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    • The only way to get better at photography is by practicing and learning from mistakes and masterpieces. I'm wondering if there is enough interest from photographers in our Cake community to do a daily challenge.

      Here are the 7 challenges for each day of the week:

      1. Monday ("Macro Mondays"): show us your best of Macro Photography. 

      2. Tuesday ("Landscape Tuesdays"): show us your best of Landscape Photography.

      3. Wednesday ("Black & White Wednesdays"): show us your best Black and White Photography.

      4. Thursday ("Portrait Thursdays"): show us your best of Portrait Photography. 

      5. Friday ("Flower Fridays"): show us your best of Flower Photography

      6. Saturday ("Street Saturdays"): show us your best of Street Photography 

      7. Sunday ("Photo of the Week Sundays"): show us your best photo in any photography category

      Everyone is welcome to post one or more photos daily. Every following week, the photo that got the most reactions and comments will be featured as a "cover photo" for the entire "daily challenge" conversation.

      This ideas was inspired by @StephenL's conversation:

      And @Glenn_Smith amazing mushroom photography:

      Would love to hear your ideas about specific days and categories.

      Please react or post here if you are interested. Once we have enough people, I'll start these daily challenges.

    • Architectural, Art, Abstract, Travel

      It’s really only going to be educational if people are willing to discuss the photos, which is not something that happens much in the BW thread. This means critiques of poorer photos and explanations for how great photos were achieved. I’d love to know @Chris process for consistently good event portraits, and similar expertise for others in landscape and travel, for example. I’d like to hear how one of my shots could have been improved.

      On that basis I’d be in. But a bunch of threads where people post photos to a bunch of emoticons?.. I’m not that interested in that. Those can be equal parts inspiring and discouraging, but are not that educational.


      Love your slot canyon photo, btw.

    • I believe it was @vegasphotog who said that when he submits his photos for critique, he only wants the experts to share their thoughts. Otherwise, it’s unhelpful.

      I tend to agree with Robert. A great instructor, in any subject matter, can accelerate your learning process. A less than great instructor can cause you to learn things incorrectly and make you a worse practitioner.

      Having said that, I know that others may feel differently and might enjoy group feedback on each other’s work.

      My thoughts on themed days is a mix of entry level to “this is what you can do with all the right gear and years of experience.”

      Phone Photography. Every pic is taken on a smartphone AND edited on a smartphone.

      Close up photography. I’ve been loving @JazliAziz ’s explorations with this format.

      Black and White Photography. Again, this is more accessible since you don’t have to deal with lighting for color issues.

      Action. Things in motion, blur photography.

      Nature. Flowers yes, but also chipmunks, marmots and other wildlife.

      Buildings. Watch @JeffersonGrahamPhoto ’s photo walks and you’ll see an expert’s finds of interesting shots of architecture and signage. Share your own attempts from travel or wandering around your neighborhood.

      Big productions. Multiple light sources, gels, etc.

    • Close up photography. I’ve been loving @JazliAziz ’s explorations with this format.

      Decided to revisit my "Photo of the Day" project from two years ago with a slight twist. Since my phone is capable of taking super macro photos I though it'd be fun to utilise it this time around.

    • I'm all for educational and constructive criticism of the photos submitted in each challenge. There are already many apps and websites to share photos just for likes, but on Cake we can focus on commentary and learning.

      I'll need to figure out how to add your suggested topics to the daily challenges. They need to be rethought.

      Thank you for taking the time to write a great response with solid suggestions!

    • Have you ever seen DPChallenge? It's similar to what you and others have been talking about. There are a couple challenge topics that get announced and then you have I think a week or so to take and submit an image that meets the criteria. There is a voting process and then ranking is announced. Critiques and encouragement are welcomed - at least that's how it was years ago, the last time I was active.

    • Thank you so much for including the link to the DPChallenge! I was totally unaware of it, although I wish the website looked a bit more modern and intuitive.

      One thing I'm debating is whether to start a single evergreen conversation for each daily challenge or start a new one monthly or quarterly:

      Evergreen conversation for each daily challenge:

      Pro: Having a single conversation for each challenge makes it easy to follow and stay updated.

      Con: A single conversation could balloon up with hundreds of posts over time.

      Monthly or Quarterly conversation for each daily challenge:

      Pro: Starting a new conversation with a time period in the name sets a deadline. For people who just signed up they can discover it easier in the "For You" feed and thus more likely to participate.

      Con: Keeping track of monthly or quarterly conversations can be a hassle.

      Should we keep it simple with a single evergreen conversation or go granular starting a new one every month or quarter?

    • I don’t really have a preference on the question of evergreen or not, but would like to point out that you don’t really need to be restricted to ‘7 topics’. You could easily do 14 topics and repeat them every 2 weeks instead of each week.

      The FStoppers community also runs regular challenges (called ‘contests’) and they have many different and specific themes. Sadly, though there’s lots of back-patting, there isn’t much education going on. People seldom say how they captured something, or how much they processed it.

    • How about this list of daily challenges?

      1. Monday - Macro

      2. Tuesday - Travel & Street

      3. Wednesday - Art & B&W

      4. Thursday - People & Animals

      5. Friday - Nature & Landscapes

      6. Saturday - Action

      7. Sunday - Photo of the Week (in any category)

      @DangerDave entire day dedicated to action 😉

      @Apocryphal added Travel and Art. Abstract could be covered by Art. Don't know what to do about Architectural.

      @StephenL I was internally debating having Phone photography as its own category... Phones are taking amazing photos these days, and sometimes one can't even tell the difference. So maybe sticking to the subject matter is better?

    • Definitely stick to subject matter. I think it would be a mistake to have a separate phone category - then you need to start breaking out different kinds of cameras.

    • I think it would be easier for new folks to feel comfortable jumping in if it is set up as a monthly or quarterly conversation. It can be overwhelming starting out with a conversation that is already full of posts.

    • I'd turn No.2 into 'Urban' which captures street and architecture, and is a counterpoise to No5 'nature & landscape'. Travel, in retrospect, doesn't need its own topic - there are plenty of other categories in which travel shots can be posted. Maybe Abstract goes with Macro.

      I like the 'open' category. I think I'd leave B&W as just B&W. Action is definitely something I'd like to learn more about.

    • One more pass at the daily challenges:

      1. Monday - Macro

      2. Tuesday - Urban

      3. Wednesday - B&W

      4. Thursday - Creatures

      5. Friday - Nature

      6. Saturday - Action

      7. Sunday - Open

      I'd like to start these daily challenges beginning of next week on a monthly basis as @Denise suggested.

    • They could use a redesign. It has hardly changed since the early days. I looked at results for the current challenges and it looks like activity has dropped off quite a bit. It seemed like there used to be hundreds of submissions for individual challenges, but now the highest one is like 50.

      The idea I was trying to convey when I mentioned it is that if you don't have a rigid set of topics, you can be more inclusive of different types of photography. The downside is that compared to set days, planning becomes a bit more complicated.

      The latest list does seem to hit most of the general topics, though.

    • A photo forum I used to use did something similar then when numbers/ interest was up they made it a one topic specific challenge. Open for a week or so, then all images were reviewed and judged only by people who had posted. Once a winner was chosen, they would pick the next subject/ topic

      Just an idea if this doesn't get the numbers you hope for

    • It looks like we've settled on a format and the challenge topic days!

      Starting on Monday, we will run the challenge for the last week of January. From there, we can start learning what works and what doesn't.

      I also want to keep the daily challenge conversations open so that people who are in different time zones can still post regardless of the day. It also solves a problem when people are actually traveling or out shooting. This way, we get everyone a fair chance to participate.

      Have I missed anything?

      Thank you @wgoodey, @rtwPaul, @StephenL, @Apocryphal, @JazliAziz, @DangerDave and @Denise for your suggestions.

      Again, this is the final list of daily challenges (for now):

      1. Monday - Macro

      2. Tuesday - Urban

      3. Wednesday - B&W

      4. Thursday - Creatures

      5. Friday - Nature

      6. Saturday - Action

      7. Sunday - Open

    • Sorry I’m late to the conversation.

      I have this book in my Amazon cart (I found a library copy and thumbed through it—seemed like a good one to buy, which I rarely do). Maybe after the daily subjects idea runs its course, this book might offer a good format with some valuable thoughts as well.

      Carry on. :)

    • I think it's a good idea to keep the challenge threads open all of the time as opposed to only on the day of the challenge. While we may only post photos on the proper day others may want to post comments - and I'd hate to discourage that because a conversation is locked.

    • I don't know about others, but for me the challenge is:

      1. Rediscover interesting photos.

      I have so many images collecting digital dust that never see the light of day. I want to share them with you.

      2. Get out and take photos.

      Sometime it takes me a little push and a specific subject matter to explore new places and ideas.

      Those two are my personal challenges and I feel that others might share these as well.

      So the challenge is to post interesting photos and learn from feedback from our photography community.