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52 Week Photography Challenge for 2017
The original Dogwood Photography 52 Week Challenge was a huge success, with tens of thousands of photographers
participating from around the world. In celebration of those who have completed the first challenge, a new challenge is now
here! The challenge for 2017 has a higher difficulty level than the original challenge. While this challenge is a follow on to
the original challenge, it is also suitable to be completed as a standalone challenge.
Story Telling: Good photographers can take beautiful images of something. Great photographers can take an
image that tells its story. This category makes use of compositional rules and directed prompts to push you
towards not just looking at the beauty of something, but to find a way to tell that something’s story.
Technical: Technical Aptitude is just as important as creative inspiration in photography. With that in mind this
category is a mix of in camera and post processing techniques designed to expose you to new technical skills and
Artistic Impression: When this category comes up, you really have room to express yourself. You can interpret
the assignment literally or figuratively. Unlike the other two categories that are more focused, the idea of this
category is to let your creativity shine.
Story: Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is the first compositional rule most photographers learn; but most
don't know why they learn it. The rule of thirds is amazing for telling a story. Tell a
story using rule of thirds.
Straight out of the Camera. No Photoshop. Shoot a compelling image and post it
without edits. No cheating! (Be sure and save the image file for the end of the
Your inspiration this week is land. This could be a landscape, or an image inspired by
the land in some way.
Tell a story using a mirror.
Technical: Ten Shots
Shoot 10 shots of the same subject. Each shot should be from a different angle,
distance, and focal length. Share your favorite image from the set.
A throwback to one of the favorite weeks of the original challenge. Your artistic
inspiration this week is candy. Since this is the advanced challenge... you can't
actually use candy in the scene.
Technical: One Shot
Artistic: Still Life
Your inspiration this week is Still Life. A couple of pieces of fruit on a table won't
impress in the advanced challenge though... so really be creative.
Perspective for the purpose of this challenge is the relationship of objects in the
scene. If you really want a challenge this is a good chance to use forced perspective.
Technical: Split Tone
Split Tone is an editing technique where the shadows are toned one color, and the
highlights a second color. Split toning is often used with color grading in the media to
give a scene a desired look and feel.
Abandoned was a very popular week in the original challenge. For the advanced
challenge tell the story of something forgotten.
Imagine that it is the last frame on a roll of film, and you have to nail it. For this
challenge only take one shot. No deleting, no 2nd shot. The honor system is in play.
Story: Golden Hour
Story: leading Lines
Your inspiration this week is orange. Either the color orange or an actual orange. Or
The golden hour is the hour before sunset or after sunrise when the sun casts
amazing golden tones. Find a way to use the golden hour to tell a story.
Use the technique of panning to capture a subject in movement. Panning is using a
slower shutter speed while following the subject with the camera to create the sense
of movement in an image.
Your artistic inspiration this week is hard. Hard is both an adjective and an adverb.
Interpret this how you wish.
Leading Lines are a very important compositional element that every photographer
needs to master. Use leading lines to tell a story. No train tracks.
Loop lighting is one of the most used portrait lighting techniques. Shoot a portrait
using loop lighting. If you don't have an off camera flash setup, get creative with how
you light your subject.
Your inspiration this week is purple. Purple is the color of royalty, magic, and
Story: Back Yard
Tell the story of your immediate surroundings. Give us a glimpse into your daily life.
Sometimes the sky just doesn't cooperate. This week replace the sky in your image.
If you need a sky to use in the replacement, search flickr.com for an image to use
under Creative Commons Licensing.
Your artistic inspiration this week is soft. Just like hard earlier in the challenge, soft is
both and adjective and an adverb. Interpret this how you will.
Triangles, squares, and circles. They are all very strong compositional elements in an
image. Find a way to use geometric shapes in your storytelling.
Technical: F/8 Portrait
Shoot a portrait using an aperture setting of F/8. Since this is the advanced
challenge, be sure to find a way to isolate your subject other than shallow depth of
Your inspiration this week is green. Green is the color of life, nature, and hope.
Story: Toy Story
Not the movie! Tell a story with toys or about toys. (Kind of like the movie...)
Story: Portrait as
Put your camera on a tripod at night, open the shutter for 30 seconds, and paint
your subject with light. Flashlights, LED strips, and even laser pointers work great.
Your inspiration this week is communication. We live in the age of endless
communication, so there is inspiration everywhere.
Shoot a portrait that is posing as a landscape. Tell a story of the subject using the
landscape around them. Fool the viewer.
Photographing a water drop is a mix of lighting, macro, and patience. There are
plenty of ways to pull this off, enjoy figuring it out!
In the last challenge you shot a family portrait. This time use family as your
inspiration. Since this is the advanced challenge no people can be in the image.
Another classic compositional tool is to frame the subject within the frame of the
image. Use this technique this week to tell your story.
HDR is the technique of combining several photos of the same scene but shot at
different exposures to create an image with a High Dynamic Range.
Story: Frame Within a
Artistic: High Key
High Key was one of the most interesting during the last challenge. Last time it was a
portrait; this time it is back as inspiration.
Artistic: Low Key
Tell the story of a stranger. Try using their environment to really inform the viewer of
A stitched panorama is an image made up of several smaller images stitched
together during editing. For an added challenge try using the Brenizer Method.
Low Key is the opposite of High Key. Shoot an image where most of the tonal range
is on left side of the histogram.
Balance is the compositional technique of giving each area in a scene equal visual
weight. You can achieve balance using color, tone, or juxtaposed subjects.
Learn to sneaker zoom! Shoot an image using only the 50mm Focal Length. Either
use a fixed 50mm lens or set your zoom lens to 50mm. Since this is the advanced
challenge make sure the image is compelling.
Your inspiration this week is water. Interpret this how you will.
Story: Colorful B & W
Tell the story of a colorful scene. Because this is the advanced challenge, no flowers.
Do it in Black and White.
Levitation is part camera trick and part photoshop. Create an interesting levitation
image this week.
Your inspiration this week is music. This is wide open so have fun with it.
Capturing and creating movement in a still photo is a challenge for every
photographer. Use movement this week to tell a story.
Technical: Magic ND
Use an ND filter combined with a shutter speed of 30 seconds or even longer to
create your image. Try a waterscape or even a busy landmark to see the magic
Your inspiration this week is cold. Interpret this how you want.
Many stories are based around portraits, but landscapes can have stories also. Tell
the story of a landscape by using the foreground as the subject and the background
as the scene.
Bokeh was one of people's favorite weeks. This year take it a step further and create
a scene using shaped bokeh.
Story: Blue Hour
Technical: Full Edit
The human form has been the study of art since art was first inspired. Your
inspiration this week is the human body.
The Blue Hour is the hour after sunset or the hour before sunrise when the sky is
dominated by amazing blue and purple hues. Use this to tell your story this week.
Use the SOOC shot from the beginning of the challenge and re-edit it to it's full glory.
If that shot isn't available feel free to re-edit any of your past work.
Fear is your inspiration this week. Find a way to show fear in a way that your viewer
Story: Your Story
Tell your story.
Challenge List: https://dogwood.photography/52weekchallenge2017.html
Flickr Group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/dogwood2017
Facebook Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/photographychatter