Zenfolio | Dave Skinner Photography | July Challenge - Inside the Box

July Challenge - Inside the Box

August 01, 2012

July's challenge was another simple assignment: crop your shot to make it square, or close to it. Our eyes are so used to seeing the rectangular, it can be a bit disconcerting to find a square photo that is out of the ordinary. Our TV's, magazines, movies, cameras (new ones, anyway), and books all present a horizontal or vertical rectangular venue that we habitually identify with. Square is --- well, square, man! So that was the challenge.

Certain things fit perfectly in a square format, like a flower closeup. Or a face that fills the frame. Landscapes are much harder because we're used to seeing panoramas of scenery and appreciate a wide-angle view.


Our first entry is from Ginnie, who tackled the challenge head-on with both of her pictures. The first was taken on the coast. She says, "Taken in Cambria above Moonstone Beach. Beautiful old cypress blown back by the prevailing winds." This photo balances the main subject with a colored swath of iceplant below it. There a lots of interesting places for eye movement, and the shape of the tree shows its age and many battles.



Ginnie's second entry demands our attention: the square format accentuates the subject. She says, "FUN WITH GLOW STICKS!  Two granddaughters were making swords and bracelets one evening so I got inspired. Canon PS SD 1300 IS set on 'program'.  Dark room, mirrored closet door in background, no flash.  Exposure was around one second." How cool is that!!??



Next is Don's rendition of a window with a neon sign. Instead of giving us a straight view, he bedazzles us with a cockeyed angle and adds interest to the shot. Very creative (or did he see that in a magazine? Ha!). Note the exposure is perfect and colors are complimentary, lending a warm ambience to the scene.



Don's second submission needs no explanation. The square format and various circles in the picture move our eyes to Spike's happy smile, nose and eyes. There's little doubt who is getting our attention. 



Megen went flower crazy in July and offers us two beauties in the square venue. The colors are really emphasized with the macro closeup views. Had she been standing back about 5 feet, the flowers would have been little dots in the frame. Always shoot individual flowers as close as you want. Dave's Rule #10.





Dave's pictures include this first one of a sunrise landscape. He cropped his telephoto shot to include the most important elements in the scene. Note that many photographers use telephoto lenses to capture landscapes, like Bryce Canyon shots that zero in on just a few hoodoos, instead of a whole canyon full.


The last picture is a portrait of Angel enjoying her pizza during her birthday party. Dave selected the piece of pizza for emphasis, while turning everything else to black and white. Kind of a dated look, but it still has its place here and there.


Thanks again to everyone who sent photos for this challenge. Next month's (August) theme will be - Symmetry.

Defined as: "the correspondence in size, form, and arrangement of parts on opposite sides of a plane, line, or point; regularity of form or arrangement with reference to corresponding parts."



Happy shooting, fellow photogs!


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