One of the best ways to improve your photography is to challenge yourself and push the limits of your comfort zone. Photographing subjects or situations outside of your norm will force you to apply your existing knowledge to a new thing. And in the process, you’ll be learning things and picking up new tricks.
PhotoChallenge.org is a website/blog committed to challenging photographers. In 2007, Trevor Carpenter, started challenging photographers to shoot 1-photo-per-day monthly themes or challenges, and continued that into 2008 when PhotoChallenge.org was officially launched. Also in 2008, Trevor started a yearly challenge to photograph a single subject each week for the entire year. 2009 included challenges on a different topic each day — and I applaud anybody that could keep up with that schedule!
In 2010, PhotoChallenge.org will be changing it up yet again.We’ll have monthly themes (4 weeks each, actually), but you’ll only be asked to shoot one photo per week on the topic — so 4 total for each challenge. The new format will allow more people to keep up with the challenges, because shooting every day can be tedious for some of us.
The first challenge is “Resolution” and you can basically take that theme any way you see fit and shoot a photo that reflects your personal interpretation. After 4 weeks of “Resolution” they guys at PhotoChallenge.org will announce the next theme.
Really, it’s all in the name of learning new things and having a good time. You’re more than welcome to join in or opt out as you choose and nobody is keeping tabs on you if you miss a week or two. So if you’re looking for new ways to expand your skill set, jump over to PhotoChallenge.org and see what they have in store for the new year.
Some interesting links from around the web this week…
4,000 U.S. Deaths, and a Handful of Images NYTimes
An interesting piece from the NYTimes on the topic of war photographers and the censorship around their work. Zoriah, an artist recently featured here on Epic Edits (and a personal acquaintance of mine), is featured in this article due to his recent issues in Iraq.
tripod talk – from mini to mighty extreme macro photography trick Pro Photo Life
Two great videos from Jim this week! A handy little discussion of tripods — the different types, and various ways to use them. And if you’re looking to get into macro photography on a budget, here’s an old trick for using some non-macro gear to give you macro capabilities.
July Challenge Recap September Challenge Announcement PhotoChallenge.org
A couple of new things from PhotoChallenge.org too! The July Challenge was on the topic of lights and lighting fixutres — check out the results! (unfortunately, I started this one but didn’t finish). The next PhotoChallenge (scheduled for the month of September) will be on the topic of portrait photography, and I’ll be one of the three judges for a contest portion of it.
Trevor is at it again — the July Challenge will be starting up soon. The topic of the month will be LIGHTING FIXTURES. You can shoot street lamps, head lights, tail lights, desk lamps, chandeliers, and whatever else you can find that can be called a lighting fixture.
If you’re new to these Photo Challenges, let me lay it out for you. The idea is to follow a predefined topic set by Trevor. Typically, you push yourself to take a photo every day for the entire month on that topic. When you upload your photos to Flickr or other photo sharing sites, you then tag your photos with the tags that Trevor sets on the project kickoff page. Trevor then highlights some of his favorites each week or at the end of the month.
I’ve participated in a few of these projects, and each time I do I learn a tremendous amount of new things. Focusing on a single topic for an entire month can really get your creative side going and expand your skills. So if you’re looking for a little project or a fun way to challenge yourself, check out the July Challenge.
It’s time again for another “Photo Challenge” — a whole month of photographing a single topic. The April Challenge is all about “entropy”… degradation, devolution, and things falling apart. Below are some examples of photos that would fall into this category, and Trevor (the guy in charge of the challenge series) has already posted his first photo for the month.
These challenges are great sources of inspiration and a clever way to unlock some hidden creativity – I would encourage you to participate if at all possible. I’ve completed the October Challenge (sort of), the December Challenge, and the February Challenge. I’m really glad I did, because I learned a lot by participating and I added several skills to my arsenal.
With that being said, I regret having to say that I won’t be participating in the April Challenge. I’ve got too many other things happening this month and I don’t want to feel stressed over taking photos and posting them. That’s not to say I won’t take some “entropy” photos this month with the challenge in mind, but I’m not signing up for the 1-a-day part of it.
But don’t let that stop YOU from participating! Just make sure you tag your photos with “aprilchallenge”, “aprilchallenge2008″, and “photochallenge” so Trevor can find your photos for the end-of-month recap.