Shooting Challenge #31 -- Seeing Red. The Winner Is…

By Martin Snelling on at

For the latest Shooting Challenge, you were tasked with making a photograph, or series of photos, that captured the colour red. Some of you took the opportunity to photograph the world around you, capturing everything from cars to canopies. While some of you got creative and created the scenes and scenarios to photograph.

There were some cracking images this week, so thanks must go to everyone for taking the time to submit their work. I heartily recommend you go and check out the photo album over on Flickr.

It was rather difficult picking a winner this week as the standard was particularly high. So, who won?

It gives me great pleasure to announce that this week’s recipient of the virtual Shooting Challenge trophy as well as an actual Nexus 7 tablet courtesy of our chums at Ubisoft is… Shooting Challenge regular Andrew Wilson for his series of four interconnecting photographs all focusing on the colour red.

I was really taken with Andrew’s thought process and execution of his mini love (or perhaps that should be lust) story, all contained within four photographs.

Here’s what Andrew had to say on the story behind the photos:

“I have to say, when I saw the brief for this week my heart lifted, I've been wanting to get creative and just haven't had the time recently (I've just become a Dad so that has been taking a lot of my time) but this brief gave me loads of ideas straight away.


As I had an idea for the set I discounted the idea of candid shots immediately and using a couple of helpers and myself I set up the following shots. Originally I had the idea of taking four different shots in exactly the same style, but as I was slightly constrained by the amount I can spend in one session I decided to do the opposite and shoot four shots in slightly different styles and locations, with the overarching theme holding the shots together.


I've also included a narrative in lieu of an out-and-out description of what I was going for."

1.) Lust: The first glance was the best. The yellow hair was the kindling to set off the burning lust in my heart. I was captivated.

2.) Lie: A late night at work wasn't an excuse, it was the reason. It didn't seem to matter than I hadn't outright lied though. A slight strangulation wasn't something I was alien to.

3.) Love: Love only seems to scald. First with desire, then with regret. The latter usually assuming infidelity.

4.) Leave: I really haven't made the most of this life. It's time to make another. There's enough time to break a few more too.

I shot all the images with a Canon 600D with an 18-55mm kit lens. All the images were shot in aperture priority at the largest aperture for the chosen focal length, this was to promote a separation between the subject and the rest of the scene (although to focal distances this really only comes in in shots 2, 3 and 4).


Shots 2, 3 and 4 were taken on a tripod for convenience. Shot 3 was taken by using the rear camera in the tablet to take a photo and then drawing the heart onto the picture and displaying the picture back, zooming and panning it into the correct position, liveview was useful here. Shot 1 features a good friend, Helen, posing for me and in shot 2 my wife graciously volunteered to don red lipstick, nail varnish and not so gently, strangle me. All photos received slight level modifications only. Although I could have easily reduced the saturation on all the colour channels a tad and been happy with the results, you would have been angry with me though, so I didn't.”

Congratulations Andrew on your win and for becoming a daddy :)

As usual I must offer hearty slaps on the back, firm handshakes honourable mentions to the following people for their submissions:

Jonas Demuro - who knew traffic lights could look so good?

Blake Taylor - kudos for using a Polaroid camera.

Russell Norman - nice use of a gerbera and interesting thought process too.

Rogerio Bromfman - simplicity is the key for this absolutely fantastic image.

Ashley Charlotte - a beautiful image; that hair is amazing and the use of red balloons gets extra points.

Again, well done to everyone that entered; sorry if I didn’t give you a mention. You can see all of the submissions on Flickr; I’m sure you have a favourite so do tell us in the comments below.

There will be another Shooting Challenge next week; so get thinking about textures and shapes… And it won’t be as simple as photographing textures and shapes.

Martin Snelling is a Hampshire-based photomatographer and wearer of fine hats. He tweets here, Flickrs here, and does his website stuff here.