52 Frames Weekly Photo Challenge: Improve your photography once a week

Make 2023 a year of creative breakthroughs. We all know the key to being better is consistency. Doing the same thing over and over makes you better in the end whatever. 52 frames is a photography community that encourages you to improve by prioritizing consistency over perfection: one photo per week for a year. Photography, like any other skill, requires practice. It’s like going to the gym: you need a workout plan, with clear goals and ways to achieve them.

52 What is a Frame?

52 frames is an online community that helps people get into the creative game and develop themselves through a weekly photo challenge.

Image Credit – Amanda Powell, Week 20: Summary (2022)

It’s a friendly community of people who want to improve their camera skills in a fun and easy way. There’s really a hidden photography lesson behind the challenge every week. The challenges encourage photographers (who call themselves “Framers”) to feel creative freedom and express their own creative opinions on their entries. For example, week 29 of this year is “General Audience,” allowing Framers to pause during the week and observe the many photo opportunities around them that they often overlook. Perhaps this is one of the great things about 52Frames: people respond to the same summary in a different way. The result is like taking a virtual tour around the world through albums every week.

Image credit: Michelle Robbins- Daniels Week, Week 29: Generic Audience (2022)

Not a contest, but a challenge

52Frames is not a contest, but a creative exercise. The purpose of 52Frames is not to take good picture your career, which is to Take it one photo each and every week. 52Frames inspire you to exercise your creativity, at any level.

While 52Frames isn’t technically a competition, there are a number of trophies awarded each week to highlight some outstanding submissions. They are selected by committees that include both amateur and professional photographers, and of course, each committee member has their own preferences in terms of creative ideas, technical execution and overall story.

There is a very long list of ingredients that make up a good photograph, but the more you take, the better you will get and, more importantly, the better you will understand what elements make up a photograph. nice picture.

How it works?

Each week, 52Frames offers a challenge, which is often a new opportunity to explore outside of your comfort zone and learn something new. The challenges could revolve around a technique, such as composition principles, or it could be something more creative and story-driven, such as “Red”. Levitation Week inspired members to learn how to create layer masks in Photoshop. Fast Shutter Speed ​​Week is an opportunity to capture fast-moving subjects and learn how to work with your shutter controls. Personally, one challenge that stands out is Portrait of a Stranger. As a studio photographer, I’m mostly comfortable with my subjects. In short, they know why they’re there, and I just need to take a picture of them. Going out into the street and asking a stranger to take a picture of them is a whole different game.

Image credit: Kevin Mathews, Week 37: Stranger Portraits (2022)

Image credit: Laura Cali, Week 31: Picking a Color (2022)

I tried photographing strangers a few years ago. Not the most extroverted person, this is more of an exercise to motivate myself than to make great photos. In the process, however, I ended up getting to know a few interesting people, one of whom was a fellow photographer. To be fair, this meeting wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been pushed out of my comfort zone. Sure, this sounds a bit cliché, but try it for yourself and see the magic happen. It’s not about making friends or connecting; The point is to get out of your comfort zone. And this will extend to everything in your life beyond photography.

Comfort, stretch and discomfort

Getting out of your comfort zone is probably one of the best ways to learn. In general, there are three zones that we find ourselves in: comfort, stress, and discomfort. Staying in our comfort zone is our default. It can also get pretty boring doing the same task over and over again.

Being in an uncomfortable zone isn’t necessarily motivating or fun either. For example, if I was hired to photograph a cat for a Whiskas commercial, I would refuse, because photographing animals would be very uncomfortable for me.

The stretch zone is where 52Frames aim to place you: just within the bounds you’re comfortable with.

I find the stretch area to be the best place to study, as you can build skills that you’re comfortable with. Finally, when your stretch became a comfort zone, your discomfort zone is now a stretch. If that’s confusing, read that sentence again.

Going back to my commercial example of Whiskas, I feel comfortable photographing a person holding cat food. It takes a long time to photograph a person holding a cat, and in the end, it is uncomfortable to just photograph a cat.

Another example is learning how to use flash. Many photographers are comfortable with using one lamp. It will be difficult to use two and uncomfortable to use complex lighting with special dimmers.

The point is: our comfort, tension, and discomfort zones are different. By participating in 52Frames, you can really explore what you can and can’t do, get familiar with the level you’re working at, and ultimately get out of your comfort zone and progress.

Final thoughts

52 frames Users have commented that after a year of weekly challenges, their photography is on another level than when they started. They created much more compelling work, and perhaps more importantly, they saw the world in a whole new way.

52Frames is a community of photographers, like you, who want to be better and help others become better. If you’re looking for a supportive and creative community to improve your photography once a week, check out 52 frames.


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