Graphics: Found Signs And Symbols

The world is rich in symbols, some more apparent than others, but if you put yourself in a “graphics” frame of mind, as we asked readers to do for this month’s assignment, you’ll find more than your share of images to capture in the world around you. The nature of this assignment was to find abstractions, to use context merely as a frame and not a reference, and to find the image within the image where a graphic presented itself. In many cases the frame becomes a canvas and the image something that abstract expressionists would understand. While we did receive some composites for this assignment we favored images made “in the field” that used cropping and a “graphic eye” to make the shot.

Postal Box

Irwin H. Segel made this photograph of a Danish postal box on a painted wall with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 16-85mm lens. Exposure was f/11 at 1⁄1000 sec at ISO 400. © Irwin H. Segel


F.E. Goroszko helped us see which end was up in this urban landscape. He photographed with a Nikon N90s and a Tamron 70-210mm lens with an exposure of f/11 at 1⁄160 sec. © F.E. Goroszko

Railroad Car Sign

Judith Putnam made this photo at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke. Exposure with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 was f/4.8 at 1⁄40 sec. © Judith Putnam

Downtown Tacoma

Frank Lawson used the faded signs and symbols of a time gone by for this pastel-like photo. He photographed with a Canon PowerShot G11 with an exposure of f/4.5 at 1⁄200 sec. © Frank Lawson

Forms And Reflections

Steve Miller combined sweeping lines with rectangular shapes and distant reflections in this photo made in downtown Seattle. He photographed with a Pentax ZX-7 on Fujichrome Provia slide film. © Steve Miller

No Left Turn

Faded and peeling paint create a fascinating study in texture and line in this photo by Scott Lacey. Exposure with a Pentax K200D and a 50mm Pentax lens was f/1.7 at 1⁄2000 sec. © Scott Lacey

Rusty Deer

This detail from an old sign in an abandoned mine was photographed by Kathleen Sletten with a Nikon D80. Exposure was f/4 at 1⁄100 sec at ISO 400. © Kathleen Sletten

Railroad Crossing

Old railroad signage always seems to make for a great graphical counterpoint. Roger Rosenquist added to the effect with an exposure that resulted in deep shadow and rich colors. He made this shot with a Nikon D70 and a Tamron 28-300mm lens with an exposure of f/10 at 1⁄400 sec. © Roger Rosenquist


These trail signs can help you find your way…hopefully. Victoria Rogers found this conglomeration in Birds Hill Park in Winnipeg, Canada. Exposure with a Nikon D50 was f/5.3 at 1⁄2000 sec. © Victoria Rogers

Parking Lot

Dwain H. Hansen made this colorful photograph in the parking lot of the Hsu Yun Temple in Oahu, Hawaii. Exposure with a Sony Alpha 700 and a Sony 18-250mm lens was f/7.1 at 1⁄250 sec. © Dwain H. Hansen


Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
Industrial Design

Be they cars or coffee pots, the aesthetics of good industrial design can be an inspiration for photographers, particularly when shooting close-ups or abstracts of the object. Our next Picture This! assignment is Industrial Design, in which we ask readers to send us images of objects that show how form and function can be attained with objects that are both a pleasure to use and behold. This detail of a vintage 1950s car, made when chrome and graceful design met, was shot with a Nikon FM2 on Kodachrome 64 film.

Photo was made with a Canon EOS 5D and a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L lens with an exposure of f/11 at 1⁄640 sec at ISO 200. © George Schaub

Please Read This
It is important that you read and follow these guidelines. We need to follow this procedure because of the large volume of images we receive. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at:

1) Images sent to us cannot be returned. You retain complete copyright over the images, but do grant us permission to print your image(s) in the magazine and on our website,

2) Because images are not returned please send a quality print or duplicate transparency. We will not accept or view images on CD, ZIP, or any other electronic media.

3) Images will be selected on the basis of content and technical quality. Please mark your outer envelope with the topic of the month (for example, “Wide View”).

4) Enclose a short caption with the image stating camera, lens, film and exposure, plus location. If you are submitting an image with a recognizable person we must have a model release or signed permission from that person to reproduce their image in the magazine and on the website.

5) Please submit no more than three photos for consideration (4x6 up to 81/2x11).

Send your image and information to:
Picture This! Shutterbug Magazine,
1415 Chaffee Dr., Suite #10, Titusville, FL 32780.
Deadline for submission: August 15, 2011.
Images will appear in our November 2011 issue.
Our next topic: Handheld Pan
Deadline: September 15, 2011
Publication Date: December, 2011

Please note: We receive hundreds of submissions for Picture This! each month and want to be sure we properly identify each image we publish. Please be sure to attach your name and image information to the back of each submission.

Want to see images selected for past Picture This! assignments? Go to and click on Picture This! in the “More Articles…” box on the homepage.