Shooting Challenge: 14 Loved-Up Shots For Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day, which means romance and commercialised expectations are in the air. Get back to the basics of what love really means, with these 14 reader-submitted interpretations. What is love, you ask? See below for the answer.

Salvatore Testa

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Equipment: Sony NEX-C3 with SEL1855 lens Settings: Portrait scene selection Technique: Point & shoot. Cropping a some colour adjustments in iPhoto. Story: I'm very much a 'point and shoot' person; I know very little about photography, but I've had my eye on the NEX-C3 and 5N for a while so I can start to learn a new hobby. I took advantage of the Sony 3D Library and borrowed the NEX-C3 for the weekend and started off by taking a few shots of Hugo, my tenterfield terrier puppy. When I saw the photo challenge, I thought I'd take a photo of something that I find love in, rather than the valentine's day norm. To put it briefly, Hugo loves his toys and I love him.

Steve Jordan

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Canon EOS 5d Mark II - EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM @ 35mm - 6 sec at f9.0 - no flash

I wanted to try to capture 'love' from an object rather than a living person/animal. Not sure if it worked, but a bit of fun.

Stuart Addelsee

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I have been playing around with bokeh shots and decided to try a few techniques together. This is a single exposure with some small cropping and minor tweaks in Light Room. I made a "Bokeh cover" for my lens(a random tutorial off the net) with a heart shape. I created the coloured light sources to look like a stream of light emitting from the frog and cat. I needed a long exposure so I could capture the bokeh at different focus points with and without the bokeh heart.

I have been playing around with bokeh shots and decided to try a few techniques together. This is a single exposure with some small cropping and minor tweaks in Light Room. I made a "Bokeh cover" for my lens(a random tutorial off the net) with a heart shape. I created the colored light sources to look like a stream of light emitting from the frog and cat. I needed a long exposure so I could capture the bokeh at different focus points with and without the bokeh heart.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_addelsee/

Tibor Congo

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First time in, I might be breaking some rules by taking a pic of a poster (arguably somebody has done the hard work already). I went for a walk around Sbank here in Brizzy tonight, and other than one of the road workers writing a love heart for me with his safety light, it was slim picking (I felt the strip clubs were missing the point).

The theatre is playing Romeo and Juliet, and this poster is up on the wall. It's tricky to isolate the characters moment as there's a title and bits of intensely lit building EVERYWHERE. So this is a poster of Romeo and Juliet, framed using a tree. I did edit ever so slightly, turning the brightness down to take the edge away from where Juliet ends. I really like the result, and as I was crossing Victoria bridge, I knew this was going to be the scene I'd work to submit (100 shots later, so it was). Only a starter in this, jumped on the Hardly Normal deal of $400 1100D so I've been having a great time learning about how to take a photo with this. Still making do with the standard issue 18-55 weapon (hehe). Sorry about the huge text, following entries will be more pornfessional. So details, 1100D, set to shutter priority 0.03sec, 55mm, ISO1600, aperture 5.6.

Iman Ghayoumi

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Equipment: Nikon D7000 + Nikon 18-105mm VR Lens ISO 800 F5 Focal length: 52 Exposure +0.3 and Light on top of the rose + built-in flash and just added a little black shadow as photo frame.. Taken: 13.02.2012

Have you ever watched a rose as it fades away; the colour becomes deeper as the petals dry. That's how love deepens as the days go by...

Aline Riche

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Canon EOS550D Photo taken at Melbourne, Vic, Australia by Aline Riche

Hi there,

Here is my submission. I've always had a hard time understanding why you would graffiti your name anywhere at all. But in a way I feel like it is a subconscious way to prove that you are here. Same goes with love. Writing your lover's initial next to yours makes the relationship last forever... Loved this little discreet finding on one of the trees along the Yarra River today. Just thought it'd fit the challenge perfectly.

Love, Aline ;)

Lukas Cervenan

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Hey guys, so I am here again after long time.

This pic was taken at Port Stephens during my holiday with my parents this weekend. It was quite tough beginning of our trip, as we were leaving Sydney on Friday at 12pm, and I still didnt have my new camera at 11am (my old one was not working properly) So on Friday, when I finally found out which delivery company has my camera, I had to jump on my motorbike and go about 20km in heavy rain to collect my new lady. But after all, I got her and I could go for a nice holiday:)

So this image was taken with brand new Canon 5DMKII, lens Canon 24-70L F/2.8, Hoya Pro1 cpl filter and Hitech Grey Gradual filter... on this place: -32.740685,152.185973

Camera Settings: ISO: 200 F/3,5 1/1250 sec 70mm focal length custom WB

And if you are interested, you can have a look at my website LC.DPHOTO.COM or leave me a comment here...

And big thanks to my sis and her BF as my models;)

Krystle Corfield

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Shot with Canon 550 D F 9.0

I took this on Saturday in almost full sun, a bit of a re-creation of a scene I happen upon regularly when arriving home from work.

There is nowhere this dog wouldn't follow this man, and nothing this man wouldn't do for this dog, complete and unconditional love.

Chen-Po Sun

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Looking at the two speedlights sitting on my desk, I tilted the smaller one towards the bigger one and they looked like the cutest couple.

So, I took a short break from work, grabbed my camera and the two speedlights and went to the nearby Carlton Gardens and did a photoshoot with the cute couple :)

Nikon D7000 with 50mm f/1.4 G lens 1/160 at f/4.5, ISO 100

Dez Boyd

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This knotted sculpture, outside Chadstone Shopping Centre, reveals it's true intention from only one view point — which I noticed for the first time the other week dispite having driven past it many times in the past. A metaphor for love I'm sure, so I decided to use your challenge to create this idea using the passing cars lights as arrow trails. I was tempted to leave in the MYER logo visible as I'm a cynical bastard but opted to get into the spirit of it all and go for the simpler image.

Nikon D90, 18-200mm lens, f38, 10 sec, ISO 100., cropped top and bottom, background brightened and warmed up slightly in camera raw and ps.

Tegan Ackley

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This photo was taken with an Olympus Tough 8010, at Southbank in Brisbane. I feel that this photo represents the love I share with my partner. We are the slinkies, two small simple objects in an environment of beauty and light. Perfect together and brightened by our surroundings.

Dez Wong

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Camera: Nikon D7000 1/160 @ f/8, ISO 100 48mm Lens:Tamron 17-50mm 2.8

I took this at a friend's engagement party in Sydney. My camera doesn't get out as often as I'd like it to, and I took this opportunity to take some happy snaps. Since the day was so bright I had to use the built-in flash to counter their faces being under-exposed.

Jacob Enkera

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Here is a pic of my godson stealing a kiss off a family friend. He was at it all day with her. Maybe a future marriage there! Equipment used was a 110D with 18-55mm III Lens just on auto shoot.

Elly Hart

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I went to a cupcake-decorating class with a girlfriend on Saturday morning. We spent a frustrating three hours making little roses, bow ties and letters using icing and fondant, with varying degrees of success. The 'M' cupcake (my boyfriend's name starts with an M) took the longest — I spent a good hour or so sticking all the little hearts on. Fortunately, he loved them. Or at least he said so. We've already eaten three of them.

Shot with my Motorola Atrix, default settings.

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