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52 Week Photo Challenge

You may have heard of this challenge before, but have you tried it out before? In 2014, I had committed myself to this 52 Weeks Photo Challenge, and my photography skill set has greatly improved since then. Because of that, I want to share this with you.

What is 52 Weeks Photo Challenge?

The challenge is basically required you to POST a photo once in a week and continue doing it for a total of 52 WEEKS, which also means ONE YEAR too.

How is it compare to the 365 Photo Challenge?

365 Photo Challenge is another type of challenge that required you to post a photo every day. However, I don’t favour that challenge.

If you are into that, you are most likely going to shoot everything and anything accessible to you on that day, e.g. food, street, landscape, portrait, etc. so that you can stick to the challenge.

I want you to FOCUS only on one type of photography genre, train yourself to the fullest. By doing so, you will experience a vast improvement in your work. You will learn to be familiar with different camera settings for different lighting and subject. You will have a better idea of how to compose better. You will know how to edit the photo to produce the type of result that you want.

Besides that, Landscape photography heavily relies on the weather. At the worst weather, you may not be able to come out any photo from a photo shooting. I don’t want you to compromise just for the sake of commitment.

On the other hand, 52 weeks Photo Challenge is more manageable, giving you more time to plan your shooting, taking photos and process them. Let’s focus on quality instead of quantity.

One simple rule – Variety

If you decide to take up the 52 Weeks Photo Challenge, I’m going to add a RULE on it for you, a single word: VARIETY.

Like I mentioned above, I want quality work, and I want you to get improved too. If you keep revisiting a single place and submit 52 photos of the same scene, how much do you think you can improve from that? Most likely, not much.

You need to take photos in different locations, experience different shooting conditions (seascape, cityscape, fireworks, light trails, etc.) and using different shooting techniques. With that, only you can GREATLY improve your photography skills.

Different types of shooting condition help to train up your skill.

Am I sound too hard on you? No worry, I will provide you with some ideas and also some shooting locations here, for you to start the Photo Challenge. Well, at least for Landscape/ Cityscape/Astro. 🙂

Tips #1 – Compile a list of shooting locations

Don’t know where and what to photograph? Easy, follow a few photographers on social media, photographers that you like their work. From their work, you should have a better idea of what to photograph.

On top of that, you may also get inspiration on how they capture the photo and process them. (You can follow me on my Facebook and Instagram too, 😛 )

When I started the challenge, I used to collect all those locations into Evernote and labelled them differently using tags.

If you are staying in Malaysia, I have two blog posts about some of the best shooting locations in Malaysia. (I also have photos from other countries but is on my Social media account.)

There are a total of 16 shooting locations mentioned in both blog posts, and at some of these locations, you may get multiple photos from different angles. At least more than 20++ photos you can get from those locations.

See, I have done nearly 40% of work for you! ^^

Tips #2 – Plan your shooting and posting ahead

Consider that you may need a few attempts to get a decent photo and the time that is required to process the photo. It is better to plan your shooting and posting at least a week ahead, and If possible, trying to get a few photos ready in advance. With that, you able ensure that there’s always a photo posted on every week, even though you are not free for any shooting/processing during that week.

Tips #3 – Same spot but different techniques/composition

No plan to make a photography trip and run out of shooting location? You can revisit the same place and try to get something different this time.

Different shooting techniques

The LEFT photo is a standard landscape photo during the BLUE hour, and I took the photo a few years ago.

The RIGHT photo was from my recent trip to Penang Island a few weeks ago. This time, I decided to capture a Long Exposure Black & White photo here. With the help of 2 ND filters (ND1000 and ND64), I was able to use slow Shutter Speed at 60 seconds, even though it was 9 a.m. morning. The 60 seconds shutter speed help to smoothen the seawater, adding a sense of calm to the photo, and the sunlight nicely lightened up the bridge.

Different time of the day

For these two photos, the composition is the same, and it was actually from the same shooting sessions. The LEFT photo was taken around 15 minutes before the RIGHT photo. However, the shooting conditions are different, and the way in processing the two photos are different. One is slightly dimmer and focuses on the mood of the colourful sky and the street lights of the city. Another one is focusing on the blazing sunrise, creating a more refreshing look.

Different compositions

Again, two photos of the same scene but one of them was taken using a slightly unique composition.

Tips #4 – Be kind to yourself

If you can’t make it in a particular week, don’t blame yourself. We are just human, and sometimes there may have an unforeseen circumstance that pulls us away from committing to the challenge. Just proceed to focus on the next posting, or you can choose to post two photos next week to cover back the miss-out, your choice! 🙂

Final word

If you decide to take up the challenge, congrats on making your first step in becoming a better photographer! And I am looking to see your improvement! If you want to share your work with me and also the progress, you can post it in my Casual Shooter Photography Facebook group.

Let me know what you think about this challenge and what method you have tried out in improving your photography skills by leaving your comment below.

Happy shooting!

Please feel free to share this post if you enjoy reading it! :)

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