I’ve been feeling the urge to run another project here at Epic Edits. We’ve had decent success with past projects such as 66 Faces of Photography and 28 Ways To Interpret A Photo. I want to do another one that’s just as exciting and inspiring. Here are three ideas I had for the next project:
[UPDATE] I’ve added links to the project results because we actually completed them all!
THE $50 FILM CAMERA SEE RESULTS HERE
I’ve been buying old film cameras on eBay lately, and it got me thinking about photography projects. The project would require that you purchase a film camera of your choice from a vendor of your choice for under $50. You’d run a roll or two through it, write up a short review on the camera, and post one entire roll of photos. I figured this would be good motivation for non-film shooters to give it a try, and old film shooters to get back into if for a few shots. The downside to this project is that it would require you to buy a camera and some film. The upside is that you’d have a new camera and possibly a new hobby. The point of buying a camera (even if you already have a film camera) is to show what kind of neat old equipment you can pick up for relatively little money.
EDIT YOUR PHOTO CURRENTLY RUNNING
Similar to the Edit My Photo project, we’d all be asked to process the same raw photo. But this time around, we could break it up into two parts: picking the photo, and processing the photo. In part one, everybody would have a chance to enter an unprocessed photo and you would all vote on which one would be used for the second part of the project. In part two, we’d do the same as last time and distribute the raw file to participants for processing.
THE PHOTOSHOP ACTION COLLECTION SEE RESULTS HERE
Not too long ago I talked about How To Create Photoshop Actions. I think it would be pretty cool if we gathered up all the actions from you guys and put them in a big action set for redistribution. You could use your blog or a Flickr page to describe the steps in the action and show what it does. Then, I could compile the actions in one big set and include a pointer to the web addresses for the tutorial portion that goes along with each action. Might be kind of a nifty way to share some cool actions. We could also do the same with Lightroom/ACR presets — or we could do both.
Ok, so those are three of the better ideas I have rolling around in my head right now. Maybe you love them all or maybe they all suck — I don’t know. Give me an indication as to what you’d be more prone to participate in. Oh, and comments count more than votes on the poll (most of the people who vote on the poll might not actually participate) — so if you feel really strong about a particular project or two, leave a comment and let me know.
And don’t forget to check out the results from the last poll: What’s Your Gender? I watched the numbers throughout the entire poll and the shares stayed the same: 33% female, 67% male. That’s 1/3 of you who are female! A bit higher than I expected, but not completely surprising. What IS surprising, however, is that only one out of 14 Fine Art Photoblog portfolio entries came from a female photographer. That is NOT 33% ladies… where the heck are those portfolios?
We’ve had a couple of photophlow get-togethers centered around selecting photos in our Flickr pool for the weekly PhotoDumps. I think we’re getting better at this, but the number of images submitted to the pool increases each week too. This last meeting on Sunday lasted four hours and we didn’t even get through all the images! The guys at photophlow are working hard to get us some new features to make this easier, but regardless of the tools we have I think we’ll have to split up the session to twice per week.
This will allow us to get through the photos a little easier, plus we can stagger the times so that everybody around the globe can join in on at least one session. Here’s what I’m proposing as standard weekly meeting times:
9PM PST (GMT-8), EVERY WEDNESDAY
You can check this time conversion to see what time it will be in your timezone.
9AM PST (GMT-8), EVERY SUNDAY
You can check this time conversion to see what time it will be in your timezone.
We’ll run things the same as the last session, with the voting and such. I think that worked out well, and it puts the photo selection in the hands of the community rather than just mine. Basically, I run the slideshow, we talk about the photo, I give a signal, and everybody votes. Anything that gets at least a 50% vote will be featured on the PhotoDump blog post. On average we had 5-7 active people in the room during the last session, so it only took 3 or 4 votes to get the photo accepted. The more people we have involved, the more interesting it gets
At some point (if we continue to do this) we’ll have to split up the meeting time into more sessions, so my hope is that the wonderful team at photophlow can develop some nifty tools for us to run this thing on a more semi-automated basis. My ideal situation would involve a voting system that would enable you guys to run this thing yourselves in the event that I can’t make it to the session. So we’ll see what comes down the pipe, but for now we’ll continue on as we have.
I’d also like to hear some thoughts from people who have participated in these things. Is it worth the time and effort? Are you gaining anything from it? What can we do better?
Last week’s photophlow experiment was fairly successful. We had a good group of people show up to view and talk about the images in our Flickr pool. The downside to the meeting was that it took almost 4 hours to get through 170 images. It was a touch too long, so I want to try this again and maybe refine our process. This one will be a little more structured, and hopefully it will be even more educational and entertaining for everybody involved.
8AM PST (GMT-8), SUNDAY JANUARY 20
Again, I’ll try to show up a little early (as long as Flickr doesn’t decide to turn the lights off for half a day again). I’ve switched the date and time to accommodate those who couldn’t make it last time, so we’ll probably see a different group hanging out with us. And to make things more productive, here are some ideas to keep us moving along through he photos.
I CONTROL THE PHOTOS
The photophlow team is working on a “slideshow” mode to basically force everybody into private mode (thus not displaying images to the group when they are clicked on by other members). It gets too crazy if everybody is clicking on their own stuff while we’re trying to go through the photos in the pool, so if you want to check something else out set yourself to private mode so you don’t disturb the group.
BE FAST TO COMMENT
If I see a dead silence for more than about 10 seconds, we’re moving on to the next image. If you want to discuss an image, get that first comment out there quickly. Photophlow is fast-paced, so don’t hold up the show.
BE FAST TO MOVE ON
It’s easy to get caught up discussing a single photo for 5 or 10 minutes, but try to limit the discussion so the group can move forward. If you want to make comments on the Flickr photo, open it up in another window or tab and come back to it later.
WHISPER NON-RELATED CHATTER
Use the whisper function if you want to have a side conversation with somebody else in the room. Too many conversations happening at the same time results in a lot of confusion, especially after you have about 15 people in the room.
BE OPEN, BUT BE NICE
It’s fine to say that you don’t like a particular photo, but it doesn’t add much to the discussion. Offer up the things that you like about it, and discuss the elements that you think might improve the photo. This is where a lot of the learning takes place — when everybody offers their perspectives in a non-threatening manner. As a rule of thumb, just assume that the person who took the photo is in the room with you.
YOU PICK THE PHOTODUMP PHOTOS
I’d like to see if I can get you guys to do some of the work and actually pick out the photos for the PhotoDump by voting. Here’s what I propose: When I “/ponder”, you “/approve” if you want the photo to be included. DO NOT “/disapprove” if you don’t like it — that’ll just make the votes harder to count quickly. I’ll let the voting go for about 10 to 15 seconds, then we’re moving on to the next photo.
HAVE FUN AND LEARN
Don’t forget to have fun. If you break “the rules” by accident, it’s not the end of the world. Just have fun and be courteous — everything will work out fine.
As the photophlow team continues to develop the application, this little meet-up should get easier. Not only are they working on the presentation mode, but they’re also talking about developing a voting system of sorts. The main idea right now is to get in there and help us figure out how to best utilize photophlow. If there’s enough interest in certain features, the guys behind the website are very receptive to input and feedback. You could actually help shape the outcome of photophlow.
So let’s give this thing another shot this weekend, and we’ll fine tune it from there. In the near future, we might need to split this up into two sessions due to the amount of photos submitted to the pool each week. Not only that, but a set schedule should result in more participants so people can plan ahead. So who’s showing up this Sunday?