52 Week Photography Challenge – Week 1

Week 1: Self-Portrait

I found the 52 Week photography challenge quite some time ago and like most of my photography efforts last year, it fell to the bottom of my camera bag and was never seen again. There’s a different challenge up for 2017, but since I’ve always been somewhat out of sync and printed out last year’s list, I decided to dust it off and give it a try. If anyone else is doing #dogwood2016 or #dogwood52, drop a note in the comments.

This project also conveniently coincides with our Muza Photography class’ first assignment, “Me and Myself.” As I mentioned in an earlier post, the majority of us are returning students and eager to expand our photography lexicon. We’ve suggested to each other various online photography projects and the one that was first on everyone’s lips was “52 Frames” which I started last year but quickly fell out of due to it being Facebook-centric (and is it just me or has participating in 52Frames become really, really complicated?).

Another photo challenge is, of course, The Daily Post’s own “Weekly Photo Challenge” which is open to everyone with a place to post their photos and/or a Gravatar account. One of my issues with this challenge is that it seems to be a magnet for “Likes” but little, if no, commentary takes place. Even BloggingU‘s two self-guided photography courses are, well, self-guided. Hard to improve if you aren’t getting critical feedback of any sort. (Wow! or Amazing! is not critical feedback no matter how encouraging it is. Read “The Sandwich Critique: A How-To Guide.”

I’ve been an on-again, off-again participant in PhotoFriday. A couple of years ago, Marc entirely reimagined and redesigned the entire PF experience and the resulting website is a pleasure to view and work with. It’s clearly a labor of love. You don’t need to have a website to participate; only if you want to link to a larger version of your photo. (As an aside, this site’s “Quotography” posts are a direct result of Marc’s old weekly PF email announcements which contained a photo-related quote.)

So photo projects are out there, and I’m sure there are many, many more than what I’ve listed here. If you have a  favorite, please mention it in the comments so I can pass suggestions along to my fellow students, and please do mention if a real critique is part of the fun.

(N.B. the fractured light/shadow in my above photo is due to bouncing light from a reading lamp off an old, and not entirely clean, mirror. A slow, 4 second shutter gave me time to reposition myself for the double image.)