It's a natural miracle, and each piece is a masterful, abstract piece of art. It's wood. And for this week's Shooting Challenge, we're celebrating it.

The Challenge

Take a photo of wood. It can be wood grain, wood planks, wood—well, wood anything, so long as wood is the subject.


The Technique

In searching for tutorials on today's subject I learned that there aren't any. Apparently no photo site has attempted an SEO ploy involving the topic yet.

Even still, texture, color and contrast are your best friends this week. Don't fear boosting contrast on any finished shot, though photo nerds might judge me for saying that. A perfectly sharp detail of wood grain would be beautiful in its own right—make sure you're photographing within your lens's suggested distances for crisp results, or use a macro lens—and I hope we see several. But is there a way you could elevate wood grain to something more? I don't know. I guess we'll find out!


The Example

Our lead shot is from flickr's quacktaculous. The rings make for a fantastic abstract subject that evokes the sun's rays and a pond's ripples. The mix of wood textures, thanks to sawdust, is also a nice touch.

The Rules

0. No watermarks. They're so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
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 native resolution sized shot in email.
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, January 28th at 10AM Eastern to with "Wood" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameWood.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameWoodWallpaper.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!