[pxChallenge] Five Frames of Familiarity


(Pat David) #1

Yes, I am hoping the alliteration brought you into this topic… :wink:

A Little Background

I was recently playing with a headshot I had taken of my wife, and found myself thinking about the level of familiarity I had with her face. I’ve taken tons of images of her over the years and find myself thinking about details that I know about that might not be noticed by others who lack the same level of experience looking at her.

This got me thinking further about how unaware we can be of the details that go into how we perceive things, and how the combination of multiple things might drive our overall experience. For instance, my wife has an awesome scar on her chin, but I don’t ever really notice it specifically - it is just another thing that contributes to my experience of her. She’s also got freckles, most of which I’m very familiar with also (first name basis?).

As such, I thought it might be fun to consider this as a photography challenge for everyone. See if we can stretch our photography muscles and have some fun sharing some results.

The Challenge

  1. Choose a subject that you’d like to consider. This can be a person, object, place, whatever: your choice.

    Think about what qualities contribute to your overall experience of the subject. Really consider what details makeup your perception and different ways of capturing them!

  2. Photograph those things!

  3. Compose the results as “slices” and combine them in a single final image. My idea was to constrain each image to a crop ratio of 2.76:1 (Ultra Panavision 70 ratio - for cinema nuts…) or 2.35:1.

Following this idea, your final image will be probably be 2760x5000 (or 2350x5000) and will be composed of one wide shot to start (or give context to the following images), and four images of your details. So similar to this (feel free to do it vertically instead if it suits you):

This is just to demonstrate the cropping and composition of the final image and isn’t representative of the types of images you may want to use.

This is an exercise to hopefully help us think thematically about a subject and ways to approach photographing them where we can focus our personal viewpoint to the results.


There’s no real time-frame on this, and I’m hoping it’s more of an open-ended opportunity for folks to try out the challenge - so feel free to drop in and share your results in the thread whenever you get something together that you like (or feel free to create your own thread in the Showcase category.

Some ideas…

  • Love that fancy cup of coffe? Why? Maybe show us the beans, cup, prep, and barista?
  • Motorcycle (wo)man? What about engine closeup, wheels, handlebars, helmet?
  • Favorite pet? Nose, ears, paws?
  • Special place to you? Sit down for a moment, put the camera down, and think about what things make it special to you.

(I’m not 100% sure about the post type name, but I’m going to go with it for now. Thank you to everyone on the naming thread for their input!)


#Pat love the idea :rosette: :octopus::man_scientist:t6::vampire::space_invader::palm_tree::butterfly:
I used to host cadavre exquis (Exquisite corpse) chains, both with stills and videos, lots of fun. Also participated in different develop contests and many dpreview’s challenges, some of them (people always said “crazy, undoable”) hosted by me.

I would also like to leave a brainwash, I mean brainstorm postit: we should NOT forget that the form itself, the presentation form, is worthy of exploring as indivisible part of the “message”. I perfectly understand that there must be a balance, a set of rules to play under (?) and some kind of cohesive aesthetics throughout the entries but… flexibility is paramount… in the sense that - set aside the mainstream, the common sense and all from that fat family - each individual/participant might desire to explore and bend the language itself, the “how to say” ( even if it does not make any sense!!) that feels closer to him/her… I also believe that within that exploration, processing, approaching, masturbating, discovery, etc. something happens, something such that helps the medium to be healthy and grow, to mature, mutate, or just die, then reborn, metamorphose maybe…

My experience is that the more organic/anarchic/unstructured/free/non-hierarquical/tantric proposals also meet the greater deal of “resistance”. Personally, I try to never underestimate neither the intelligence nor the capabilities of the audience, even at the zoo XD.

Soooorrrry for long boring post. Core idea is god is love but rightnow she’s powernapping and the goatsss roammm freeeee, brace yourselvessss!!! :camera::checkered_flag:

from 2013

(Mica) #3

I think (hope!) we’ll have many of these as time passes, but the specifics of this: 5 frames mushed into 1 of a single subject are the particulars of this challenge; others will be different.

While I agree we shouldn’t have a set time period for these (I think the “zombie” posts in our play raws have been awesome), we should space these out by at least a month or so @patdavid


Here’s my five slices. Just tried to focus on rules 1, 2, and 3, and put some creative license into the collaging.

A Rose And Other Summer Bloomers

Rawtherapee 5.1 and McGimp 2.9.5

(Kevin Payne) #5

I just wanted to say that this challenge is not forgotten. I’ve started thinking about what I’m going to photograph and how I’m going to do it.

The required aspect ratio is something of a challenge, but I think I’ve got a way of coping with it.

(Pat David) #6

I also have not forgotten things, just had to line up some time to shoot my subject. :slight_smile: I’m literally culling images right now for this.

[edit] - aaand, I need to go back to the drawing board for my contribution. Sorry for the delay, stay tuned!


@patdavid Yes, the process would require much more consideration than the average PlayRaw. It might take me ages but I will come up with something — eventually :stuck_out_tongue:.

(Sebastien Guyader) #8

Great idea! I’ll see if can come up with something.


This topic intrigued me enough to join this forum, the original mandate is similar to a image filter I wrote for myself a few years ago. Here I’ve applied it using a selection of traffic cone images I had handy. (I take a lot of photos of traffic cones, often with anthropomorphized titles for them in my mind. The top slice is Drunk Guard Sleeping on the Job for example.)

Anyway, for this I took the JPEGs, converted to PPM, rotated counter clockwise, applied my “super sampler” tool, rotated clockwise, and recompressed to JPEG again. Unix command line method:

images="cone1.jpg cone2.jpg cone3.jpg cone4.jpg cone5.jpg"
for img in $images ; do
  djpeg $img | pnmflip -ccw > $ppm
  ppms="$ppms $ppm"
pnmsupersampler $ppms | pnmclip -cw | cjpeg > sampler.jpg
rm $ppms

The filter was originally designed around the idea of a bunch of rapid sequence shots being composed together in the format of a multishutter camera, like the Lomo Supersampler for which I named it. As such, the filter really wants to do vertical slices, hence needing the rotations.

(Pat David) #10

Love it! :slight_smile: The last frame is fun in the context of the entire montage (maybe it would lose some charm on its own).

Thanks for sharing the script also, I’m going to give it a try on some other image sets I have around.


@Conic Fits Five Frames of Familiarity finely.

@patdavid I figured out what I would like to do but it involves techniques that I need to learn and work on :slight_smile:. Maybe I will make a thread for chronicling the process and asking questions.

(Pat David) #12

Being open and learning from each other is why we’re here! :wink: I’m hoping to re-orient my subject and get some shots soon as well.