January – Relationships
Oxford Languages defines “Relationships” as the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected.
Explore this “connectedness” through any of (but not limited to) the following ways:
- An emotional association between two or more people.
- An emotional association between a person(s) and an animal/nature/environment.
- Activities that particular objects are associated with, for example:
Objects that show relationships between things that are opposites, for instance day and night or life and death;
- Show the relationship between objects that are similar like peanut butter and jam, which are both spreads;
- Accompanying objects, for example popcorn and the cinema or a padlock and a key.
- Abstract and can be harder to see, for example:
A glass filled halfway could be perceived to either half empty or half full. Therefore the nature of a relationship is not necessarily fixed, but is there to be interpreted by a view.
Be creative and have fun exploring this topic!
February – Looking Down or Looking Up
When it comes to photography, we often just photograph what is in front of us, at eye-level. Yet we seldom look down, we seldom look up.
The image must clearly show that you are “looking down” as in birds eye view or “looking up” as in worms eye view in the image you are presenting in your story.
March – Low Key or High Key
High KeyA subject which is predominantly light in tone. Such pictures should have delicate tones and detail. Small areas only of dark tones may be included as an accent. High-key lighting is a style of lighting for photography that aims to reduce the lighting ratio present in the scene. This was originally done partly for technological reasons and is used to suggest an upbeat mood. But there’s more to high and low key photography than white backgrounds and lower or higher contrast. When we ask for high key lighting, we are referring to scenes that possess a lot of whites and light tones – a whole range of them. These images should have very minimal mid-tones and blacks.
Low KeyLow-key photography is a genre of photography consisting of shooting dark-coloured scenes, and emphasizing natural or artificial light only on specific areas in the frame. This photographic style is usually used to create a mysterious atmosphere, which only suggests various shapes, often graphic, letting the viewer experience the photograph through subjective interpretation and often implies painting objects or the human body with black non-toxic dyes or pigments. With low key photography, lighting is reduced in order to produce images characterized by striking contrasts, dark tones, and shadows. Usually, a single source of lighting is used to achieve this composition. As a result, low key images often have a rather dark dramatic quality to them.
April – Long Exposure
The long exposure needs to be captured in camera. No editing to create a long exposure effect is allowed.
A long exposure helps us to trace the pattern of time and render things in a different way to how we are used to seeing them. When we see things differently, it naturally fascinates us and that’s a significant factor in creating a compelling image.
Long-exposure photography involves using a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements. Long-exposure photography captures one element that conventional photography does not: an extended period of time.
May – Symmetry
Symmetry (also known as formal balance) is achieved when both sides of the image hold equal weight. Each photograph is equally balanced if split down the middle, yet one is literally symmetrical and the other uses different elements of the composition to appear symmetrical.
Imagine taking a picture, and folding it down the middle. If both halves are identical, then the image is symmetrical. Symmetry is found everywhere in nature once you start looking for it. And most human-made objects have symmetry too. Cars, airplanes, boats, ships, houses, buildings, and many of the products we use every day have symmetry. Why? Because the human brain is hardwired to like symmetrical objects. We associate symmetry very closely with beauty.
Horizontal symmetry occurs when the image is divided between the top and bottom. The classic example is a landscape with mountains in the background, which are reflected in a foreground lake.
Vertical symmetry is likely the most common type found in photography. Human and animal faces are vertically symmetrical; they mirror one another from left to right.
Some images are symmetrical around a central point, like the ripples radiating away from a water splash. This type of symmetry is harder to find, but when you see it, it will immediately make sense. Radial symmetry pops up in architecture from time to time.
Flowers and some plants have radial symmetry, as do the spokes on a wheel or propellers on boats and planes.
The symmetry can even occur over multiple axes at the same time. For example, the left and right half of a composition could mirror each other, while the top and bottom also mirror each other. Snowflakes show reflection symmetry over more than two axes.
June – Contrasting Elements/Juxtaposition
Juxtaposition is when you put two opposite things together, and the contrast of those two things becomes interesting. Generally with “juxtaposition” — you are making a statement through the contrast of elements you put in the frame.
Life and photography are all about connections and opposites. Telling stories is only possible when there are different subjects and ideally some twists that don”t make the story very obvious. Juxtaposition in photography helps you to tell such a story. Either through humour and opposites, or because interesting subjects are next to each other.
July – Africa
Explore this topic in the context of culture, diversity, ethnicity or landscape.
African culture can be explored in arts and crafts, folklore and religion, clothing, cuisine, music or languages.
Diversity can be explored in Fauna, Flora, Animal or insect kingdoms.
Ethnicity can be explored through the social categories of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions.
August – Hands and/or Feet
A picture of one or more hand / foot / hands and feet – with accessories if desired.
Grace or strength are some of the qualities that can be suggested in such pictures.
Tell a story.
Composition and mood will be of paramount importance here.
September – Things with wings
This could be a thing with wings but also only the wing or part of the wing. Natural or man-made.
The natural and manmade worlds are brimming with “things with wings”.
Flight, and everything associated with it, is prevalent – from birds and insects to planes, seeds and more.
It’s something that fascinates us and naturally lends itself to be photographed.
Find a great way to capture “things with wings”.
October – Weather
Dramatic images related to weather.
Ah, the weather. Some days we love it, some days we hate it. There are so many different types of weather, each with a unique beauty that we are forever trying to capture in photos and art. Like the summer sunset that turns the sky into a million different shades of pink, yellow, red and orange. Or the stark contrast of a vivid green tree against the indigo sky of an approaching thunderstorm.
November – Flower/s
The theme is “live” or “once live” flowers. The only restriction is no artificial flowers.
Flowers are one of the most frequently photographed subjects, and yet they still draw attention.
You don’t need to reinvent the standard flower picture; you can simply focus on capturing a flower you think looks especially beautiful.
December – Street Photography
According to Wikipedia, Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. Although there is a difference between street and candid photography, it is usually subtle with most street photography being candid in nature and some candid photography being classifiable as street photography. Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Though people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people and can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic.