The concept behind my first Your Shot assignment is simple: minimalism. I'd love for you to shoot new photos. Yes, you can submit photos from your archives. But I would like to believe that, if you are reading this, it is not only because you love and enjoy photography but that you aspire to be a better photographer. This new assignment will require you to focus on your composition and think about what is in your frame.
Merriam-Webster defines minimalism as "a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity."
So slow down. Take your time with your camera. Look around your world and see things differently. Think about what you've learned in other Your Shot assignments like "Silhouette.”
Find the minimalism in the ordinary and the extraordinary. I encourage you to observe the lines, shapes, and colors all around you. Double-check your composition before you hit the shutter. If you didn't get the photo you wanted, try again. Reframe your shot. Maybe take a step to the left, or four steps closer. Maybe kneel or find a higher vantage point. Be patient and wait for the moment to pass through the right light. Maybe introduce yourself and gain a more intimate perspective.
Also think about the concept behind this assignment—minimalism—in not just your composition but in the mood your photo evokes. Don’t forget that minimalism is also a feeling. There is simplicity in chaos—you just have to learn how to control it in your frame, like using long exposure to capture a roaring waterfall or the hustle from everyday commuter traffic.
Most importantly, take your time. You will be able to upload only three photos, so be confident in your submissions. Be thoughtful in not only the visual and creative intent in your photo but also in your written caption. Remember, captions are a part of the overall presentation of your photo. A good caption answers the who, what, when, where, and why. A great caption elevates the power of a photo by providing valuable and detailed information.
Have fun #YourShotPhotographer, and I look forward to seeing the minimalism in your life. Submission deadline is February 27, 2017 at 12PM EST.
Editor's Update 01
February 15, 2017
Hi everyone —
I hope you are having fun. I am. I cannot believe there has already been 10,999 submissions already!
Before I forget, I am planning on doing a LIVE discussion board chat on Friday February 17, 2017 from 3-4PM EST. See you all then.
Now onto the assignment…
There are still 11 days for this assignment, and my advice for everyone is to be patient before submitting. I am excited that you are excited — but remember, you’re only going to get three (3) submissions — so you need to make each submission count.
I see a lot of people submitting and then asking for feedback. Honestly, I find this workflow counter-productive because once you have submitted, it’s final — so why ask for feedback?
My advice: inspire and encourage each other on the assignment discussion board with feedback and/or critiques on photos BEFORE submitting. Take advantage of this wonderful community. I love the engagement I am seeing; some of you are doing an excellent job. Yes, I am paying attention…
In the meantime, go out and shoot. Even if you have already submitted your three photos. Keep shooting; this is the only way you’re going to get better. Trust me, eventually you’ll have an A-HA moment in your photography and you’ll start to see the world a little differently through your camera. Look at the submitted photos that YOU like and study them. This is a fantastic exercise for each of you. Really think about why you like the photo, and adapt to your own photography. Really think about why the photo caught your eye among the thousands of submitted photos. Because that is what I am doing when I make my editor’s favorites. When you leave a thoughtful comment to the respective photographer, you are learning how to articulate yourself with more valuable feedback than just “Beautiful” or “Nice job.” Think about the feedback you crave, and then treat others like you yourself want to be treated. Because again, that is what I am doing when I leave my editor’s notes and/or comments.
We can talk more on Friday (February 17, 2017) on the LIVE discussion board chat from 3-4PM EST.
Until then, have fun taking pictures. #ThanksYourShot