Shooting Challenge: Heirlooms

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Heirlooms

Maybe there is something you own that's very special to you, passed on from someone who was also special t you—but maybe you don't appreciate this object very often. For this week's Shooting Challenge, you'll photograph an heirloom.

The Challenge

Capture a photo of an heirloom.

The Technique

Many of you will likely be working with small objects, and with small objects, you'll want to get close. But how close is too close for your lens? Well, that information is actually printed right on the lens.


You can, of course, go the white box route, capturing an heirloom in jewelry commercial crispness. (You can even pull this off with an iPhone.) But there's so much other creative stuff to be done. Maybe a portrait makes its way into the frame. Maybe the object is photographed in the context you received it.

Maybe HDR or light painting will support the old mantra, "what's old is new again."

The Example

Our lead shot by flickr's calleecakes is a perfect example of what we're looking for. You have a classic item, held in context. But the small details, like a touch of textureless overexposure, seem to bring out the filigree in the watch that much more.


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, Jan 23rd at 10AM Eastern to with "Heirloom" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameHeirloom.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameHeirloomWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

Mark Wilson is the founder of Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.


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...I assume we're keeping the family jewels out of this. Heirloom or not...