UfD: Themes and Challenges
It has been a challenge coming up with todays Up for Discussion Post, but then I thought maybe we could talk about whether or not we like themes and challenges.
Some people love them and others hate them.They can be great to get people doing something, or if you have no trouble making work then you might find it too hard to do. Having to stop what you do so you can do a special image for the theme can be a different kind of challenge.
You can see where themes can be great for people who are starting out in photography. It helps them to work out what to take. When many people first start photography they know they want to take photos, but have a hard time working out what they are going to shoot. Themes can help solve that problem. If you are told what to take photos of then your problem is solved.
They can also be to broad for some people. If you are working on a particular body of work then a theme can be distracting from what you are trying to do.
I’ve always avoided themes. For the most part it meant making or taking something just for the sake of the theme. If you aren’t invested in it then how can you do your best work?
Starting the themes for Monochrome Madness was a joint decision between all of us. People said they wanted them so we started doing them. They are very popular and it is great to see how people respond to them.
Here are the images I’ve done for the various MM themes.
Challenges can be another way to help you produce work. It can be a challenge that you do with other people or something you do on your own. Depending on the challenge you can do your own work and still participate.
Monochrome Madness can be like that. The challenge is to produce a monochrome image each week. Your subject matter is completely up to you. As long as the image is monochrome and you send it in then you are doing the challenge.
There are other challenges you can do too. Many people do challenges for blogging. About four years ago I did one to post a photo every day for a month. I found it got me blogging more and it became part of what I did every day. It was a great challenge for me and it helped me get my blog going.
What are your thoughts on themes and challenges? Do you do them? If yes, why and if no, why?
Here are some photos that I have used in Monochrome Madness this year.