Hope you like great photos, because last week’s Shooting Challenge is coming at you. There are some amazing photos in this bunch, so start voting for your favourite photographer! They might just win an Olympus micro four-thirds camera!
For five weeks, Gizmodo readers (and the friends they convince to vote for them) are voting one weekly Shooting Challenge finalist through to the prize round to be judged and announced by Gizmodo editors on Wednesday, July 25.
Note: In the interests of fairness, voting has been restricted to one per user, based on cookie and IP.
Voting closes at 10am on Tuesday, July 17.
The Olympus OM-D EM-5 is designed to make the jump into DSLR easy. With Live View functionality that lets you see exactly what a shot will look like before you take it, coupled with a 5-axis in-body image stabiliser for shooting in low light, and a retro design inspired by the first OM-D from 1972, the EM-5 lets you capture some beautiful shots. More at Olympus.
We’re excited to be able to give this camera away to Gizmodo’s Shooting Challenge faithful.
The kit you’re playing for is valued at $1499, and includes the OM-D EM-5 body and 12-50mm lens, both of which are weatherproof so you can feel confident when Mother Nature turns on you.
Last Week’s Most Voted Photo — Finalist 2 Of 4
This Week’s Entries
Click on images to zoom into gallery mode, and don’t forget to scroll down to vote.
“A Wave of Light”
This is my usual route to work. I always enjoy a little walk down the path. It’s particularly beautiful in the morning or just before sunset. The building on the right belongs to a school. I’ve always admire the roof.
I use my iphone 4S with Pro HDR app, and then CrossProcess app for the color. I didn’t use any special lens, just the one that came with the phone.
Looked out my Cronulla unit to see a very bright rainbow and decided to get my new Panasonic FZ150 out and capture the shot in Raw. Details of the shot in the EXIF info. Processed the Raw file in Oloneo. One of the camera’s first shots. First Raw shot ..ever and first processed shot using Oloneo. Will probably specialised in HDR as I love the look.
So I made a trip out to Circular Quay in Sydney to see if I could finally capture a nice HDR of the harbour bridge (I have tried before with no success) and was pleased with the result.
I used a Canon Kiss X4 (Same as a 550d) with an EFS 18-55mm lens set up on a tripod. The shooting mode was manual, the ISO was set to 100, the F-Stop was at 4.5 and the first exposure was set to 5 seconds. I then took a total of 5 photos with the exposure compensation bracketed at -4, -2, 0, 2 and 4. I then merged the images together with Photoshop’s HDR merging tool.
This photo was taken on Cockatoo Island with a Canon 550d. It is a tunnel that goes underneath the industrial buildings on the island, at night is was very spooky! The exposure was 2 seconds for the first photo, 1/2 second for the second and 4 seconds for the third. The aperture was set manually at 5 and the ISO at 3200.
For as long as I can remember there has been an abandoned vineyard within walking distance of my house. I don’t know the story behind it, but it has been disused for 15 years at least.
Shot with a Canon Eos 1100D, 1/320sec, ISO-100, f/5.6, a 18-55mm lens and a dodgy Dick Smith tripod 😉
5dmk2 + 28mm f/1.8 + Polariser
3 exposures, 2 sec shutter, f/2.8 and ISO 3200
I’m paralysed with fear, as a figure appears in the window sill above me. The figure lingers and stares…
iPhone Camera App shot at Dusk in Hawaii
Out I went freezing at 5am to set up and capture some normal sunrise shots and set up for the HDR…..
This one’s faked with it all being a software work , the initial image was -2,0,+2 split and rendered to be this final shot , the shot worked and even the sun wasn’t to bad .
Lens :18-55mm @36mm f:22
Shutter 1/30th sec
software GIMP 2.8
I get nervous whenever I’m in underpasses like this one, aways imagining terrible things happening… even though in Adelaide it’s usually very safe. I tried to give that feel to my photo, this sense of dread and impending trouble, to a scene that really wasn’t that worrying if I’m being honest!
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L
24 mm, ISO 100, f/9, 3 exposures at 0.3, 1.3 and 5 s, tripod
Opened in Lightroom and blended using LR/Enfuse plugin (highly recommended BTW)
Converted to B&W, dodging and burning, export as jpg et voila!
Equipment: Canon EOS 600D, Tripod, 55-200mm lens.
Settings: Program AE mode, Automatic focus and shutter speed, 5 exposure shots (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2).
Set up a tripod at the in-laws sugar cane farm and came up with my first ever HDR image. Used Photoshop’s “Merge to HDR Pro” feature and used the “Surrealistic” setting. No other photoshopping done.
Windows and Doors:
This is the former Director’s Residence at the Mt Stromlo Observatory, which fell victim to the 2003 bush fires. After a Sunday morning ride to the top of the mountian I saw this view, but the 2m fence was a challenge – hooking tripod legs in the mesh was the solution.
Nikkor 10-24mm DX
Got this while out bike riding through Honeysuckle, Newcastle. I thought the dust might have an interesting effect in the light.
Taken on Canon 50D running Magic Lantern, 18-135 lens, 7 shots at +/- 1ev. Processed in Photomartix Pro.
Ship Details [Marine Traffic]
I have seen this Jetty from my flat every morning for the past 5 years. And I have been meaning to take a picture of it for about that long. But I am an absolute pussy when it comes to the cold so I justified any number of procrastinations to keep myself warm at home. However I decided to brave the cold mornings last week and finally get some shots as the skies have been clear and the water relatively still. I actually planned on doing some pano stitches, but settled on this HDR instead. It was shot on a Nikon D-7000 with a Tokina 11-17mm 2.8. Exposure was about 1/2 sec get the sky in balance with the jetty. at F-22, iso 200. I did the HDR in Photomatix and then straightened some distortion in Photoshop. It was a simple 3 exposure HDR mostly to
A Sony NEX-5N with a 18-55mm lens, at ISO 320, a 3.2 second middle exposure, 6 ev auto HDR setting, at 28mm, f/4 setup on a small tripod.
I’d just recently bought this camera and had been playing around with the HDR settings on it and decided coming home from work yesterday that I tryout some long exposure photos that night.
So I put on my trackies and went out the door with the only tripod I could find, walking just a couple metres to throsby creek near my house. While taking some photos thought I might see what would happen if I used the HDR settings at night with long exposures and was suprised with the result.
After two hours walking up and down the creek with shoes soaked from the dew on the grass I made my way home and decided on this one after worrying that I may have taken a picture of partially invisible spaceship before coming to my senses.
a typical Tasmanian paddock.
looks really good in hdr, desaturated the sky a bit to give it a nice grey look to contrast the red, browns and greens.
started in Photomatix and finished in Photoshop.
Had my head set on a shot of the boats lit up, but could not get a decent capture of them. Night time HDR requires long exposures, which can be particularly challenging. It has always fascinated me. 61 photos later, this is the last set of shots I took. There is noise and blur of people moving. I liked the outcome and decided to send in this one. Processed with GIMP & Luminance HDR.
Used bracketing to take out 3 shots, at 0ev, -1ev, +1ev. The exposure time required for each and then for all meant it was, “fun” trying to get as less movement in the scene as possible 🙂
Camera: Olympus e-410
lens : 14-42mm kit lens
ISO : 400
Exposure: 1/1 sec (for main 0 biased exposure)
2 other HDR Brakected shots @ +1 and -1 ev.
In Shanghai last week. The Hyatt has a small cocktail bar on the 56th floor. I was exahusted and my wife tapped me on the shoulder and said look up. Put My camera on its back and held tight and let her rip. 24mm/2.8 on the D300 (equiv to about a 36mm on a full sensor) at f4.5 with a -1.3ev to +1.3ev. in RAW with about 7 shots. Tweeked it a lot to sharpen the contrast but really all it needed was the sat turned up. Grab your camera and go to Shanghai
The picture is Taken with Nikon D7000 with 18-105 mm lens. It was taken on our way back from Glasshouse Mts as the day wasn’t sunny as we hoped for to get some great pictures from the lookout. Any way thought will come again some other time and it was this moment where the clouds were giving such dramatic look and the trees were lit by pure sunlight so i took my camera and Hoped for the best.
Warehouses in Sydney: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. You must be cautious.
I love doing HDR shots in these kind of surroundings, but other photographers had been there before me, there was a destroyed pocket wizard on the ground as well as part of a tripod, as if the building had eaten the photographers up only to spit out the chunks of tech. Bracketed of around 12 shots, compiled into Photomatix pro, and hurled through Photoshop for a little saturation and deeper shadow.
Equipment: Nikon D300, 12-24mm f/4 lens, tripod, remote release.
Technique: 7 bracketed RAW images, only 6 used (-2.33ev to +2.67ev, in 1ev steps).
Ap set at f/14, shutter was 0.5sec, through to 15 sec. ISO200, matrix metering.
RAW images converted to 16 bit TIFF files, 32 bit HDR created using Photomatix Pro 4.2, and tonemapped to a 16 bit TIFF. This was then converted to a 8-bit JPG, and resized.
Having put some new apps on my tablet, ones with tide times, sunrise times, and where it would rise, I was keen to put some of this info to the test. I chose Pearl Beach as my location as it was a place I had been to a couple of times and thought it would work well. Though being up at 5am is never easy.
Every day in winter when I drive home from work, if I time it just right, I get a gorgeous sunset right over the Sydney skyline as a backdrop. There are about 5-10 minutes in the day, when the sun colours all the buildings and clouds in indescribable shades of pink and salmon. It looks so romantically beautiful, I am sometime surprised I don’t have an accident. There certainly have been enough times I was was sorely tempted to step out of the car and take a picture right from the middle of the road.
So naturally when this challenge was announced I knew I had to get this picture. I tried to find the best place I could to get a clear shot, and ended up in Longueville (a good place to watch the NYE fireworks, BTW). Naturally the weather has also heard of the challenge, so instead of the gorgeous cumulonimbus clouds with clear skies I just got grey, but even that could not stop the sun from painting the city in gorgeous colours.
Shot with a (tripod mounted) Canon EOS 450D, a 18-135mm lens. I set the exposure to P and shot at -1, 0 & +1 ev bracketing. Exif tells me it was 72mm focal length, f/5.6, 1/40 sec and ISO-800.
Merged in Photoshop and then cropped and further developed (mostly clarity) in Lightroom.
Jasper Da Seymour
Ok so Nikon D7000 with 8mm Rokinnon fisheye, manfrotto 7301yb tripod with no name brand remote.
iso 100/aperture 8. 9 exposures.
This was taken at a redundant and disused wood treatment plant/ train yard. This image i feel summarises the whole site, taken straight into one of the old kiln doors,left as it was the day all the workers just got up and left, removed the last pieces of timber and the door open,as that would of been the last time that it ever fired up. Didnt have enough courage to squeeze in through the door and have a look around though,maybe next time! This massive area has been sitting for over 20 years with very little vandalism and graffiti , an overwhelming site to spend a few hours in.(if your into abandoned industrial sites:))
I love how nice melbourne CBD looks early evening in winter, but most of the time we are rushing home & don’t take time to take in the scene.
This HDR is created from 32 images shot on 5dii with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens on tripod & triggered via remote cable & timer.. These images have then been tonemapped via HDR. to produce this final image.
I am a huge fan of HDR, but feel it has a bad reputation because people often ‘overcook’ their images; but I do it because I really like to get as much dynamic range into my images as possible. This is why I choose to render my results as realistically as possible.
I was dashing out after work to try and get some HDR photos at dusk. I managed to grab these photos from the park near my office. Using HDR I managed to get the detail in the foreground and the colour in the sky.
Just starting out in photography I love the opportunity to take my ultra-wide angle lens out to play. When I took this, I had just lost my job and needed to go to the park to clear my head, and brought my camera with me to try and capture a landscape that not only reflected my the rather down and out mood I was in, as well as show probably the only day there was clear enough skies so far this Melbourne winter.
Body: Canon 5D mark 2
Lens: Sigma 12-24mm (at 12mm)
This shot was taken at the bridge near the MCG Stadium in Melbourne on a quiet Sunday twilight. I love the multiple railroads which give the city a vintage look. There is also a nice mix of colours from the sky, the railway track and the yellow lights on both sides of the track. This was taken with -2/-1/0/+1/+2 exposure and combined on Adobe Photoshop. Slight editing was done to increase vibrance.
Camera – Canon EOS 600D
Lens – 24-70mm (focused at 30mm)
Camera Mode – Manual
Exposure Time – 30 seconds
Aperture – f10
ISO – 100
Dark Clouds Rolling In
I thought I was going to miss the sunset on this afternoon, then I caught this. 3 Shots, 3EV apart, put together in HDR Effex.
Taken on Sony NEX-5N with kit lens.
Taken on the way back from helping a friend move house, it was the only day I really had to shoot and since I was moving furniture all day I only had the drive home to find a worthy subject, just as the sun was setting (perfect time for HDR) I drove pase the horses in this feild, so I pulled over and grabbed my camera (pentax k-x) used the fence post to rest the camera on while I took the bracketed shots, and here we have the result. I was looking for a good example of why you should use hdr and not just turn anything into a radioactive scene. I feel this is a good example of something you could never capture with a standard shot.
Settings were ISO 200 and f8 @53mm and I used 3 shots at +-2ev. I used photomatrix to mix the shots.
While I’m not usually a fan of the typical HDR look, I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. And besides, this rugged, wintery coastline in northern NSW was screaming to be photographed. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to try it out.
I have decided to give it a go to the challenge this week… HDR never done it before but what a good way to get motivated… Here is my first attemp
Camera Fujifilm 5S pro
focal lens 27mm
Software used Photomatix
This photo wasn’t originally intended for this competition; yesterday I wrote a small piece which brought to mind the events in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. I thought it might be suitable to post on my blog on the 6th as a sort of anniversary observance, so I started looking for a picture of an origami crane and realised I could just take one myself.
I found some directions online, made it with copy paper and set up the shot. The crane was lit with two white LED torches, one on the table, level with the crane and the other in my hand, some ambient light came from two warm low wattage down-lights about three meters overhead. The blue aura surrounding the crane was actually visible to my naked eye, as long as I wasn’t looking at the crane directly.
Not owning a dedicated digital camera (wink, nudge), I took the photo with my Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000 phone with the HDR Camera+ app from Almalence on the default settings (unfortunately the app doesn’t include a lot of EXIF data). Photoshop was used to remove a few small spots from the surface of the coffee table, other than that; there were no other manipulations and no adjustments.
I showed the photo to a friend, who has recently started a slightly messy love affair with photography, who inquired of its HDR pedigree then directed me to the competition page. Once on the page, I realised that not so long ago, I’d originally directed him to it.
Katoomba, Blue Mountains, NSW.
Canon 550D with kit lens.
9 exposures at +-2ev.
Post done with Photomarix and Lightroom..
Canon 600d 55mm ISO100
Early morning i just out of my home and saw
“SUN was getting ready to take shower in the clouds so i thought of capturing the moment. Rays coming from the sun seems like a sleeping baby opening its eyes to say that let me sleep some more time”
Sun got ready and i missed my bus.
Taken from the iconic Webb Bridge at sunset, In the background is the Docklands Marina and in the far distance the Bolte Bridge can be seen.
In the for ground is the shadowy figure of my father who happily accompanied me through out the shoot.
Funny that after taking 200+ photos this acidental shot is the one that stood out.
Technically the final composition is made up of 3 images that are blended together
It gives both the illusion of movement and fine detail all in a single frame.
f13 ISO 800
Shutter 0.3 seconds – 1/1250th
Lens 17-55mm IS USM
Assembled in NiK HDR eFex Pro via Photoshop.
Canon 7D – Sigma 10-20mm
f/9 | ISO 200 | 11mm
I went Whale watching on the weekend! I made a late night trip to capture the whales happily swimming around without a throng of people below. This is a 9 shot HDR image[ -6,-5,-4,-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,], combined in Photomatix and then some tidy up in Photoshop.
We’d had a few days of clear skies in Brisbane, but on Friday the clouds were shaping up really well so I dashed up to the Mt Gravatt lookout just in time to catch sunset. This shot was taken with my old faithful Konica 50mm lens and processed with Luminance HDR and the GIMP.
Samsung Galaxy S 2
App: HDR Camera +
I took multiple shots while strolling around parramatta river and thought I wanted to try taking photos in HDR with some a tiny bits of nature with man made steel, concrete and glass at a different angle on a phone. this is one of the best out of my collection. After doing so I didnt realise there was an old man in the photo which just made the photo more nice as he happens to wear grey clothing which makes it a good contrast.
I’ve attempted to take a HDR shot of this wreckage before but failed as I forgot to bump down the ISO, so when I combined it, the picture looked like it had acne. I was prompted by this challenge to try it again, so I headed down to the car. It has an eerie feeling to it as your gut wrenches and my phone dropped signal. I wanted to capture that feeling and I believe I did.
Body: Canon 600D
Lens: Canon 50mm f1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/25, 1/40, 1/60
Nature through mans design. This photo was taken with my son in the newish Docklands precinct. The symmetry of structure is quite pleasing.
Canon EOS 7D
EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
f/2.8 ISO 100
Luckily there was some cloud around this morning so I went to the harbour and climbed down to this lighthouse. Processed in photomatix… probably a bit overdone…
Multiple exposures @ f10 / ISO 50
Took a trip to St. Kilda for this challenge and saw an old man who was fishing on the pier. I asked if I could take a few photographs of him but initially he didn’t understand as his English wasn’t very good. To my amusement, the first thing he said to me was “are you crook”? I wanted to say “well I am about to shoot you” but the bad joke would’ve been lost on him. He ended up being very friendly and seemed to be a very skilled fisherman. He had a few fishing poles going at the same time and was constantly switching between them so it was quite challenging to get three exposures where neither he nor the poles were moving too much. This is my first attempt at an HDR image. Learned a lot from this one!
Canon EOS 600D
Canon EFS 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS II
Shot on a tripod
Exposure Time 1/21sec
ISO – 100
Focal Length 18mm
This was taken with a Nikon D7000 and nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens ISO 320. I normally like to use a tripod for my 3 bracketed pictured but to get this low to the ground it wasn’t possible this time so they are 3 handheld shots at +/- 2. I compiled the 3 photos in Photomatix and then did some HDR toning and sharpening in CS5. This is a piece of art on English Bay in Greater Vancouver.
Port Willunga Beach
For this weeks challenge, I headed back out to one of my favourite locations, Port Willunga Beach.
This being my first attempt at a HDR, I don’t think I went too bad.
I used three separate images which I took using different exposure bracketing.
Shot with a Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24-105mm Lens
f/22, ISO-1250, 1/1000
Title: Lighthouse HDR
So I have to be honest – I never shoot HDR’s!
I was out for a shoot at lighthouse on Sunday morning and after I’d finished my panoramic I thought I’d have a try at a HDR for this weeks challenge. This is a manually bracketed 4 shot HDR merge.
I shot this moments after I’d finished my sunrise shot so I knew there would be highlights on the horizon therefore I shot the base image at f11, 1/50th sec ISO 100 then 2 shots, each at a stop below, and 1 shot a stop above finishing at 1/25th.
Shot on a Nikon D800 with a 16-35mm lens.
Editor’s note: Turns out Daniel’s entry wasn’t eligible and we’ve removed it from this week’s round. He’ll be back within the rules next week.