I’m a hobbyist photographer, and one thing that keeps me interested is the challenge that comes with working to a brief. To that end, I wondered about the viability of an SDMB photography competition. The way I’d see it working would be:
Once per month, I’d create a new thread for the monthly competition. There’d be a theme set by the previous winner.
Anyone who wants to take part would post their pic on the thread.
After three weeks or so, the thread would close for entries, and voting would open for the rest of the month. Not sure how this would work yet - I guess either a poll in the thread or SurveyMonkey or something.
At the end of the voting period, a winner would be announced. Winning would come with precisely zero material gain, but the winner would get a) kudos and b) to choose the next theme.
Rinse and repeat.
To avoid clutter and make it easier to manage the voting, the monthly threads would be strictly only for posting the images themselves. There’d be a rolling companion thread for discussion.
The goal would be for an inclusive vibe that welcomes anyone who wants to have a go - no fancy equipment needed, all skill levels, and a supportive atmosphere.
Obviously, this will only work if people participate, so the first thing is to work out if there are enough folks who might want to take part. If there are, we can use this thread to agree some minimal rules (the fewer rules the better, but we probably need to agree some basics).
Great question. Personally, I think that we should allow portfolio shots, but set a time limit on it - maybe photos taken in the last year would be eligible? I’m open to debate on that point, it’s one of the basic rules we’ll need to agree.
Thanks everyone. I’m really pleased by the interest shown. I’ll try to address the points so far.
I’m not wedded to an age limit for the pics (as long as the poster took it, of course).
I do strongly feel that we should have a theme each month, though. It gives a bit of structure, and I’m hoping part of the attraction of this will be the opportunity for people to go out and shoot to a brief. It certainly will be for me.
That said, the themes should be set loosely and in such a way that it doesn’t exclude people. For example, “New York” would be a bad theme, since it would exclude most of us, but “cities” would be more inclusive. “Insect close ups” would be a bad theme because it excludes people without macro kit, but “animals” would be more inclusive.
On that note, I really want this to be open to anyone with an interest, and that includes people whose only camera is a smartphone, so I’ll be pushing back on themes that require specialist kit. That’s not to say, of course, that we can’t use fancy lenses and the like, but they shouldn’t be required.
It’s late here… tomorrow I’ll have a stab at drafting some basic rules, and we can go from there.
I’d be interested in doing this, and agree that a basic, but not too narrow theme is important to organize something that would happen monthly.
One thing I’d like to have included is rules on how much post-processing is allowed. With Photoshop abounding these days, I’d at the very least like to have disclosure on how much of it has been applied to an image.
I suspect that doing so would significantly lower the number of people who participate. Speaking for myself, I doubt I’d often make the time to go out and shoot something to meet the brief, but if I can search through a few thousand images I’ve taken in the past 20 years, there’s a fair chance I might find a few shots that would match the theme. Then my only question would be, are they good enough to post here?