It’s been 6 great years, but our weekly Shooting Challenge is coming to an end. Here are the final submissions from all of you.
Winner: Better Late Than Never
I have thoroughly enjoyed viewing these contest, and am very sad to see them ending. I’ve always wanted to submit but have never been able to capture the right image.
Ive been a ‘serious amateur’ photographer since middle school (I’m 30 now). I have alway been drawn toward images with a very clean or architectural aesthetic. I discovered these two office buildings located at Wilshire Blvd and Normandie in Los Angeles, and their juxtaposed facades by accident as I was walking from a parking garage to this new poke chain i have been frequenting after work. It was shot with a nikon d600 with at 1/320.
Thanks to Mark and the rest of the Gizmodo crew for all the work that went into the weekly shooting challenge. I am really sad it’s over. I started participating a few years ago after getting a new and shiny DSLR but having very little knowledge of photography and no money for classes. The challenge gave me the inspiration and tools I needed to learn more about photography every week. Surprisingly, it also became a social event: My relentless pursuit* of the photo challenge “triple-crown” (i.e., finalist, lead shot and winner) became a topic of conversation in my office, and made everyone around me more interested in photography and the work of other photographers who submitted entries. My friends and I all became photographers, producers, curators, models, and even judges, and had a great time in the process! The challenge also allowed me to connect with other photographers, build a portfolio of random shots, and gain important skills that I now take with me wherever I shoot.
So in short... Thank you.
As far as the description for this last shot: From the moment I read the challenge, I knew I’d struggle with the endless possibilities (I generally did better when the photo challenge called for precise instructions or a specific technique or constraint), so after reading it I decided I wanted the shot to look like the end frame of a movie, in honor of the many years of submissions and the long journey to this last assignment. And I believe I achieved that: I could see credits rolling by this beach shot. It was shot in Half Moon Bay, CA. ISO 100, 17mm, f/11, 1/320 sec.
*And in case you’re wondering, yes, I did eventually get the photo challenge “triple-crown”, although it was a bit of an ugly victory. My winner shot came from a “tablet” photography challenge, where my picture was meant to illustrate how awful tablet cameras were at the time (and there were only like, 8 submissions). But heck, after that *very long* of a wait, my friends and I still went to the corner pub and toasted to victory! .. An ugly win is still a win.
[Mark: In my defense, whenever you were up for a win, I was like, “I know Diego will just submit something even better next week, so he can wait.”]
I was at a CVS to pick some things up for a friend, and I saw a man wander in pour tic tacs down his throat, drink a half of a bottle of muscle milk before throwing it up onto a woman (the woman in the foreground), and shout at customers before getting tackled. Ricoh GR, f/3.2, 1/45 second, ISO 800
Gigi and Ziggy
This shot was taken of my pup Gigi and her best bud Ziggy last winter. Gigi is on the bottom right and passed away last month. We miss her but will always remember her fondly. I hope you accept my submission. Sorry if the format or size is wrong.
I Mean, Guys, Nobody Actually Died
I, like most of you here, are sad to see this series be retired. It has been fun, thought provoking, and educational to be a part of the submissions and to look at other people’s work. Most of all it has given people who are not professionals, but are armchair photography enthusiasts such as myself, an outlet to submit our work for others to see in a (mostly) intimidation-free environment. Thank you Mark for hosting this challenge each week. I will miss it.
I was thinking about all this and couldn’t think of a more fitting setting than the local graveyard. It is not a place that you visit because you want to feel sad, it is a place you visit when you want to remember all the good times you have experienced. The only sadness I feel about the Shooting Challenge series is the sadness in knowing there are not any more good memories to come.
I first tried a few wide angle shots and just wasn’t happy with the results. It took me a while to realize that a bit higher zoom would shrink the depth of the image and give me the look I was going for. The falling snow adds to the emotion, even though it was very heavy snow and got my camera a bit wetter than I would like. Afterwards I normalized the brightness to take the edge off the glaring whites and brought the saturation down to mute the colors with Raw Therapee. Sony A77, 40mm, f/6.3, 1/320 sec., ISO 250
The River Of No Return
Since this is final Shooting Challenge, Thought it was only fitting to send photo of My Home town River. The River of No Return Or AKA as The Salmon River. The river is starting to ice up, in a month, ice jams and flooding starts, during sub zero weather. So long Shooting Challenge! Maybe they will revive you down the road!
HTC One mini 2/13mp/speed 1600 and just when I figured out my camera! Ha! Ha!
Twin Falls in WA is my favourite place to take pictures. From the flow of the water rushing downstream, to the rocks “jumping” out of the water, it is truly a peaceful place to take pictures. I love sitting on the rocks, taking pictures and listening to the sound of the water trembling down the waterfall! It is also an amazing hike. This shot was taken using manual on a Canon EOS Rebel T3i with an EFS 18-55mm lens. (Shutter speed: 6”, Aperture: f10, ISO: 200, Focal Length: 35mm)
Views From The 6ix
Being a real estate photographer, the best part of my job is when I get to see amazing views like these from apartment balconies. There was a lot of wind on the balcony at 36th floor of this building today. So, I put my heavy lens bag on the hook of my tripod to make it steady. I set the camera on a 10 second timer to minimize shake. Cannon 5D Mark 2, 70-300mm @ 120mm, f5.6, 5 sec, ISO 200.
Abiqua Falls is a beautiful, secluded waterfall in Oregon. Getting there is a bit treacherous when it’s wet outside as you’ve got to repel down a fairly steep hillside. We’ve had a fair amount of rain recently and the water was really moving. Setup was with a tripod. Ffirstname.lastname@example.org. Shot with a Nikon D750 and Nikkor 24-70mm lens.
One Last Walk
Took one last walk in the park before it gets too cold. Taken as the sun was starting to fade.
If you have been to South Korea before, then you know that street food vendors are very common here. I found this guy cooking and selling takoyaki (wheat flour-based batter filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion) from the back of his van. I took this candid shot with my Sony NEX-6 attached with my 24mm at 1/80 f1.8.
Behind the Scenes
I was shooting Behind the Scenes in Chicago for a short film my friend was cinematographer on. Although shooting video, I saw a moment that was still-worthy, so I grabbed a DSLR off the table and snuck up on these guys during a scene change. I loved their natural positioning-reminding me of your typical band cover art. The Panavision all rigged-up brought classical magic to the shot, one I’ll most likely never take again. Shot on Canon 5DIII 24mm L 2.8 at 640 ISO.
As the sun sets on the Gizmodo photo challenge, I wanted to capture something that represented an ending. I love low-light photography and the possibilities that the latest digital sensors have enabled. I set this up in the kitchen with my daughter, and it took us a number of tries to get the candle in transition as it went out. We had fun doing it.
I haven’t been participating in the photo challenges very long, but I have enjoyed doing so. Even when I don’t send in a photo, I love seeing the varied submissions. I’m sad to see them go.
Canon G7X, f/8, 1 second exposure.
I went to the Flatiron building originally to shoot the Nova art project on the street, took a break to get away from the crowds and noticed the beautiful colors in the sky from the sun setting. Prepared my camera for a long exposure shot and was able to capture some good coloring in the sky and off the buildings, as well as some faint light trails from the cars going by on the street.
I used a Manfrotto tripod, Canon 5D Mark III camera body with an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens and a 10 stop neutral density (ND) filter attached. I also used a remote switch by Vello to reduce camera shake. Settings of f/4, ISO 250, long exposure of about 5 and a half minutes. Finally, post production done in Elements for more accurate white balance, shadowing and noise.
Side note: I’m sad to see this photo submission series come to an end. When I started to take photography seriously, I would look forward to this weekly shooting challenge if only to learn a new technique or style. It wasn’t so much submitting a photo in hopes of getting on the Gizmodo page but the joy of pushing yourself to try something new and take the camera off its “auto” setting in the hopes of getting a great shot. Without these challenges, I would still be afraid of trying all the various settings on my camera and would not have the knowledge I now possess. So thank you for doing this challenge over the years. This series will be greatly missed.
Wow! Really sad that this is the last “Shooting Challenge” like forever... I always enjoyed looking forward to all the submissions from all over the world. Anyway, here’s mine from Hawaii. Took this on Sunday night in Mililani, Hawaii. It rarely if ever gets foggy here on Oahu where I live. Kinda like “San Fran in Hawaii” I guess. Very surreal like a “Sin City” feeling but not. Haha! Could name it that. Used my Sony RX100 first gen. F1.8 ISO 3200 1/60sec. Aloha all and thanks for the great pix throughout the years.
Really sad to see this contest end. I’ve had the pleasure of entering this contest a few times, and actually winning once! I figured that since the series is calling it a day, I’d submit a photo of the sunset from one of my favorite parks in LA. Thanks for all the amazing photos everyone! Taken with a Sony NEX-6.
Well definitely not my best, but all that I had to hand when I realised that this was my last chance. I came across this rusted vehicle as I took an early morning walk around the centre of Phetchaburi, Thailand. Not abandoned, but no longer driveable, the owner seems to be using it as a bit of storage space.
Not even a real camera to use in the last picture. Taken on my Lava Star smartphone. So I decided to do a bit of tweaking and boosted the Saturation and the red to brighten up the image.
Farewell Gizmodo Shooting Challenge.
Final Jet Ski
Basically, I didn’t get to hit the lake for as many weekends as I hoped this year. Family activities, kids activities, rainy weekends and more all conspired to keep me away. So this past Saturday after a morning jog and cutting the lawn one last time this year I told my wife I wanted to take my jet ski and run it around the lake one last time. Mind you it’s about 65F out around 3p and expected to get colder at night. She says “go right ahead” probably thinking I wouldn’t do it. I dragged the trailer out of my garage and hooked it up, and headed out to Lake Medina just outside San Antonio, Tx. There weren’t many people at the lake, and even less in the water. Aside from me there was only one fishing boat out. Go figure. One guy that saw me backing up to the water said I had “bigger cajones (balls)“ than he did for getting in the water. I took 2 pics just to prove I made it out that day, and probably spent about 25 minutes out on the lake.
Photo taken using an HTC One M8, f2.0, ISO 125. Drove to the lake by myself because I just had to take my jet ski out one last time before Winter fully set in, and went for a brief ride.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge
I wasn’t able to do the previous challenge, Night; so for the final Shooting Challenge I set out on a night mission. With my girlfriend in tow (she’s the best! many thanks to her for coming along with me so many times), I took this shot of The Sunshine Skyway Bridge at the mouth of Tampa Bay from a beach off the interstate leading up to the bridge from St. Petersburg. The wind was exceptionally strong coming off the bay. We had to position the car to protect the camera and tripod; not just from vibration (which I got a little more of than I thought), but from just getting blown over. The moon was also a bit brighter than I had hoped. The internet told me the moon would be rising at three-something in the morning, but it was high in the sky behind me, washing out most of the stars. But if you look close, I did capture a meteorite streaking by. Aside from the conditions not being as expected, I am pretty happy with the results. I just wanted to submit a nice, simple picture for the final challenge. This was shot with our Nikon D3100, ISO 800, f/3.5, 30 second exposure with the 18 to 55mm lens at 18mm.
Thanks so much for doing the Shooting Challenge for the last six years, I’ve enjoyed doing them and will miss it. But more so, I’ll miss seeing the works of all the other folks who took the time to send in their shots each week. It’s been a blast. Let’s do it again sometime.
Sad to see this segment go. I’ve entered numerous photos over the years and have enjoyed seeing the results. In honor of this being the last, here’s a photo of a carved gourd on it’s last day before being cast off. Taken as always, with my trusty Sony A65v and a 50mm F1.4 lens.
I decided to send this photo along at literally the last minute. I took this photo Friday night at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois during our first snowfall of the season. I love how the fresh snow outlines the contours of the bare branches. Taken with my iPhone 6s and submitted as-shot without any editing. Thanks for all the Shooting Challenges!
Duck Key Puddle
I was driving back to Fort Lauderdale from Key West to end the weekend. My wife and I stopped on Duck Key to take care of the baby, and that’s when I got out and turned around to see the sun setting with some clouds setting in. This was my perfect shot to end my trip and the Giz challenge. Nikon D750, 24-120 lens, 55mm, f/ 5.6, ISO 100, 1/1000
I shot this photo for a cover to a PowerPoint presentation for my College Algebra class. The lecture was about solving logarithmic and exponential equations. A slide rule uses logarithms to perform arithmetic, and I was going to show the students how that works after the lecture.
The photo was shot with my Canon G9 at 1/125th of a second and f/5.6. A Yongnou speedlight with wireless triggers was used off camera as the light source. I chose the G9 because of its close focusing distance and the 4:3 aspect ratio matches a projector display. I did have to use Lightroom for minor edits.
Upper East Side
I was shooting final photos of a client’s home that I was completing on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Had arrived later in the afternoon to get softer shadows as the southern light tends to be really harsh through the windows. The windows had just gotten cleaned and I didn’t even open them to shoot this quick one of 432 Park and the Empire State Building to the south. The sheer height of the new super skinny tower is just immense when you see it against the skyline. The highest floor of the tower will be taller than the highest occupied floor of 1 World Trade. Sony A7ii, 1/60s @ f9.0, 70mm
I wanted to create a personality portrait which shown not just one side of me, but many, and I wanted to do it in a way in which it seemed simple. I created this self portrait by individually creating 70 other individual self portraits with as many different expressions as my face could muster. I then hung them up and placed myself in the middle of my many selfs. I used a 28mm at f2.8, one ring flash, and two off flashes to light up and separate the background a bit. To see the image at full resolution: . I have enjoyed participating on the shooting challenge, I hate to see it go....
Thank-you to all of you who entered the Shooting Challenges over the years, sacrificing a bit of your weekend to do my artistic bidding and share your craft. While I’d worked at Gizmodo for several years before Shooting Challenges ever started, I founded the series following my own experience in film school, in which I’d be furious at my professors with all of their artificially constrained assignments, like shoot a short with no sound, or film a story without ever cutting it. I was an auteur in the making, after all!
In retrospect, those constraints were like running with weights on my legs, and made me a both a better photographer and filmmaker in the long run. Plus, they gave my creativity a starting point from which to pivot, so I always had a pile of ideas as to what to shoot next. I figured the same would be true to a burgeoning field of amateur photographers with dSLRs and increasingly fantastic smartphones in their pockets. After six years and ????? photos, I’m more than a bit self-satisfied to see my suspicion was correct.
You photographed some really amazing moments. So don’t stop now!