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Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online
Self Assignment

What are Self Assignments and Why Do Them? 

We all tend to get in creative ruts sometimes. We start assuming too much about what we can and can't photograph, and about the limits of our equipment, our film, and ourselves. These assignments (hopefully) take you out of your comfort zone and get you photographing things you might not normally shoot. 

The only way to really learn is to do, and the more film you put through your camera the better you'll get.  Plus you get the chance to win a bunch of film.  This months winner will get 20 rolls of the Professional film of their choice courtesy of FujiFilm Professional.

This Month - Create a Signature Image

Sometimes you can convey a whole story about a place or thing with a single image. 

Take the image at left for example. One glance and you think "casino" or "Vegas". This simple image coveys a whole set of ideas. 

The same holds true for the photo of the cupola from El Morro (below). This fort has come to symbolize historic Old San Juan. So much so that virtually every tourist brochure for Puerto Rico, and even their license plates feature this image.

These types of signature images find wide use in advertising, magazines and newspapers so developing an eye for them can be useful if you have any thoughts of shooting stock images professionally, entering the field of photojournalism or if you just want to grab those singular defining images of your travels.  

It's VERY important that you include stories along with these images. Don't assume that we'll recognize the item in the image.

We're not eliminating super-wide angle lenses from the contest, but the inherent perspective distortion of those lenses generally makes them ill suited for this kind of photography. Generally you'll have your best luck with focal lengths between 35mm and 300mm for these subjects.

In places like New York and Philadelphia it's easy to find signature images. But don't despair if you're in rural areas. A covered bridge in the upper Mid-West, A horse and buggy in western Pennsylvania, or a pair of cowboy boots in Kansas would all be considered signature images. You also don't have to limit your creativity to places. An antique hand plane on a worn workbench speaks of the tradition of woodworking and slides and a loupe on a light table tell a tale of photography. Now that you're overwhelmed by the possibilities go to it!

Images should be in color.  

Film Types
Color film or digital. 

Lens Types (35mm format used as a reference)
35mm to 300mm

Each month we pick several photos from the previous month's contest that we think are worthy of publication. Photos should be submitted by email in JPEG format, and should be no larger than 1400x1400 pixels, 24 bit color (1.4MB). Overly large images will not be reviewed. Panoramic images may exceed 700 pixels in one direction but should not exceed 1.4MB in total file size. Photos should be submitted by the end of the month. By entering the contest you are giving us permission to publish the your photo in the magazine if you win or receive an honorable mention. 

Please include the following in your email:

  • Name
    email address
    Brand & model of camera
    Brand & focal length of lens
    Brand & speed of film used (or specify digital)
    Scanner and/or scanning method
    How/if the image was manipulated digitally
    The story behind the image
    Enter Now


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