One Colour Frame Challenge


The story behind one colour in close-up photography.

In October 2020, Close-Up Photographer of the Year announced a photo challenge: One Colour Frame.

This challenge required the shot to be a close-up plus focus on one colour.  

Sounds simple. But oh, how complex. 

The problem is, how do you find something that has contrast, interest, and is close up? I tried out several ideas, but the one that landed as a finalist (yay!) was “Intimate Touch.”

By the way, CUPOTY is based in the UK, so no matter how many times Grammarly warned me that I spelled “colour” wrong, I honored the English version. And it was a lot of warnings, ugh!












Everyday objects photography.

These aren’t body parts, people. What were you thinking?

These are two innocent organic hen eggs, intimately touching.

After trying different angles, adjusting the light for some shadow in the curves, and picking out a background paper that would complement the two eggs, I got this shot.  However, I took sixty photos in the process. Yes, sometimes it’s a lot of trial and error. Or maybe someone has a perfectionist issue.

I didn’t start with the intention of a racy, nude-like image, but I was attracted to the graceful curves. As I showed people this image, I got similar reactions of raised eyebrows or comments about booties. Then I saw it too. It is funny how you can get so close to something that your perspective isn’t as open as the viewer might be. 


Close up of two eggs leaning together intimately.

Macro photo techniques.

The first step in the process after submitting the image to CUPOTY was waiting.  Haha, there’s always that. But just about the time I forgot about the challenge, I noticed that this image made the shortlist. But what came next was a whole level beyond. My little nudes were finalists. AND selected to be in “Amateur Photographer Magazine’s” February 2021 issue in the Technique column. Egg-tastic!
This is page one with the winners followed by the finalists.
Amateur Photographer February article about one colour challenge techniques

Helping others with photography tips

Who knew a few years back that I would ever achieve such a goal, given that I just started photography about five years ago. And who would guess I would be asked to share my top tips for achieving a shot like this? Crazy! I can imagine myself five years ago looking at these photos and asking, “wow, why don’t my images look like that?” 

This challenge taught me many things about shapes, shading, and color. When I was asked for my technique tips, I spent time reflecting on how my practice and persistence have paid off over time.


Amateur Photographer One Colour Frame techniques article

Abstract Close-Up Photography


If you look at all these finalists and also examine the shortlist of all the photos the CUPOTY jurors had to sort through, there is an overwhelming number of them that are abstract. Close-up photography certainly lends itself to this genre, but add the constraint of just one color, and the game is definitely leaning towards the abstract.

Amateur Photographer article February 2021 one colour frame techniques.

How I came up with this close-up photo idea.

If you take a look at this page on CUPOTY’s challenge page, you can read how I came up with the idea to shoot organic eggs. As I held a carton of them intent on making scrambled eggs, I realized each had a slightly different shape and color. I hid my two favorites for their modeling session. The rest were breakfast.

CUPOTY webpage with finalist for One Colour Challenge.

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