Shooting Challenge #24 (Patterns) -- The Winner Is...

By Martin Snelling on at

The last Shooting Challenge brief was simple and straightforward; photograph patterns and shapes in the world around you. As usual, we had some high-quality images and some very...err...creative ones too (I'm looking at you, Patrick). I know the weather was pretty shitty for most of you during the challenge 'window', so thanks for taking the time to take part, those of you who did.

For this challenge I decided to pick two winners; an overall best single photograph, and a best set of five images, each of which was of a different geometric shape.

This week's individual winning image comes courtesy of Abbie Turner and her Olympus EP1. I loved the use of colours, perspective and tilt-shift focus effect. When placed alongside all the entries, it really stood out. The individual image is part of a set of five; all focused on food. Here are a few words from Abbie:

"To create a set of five images that worked well together I focused on creating patterns with food, which was great as I got to eat them all after! I used an Olympus EP1 and used close up shots to create an illusion the pattern continues outside the frame."

There were some great sets submitted and shout-outs must go to Abbie Turner and Andrew Wilson for theirs. But for me, it was Tim Drysdale's set of images that take the crown. I really loved the consistency throughout and also the thought process and meaning behind the images. Well done Tim; a very much deserved win. Over to Tim for some words on his images and the process:

"My 5-shot set of geometric patterns is all shot within a few hundred yards of my city flat, and represents the evolution of my horror at the grime of the city to finding natural beauty in it (originally being from clean green New Zealand). I'm certain to be overcooking the description, but engineers aren't known for being in touch with their emotions, or if they are, ever asked to write about it!"


"It took three goes on different days to get the right overcast light for this (soft shadows but bright enough to get handheld shots with low noise - a tripod was out of the question as some subjects were on the road). I used a lunch-bag as a rain cover on my Nikon D3200, a Nikkor 35mm prime lens wide open at f/1.8, ISO100/200 depending on ambient light and reflectivity. B&W conversion and level adjustment was done in Raw Therapee and cropping and sizing in Gimp."

Patterns I -- Circles:

The set starts with a fairly crude analogy by way of dead cigarettes (grime) poking their way into my view of clean green planet (the central circle). Although I'm not ready to accept it as pretty, I want to look through the circular windows to see what is hidden behind."

Patterns 2 -- Squares of Iron:

"Made out of iron, this pattern is like living in the city: confronted with man-made buildings at every turn (many of regular shape if you view them from the air). Early days; the emotional outlook is still dark."

Patterns 3 -- Rectangles:

"The third step in the evolution -- the construction of the iron squares in Patterns 2 mirrored that of the circles in Patterns 1, but now these are starting to break up -- some things getting smaller (horror), some things getter bigger (understanding that beauty can be found anywhere)."

Patterns 4 -- Ovals:

"The fourth step is to further separate the horror and beauty by introducing light (upper right) and dark (lower left), with the rigidity of the pattern relaxing (enjoyment and play starting)."

Patterns 5 -- Diamonds:

"A drop of rain hits the water surrounding the diamonds, and as the ripples spread out, it reminds me of the ponds and lakes. Peace. The evolution is complete."

Congratulations once again to Tim and Abbie. You can see all the entries over on our Flickr account, so go check them out and let us know which ones are your favourites.