Texture Challenge
Most of us react positively to texture because we are familiar with them.  From our firsthand experience, we know by touch how certain things feel.
We know soft is good to the touch and hard is not, especially if we fall.  Some examples of textures are grass, leaves, wall texture, asphalt on roads or rough and smooth wood surfaces.
To better understand how textures can be used effectively, take a series of photographs with your subject amongst/against a texture.  You might choose a friend for a portrait, do a self-portrait, or place a contrasting object in front of a cool texture.  The choice of texture is yours.
Let the texture dominate your composition.  Take several images so you have ample practice.  Go high.  Go low.  Try overhead.  If you stand at eye level when you take your photograph, be sure to give your shot a unique twist.
When you are finished, feel free to share your image with me on Twitter.  My home at Twitter is @MarkPaulda

Pattern Challenge

The repetition of similar elements within your photo frame is obviously called patterns.  The elements that make up a pattern may be lines or shapes.  Patterns occur when the repeated elements become predictable – one thing after another after another without variation.   You might even say patterns are monotonous.

The conscious inclusion of patterns in your photos can be very powerful.  In fact, you could make quite a compelling statement simply by incorporating a pattern into your image composition.

It’s easy to find patterns.  Simply look around.

Are you ready for your challenge?
Find a pattern.  Any pattern.  Remember, patterns are everywhere.  Find an interesting pattern then take a self-portrait in front of this pattern.

And remember.  Simplify your scene.  No clutter allowed.
A simple photo is stronger than a photo full of clutter.   Have fun with the exercise.

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