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Photo.net Monthly Project

by Josh Root, November 2008 (updated January 2013)


As of January 2013, we are putting the monthly project on hold to focus on our photography contests. We aim to have the monthly project return in the future, but with a new community-run format. Thank you to everyone for your past participation.

Each month, as part of the Photo.net
Newsletter
, we present the Photo.net users with a suggestion for a
project or theme that they might like to work on. Sometimes the best
way to learn something new is to have a reason to give it a try.

You can click on the images below to see the results of these monthly
projects.

Need to know how to submit your images to the monthly project? Read the instructions RIGHT HERE.


December 2012: Holidays, Celebrations, and Parties

December is a big month for holidays around the world. From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa to Al Hijra to Bodhi Day to the Winter Solstice and more, there are many reasons to get together with friends and loved ones in December. For many photographers, photos of these celebrations are both their most treasured and some of their best examples of “people” photography. Why? Because our friends and loved ones are the most likely to be comfortable with our funny photographic obsession. they don’t shy away when we pull out the camera because they have seen it so many times before.


October/November 2012:Macro

Macro photography can be some of the most amazing that you will ever see. It allow us to see the world in a way that our eyes simply cannot show us. A lot of photographers go through phases when they are uninspired with their usual subjects. No matter how excited you usually are about weddings or portraits or sports or even photos if your pets, you can run out of ideas and interest from time to time. One of my favorite ways to combat those uninspired times is to make the switch to macro. I pull out my macro lens, or a digital camera with a macro-mode, and concentrate on finding the small treasures that we miss in our every day life.


September 2012: Black/White Conversion

These days, if you are shooting digital, everything is color. Sure, sure, the film guys can take advantage of the beautiful black and white films that are still around. But for those of us who play in the world of 1’s and 0’s, getting a black and white image almost always starts with a color image.


August 2012: Summertime (or the opposite!)

We’re going to keep it nice and simple this month. August’s theme is ‘Summertime’. Go out and create a photo that shows something unique to your summertime experience. Sprinklers, popsicles, beaches, arts/crafts fairs, farmers markets and so on. All of them are summertime staples for many of us.


July 2012: Love and Marriage

Summer is the time for weddings for many communities around the world. While many people will never have any interest in being a professional wedding photographer, weddings can offer amazing opportunities for interesting photography. So if you are going to a wedding this month, bring along your camera and see what images you can discover. Not going to a wedding this month? Don’t worry about it, show us your best “love” themed image.


June 2012: Telephoto

This month, go long. Telephoto long, that is. Wide-angle lenses can be seductive to many of us for their extreme look. But serious photographers know that the telephoto lens is a real workhorse. Wildlife, portraits, sports, weddings, the list of genres where telephoto lenses can shine is endless. This month, haul out your telephoto lenses and make some long long images.


May 2012: Music

Can you photograph a sound? Can a song make an image? This month’s project is “music”. It’s a fairly wide open project. Concerts, instruments, abstracts, even an oscilloscope could be a subject for you this month. How will your picture show music?


April 2012: New Beginnings

Spring is the time of year when we see fresh starts and new growth everywhere. But even if it isn’t Spring in your part of the world, new beginnings abound every day. A birth, a grand opening, a new recipe, flower buds, the first day of school, and so on. Share one of the new beginnings in your life with the Photo.net community.


March 2012: Nighttime Long Exposure

The world looks different when it is dark out. This is double true when you make a long exposure photo at night. So put those on camera flashes away, get out that tripod, and figure out where the “bulb” setting is on your camera.


February 2012: Hearts

Due to St Valentine, February is, and forever will be, filled with hearts. Paper, candy, boxes or drawn in the sane, hearts are everywhere this month. If you can’t find a heart photo to make in February, you really aren’t trying very hard! Let’s see some hearts from all over the world.


January 2012: Around The Table

What could be more awkward than taking photos when people are eating? On the other hand, how many special moments and events in life involve eating food? Family dinners, Sunday brunches, Superbowl BBQ’s, weddings, and parties of every sort. Food ties them all together and lays the base for some of our happiest memories.


December 2011: Holidays, Celebrations, and Parties

December is a big month for holidays around the world. From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa to Al Hijra to Bodhi Day to the Winter Solstice and more, there are many reasons to get together with friends and loved ones in December. For many photographers, photos of these celebrations are both their most treasured and some of their best examples of “people” photography. Why? Because our friends and loved ones are the most likely to be comfortable with our funny photographic obsession. they don’t shy away when we pull out the camera because they have seen it so many times before.


November 2011: Warm and Cozy

For many of us, the days are getting colder and shorter. It’s time to dig out the sweaters and scarves from their trunk in the attic and bundle up. Perhaps a fireplace and a good book or a baking bread in a warm kitchen. This month, show the warm and cozy side of life with your submission to the Photo.net monthly project.


October 2011: Orange and Gold

If a season can have a color, would autumn have orange or gold? I think it would have both. Leaves changing colors, sunsets low on the horizon with clouds in the sky, bonfires at night, the harvest in the field, pumpkins, squash, sweet potato pie on the table. This month, show everyone the orange and gold that you find in your life.


September 2011: Harvest Time

The corn is a high as a cow’s eye, the tomatoes are turning bright red, the blackberries are as black as night, the farmer’s markets are packed, even the Salmon are finishing their long journeys home. It’s harvest time. This month, show us the food bounty that your area produces.


August 2011: Summer Festivals & Gatherings

The nicer weather of summer brings us all together in many different ways. Art shows, craft fairs, music festivals, traveling circuses, carnivals, parties, reunions, and any other type of summer gathering is the subject of this month’s monthly project.


July 2011:Breakfast and Morning Light

Wake up sleepyhead! Morning light can be some of the most beautiful light of the day and breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Put the two together and you’ve got July’s monthly project. Find some morning light to brighten up your subject, or just create a “breakfast” themed photo and show us how the day begins in your house.


June 2011: Love and Marriage

June is the month of weddings for many communities around the world. While most people will never have any interest in being a professional wedding photographer, weddings can offer amazing opportunities for interesting photography. So if you are going to a wedding this month, bring along your camera and see what images you can discover. Not going to a wedding this month? Don’t worry about it, show us your best “love” themed image.


May 2011: May Flowers

So, in theory, April showers bring May flowers. Now that the calendar has flipped over to May, we should be out of the rain and into natures springtime glory. This monthly project will be all about flowers. From macro studies of a single blossom to panoramic landscapes of acres of fields, flowers flowers flowers are what we will all work to create this month.


March/April 2011: Urban Images

The big city. The big cold city. The big cold fun crazy fascinating city. This month, go out and make an image in the city. Buildings, people, cars, streets, chaos, and all the rest of the things we love and hate about the urban world.


Jan/Feb 2011: Red, Pink, & White

The grand holiday of Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14th. Instead of just going with another “love” type theme, I thought we would look at color this month. Overused though they may be, red, pink and white are the colors of love this month. So create an image that uses those colors and share it with the community.


December 2010: Holiday Cards

This month, share your holiday card image with the photo.net community. It might be a family portrait, a holiday scene, or just a pretty landscape. There is no right or wrong here, as long as it’s your holiday image, it fits the topic.


November 2010: The Kiss

Is not a kiss the very autograph of love? – Henry Finck

A simple theme that should resonate with virtually every person on this earth, the kiss. I don’t imagine that there are very many people in the history of humanity who haven’t been kissed by someone we love. A mother, a husband, a daughter, even a dog. Show a kiss in your image this month and thus, show love.


October 2010: Black/White Conversion

These days, if you are shooting digital, everything is color. Sure, sure, the film guys can take advantage of the beautiful black and white films that are still around. But for those of us who play in the world of 1’s and 0’s, getting a black and white image almost always starts with a color image.


September 2010: Children

You know what I end up making photos of more than anything these days? My kids. So guess what? That’s what we’re going to do for September’s theme, children. Call it a sucker move because I’m playing the home court. But I call the shots and I’m picking the theme!


August 2010: Summertime (or the opposite!)

We’re going to keep it nice and simple this month. August’s theme is ‘Summertime’. Go out and create a photo that shows something unique to your summertime experience. Sprinklers, popsicles, beaches, arts/crafts fairs, farmers markets and so on. All of them are summertime staples for many of us.


June/July 2010: My Family (Our World #6)

June’s theme is “My Family”. We’ve all got family. You, me, the pope, the lazy slacker smoking on the corner, the guy cooking your breakfast at the deli, all of us. Now, family can mean your blood relations, or it can simply mean those people who give you the love and support that makes life worth living. Nobody is going to be too specific on the definition. So please take this chance to finish out the “My World” series and share images of your family with the Photo.net community. Held over another month through July 2010


May 2010: My Friends (Our World #5)

May’s theme is “My Friends”. We are more than just the place we live, we are defined by those who we choose to surround ourselves with. Friends can be an amazing joy, a frustrating burden, a supportive shoulder, and enjoyable distraction, and everything else in between. Give the Photo.net community a glimpse into your life by sharing an image of your friends.


April 2010: My Village, Town, City (Our World #4)

April’s theme is “My Village, Town, City”. Country hamlet, classic small town, regional city, or mega metropolis, over fifty percent of the worlds population lives in some version of these. Share a vision of your hometown with the photo.net community.


March 2010: My Neighborhood (Our World #3)

March’s theme is “My Neighborhood”. A neighborhood is to a house as a house is to a room. One sits comfortably inside the other. Now of course your neighborhood doesn’t have to have other houses, if you live in the country your neighbors might be trees and mountains. But no matter what makes up your neighborhood, make an image of it and share with the community.


February 2010: My House (Our World #2)

February’s theme is “My House”. Where do you call home? A house? An apartment? A caravan? An igloo? Where ever home is, make an image of it and share it.


Project: January 2010: My Room (Our World #1)

January’s theme is “My Room”. While your “bedroom” was the initial idea for this theme and I encourage people to stick with that. You are also welcome to pick the room that means the most to you or where you spend your day (or where you wish you spent your day). It could be your bedroom, your office, your kitchen, or even your basement workshop. You can photograph the room itself or you can include yourself (or others) in it.


December 2009: Holidays, Parties, and Celebrations

December is a big month for holidays around the world. From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa to Al Hijra to Bodhi Day to the Winter Solstice and more, there are many reasons to get together with friends and loved ones in December. For many photographers, photos of these celebrations are both their most treasured and some of their best examples of “people” photography. Why? Because our friends and loved ones are the most likely to be comfortable with our funny photographic obsession. They don’t shy away when we pull out the camera because they have seen it so many times before.


November 2009: Words to Image

Inspiration for art can come from many places and perhaps one of the most overlooked of those places is other art. But music, paintings, theater and literature has been inspiring us in one for or another for years upon years now. This month why not find inspiration in the written work. Find a sentence or a phrase or a stanza that speaks to you and create an image around it.


October 2009: Abstract

This month, let’s all stop chasing that “tack sharp” photo or striving for the perfect pose for a portrait. Why not try working with color and form instead? Abstract can mean many things, out of focus, blurry, blocks of color, shadows of light and dark, the door is open to just about anything.


September 2009: Outdoor Flash

Flashes aren’t just for dark rooms and photography studios. Using flash outside can really punch-up what might be an otherwise boring photo. They can make colors pop and can fill in shadows caused by strong sunlight. Head out with your flash and see what you can come up with.


August 2009: Cell Phone Photos

This month’s project is just to shoot a photo with your cell phone camera. These cameras are often low quality, have little in the way of camera controls, and are unpredictable and fuzzy at best. But that’s part of the fun. You don’t need $5000 worth of cameras to make an interesting photo. Why not try using something you’ve probably got in your pocket or purse anyway?


July 2009: Global Moment

The purpose of this project is to get a group of photographers from across the world at approximately the same moment. This project isn’t a stickler for shooting at the same exact second, and long exposures are supported (and encouraged). However, try to start your exposure as close to 3:00 UTC/GMT as possible.


June 2009: Love and Marriage

It’s time for the yearly photo.net homage to the grand adventure that is love and marriage.



June is the month of weddings for many communities around the world. While most people will never have any interest in being a professional wedding photographer, weddings can offer amazing opportunities for interesting photography. So if you are going to a wedding this month, bring along your camera and see what images you can discover. Not going to a wedding this month? Don’t worry about it, show us your best “love” themed image.


May 2009: Slow Water

Moving water is a very difficult thing to photograph in a way that captures reality. That is because a photograph can never recreate the way that water looks when it is moving. However, one method that people have long used is to leave the shutter open for a long time and let the water become all blurry and smooth. No, it doesn’t look at all how moving water actually looks. But what it does do is evoke the feeling of moving water for many people.


April 2009: Panoramic

A panoramic image is one that is significantly longer in one dimension than another. To say it another way, a panoramic image is a long rectangle. While there is no set definition for what aspect ratio defines an image as panoramic or not, I would wager a guess that for many people an image needs to be at least twice as long on one side vs the other (an aspect ratio of 2:1) before they would call it “panoramic”.


March 2009: Repetition

When searching for scenes that could make a strong image, one of the best places to start can often be to look for repeating subjects that make a pattern. You will often hear photography instructors say things like “patterns bring a sense of order and rhythm to an image”. I’m not sure how true that is, it’s a bit “metaphysical” for my taste. But I do know that the human eye generally enjoys a good pattern.


February 2009: Window Light

Window light is some of the best lighting in the world. It is soft, it’s magical, and best of all, it is free. Find a scene lit only by window light and see what you can do with it. Take a portrait by window light. Or just let the light wash over a classic “bowl of fruit” still life. No matter what, you will learn why photographers have been relying on window light for years to create beautiful images. This project is a repeat of one of the projects from last year. But it’s such an important aspect of photography that I thought it was worthy of doing again.


January 2009: Urban Images

Cities are big these days. Packed with people, cars, buildings, and noise. Everything moves so quickly that half of my memories of being ‘in the city’ are a nothing more than blur. That’s why I try to come back from every visit with at least one photo of something I had to slow down to see, something I wouldn’t have noticed if I had just kept on rushing around. If you’ve never looked for beauty beneath the dirt of the city, why not make it your photo project for this month.


December 2008: Animals and Their People

This month how about some photos of animals and their humans?

Why do we take so many photos of our pets? Probably because they are always around, never yell at us about a bad hair day, and don’t mind the extra attention.


November 2008: Hip to be Square

No fancy techniques. No required subjects. Just a cropping decision. Shoot square, crop square, I don’t care. No, I don’t care.

The photography world is dominated by rectangles. How about some love for our friend the square? (Yes, math geeks, I realize that a square is technically a rectangle.)


October 2008: Bounce Flash

Everyone knows that direct “on-camera” flash is harsh and unflattering in almost every situation. The light source is too small and too close to the subject to give anything other than harsh light. But what to do about it? After all, you can’t carry around a 2×3ft softbox with you everywhere you go. The answer is right above you.


September ‘08: ’For Sale’ Theme

Nothing fancy this month. No wacked out techniques or crazy schemes. Just a simple theme: “For Sale”. Find something, anything, that is being sold and take a photograph. Bonus points for funny signs or weird locations. Go to it!


August ’08: Hands At Work

Sometimes the best way to show something is to break it down into its most simple aspect. When showing someone at work, I find that a great way to do this is to tightly focus on what their hands are doing. Hands at work can be a fascinating way to create a portrait of a person.


July ’08: Macro and the World of Tiny Things

A lot of photographers go through phases when they are uninspired with their usual subjects. No matter how excited you usually are about weddings or portraits or sports or even photos if your pets, you can run out of ideas and interest from time to time. One of my favorite ways to combat those uninspired times is to make the switch to macro. I pull out my macro lens, or a digital camera with a macro-mode, and concentrate on finding the small treasures that we miss in our every day life. There are millions of interesting subjects in this “World of Tiny Things” and it is easy to create images that are completely new to you.


June ’08 v2: Love and Marriage

June is the month of weddings for many communities around the world. While most people will never have any interest in being a professional wedding photographer, weddings can offer amazing opportunities for interesting photography. So if you are going to a wedding this month, bring along your camera and see what images you can discover. Not going to a wedding this month? Don’t worry about it, show us your best “love” themed image.


June ’08: Stopping Motion

One of the most wonderful aspects of photography is that we can freeze
for eternity a moment that would have otherwise passed in the blink of
an eye. Giving us insight into the world we never otherwise would get
to see. Try going out and using a high shutter speed (or electronic
flash) to stop motion completely. Use your camera to show the world
something it never could have seen otherwise.

May ’08: Slow Shutter Speeds

For many people, photography is all about freezing a moment of
time. 1/30, 1/500, or even 1/8000 of a second. But what about the
power of capturing 1/4, 1/2, or even 5 whole seconds of time? Slow
shutter speeds give photographers a world of creative opportunities.
Huge depth of field with small apertures for landscape
photography,
smooth flowing water in a image of a stream, or light
streaks left
by dragging the shutter when handholding, all are
interesting techniques
made possible by slow shutter speeds.


April ’08: Global
Moment

The April ’08 project is a global collaboration between photo.net
members. First mentioned by Tero Pylkkanen and then promoted by Pete
Millis, we are encouraging all photo.net members to try and take a
photo at the same time across the globe. The time chosen was: April 5,
2008 at 15:00 UTC/GMT. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the same
as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


March ’08: Window
light

Window light is some of the best lighting in the world. It is soft,
it’s magical, and best of all, it is free. Find a scene lit only by
window light and see what you can do with it. Take a portrait by
window light. Or just let the light wash over a classic “bowl of
fruit” still life. No matter what, you will learn why photographers
have been relying on window light for years to create beautiful
images. User images were posted to a thread in the “No Words” forum for this project.


Text and photos © 2013 Josh Root.

Article revised January 2013.