The 20 Skills Challenge

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  • This is an online photo contest

    There is no physcial meetup, Edmonton, AB (map)

    53.543564 -113.490456

  • This challenge is designed to give you practice and learn new skills, compare and discuss the results with your fellow photographers.  These can be done in any order .

    If this goes over well then I will create another

    When there are multiple photos for the skills challenge, combine two or more photos into one photo (a collage) and post to illustrate your results. No one wants to scroll through a 100 photos from one person.

    Please explain what you see, learnt, etc. in the comment section.

    1. Find a stationary object and photograph it from the same position at sunrise, 12:00 noon, 6:00pm, and sunset. This is to show the color temperature, soft and hard light, light direction and shadows.

    2. Find a stationary object and with a zoom lens take a photo at every whole f-stop (2.0, 2.8, 4.0, 5.6, 8.0, 11, 16, 22, 32) for every marked focal length on the lens. Then compare photos and note the differences.

    3. Find a stationary object and with each prime lens that you have, shoot at each whole f stop at a fairly close distance (5 - 10 paces). Then double and tripple the distance to the object and repeat. Note the difference in depth of field and distance to subject between f stops. (note not everyone has a prime lenses)

    4. Find a stationary object and take 100 photos from different angles and note the difference (Post the one you like the most and explain why)

    5. Place a black textured fabric (e.g. towel) and take a photo with the towel filling the frame.  Repeat with a white textured fabric (e.g. towel).  Is the color accurate and can you see the texture of the fabric?  Do not do this in program or auto mode, use Manual or you can try shutter or aperture priority.

    6. Place a black textured fabric (e.g. towel) and place an egg in front and take a photo.  Repeat with a white textured fabric (e.g towel).
    Is the color correct and can you see the texture of the towel and egg? Is there a shadow that defines the shape of the egg? Do not do this in program or auto mode, use Manual or you can try shutter or aperture priority.

    7. Photograph a moving object by panning with the object. Use a shutter speed and aperture so that you blur the background but the subject is in focus. Repeat the shot but try to show some motion in the subject so the subject does not look stationary. (e.g wheels on the car are slightly blurred while the rest of the car is sharp and background is blurred)

    8. Photograph a scene that has the background in focus with a moving object in the foreground.  The intent is to have the moving object blurry but still recognizable while having the background in focus.

    9. Take a walk and look for great light. It doesn’t matter what the object is, take the photo because of the light.

    10. Zoom While Shooting. Place you camera on a tripod and using a long exposure, zoom in or out on an object. .

    11. Find a stationary object and take a photo at the same time of day but on a cloudy day, hazy day, bright sunshine, summer, fall, winter, etc.

    12. Find an object and shoot it based on the rule of thirds. Then take a series of shots breaking this rule.

    13. Photograph and object with he sun is behind your subject.

    14. Try to photograph an object by introducing sun flare. 

     (Can be accomplished using artificial light such as street light)

    15. Take photos where shadows are the main subject of the shot.

    16. Go for a walk, stop every 100 paces and take photos of 20 things from that spot

    17. Find a subject with leading lines and photograph the subject  with the leading lines drawing your attention to that particular area or object in the photo. Subject is not the focus, leading lines are.

    18.  Photograph an object in color and monochrome jpeg format (If you shoot raw then will have to convert in PS)

    19.  Find subjects that has high color contrast (e.g. red on black).

     20. Grab the lens you least like and go out and shoot for the day. Show us  you best shot and your worst shot.

    Have fun :)

Join or login to comment.

  • Sonu

    I have Wedding Photo/Video Business so looking for a Photographer who is interested in learning Wedding Cinematography , Contact me if your are interested .

    May 1

    • Henry A. R.

      IMHO: Cinematography Sounds More Formal, But It Also Sounds More Staged? I Prefer A Photo-Journalistic Approach - Follow The Action And Emotions! Let The Movie Create It's- Self! LoL ;-)

      May 1

    • Sonu

      The main Difference in Videography & Cinematography is that you tell a story with Cinematography its like making music with your video .

      May 3

  • Henry A. R.

    These Assignment Ideas Might Help Me Get Out To Shoot Again. I Have Been Making My Own Assignments (i.e. Sunsets), but now I will have some accountability to follow through! LoL ;-)

    3 · April 28

    • Candice

      I've been doing the same thing but procrastinating and finding excuses. This challenge is perfect for me too :)

      April 28

    • Henry A. R.

      I have been noticing a lot of Jackrabbits in my area changing from white to grey / brown, so my assignment this week (or longer) is to capture as many of them as I can on film or video until I find a black one or until they go white again in the fall to winter phase. LoL ;-) That means carrying at least two cameras, especially one with a longer lens. I have also put out a plate of celery, carrots, lettuce and cucumbers, pine cones, tigs and bark under the tree just below my balcony so I am thinking of setting up a time laps camera and video camera covered in plastic - to keep the dust and rain off, but ready to switch on quickly when I know they are in the area. I hope this works and that the weather stays nice, warm and sunny. LoL ;-)

      May 1

  • Candice

    Looking forward to doing these. It's exactly the challenge I needed to get myself motivated to take pictures and think outside the box.

    1 · April 23

  • John M.

    Hi Just joined - very impressed with your site and the projects put before the membership. Looking forward to meeting people in person. Will try to start my involvement by partaking in some of the 20 challenges put forward for April 20th.

    April 13

  • Laurice B.

    There is a online challenge only, there is no scheduled meetup

    October 15

  • deb

    This is new years eve....r we meeting then?

    October 10

  • deb

    This is new years eve....r we meeting then?

    October 10

  • Marshall

    This is gonna be a tough one

    October 8

  • Emilia

    Is there a trick to the sun flare that doesn't include the big orange dot I keep getting in my photos? Am I missing where to post so you guys can see where I'm stuck?

    September 17

    • Shabeeb R.

      Last trick is remove the lens filter if any... Even that causes that sometimes.

      1 · September 17

    • Emilia

      But I want the flare - just not the dot - tried the f 16-22 @ the conservatory today - can't really tell how well I did until I get them on Tue big screen

      September 19

  • Mario

    Excited for this one. Step 16 could be a lot of pics, depending upon the walk. LOL

    September 16

    • Laurice B.

      yes, that is why I want a collage :)

      September 16

    • Bev H.

      Especially if I do it on my weekly trail system walk. :-) Lots of 100 paces within a 2 hour walk!! Going to be fun.

      1 · September 17

  • Allan S.

    I like this. A few concerns though. #4. 100 photos at different angles seems a bit much. 10 might be a better number. That way you can put thought into those 10 instead of blindly shooting 100 as I can't think of 100 different ways to shoot anything where 3/4 of the shots won't look almost the same. #16. How far do we walk? Maybe instead define a set area or set distance and ask that you take x amount of photos from when you start to when you finish. The rest seem like pretty good ideas from what I see so far.

    1 · September 16

    • Laurice B.

      You can take as many as you want as the exercise is to challenge you to see objects from different angles. As for walking depends on the shoes your wearing :)

      1 · September 17

  • April

    I'd like to do this! Pictures to be posted here? (I'm new to this meetup!)

    September 16

    • Laurice B.

      Yes, but we do not want 100 photos from one person. Just pick a couple or put a few together in one photo that shows the extremes

      1 · September 17

  • Menasha

    This looks like a lot of fun Laurice, I dont understand some of the steps, but I will get clarification later! :-)

    September 16

    • Laurice B.

      Part of this is to figure out the steps as it will get you familiar with focal lengths, f stops, etc.

      September 17

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to the challenges!! No guarantees tho'

    1 · September 16

  • Marshall

    #12 gonna be a toughy

    1 · September 16

  • Tracy K.

    It took me a moment to get the point of number 8. I would reword it as: Take a photograph of a scene, with a moving object in the foreground, such that the moving object is blurred and the photograph is clearly a photo of the scene, not the moving object.

    1 · September 16

  • Marshall

    This is gonna be a tough one

    September 16

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