photo of him I snagged. (He asked me for a dollar, but I ended up giving him two in exchange for a little photo shoot)...

Anyway, I snapped all these photos of him smiling, pretending he was in a pageant, laughing and then there was a moment of hesitation in his aura, and that's the photo I chose to submit. To me, that sadness and uncertainty is the true essence of his character. Not because I want it to be, nor because that's how I want to "paint" him to be, but because we all wear masks and every now and then we slip. He goes against the grain of society every day by being who he choses to be. Something has to be said about the weight of that burden. To me, his eyes speak that burden in volumes. Meanwhile, I have to say, he is certainly rocking the Gizmodo-look with his CD-R earring. SIGMA DP2s, 24.2mm, ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/100.
- Edmond Handwerker


Friended Again.

Subsequent to a series of events I still don't fully understand (yes, alcohol was a factor), I found myself in a hotel room (note the vintage vinyl wallpaper in the background) around the corner from my house. With a beautiful girl. And a camera. So, what do I do? I shoot a portrait, nerd out a bit and email a couple of JPEGs to Gizmodo. Sometimes portraits speak as much to the essence of the photographer as the subject. [sigh]. Shot with a Canon 5D MKII, 85mm/1.2, ISO100
- Peter Lytwyniuk


Little Brother

My grandparents live very far away in Taiwan (I live in Washington), so for Mother's Day, they requested that I take photos of my brothers and send them over because they want to see how they've been growing up. Unfortunately for them, my little brother is notorious for not being able to smile in front of a camera. We resorted to the old tactics of someone standing behind me to make him laugh, and for some odd reason he tried to contain the laughs, and this is one of the pictures that I got. It also happened to be my favorite, even compared to the ones where he was actually laughing. For this shot, I used a Nikon D90, 50 1.4/g, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/125. The lighting was a softbox boomed above him.
- Jared Chang


We received a really great mix of approaches to this week's challenge. Again, thanks for everyone (the photographers, AND their subjects!) for putting the work out there. Find the full galleries below and mega-sized shots on flickr.

Mark Wilson is the founder of photography blog Life, Panoramic and Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter