Recently Joshua Kittleson challenged our MeWe group to explore the classic cinematic two shot. Today I want to show you the winners of our successful MeWe Two Shot Challenge.

I’ve hosted many a challenge over the years and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. The Two Shot Challenge was clearly a winning subject that inspired our community. I know this because of the diversity of approaches and the number of entries we received; there were almost too many images to choose from. But our fearless judges, Tomek Skog, Mary Wardell and Ann Feklista, were up to the challenge!

The Winner

In a close vote, Janan Lee’s “Secret Message” was our overall winner! His image executed a classic “wide two shot” that showed both figures from head to toe including the surroundings. I really felt like we are in the classroom with Peter and Mary Jane as he passes her a note. The lighting is spectacular and the figures perfectly posed.

Nice job Janan! We’re loving your image gracing the header of our MeWe community!

Secret Message by Janan Lee

Second place

One of the challenges of a “two-shot” is to tell a story with two characters. A shot should move the action forward, show a reaction, help the viewer feel like they are part of the action. This is why we loved this two shot by @Barnatoys!

There is so much to love in this photo and the suspense is killing me! Does the cat even survive her encounter with this character? Or is a Xenomorph really a softy at heart and is swishing his tail for the cats benefit? I desperately want to know what happens next!

Both Janan and Barna take advantage of scale and forced perspective to create realistic scenes. It doesn’t take much effort of the imagination to bring these scenes to life.

Third Place

Judging contests is always difficult. With so many great entries its hard to choose the winners. This is why our third place choices is a tie between Tobias Schiel and Zee Fowler. Two photographers who couldn’t be more different but who both tackled the challenge in their own distinct styles.

Mirror, Mirror! by Tobias Schiel

Tobias’s interpretation evokes classic Noir cinema with its dark and moody lighting. With one figure lighted and another partially silhouetted, we’re left with more questions than answers. The staging is mysterious, yet I feel drawn into this story, patiently waiting for it to unfold in what is surely going to be a dramatic fashion. While many photographers feel compelled to move onto video, images like this show that a single image can still tell a powerful story.

Our other third place winner, Zee Fowler, took a decidedly different approach to the Two Shot Challenge. Zee used the challenge to examine one character through two different interpretations. By using different versions of the same character, he’s able to show a passage of time in one photo. The judges felt this was a creative and unique approach to the challenge and thats why we chose Zee as our third place winner.

The Immortal Hero by Zee Fowler

Honorable Mentions

Do you know what I hate the most about these photography challenges? Being forced to choose a winner! I personally appreciate every single person who takes the time to create a photo. So now I want to showcase a few of those photos that made our choice so difficult.

Co-pilots. by Tom Milton
Vacay Delay by Dennis Carvajal Herrera
How are you feeling Byers?
‘Cos my sneakoscope is buzzing like mad!!
By Elliot B
The past or the future. by Jason Nvrmore

“Hey Buzz: Do you think they’ll remember us a half century from now?”
by Tony Tulloch

With this challenge I think its safe to say that we all learned a little more about composition, the cinematic universe and how to create an effective two-shot. And for all you wonderful people who were inspired by the challenge but didn’t have the time to participate, don’t worry. We will appreciate seeing your photos when you have the chance to post them. Come on over to MeWe and show us what you’ve got!

August Challenge

We loved the cinematic two shot challenge so much we decided our next challenge would be in the same vein: the extreme close-up.

An extreme close-up shot is a shot that frames a subject very closely, often so much so that the outer portions of the subject are cut off by the edges of the frame. On an actor, this is commonly used to show specific portions of the body, like the face or hip, but it can go closer to show only an actor’s eyes or mouth, or even a single eye. 

Inanimate objects can also be framed in an extreme close-up shot, but everything is based on the scale and size of the object. If you were to frame a steaming tea-pot in an extreme close-up, you might focus on the spout or base. The idea is that you cannot see the entire subject, but rather are forced to focus on a particular portion, hopefully, for the desired effect.

from the

If you’re interested in participating please join our MeWe group and show us your best extreme close-up images. Simply tag your photos #TP_photochallenge_detail. Tomek, Mary, Ann and I can’t wait to see your interpretation of this fun challenge. And for those of you who love #nofigurefriday, #mechanoidMonday or #toydinoTuesday this is the perfect opportunity to stack those tags! LOL!!!

See you there!
~ Shelly