Sometime last year… I’m pretty sure it was the Egg challenge… the monthly challenges on this site started to lose steam. It’s not that you all weren’t participating! In fact, in terms of numbers, the challenge has never done better. I’m afraid I’m the one who has really let these slide. I just can’t possibly keep up with providing the feedback on every photo that I once was able to do…This year, I’m even further behind, not even posting a new challenge in February or so far in March. I know there are many great photos up there awaiting my eyes… and I do plan to spend the next couple of weeks going through them.
However, the big problem is that it seems that many folks are posting and not really looking for a critique or taking the challenge as a way to improve their photography. Many folks are missing the whole spirit of the challenge. Unfortunately what that means is more work for me to weed out the posts, and less learning for those who are actively participating. After almost 3 years (!) of the same format, it’s time for a change.
Moving forward, I’m going to turn the whole challenge on it’s head. Instead of having an open ended theme, I’m going to narrow down the rules to their simplest:
Each month, I’ll post a photo. Your job will be to remake that photo.
This may mean more work on your end… but I think it will re-energize those of you who are actively working at improving your photography and trim out those who just want more eyes on their photos. I know it will re-energize me.
What I’d love to see with each photo is some notation of how you thought about your remake. You don’t have to try to make the photo look exactly the same (although you can if you want to). As they say on American Idol, feel free to “make it your own.”
Think about lighting, styling and processing techniques. If you are replicating the original photo, explain how you thought about what was happening in the photo and how you reproduced it. If you made changes, explain what and why.
If you are posting photos, also do take the time to look at the photos of the other participants and give some constructive feedback.
If you want to try a few different interpretations, that’s fine.
So, if you are with me, follow me on over to my new group and let’s get started:
To kick off this month’s remake, let’s start with something simple. I recently posted on some homemade Nutella on my food blog, and really had fun shooting the swirl of chocolate. Lighting to get just the right highlights required some experimentation. You don’t have to make your own Nutella for this (although feel free to… it is yummy.), but I would recommend using a chocolate spread of some sort because chocolate can be quite a challenge to shoot but when it works it really works.
We’ll work on this shot until the end of April.