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Virtual Photo Challenge: STREET STORIES I

NOTE: this challenge is a bit different than other challenges in the past year - so please read the instructions carefully. :)

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Update as of 7pm, July 26 - I've changed the name of the event to STREET STORIES per our discussion to change the name. See more in comments below. :)

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As a take-off of our lovely and heart-warming Written Word Challenge back in April, and inspired by the wonderful "Humans of New York" weblog - the point of this new challenge is to shoot a candid picture of something happening (on the street), and IN THE CAPTION, tell a story about what is or might be happening in the picture. You can choose to write an amusing quote, a newsy headline, or any of the other themes provided. Your choice.

The words you write in the caption to explain the photo can be completely imagined, or you can tell the truth if you know it - but extra points for taking a photo of someone with their permission and quoting something they actually said to you that compliments the photo in an interesting "human story" sort of way. :)

To join in, sign up anytime between now and the start time of 7am on Wednesday, July 31st.

As with previous challenges, if you RSVP to attend this event, you are making a personal commitment to take at least ONE photo according to your interpretation of the themes provided, and post at least ONE image in the Designated Album for this challenge.

The difference between our last challenges and this one is this:

1. You can shoot your photos and prepare your images and words ANYTIME after you sign up for the challenge. Yes, even before the start date of the challenge.

2. But, you must wait for the start date of the challenge to POST your images and caption to the Album.

Have fun! :)

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INSTRUCTIONS

By signing up you commit to take at least ONE photo representing your choice of the themes provided.

You may take as many photos as you like (in your camera), but post a maximum of 5 images only, using one or more of the following themes:

STREET STORIES I

1. Amusing quote

2. Newsy headline

3. What could s/he be saying?

4. I'm happy/sad because....

5. My story is...

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HOW IT WORKS

To participate, you must sign up before the start date of this challenge. And for this challenge, you can start taking photos and planning your caption as soon as you sign up.

Your own personal challenge starts when you RSVP to join us on the challenge. You commit to taking at least ONE photo, based on your interpretation of your choice of the themes provided.

You must post at least ONE image to the Designated Photo Album for this Challenge, and you MUST use the Caption to tell your story about the image. For this challenge, you don't need to tell which "theme" you're using, as long as you use one of them and provide words that compliment the photo in the caption for each image.

NOTE: any image posted to the album for this challenge that seems to be out of place and doesn't have a caption will be automatically moved to the Members' Monthly Miscellaneous album without notice.

No other photos are allowed. Your photos must be taken with your camera between the date you signed up and end dates of this challenge. If you cannot post your images between the start and end date of the challenge, you can post later; there is no time limit for posting your images to the Album once the challenge begins.

Use of all of your cameras are welcome, such as SLR, phone, toy, and point & shoots. Computer post-processing techniques (crop, colour correction, etc.) are allowed. To make it more challenging, we encourage use of "in-camera" settings and framing and minimal computer post-processing.

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All group members are encouraged to enjoy the photos that are posted by the participants of this challenge and add comments of encouragement and appreciation.

REMEMBER: we will NOT meet in person because this is a VIRTUAL challenge. There will be no judging and no prizes. If you sign up for the challenge, you are making a personal agreement with yourself to take photos and then post your best photos as laid out in the instructions.

Note: If you miss the start date and cannot RSVP, then you must wait for the next challenge... :)

Enjoy!!!!

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Candid street photography is a challenging to do well, so congratulations to everybody for stepping outside their comfort zones. AFAIK, in Canada, you're legally allowed to take photos in any public location as long as you're not violating any other laws.

    I'm certainly no expert, but thought the group might appreciate some of the tips that I've picked up from shooting street pretty regularly over the last two years. Take things with a grain of salt and understand that what works for me may not necessarily work for you. Probably would have been helpful to post this before/during the challenge, but hindsight is 20/20.

    - Yes, it is intimidating at first. Yes, you will get more comfortable doing it with practice.

    - Blend in, become part of the scenery. Stand around with your camera out long enough, even if it's just dangling in your hand, and people stop paying attention to you. When I first started, I found it useful to pretend I was a tourist taking photos of EVERYTHING around.

    1 · August 8, 2013

    • Iluminada M.

      Thanks for your tip. Actually I did try acting like a tourist and it works sometimes.

      August 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    - The rules of composition and framing still apply. Sometimes it's best to find a location, compose and frame your shot, and wait for somebody to walk into it. It's super helpful if your lens has a distance scale and you use zone focus.

    - Two rules to live by: don't do anything that's going to get you arrested or that places you in danger. If your gut is telling you that something is sketchy, you should probably listen to it. Is the shot worth the potential consequences? See: http://petapixel.com/2013/06/19/woman-stabbed-to-death-in-los-angeles-after-photographing-panhandlers/, which leads me to the two rules I personally adhere to:

    - I generally avoid shooting any scenes where children are present. I also don't photograph anybody in a position of vulnerability, namely the homeless because a) I have no idea how they're going to react (see above) and b) because I feel that it's exploitative.

    That's all. Thanks for letting me have the soapbox for a few minutes.

    August 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    - Most of my time is spent waiting and watching. I'll stand on a street corner for half an hour at a time just watching human traffic go by. If you observe for long enough, you'll start picking up on subtle cues and be able to anticipate human behaviour to catch something happening in the moment.

    - No sudden movements. If somebody "catches" you pointing the camera at them, don't suddenly drop it like you've been caught. Keep your eyes to the finder and act like you're shooting something around/behind them. Some of my favourite moments captured have been those when the subject has locked eyes with me.

    - If the subject does catch you and approach you, it can be helpful to have examples of your work handy on a smartphone/tablet to show that this is something you do regularly. If they insist on having their photo deleted, oblige them and move on

    August 8, 2013

  • Judy

    This was a very challenging exercise for me - I wasn't happy with my images but feel more comfortable trying to 'do better next time'. The posted photos were exceptional - I could have commented on each and every one. Thanks, Trish, for organizing and to the group for sharing.

    August 7, 2013

    • Wendy

      Don't be discouraged. I've had blah photos from some of the challenges also. Next challenge, you'll do great!

      1 · August 7, 2013

    • Diane G.

      True Judy, as Wendy said, we have all had blah photos - do not be discouraged. Aside from that I am sure even the pros have blah photos from time to time lol - just enjoy and learn what you can and in time they do get better.

      August 8, 2013

  • Doug G.

    interesting interactions

    August 7, 2013

  • Diane G.

    It was a great challenge - loved having to chat with people to find out what they were actually doing prior to taking the shot and some I just took as it didn't need an explanation, but it was all fun and good practice - a big Thank You to Trish for organizing such a good challenge.

    August 7, 2013

  • Diane G.

    I really loved this challenge. It was an opportunity to actually get out there, talk to people, get their permissions (not really needed) and get a story behind the photo - besides what a good time to do it with so much happening. Great practice. Thanks fr organizing it Trish and thanks for your help

    August 7, 2013

  • Eva h.

    It was good that there was so much happening around town- so many interesting people to be seen. To much of some .... Lol -loved it

    August 7, 2013

  • Iluminada M.

    Its a great challenge. It is the best way to learn street photography.

    August 7, 2013

  • Melody L.

    It was very good for me as it really did stretch my comfort zone. Other members seemed to have the same problem yet there were lots of interesting photos for everyone to enjoy.

    August 7, 2013

  • Trish

    Really great participation this challenge everyone! Lots of great images and interesting captions!

    August 7, 2013

  • Christine B.

    Great idea! Great photos. Thanks for organizing it.

    1 · August 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was nice ,and very wide subject

    1 · August 7, 2013

  • Wendy

    The exchange of comments about many photographs was really excellent this challenge.

    1 · August 7, 2013

  • Elayne

    Hi Trish, I'm never quite sure what the guidelines are for taking people's pictures in public if they are going to be posted online.
    Any suggestions?

    July 30, 2013

    • Russ K.

      In the case of commercial exploitation, it's the people making money off the picture who get sued. In the case of defamation, it's everybody involved in publication of the defaming material.

      July 31, 2013

    • Trish

      Thanks for responding to Elayne's question -- I've been out of town and off the grid -- and I've come back to see so much good information being explained here.

      August 2, 2013

  • Wendy

    There is another event from Aug.2 - 11, the Harmony Arts Festival. It is a free event occurring along the area west of Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver between 14th and 16th on Argyle, just south of Bellevue and the railway tracks. There is art/photography on display, art workshops - some free, several stages for musical/dance with concerts all day long, and several movie nights in John Lawson Park. Also are about 50 craft/arts merchants in small tents all along Argyle for part of the festival. Again, a great opportunity for photographs. http://harmonyarts.ca

    August 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    For anyone still looking for an event to go to and grab a cool pic for this challenge, this is happening tomorrow and sure to provide some awesome opportunities!
    http://www.vanstreetdancefest.com/

    1 · August 2, 2013

    • Wendy

      What a shame that so far to day, it's raining. Guess it will be "Dancin' In The Rain" for today instead. But as you said it may be a great opportunity for photographs.

      August 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      True, but the event takes place tomorrow which is forecast to be nice! :)

      August 2, 2013

  • Melody L.

    I'm trying to approach things indirectly but trying for a mood or theme without total focus on the face. The topic is humans and not faces so I'm taking a twist on that. I avoid children at all costs as to take a child's picture without the parents consent would be in my book not a good thing in these times of photos going everywhere in seconds. I'm sorta sneaking around corners or leaning against walls and waiting until my victim is engaged looking elsewhere--and of course, you can always ask. It's a sensitive subject. Just use common sense and do what is comfortable for you. It's not comfortable for me but I'm learning something about adapting to the challenge on my own terms. I think I will be taking a lot of crummy photos this week.

    Luv Ya All!

    1 · July 31, 2013

  • Wendy

    Given my reluctance to take photos of folks, eg. invading privacy. I think I'll take photographs of folks from the back, even though it's still without their permission. At least that way, I'm not posting photos of strangers without their knowledge, as I don't think I'd like that to happen to me.
    Anyone else have similar thought?

    July 30, 2013

    • Russ K.

      The photographer indeed owns the photo - but not the right to commercially exploit the images of people or property that may be in the photo. Those rights are governed by entirely different law.

      1 · July 31, 2013

    • Russ K.

      Just some reinforcement for this concept: the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just cleared the way for a group of college athletes to sue Electronic Arts for using their likenesses in video games. EA was using animations, not photographs that were similar in appearance to the athletes, especially with their uniform and number. It's not just photography that is singled out for this treatment; it's all good, identifiable likenesses.

      July 31, 2013

  • boxerpug

    Trish - I just checked out the Humans of New York blog and liked their Facebook page. What a great idea. I'd never heard of HONY, so thanks for pointing it out. Now to look for those moments to capture for this challenge!

    2 · July 30, 2013

  • Anne

    great challenge!

    July 30, 2013

  • Bob

    I wasn't going to attend this one but I have had a change of heart. I think I have one that might be suitable if I can think of a line or two to go with it.

    1 · July 30, 2013

  • tracy

    Interesting!

    July 30, 2013

  • Chingtai W.

    Inspired by Humans of New York, I founded Humans of SFU last September. ;-) http://www.facebook.com/HumansOfSFU

    1 · July 29, 2013

  • Melody L.

    I just never take pictures of people. I always feel intrusive taking photos of people I don't know. This challenge will be difficult for me but I'll give it a try.

    3 · July 28, 2013

  • sam b.

    I haven't read the rules but this may have to be HUMANS OF SALT SPRING unless I can escape the island for a day!!!!!!

    1 · July 26, 2013

    • Trish

      Okay, Sam, you're all set with Street Stories! :)

      July 26, 2013

  • Iluminada M.

    If you change it to street stories can I then take picture in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island. It's Marine festival this weekend and the biggest event is the bathtub race.

    2 · July 26, 2013

    • Trish

      Go for it Iluminada! It will be fun to see your Marine festival stories! :)

      July 26, 2013

  • Stella

    Trish
    It's a wonderful topic!! I like "Street Stories".
    Does the challenge include The Lower Mainland’s photos?
    Thanks

    1 · July 26, 2013

    • Trish

      Hi Stella! I've change the name to Street Stories -- so the event doesn't seem like it restricts only to Vancouver (I never meant to restrict to just Vancouver anyway. It's for group members wherever they are! :)

      1 · July 26, 2013

    • Chantel B.

      oooooo! Good to know :)

      1 · July 26, 2013

  • Trish

    OK - I've changed the name of the event to Street Stories! Yay! I love it!!! :)

    July 26, 2013

  • Chantel B.

    Great idea for a challenge! Now when is the next street festival happening so I can take a candid unnoticed... lol

    1 · July 26, 2013

    • Chantel B.

      I'll be on another geoup's photo walk tomorrow or I would :) thanks though!

      1 · July 26, 2013

    • Diane G.

      How about Gay Pride Parade - many people taking part and many people watching. Aug 4

      1 · July 26, 2013

  • Diane G.

    Yes, I like Street Stories - anything that evokes an emotion in us out there is great - thanks

    1 · July 26, 2013

  • Trish

    Hi everyone!
    Is anyone else nervous about using "Humans of Vancouver" as the name of the challenge? I thought it would be a good idea, but then after reading more about the Humans of New York blog, I'm now second guessing myself.
    Should I change it to something less obviously copied?

    July 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I don't think it's a big deal, personally, since the challenge was inspired by the blog. :)

      1 · July 25, 2013

    • Trish

      I like "Street Stories"... hmmm... and I also like to think I may be overreacting! Thanks for your suggestions Grant and Steph! :D

      2 · July 26, 2013

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