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Assignment

Empathy Gap

This assignment ran from Jan 16 to Feb 6, 2017.

Never in the course of human history have we had so much access to one another. Modern technology means that, at the tap of a screen, we can reach people in every corner of the globe.

And yet, it often feels like we're not reaching for their perspectives—or at least, we're not listening. There’s a widening empathy gap between us and those who have life experiences that differ dramatically from our own. This assignment is an attempt to bridge that gap.

We’ve come up with a series of five prompts (borders, love, patriotism, faith, and family) for you to use as you document how your experiences and visual perspectives might differ from those who inhabit this digital space alongside you. The idea is to make images that show what these concepts look like in your life and community. Tell us how your understanding of one of those themes might be different from your neighbor’s or someone who lives 3,000 miles away. Would they recognize it? What makes your relationship to each prompt unique?

Please submit a total of five photographs for this assignment, with each image specifically addressing one of the prompts. You’re welcome to file five photos for one topic, submit an image for each, or submit a mix. Just make sure that you write a clear, concise caption telling us to which prompt each image responds, and why your photo captures that particular idea.

The final story will be a selection of my favorite submissions made into composite images—a collaborative storytelling mashup combining your photo with another photographer's image. Maybe they’ll show how two interpretations of one idea can be radically different, or maybe they’ll show, in the end, how similar we can be. Have fun!

Curated by:

Daniella Zalcman
Documentary Photographer
Assignment Status
  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.
  • Closed

    Completed assignments—with our favorite photos included—will be published online. Learn more.
  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.
Published Feb 20, 2017.
Thank you for your contributions!

Blending Images

Posted feb 2, 2017

Hi friends!

The assignment is almost over, but just wanted to give a few tips for the kinds of images that will most help me to blend your photos into composites as you make your final submissions. Keep in mind that some of the best blends come from images that have strong silhouettes, good contrast, and generally good variations in positive/negative space. I also look to mix images that are working with different scales, perspectives, densities, and lighting. So getting creative with a little motion blur, or soft focus, or out-of-the-ordinary perspectives make for good blending material too. 

The most important thing to keep in mind are images that fit with the five prompts — but don't forget to have fun with the shooting styles as well. Good luck, and can't wait to go through all your images and start blending!

Express Yourself

Posted jan 26, 2017

Hi friends,

Please remember that an important element of this assignment relies on clear captions from you expressing why your image responds to one of the five Empathy Gap prompts (Borders, Faith, Family, Love, and Patriotism). 

Which one does your photo represent? Why does it fit into your definition of that concept? What about your particular experience of faith, or family, or patriotism, etc., might differ from the experience of your neighbor, or someone who lives thousands of miles away? 

Help me to make connections between you so I can make the best multiple exposures possible. Good luck!

What's a mashup?

Posted jan 16, 2017

A mashup is a combination of things—a mixing of different elements. Check out Daniella's Echosight Instagram account to see examples of composite images that tell really unique stories! 

As always, the final Your Shot story will be the editor's favorite submissions to this assignment, but made into composites—mashups of images taken by different photographers. This is the first time we've tried this type of storytelling at Your Shot. Let's go #Further together!

Reminder: Please submit a total of five photographs for this assignment, with each image specifically addressing one of the prompts. You’re welcome to file five photos for one topic, submit an image for each, or submit a mix. Just make sure that you write a clear, concise caption telling us which prompt each image responds, and why your photo captures that particular idea. The five prompts are: borders, love, patriotism, faith, and family.


Daniella Zalcman

Daniella Zalcman

Documentary Photographer
Daniella Zalcman is a documentary photographer based between London and New York. She is a multiple grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation, and a member of Boreal Collective. Her work tends to focus on the legacies of western colonization, from the rise of homophobia in East Africa to the forced assimilation education of indigenous children in North America. She also co-founded the collaborative photography project Echosight. Her first book, Signs of Your Identity, was published by FotoEvidence Press in October 2016.