A New Challenge

52 Week Photography Challenge
Week 1 – Story: Rule of Thirds

A new year is suppose to bring a new set of goals. That is the thought behind New Year’s resolutions, right? I have been pretty good at listing resolutions, I have been terrible at following through on them. This year I did not list any. Why put myself through the guilt when I do not achieve or sustain what I thought I would do this year. But, I did want to try something to push myself creatively this year.

I remember when I was doing the weekly themes with some friends I had met on one of my Disney trips. We would pick a theme for a week and share three images that we created and comment on each other’s work. It wasn’t a competition, it was a way for us to keep in touch and learn. I had a lot of fun when we were doing those themes. Some weeks I would plan specific images and other weeks I would wander around seeing what jumped out at me that would fit the current theme. It helped me when I worked either way… if I had an image in my head I would plan everything out and then go execute. If I allowed myself to wander around it was teaching me to see differently or expand how I looked at my surroundings.

To get me back into that mode of operation I decided I would work on a 52 Week photography project. Rather than rely on myself selecting a theme and working on an image I found a project/challenge online that I am hoping will keep me focused. Dogwood Photography is doing a second challenge after what looked like a successful one last year. Reading through the challenge list it appeared to have themes that I could contribute to as well as push me along my goal of increasing my creativity. You can view the weekly challenges here.

If you are looking for something to help jump start your own photography I encourage you to participate in this challenge. I had tried a 365 Project once but only made it through 25% before I gave up. The challenge of creating an image every day eventually wore me out. I think the guilt when I missed a day was the worse and was what truly forced me to stop. I thought with a weekly challenge I will have more opportunities to create the image I want and not feel stressed out about it.

Week 1 – Story: Rule of Thirds

The challenge for the first week is to tell a story using the rule of thirds. This is probably the first “rule” of photography everyone hears about or learns. Digital Photography School has a nice article about this technique if you are interested. Basically the technique involves dividing your image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. To create the most compelling image you would want to have your subject near one of the dividing lines or even better is to have your point of focus at one of the intersections.

The challenge this week though is more about telling a story by incorporating this rule of thirds. I had an idea about what I wanted to do and last night was my first opportunity to execute. The image I created is of the Bed & Breakfast next door. My neighbor had turned his house into a B&B quite a few years ago to capture some of the travelers looking for a place to stay near the miles of snowmobile trails in my area. One trail crosses the road about a quarter mile from my house.

I will admit this is not one of my best images technically. I should have bracketed my exposures to give me more detail in the highlights. I chose not to as I thought it contributed to the story. You will notice if you can visualize the image split into thirds that the truck on one of the dividing lines. I also played with the concept of the rule of thirds a little by creating three zones in this image. There is the snow zone which has the driveway and tracks leading to the truck. The middle zone is the house and then the last zone is the night sky.


MLCreations Photography: 52 Week Project &emdash; Night at the B&B


Not a great start to the challenge but I did start! I keep the list on my desk so as not to lose focus. I welcome any comments and if you do decide to participate, let me know so I can follow along with your progress.