Improve Your Photography With A Photo Challenge


Photo challenges are a great way to stretch creatively, grow beyond your comfort zone, and get constructive feedback on your photos. Shooting with both a specific theme and a time limit changes how you approach a shot. You experiment more and in some cases try something totally new. And that's one of the most enjoyable aspects of photography - no matter how much you've done, there is always more to learn.

I learned a lot from the 2013 challenge I took part in. I naturally gravitate toward landscapes and architecture. It suits my personality. The subjects aren't moving much if at all, and I can take time to compose the shot. But, through this year's photo project, I got out of my comfort zone. I experimented with flash. I captured motion. I captured still life shots. I took closeups. All far afield from the sweeping vistas and hard angles to which I'm accustomed. And a fringe benefit - I discovered more places in my hometown of San Diego. Some great places for photography - and some just great places.

In 2014, I'm proud to be part of The Patch - The PhotogrAphy Themed CHallenge - on Google+. I am joining Iain Harley, Andrew Willard, and Julianne Bockius as a curator of The Patch. If you're on G+, I encourage you to participate in this photo challenge (and circle me, too :). The Patch runs weekly photo themes all wrapped in a monthly theme. So there's some multi-level creativity involved. All the details are on The Patch page.

And to sweeten the deal, Topaz Labs is generously offering prizes to the monthly challenge winner - a Topaz plug-in of her/his choice! With 10+ plug-ins, there's bound to be one you like!

As a curator of The Patch, I'm privy to some of the upcoming themes for 2014. Some will be quite challenging. If you're looking for something new, something beyond the typical weekly theme motif, check out The Patch. I'll be sharing my Patch photos here and am looking forward to seeing great photos from you all year long.