April 13, 2013

A Personal Photo Challenge - Simplicity

It’s time for A Personal Photo Challenge! “Simplicity” is the theme this month.

Like many photographers, I’m guilty of sometimes creating compositions that are too busy. It is a constant battle to reduce the clutter and simplify the subject matter. Posting Wordless Wednesday images here on my blog and Flickr has helped me in achieving this goal because I assign titles to my images. So here’s a tip – think of an appropriate title for your photo before clicking the shutter. It will make you think twice about your composition!

I prepared only one image for this challenge. Unfortunately, it took more time than I intended! I started off with a rather artsy image in my head. Then I attempted to recreate it with recorded pixels and Photoshop editing. I placed a small, hand-carved rabbit on a base surface of white scrapbook paper. With the camera mounted on a tripod, I moved a light source at various angles to achieve a long shadow that was also at an angle. (If I had it to do over again, I would have set up the camera with a lower perspective rather than a bird’s eye view.)

In post-processing, I darkened the shadow, removed hot spots, slightly desaturated the carving, and added overall contrast. The pattern overlay of weaved threads was added directly onto the image (not on a separate layer) with a soft light blending mode applied at reduced opacity, and a mask painted over the carving to eliminate the applied pattern. I tried this technique quite by accident and discovered that the pattern disappeared gradually in the lighter areas, as hoped.

So I made myself learn something from this exercise and kept to the “simplicity” theme. I hope you like the end result, even if I made your eyes glazed over with my explanation, LOL!

rabbit's shadow
f/13, 1/4 second, ISO 400

Now that you’ve seen my photo and read my post, I hope you will hop over to A Personal Photo Challenge blog and check out the creative efforts of other participants. Thank you so much!


  1. Very intriguing photo. I tend to take busy pictures because I truly like them best, but to think of a title before taking a picture is a good tip.

  2. Donna I love this shot. Very creative.

  3. It's like a little work of art...it gets your attention and makes you want to look at it for awhile! I'm linked up! Can't wait for you to see what I posted! Happy Saturday! HUGS!

  4. Thank you. I love learning about photography. Fantastic play with the shadow, great work!

  5. Donna, I love how you captured this sweet bunny - his shadow is awesome on the texture.
    How you set up the shot makes me feel guilty that I'm still set on P when using the Canon 7D, and I've never had the patience to learn a good post-editing program such as Photoshop. Your way sure isn't 'simple' but very professional...............and your final capture definitely is 'simplicity', just what today's challenge is all about.

    This WAS a fun challenge..............and now I'm excited about working on the next one. I hope I can participate on time - I'm going to be headed out on a big trip then - hopefully Internet will be available!

    Hope you enjoy my pics today - and have a great weekend.
    Hugs - Mary

  6. What a great example of simplicity. I'm hoping over to the other now.

  7. This is a really interesting photo Donna. You were creative and did some very nice editing. I like the long shadow and the close up of the paper's lines. Very nicely done! Pamela

  8. Hi Donna, I do like your challenges. Thought I had left a comment but had not. I try to learn photography from any post I find that has a great teacher. I got one here, obviously.

  9. Fantastic composition and beautifully simple. I love the shadow and textures.

  10. Beautifully simple and a fantastic composition. The shadow and texture are great.

  11. You hit the jackpot with this. I love it!!

  12. Wonderful composition and editing. Although the subject is simple, there is a lot of interest in the photo - the elongated shadow, the contrast in textures of the carved bunny and the white space. Great detail on how you edited the photo, too. Lots to learn.

  13. I like the idea of thinking of a title first; definitely food for thought. I will sheepishly admit that I would have plopped the bunny down, bent over and snapped the shutter. Obviously one can put a lot of thought into a photo for how they want it to turn out and I've learned from your submission to take more time.
    Thanks for hosting Donna.

  14. Very clever Donna. Is that Marty then?
    Enjoyed the challenge, almost forgot to sign in!

  15. It's beautiful Donna.
    I immediately thought of "The Hare with the Amber Eyes" a wonderful book!
    Now I'm thinking how cheeky I am entering this challenge.
    I will have to learn more about Pixlr now!
    You've made me think about what and how I shoot in the future - I'm way too snap happy!!!
    I really do want to learn though as I want to take better photos of my granddaughters when I go to France this year!
    Shane ♥

  16. Perfect! I'm going to have to give this a try. The threads really add a lot to it. VERY good!

  17. Sorry to be late! I was out of town...
    OH!! Marty!Hahaaa....Loving the shot Donna! Not sure what I'm looking at but I Love it!

  18. hahahaha, I LOVE THIS rabbit shadow photo! Very cleaver and well done. Yes, that is why I have a large phone, so I can see it. The new phones that are available now are so great! ! !

  19. VERY good. I love pictures of shadows.


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!