Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Epic Personal Challenge! ~ Exploration Thursday

"The Big Bang"
The Epic Personal Challenge #1

Today's image is the result of a conversation I had with good friend and photographer David A. Pratt the other week. We've both been learning and working in photography now for a few years at around the same time, albeit from different countries and it's not unusual for us to encourage the other in some practical way, or exploring a new technique in camera, or in editing, or processing... well you get the picture. (pardon the pun)

The conversation involved which other photographers we'd been following that week, whose new work we admired and ended with us deciding to do a spontaneous bi-weekly photo challenge to keep our creativity honed. Easy enough to do on your own I suppose, but much more exciting when someone else is in on it too. And so began The EPC! (Epic Personal Challenge)

The grand thing about this is every other week we'll just pick a random theme and have to find ways to give our own interpretation of it in a photograph (not a new concept really but so much fun)... and the interesting part is waiting to see how the other is going to approach it. Last week's challenge was , you guessed it, Rust and Decay. But our approach and decision making in regards to subject matter, interpretation, and even processing were completely different. To compare the image above to Dave's resulting photograph and his description of it, you can view his image HERE. See? Vastly different.

While he found an object that exuded rust and decay with great textures and a really gritty sidelight suitable to the theme, I went in a different direction and chose to make the rust, found in the inside of an old wheelbarrow, it's own subject, giving an abstract feel the felt like some kind of crazy sky or atmosphere in space effect. I think the differences are fantastic... Dave's approach made me realize just how varied every interpretation will be, sometimes I get too caught up in my own style that I forget that the possibilities are endless. Photo challenges are the perfect way to have fun with your camera, have fun with your peers, and start seeing your world around you better. And after we revealed our images to each other, we decided we needed a round two!

So this bi-weekly challenge for the EPC is "Machinery" and already I'm finding this a very challenging theme. And loving it. The cool thing is, you never know what else you'll stumble across while out on your scavenger hunt for the assigned subject matter. I have three images now waiting for next week's blog that were exciting all on their own merit while I was out hunting decay and rust... so you can see how this kind of activity can be very important to your own personal exploration of your craft.

Dave and I are very social people as well... if we hear from enough of you that you'd like to join us for the EPC, I'm sure a FB group or page or blog can be put together... or if you'd like to simply follow along on your own, feel free to contact me or leave a comment with a link to your results so I can include you here on the blog as well in two weeks time. I'll be posting our results every other Thursday... and I'll have Dave do some guest blogging those days as well, so you can hear his thought process behind it all... what do ya say Dave? Hmmm?

If you'd like to see today's image larger just click on it above, and if you visit David Pratt's photo in the link above or on flickr, he'd love to hear your comments too. Thanks for the ramble gang! Have a great one!


  1. Thank you Christine! This challenge was alot of fun, and it made me think a bit more of what I am trying to shoot. I would love to do some guest blogging. I am enjoying this new challenge immensely. I just hope what I have envisioned for my final image works out. But you will have to wait till next week to see it....have a great weekend!

  2. Yes, I was trying to get some interesting mechanical parts shots down at the docks last weekend.... am anxious to see if any of them will be the keeper for next week's reveal :)And I have one from the previous challnge I'll post tomorrow on the blog.... I think you'll like it!

  3. Great Idea,
    I'd love to take part. After reading your post I have been on the hunt for some machines for this weeks challenge. I may have a late entry for the Rust and Decay to share as well.
    Will let you know when my pics are up

  4. Terrific! You're always welcome to join us Peter!!! Sorry I missed your comment till now... we get enough people joining and we'll have to make a group page somewhere!