The APUG photo challenge - anyone up to it?

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Ailsa

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Hi all

I was pondering the other day that I often produce my best work when given a brief or a project, whereas when an idea is self-imposed, I tend to just float around it and not really knuckle down. So I got to thinking, how about setting up an APUG photographic challenge thread?

It would work like this. A member goes onto the thread, and simply says, 'Tell me what to take a picture of.' The first idea to be posted by another member is the one that has to be fulfilled.

The suggestions can be anything at all, but here are some thoughts:
Interpret a line from a poem, film, book etc
Compose a still life using kitchen utensils
Get out of bed at 4am and catch the sunrise
Take a portrait of someone, but without showing their face

The list could go on and on.

The themes can be as open or as specific as you like, within reason - obviously there wouldn't be much point in telling me to photograph a tree in Yosemite, unless the person setting the challenge was willing to pay my air fare and accommodation...

The resulting photograph (or photographs - no reason why there has to be just one) could then be uploaded onto APUG for feedback - perhaps Sean might even create a specific gallery for it.

With a bit of luck, it might work! And it could be a great opportunity to break out of our usual styles and try something completely different.

So, I'm going to get the ball rolling...

Someone tell me what to take a picture of!

Ailsa
 
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Ailsa
Nice idea - but at 4am I'm so dizzy I can't even find the viewfinder...(-:
What about photos in a cold, cloudy, rainy day?

Jorge O
 

jovo

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okay ailsa, how about a person writing a poem about kitchen utensils at 4 a.m. ;-)

great idea, actually. although i think comments would be appropriate, it would be nice to avoid the rating and competitive mentality that is so prevalent on other forums. were that avoided, i for one think such a project would very likely be fun.
 

Jeremy

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Jovo, that's not a bad idea for the first topic, but how about a little more broad.

Ailsa, how about "the kitchen." Take this as specific or as broad as you like.

I will also do a shot with "the kitchen" as the title and we can both post our results :smile:
 
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Ailsa

Ailsa

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Jeremy Moore said:
Jovo, that's not a bad idea for the first topic, but how about a little more broad.

Ailsa, how about "the kitchen." Take this as specific or as broad as you like.

I will also do a shot with "the kitchen" as the title and we can both post our results :smile:

OK Jeremy, you're on. But, not having seen the state of my kitchen, are you SURE you know what you're letting yourself in for...?
 

Poco

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"'It smelled so bad, and I was thinking, "What am I getting myself into? I don't want to be here!"'

That's so weird ...my kitchen is EXACTLY the same! And I thought it was just me.

Interesting Idea, Ailsa. Could be fun (sez the guy who has NO idea how to upload a photo).
 

Jim Chinn

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I like the idea of suggesting broad themes and then seeing how people interpret that. Many years ago American Photographer (when it was a cool mag), had an assignment section where they would post a broad topic and then select 4 or 5 submissions and print them in the next issue. For example one 1989 issue has an assignment titled "Big". It had an image of someone with the hugest beer gut I have ever seen, the worlds largest cast iron skillet and a giant apple. They usually printed the more whimsical intrepretations but the idea is to be broad in scope and enjoy the diverse approaches.

So a theme like kitchen could include everything from utensil still lifes to a picture of the family around the dinner table, to kids playing in the sink, to a sterno can on a counter top.
 

Eric Rose

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Ok lets do it. No more talk, just get out your cameras and do a "kitchen" picture. Lets say the deadline is next Wednesday evening.

Sean buddy we need a special gallery. Call it "Ailsa's Whimsy". Whether she likes it or not she is now the chief poo-bah of this really cool photographic adventure.

Ummmm now if I could find a gal that is preggers ........
 

Jeremy

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Jim68134 said:
So a theme like kitchen could include everything from utensil still lifes to a picture of the family around the dinner table, to kids playing in the sink, to a sterno can on a counter top.

Jim, shhhh! You're giving out my idea (though you can pick from the above which one it was) :smile:

This reminds me of the "assignments" that usefilm.com has, but here it's just fun and there aren't any ratings or winner... and no digital wunderkrap (not that all digital is bad, but most of what I see is horrible misapplication of photoshop, it's like when people discover special effects filters for their lenses and overdo it for EVERYTHING!)
 

Sean

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Sounds Awesome :smile:

I will 'sticky' this thread and get a dedicated gallery page for this..
 
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I'm a bit dumb - so kitchen is it?

Jorge O
 

bjorke

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There are several take on this sort of thing out in web-land. I'm a regular contributor to "the street salon" where topics are chosen, people fiddle for a couple of weeks, send a photo, and whoever is judged "best" is made judge and topic-picker for the next round. It's been going on for a while: you can see my pics and links to others here

Another similar project is Marc North's PhotoFriday. (I'll be trying to go to the Saturday mtg of the Bay Area photobloggers, btw -- see the link Dead Link Removed).

Another is the ongoing contest at DigitalSucks.com

Some dangers to these, IMO:
  1. When topics are obviously physical, either physical nouns like "telephone" or physical adjectives like "green" or "high," the results tend to be highly mannered and predictable
  2. When people start getting bent about rules and counting "wins," the results tend to be highly mannered and predictable. And people all get mad.
  3. Excitement over the contest can tend to take over the rest of a forum or site, leaving everything else dried up on contest days.
  4. As always, comments like "I liked that" and "I didn't like that one as much" are next to worthless. If there's to be judging at all, it ought to be taken seriously and as a responsibility for every shot made on the topic. Some sort of judging is a necessary evil though — someone has to choose the topics!
 

bjorke

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Kitchen

Ha, beat you all.

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/salon/bjorke_suburb2.html

bjorke_suburb1.jpg
 
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Well this would hve been fun, I'll have to join the next one, Where we're going to be their is not a kithen. I love this Idea and hope we do it monthly.
 

mark

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I really like the idea but do not have access to a scanner except everyonce in a while. Plus I don't like the whole be the first, or best thing, is it really necessary? I would just like to see what people come up with. How about giving a broader time line?
 

Jeremy

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I think the point should be to push us as photographers to go out and shoot something new and not dig through our archives--this is just my repsonse to Kevin's photo as it's from 2002. Anybody can do whatever they feel like, but I am personally going to try and shoot new work.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I like the idea. The requirement should definitely be for new work only. At usefilm.com it was tough to enforce this, so there was a lot of the same stuff from people's files that they would put up over and over again on every site they could just to get exposure, and often the work didn't even follow the project guidelines. I'll sit out for a few weeks, though, until I'm back home and have access to the darkroom.
 
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Let's define a point:

Is this a fastest gun in the west style contest or is there a deadline?

Jorge O
 

sparx

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There is a similar thing going on at the amateur photographer forum. It is a monthly thing and they give a couple of months notice beforehand what the subject will be. It isn't a competition as such, there are no judges or prizes but comments are welcome.
This forum is a lot more lively so i think the idea would work a lot better here so i' definitely for it.
 

Jeremy

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I think it just depends on how much people want to shoot, it could be once a week, twice a month, or once a month--I would personally like to test this out at one every two weeks, but I find I have a lot of free time at the moment. I think everyone also has to realize that this is just a fun exercise and a masterpiece or your "best work" is not required. I plan on switching back and forth between a more serious interpretation and just plain whimsy (probably more whimsy :smile:). I do know that in a couple of months I would prefer once every month, but it's not like you can't sit out a session and then come back for the next. We could also have two topics out at all times on a separate timeline.

ex:

"The Kitchen" runs until July 11 and at which time it will be replaced, but on June 25 we will add another topic which will be valid until July 25. This way you always have a month for each topic, but a picture deadline every two weeks. Just trying to think up some feasible system to keep this a little ordered.
 
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matt miller

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What's the status on the "photo challenge" project? I don't see a dedicated gallery for it yet. Is this still on?
 

Sean

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matt miller said:
What's the status on the "photo challenge" project? I don't see a dedicated gallery for it yet. Is this still on?
Hi, I have added the gallery. It would probably be best if Ailsa edits her main post which started this thread to reflect the current "challenge". When posting an image to the Photo Challenge gallery be sure to include in the description which challenge it's for. enjoy :smile:
 

philldresser

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Guys and Girls

I like the idea and would certainly participate if timescales are conducive.

I subscribe to a large format forum which set a monthly 'challenge' just for the fun of it. If memory serves me correctly they have 3 adjudicators who confer by PM. The only prize is that the picture is represented on the homepage for the site for the next month.(Similar position to Les Macleans waterfall on APUG)

Phill
 
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