The Daily Focal Point

December 8, 2008


Filed under: Abstract Photography, Photo Challenges!, Uncategorized — cabenelson @ 11:38 pm

So who got freaky?! How was it? I’ve heard that this was one of the hardest challenges we’ve done. Was it challenging for the mindset you needed to get into or was it challenging to actually take the picture? I’m telling you, abstract photographs can be some of the most beautiful pictures out there. I had high hopes and you all did not disappoint. So, let’s do this!!

Our first AND second photos comes from Sheila at Dr Cason
Pink Puff
Pink Puff

Extra Gauzy Lights
Extra Gauzy Lights
I think she only wanted for me to post one picture but both are excellent and really capture the challenge. Sheila says, “OK, this was tough for me. I couldn’t get very far out there. I’m still more real life but here’s two”
Two pictures, TWO THUMBS UP DUDE. I really like the second picture. Great mood and wonderful lighting! I also wanted to publicly thank Dr Cason for her recent post. Sheila created a post on what advice you would give to a new father… me. I was so incredibly touched by it. Thank you again Sheila and also to each of your readers who also posted advice.

Our next photo comes from Kevyn (AKA KJ) at Twelve Little Feet
abstract overload
I love the series of photos here!* This is a fantastic representation of natural abstract photography.

*A bunch of people have asked if multiple pictures is against the rules… my response is RULES?! What is this the DMV? Do whatever you would like as long as you have fun and you think other people will enjoy it!

This photo comes from Rob at Dusty Lens – North Metro. I’m enjoying Rob’s unique eye for photography. He seems to capture some of the most beautiful photos of individual subjects. Check them out.
I love this photo. Rob says, “I am currently working on my Thursday photo challenge. I have one shot so far of a Tangled Ball of hooks. Hooks to hang Christmas ornaments from the tree. I’m not 100% satisfied with this shot, then again, are we ever really satisfied with our own work?”
Rob, you should be satisfied with this shot. Not only does it match the abstract challenge, it falls right in line with the holidays!

Our next photo comes from Ginger at Ramble Ramble
I notice a lot of similarities between how Ginger frames her subject and how I frame mine. Ginger says, “This was quite the challenge, but I like what I got. My husband had to ask me what it was, so to me that fulfills the abstract rules!” I love that it’s all about shapes and shadows. Very cool picture… what is it? 🙂 I’m going to say it’s an upwards shot of a canopy.

This photo is by The Daily Focal Point’s newest friend Lisa. Her recent post and pictures on her visit to Sierra Madre is awesome. Check it out!
nurses' hands
I love this photo, great use of light and lines. It makes your eye follow the palm and the wedding bands are a great subject in the frame. Welcome to The DFP. Great first photo and we can’t wait to see more of your shots on here!

Our next photo comes from Kathleen at Tinkerbell’s Momma Kat.
Kat says, “I used one of my favorite “finds” for my home in this picture. It was taken with my Kodak Easyshare CX7300 3.2 megapixel camera. Thanks for this challenge. It was actually a lot of fun…”
Wonderful use of light and great moody feel! Now… what is it? I’m guessing it’s a reflection of some kind.

This photo comes to us from another Daily Focal Point first, Ulrika! Ulrika added me as friend on Flickr and I’ve loved looking at her uploaded pictures. Check them out here!
I love the hard lines, it’s a very coarse picture that works so well as an abstract shot. Ulrika says this about it, “I have tons of abstract because I love it all so much. I am also an artist – oils. have nothing much to say about this photo – I like it’s movement – it is not static and it swirls and the reds reminds me of unrest and the darker side of life, even though it is not a black photo – it is red like the fires of hell. (sorry to be so graphic – you can tweak my comment any way you wish).”
Um… I wish not to change it. 🙂 It’s a perfect description, AND FINALLY! Someone who reads as deeply into pictures as I DO! (I’ve been razzed a couple of times) Great pic Ulrika, I can’t wait to see more of them in future challenges.

Our next photo comes from Nana and I couldn’t be more excited that Nana decided to participate. Seriously, check out Nana’s blog and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Absolutely wonderful pictures.
Such a great use of light and shadows. It makes your eye follow it the picture all the way to the right side. I love it.

This photo comes from Gail at From The Back Deck who’s Flickr pictures are just amazing.
Orange Swirls
I was blown away by the color in this picture. Gail says, “I love fast cars, hot cars. It was a delight to explore angles and intimate details of these cars, dating back clear to the 1900’s. I hope this is abstract is ok enough. It’s as abstract as I’m going to be able to get with company here and Christmas on the way…..”
Such a great use of color, lines, and shapes. Beautiful car and beautiful picture. Part of me was excited because it was abstract the other car junkie side of me wanted to see the entire car! 🙂 Great picture Gail, can’t wait to see more.
(I’m restoring an old 76 BMW HERE I’m hoping to have such beautiful pictures of it when I’m done)

This photo cracked me up. It comes from my second wife’s wife Abby at Belina Blue Eyes.
I thought I had some pretty freaky photos but dude… LOOK AT THEM! Just not in the eyes… Belina Blue Eyes says, “I wish I had taken the time to get a better shot of this, but it was just in passing as I walked by. Either way, I think it provides some interesting things to look at. I like to call this photo “Perishable Heads”. When I was at the Sisters Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon last July, I was prowling around an old clock shop and happened upon a closet with no door. Inside the closet were these mannequin parts. It was so unusual and, quite frankly, frightening, that I had to take a picture. My favorite part is the expiration date on the box, Best Before APR/21/05. That gets me every time.”
I love that they’re in a Kirkland Brand box like you just picked them up fresh at COSTCO or something. Yeah, watch that EXP date. I’ve eaten some mannequin that had a little bit of funk coming off of it… not so good.

This photo comes from my good friend and family member who has been with me on The Daily Focal Point since I sarted this. Stacy. Check out Stacy’s latest picture on her blog. It’s awesome.
I LOVE the textures in this photo. Stacy said, “Well I didn’t have time to go shoot this weekend, so I pulled up an old photo that I thought was somewhat abstract. I kind of struggle with black and white a bit, but I thought that it was fun to try and work with it more. This picture is actually a picture of a sculpture at the Nelson Atkins Museum. It’s a really cool place, I think you would love it. They have a lot of really great sculptures out on their grounds. The museum is always featuring photographers. Anyway, hopefully this photo somewhat fulfills the requirements of the challenge.”
Uh… What? “You HOPE it meets the requirements?” Dude, this picture is spot on! Absolutely beautiful in B&W. I love that you can see the details close up. It’s perfectly framed and its a beautiful shot.

Our next entry comes from the talented Mary Elizabeth who I love looking at her images. They have such great style to them. Each time I check out her site I see that she’s been shooting more photography sessions than ever. It’s all because of your submitted photos on here isn’t it? 🙂
Great depth of field! I love that the very right side is the only thing in focus and the net surrounds the image. It’s a great image.

Finally our last picture comes from my good friend Danny who sent in this gem.
Danny says, “I love people watching, especially in locations where you may see a wide variety of people from different cultures and lifestyles. One of my favorite places to people watch is Venice Beach, near Santa Monica, California. The street performer is interesting enough, but I like seeing the different reactions he gets from the people around him. The lady on her knees at the far left of the picture is just floored by this guy. The man on the right is pretty indifferent whereas the man in the middle looks like he wants to go get wasted with the street performer.” Danny, great idea for the image. Not focusing on the main center of attention, you deliberately captured the individual people’s responses. I envy those that can take people or life photography and are able to capture real moments and reactions. And check out them SWEET roller blades. Has anyone ever seen the Dog Whisperer? If you have you know what I’m talking about. Cesar Milan has a pair and wears them all the time when we walks his dogs.

I just wanted to say how impressed I am with everyone’s skill set and submitted images. I’m even more impressed with the sheer amount of courage it takes to post your pictures side by side with people you’ve never met before. I know it’s intimidating, I do it every day!

Oh and I got inspired. Here’s a sneak peak at our next Photo Challenge! I was thinking what the Holidays have in abundance of, besides the crazy uncles we all have? LIGHTS! The Holidays are packed with lights. Think about it. Candles, fires in the fireplace, Christmas Lights galore, beautiful Christmas trees lights etc. What other time of the year is your city/town/house lit up this brightly? Especially with different colors, shapes, and sizes! Next week’s challenge will be all about capturing lights. Drive down your street, look out your window, heck even look in your own living room for some.
Here’s one of our Christmas tree:
It doesn’t have to be as funky as this shot. So be thinking about it… I’ll explain more in detail on Thursday!

December 3, 2008


Filed under: Abstract Photography, Photo Challenges! — cabenelson @ 10:09 pm

Okay… who’s ready to get weird?!? I was going to say, “Who’s ready to get freaky” but that could have been taken another way. This week’s challenge is going to seem difficult but really it’s not that hard. ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY-
In my view abstract photography can be pretty wide open. It’s not like Portrait or Landscape… it’s SUBJECTIVE. To me, abstract photography is all about lines, textures and/or color. It’s suppose to make you ask yourself, “Uh… what?” for a split second but still be beautiful/interesting. You know you’ve reached abstract when someone says, “I have no idea what this is, but it’s beautiful”
Abstract can be freaky weird, but most of all it’s just suppose to be of something different. Look through your viewfinder on your camera using different angles. Top down, bottom up, off center, crooked etc. BE CREATIVE AND ARTISTIC! GET OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
This will be a difficult challenge in one area. It’s going to be a different mindset for most of you. It’s going to be difficult to push yourself into taking pictures of something you wouldn’t ever normally take pictures of. Plus, since it IS different, your photo library’s might not be chock full of abstract photography. It might force you to get out and take some photos specifically for this challenge. But you know what? Once you get into the mode, you’ll see that you can make nearly anything abstract. And if all else fails, go take pictures of “something” abstract. That weird sculpture they have downtown or the freaky art piece at your local park.

It’s hard to describe abstract, it’s just one of those things that you have to see.

Here are some of my examples of Abstract Photography:

Ocean Sky


Crying Eye

Blue Light Swirel

Get into the mindset of artistic/creative photography. What always helps me is to listen to music. This song isn’t for everyone but I love it. Give it a listen… Go on!


If you need some more inspiration click here.

AGAIN, SEND ME YOUR ABSTRACT PICTURE BY EMAILING ME THE HTML FLICKR LINK TO YOUR PHOTO. If you DON’T have a Flickr account DON’T WORRY! Just email me your photo as usual. But if you do have a Flickr account, just follow these simple instructions.

* Upload your photo to Flickr
* Click on the “All Sizes Tab” right above the photo
* Select the “MEDIUM” sized (500×335)
* Then just email me the “Copy and Paste the HTML link into your webpage” link

Again, email me your favorite abstract pic (via link or attach it) to cabenelson (at) gmail (dot) com. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE EMAILED NO LATER THAN MONDAY DECEMBER 8TH!

In case your wondering, the reason why I chose abstract was because it can be some of the most beautiful photography. Based on past challenges alone, I know that we’ll see some very cool pictures! So… who’s stoked!??

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