Are You Ready To Undertake A 52-Week Photography Challenge?

Welcome to another edition of Let’s Talk Photography!

Hello and Happy Holidays to my fellow photo friends and camera compadres! This is the last edition for 2017 and I thought it would be fun to invite everyone reading this to a fifty two week challenge.

Have you heard of these types of challenges? It’s quite easy. All you have to do is lay out a fifty two week plan of different photo topics and challenge yourself to get out and stick to your schedule and shoot as many pictures as you can that fit into the challenge.

Photographers online have been doing these challenges for a few years now and they post the results of their weekly challenges to sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites that give you the ability to share your work and receive feedback from other photographers (that is, if you want feedback). Some photographers have stated that they both discovered new inspirations for shooting and re-discovered shooting methods and camera settings that they haven’t used since the days when they were learning how to use their camera. No matter what you get from it, the idea of dedicating a few hours in each week to spending time with your camera and getting out of the house is worth the effort.

Putting a challenge like this together for yourself is a bit tricky so I’d like to give you a full plan to get your started in the first week of 2018. I recently read about a challenge posted by photographer Dale Foshe. This is the third year that he’s put a challenge together for the photography community and I’m excited to get started with this one, myself. The link to his website where the challenge is presented in detail is

This year’s challenge titled “Dogwood 52 Week Photography Challenge 2018” is a complete plan with specific weekly challenges that fit into one of five different categories. According to the official Dogwood Photography website, these categories are:

Vision: This category is designed to push you to go beyond sight, to insight; to take inspiration and make it a reality. Vision exists in your imagination and is revealed your photographs; expressing something otherwise invisible. Developing a Vision for your work is showing to others what you see in your mind’s eye.

Composition: Composition refers to the way the various elements in a scene are arranged within the frame. Challenges will focus on setting up the shot and developing our personal composition styles; styles which can become our trademark. Developing your Compostion will allow you to set the stage to generate a reaction from your audience.

Technical: Technical Aptitude is just as important as creative inspiration in photography. This year’s technical category is primarily focused on in camera processes, however, there will be some post processing techniques included.

Creative: When this category comes up, you really have room to express yourself. You can interpret the assignment literally or figuratively. Unlike the other categories, the idea of this category is to let your artistic impression shine.

Wild Card: Consider this a Show-and-Tell for grown-ups. You have freedom do shoot what and how you wish. Let us know if you’re trying a new technique, composition, style, subject, working on a specific project, or just exercising your freedom. Have fun!

To begin, you’re going to want to create a free account on the website Scribd and get a copy of the downloadable fifty two week plan. To do this, visit this website address: Once you’ve downloaded a copy of the challenge plan, print a few copies to hang on your wall at home or at the office so you can easily refer to your weekly shooting assignments. The link to this plan was provided by

Now, to really step up your game and dedicate yourself to the challenge, you will want to add the challenges to the calendar on your mobile phone or device. I did this on my phone so I’m reminded of each challenge as every week begins. And, to avoid having to type every challenge into my phone, I downloaded a calendar file that can be imported into any mobile calendar app or into your Google or Microsoft calendar at home or work. The file can be located here:– I know, it’s a long address, but extremely short compared to all the typing you’ll have to do to get every week entered into your phone’s calendar. Simply download and open the file and all the weekly assignments will automatically be added to your calendar with the title of the task and a description of the goal of the assignment. This handy little tool was also provided on the website.

Finally, if you’re a current Facebook user, you may want to join the Dogwood 2018 Facebook Group where you can post your weekly images and share with others around the world who are also participating. I’ve already joined and I think it would be great to see some other readers of The Post-Journal representing their talents in a world community of photo enthusiasts like us.

I’ve never done a fifty two week challenge before so I’m looking forward to jumping into this one with great enthusiasm. To make sure I stay on track, I’m going to dedicate a small portion of my weekly article to share a photo from the assignments. I hope to put together a fun and interesting portfolio for the year 2018 and I’m already excited to see what the readers of this article capture and share along the way.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the photo in this article has nothing to do with the challenge. This is a photo of my dog, Cooper, relaxing after all the craziness of the holidays.

Have a Happy New Year and stay safe during your celebrations!

Until next week, happy shooting!

Is there a topic that you’d like to learn more about? Send feedback, share your photos, or offer topic suggestions to If you’re looking for a place to connect with local photographers in Chautauqua County, search for the group “Shoot ‘n Share Chautauqua” on Facebook.