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Photo Prompts

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to a friend of mine that I wanted to become more deliberate in my photography. I started photography as a hobby shortly after college, where I was inspired by a professor who practiced large-format photography. My first love was Ansel Adams and his breathtaking photographs of the American west.

My budget didn’t allow for a 4x5 camera, however, so I mostly worked with a fairly primitive (by today’s standards) Canon SLR; it had automatic exposure but manual focus. I shot primarily in B&W, not only because of my preoccupation with Ansel Adams, but because I could buy the film in bulk and develop it in my bathroom, thus making it a relatively cheap way to practice.

I’ve been an “enthusiast” photographer since then (about 1983) and I’ve used a variety of cameras since then. In the late 1990’s, I encountered a wonderful group of people via the Contax G Pages, a mailing list (and later a website) for users of the Contax G-series autofocus rangefinder cameras. These were small, lightweight cameras with superb Zeiss lenses, and I learned a lot about photography by discussing the craft with the other photographers in that group (which numbered over 2,000 at its peak).

So, my friend and I decided that we needed to challenge each other, photographically speaking. Below is a list of proposed photo topics to work on, one for each week of the year (plus a few extra).

How it works

  1. Each week, take one or more photos of the assigned topic.
  2. Post the photo to your favorite photo-sharing site (Instagram, Flickr, 500px, etc.) and make sure that it’s publicly-viewable.
  3. Tweet a link to the photo with the hashtag #photoprompt. Feel free to add any other #hashtags or description.

Want to follow along? Just follow the #photoprompt tag on Twitter.

The List

  1. Shadow (January 1)
  2. Shoot from the hip (January 8)
  3. Close-up (January 15)
  4. Patterns and repetition (January 22)
  5. Static (January 29)
  6. I can’t see them any more (February 5)
  7. Lightbulbs (February 12)
  8. Did you see that? (February 19)
  9. Happiness (February 26)
  10. Sky above, earth below (March 5)
  11. Epic selfie (March 12)
  12. Calm (March 19)
  13. Food and drink (March 26)
  14. Zippers (April 2)
  15. Squirrel! (April 9)
  16. Fast cars and motion (April 16)
  17. Athletes (April 23)
  18. Precis (April 30)
  19. Silhouette (May 7)
  20. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! (May 14)
  21. The vault of the heavens (May 21)
  22. Amour (May 28)
  23. Architecture and public spaces (June 4)
  24. Eww, that’s gross (June 11)
  25. Life (June 18)
  26. Pastries (June 25)
  27. Suggestive (July 2)
  28. Formality (July 9)
  29. Product and function (July 16)
  30. Winter (July 23)
  31. Street portraits (July 30)
  32. The decisive moment (August 6)
  33. Struggles (August 13)
  34. Death (August 20)
  35. Pets and their owners (August 27)
  36. Fire (September 3)
  37. Tree and leaf (September 10)
  38. Fantastic beasts (September 17)
  39. Kitchen (September 24)
  40. Bedroom (October 1)
  41. Ceremonies (October 8)
  42. Emergency (October 15)
  43. Something wicked (October 22)
  44. Skin (October 29)
  45. Eyes (November 5)
  46. Hair (November 12)
  47. Stillness (November 19)
  48. Broken (November 26)
  49. Macro (December 3)
  50. Night photography (December 10)
  51. Nature (December 17)
  52. Laughter (December 24)
  53. Mirror (December 31)
  54. Water (Spare)
  55. Love (Spare)
  56. Signs (Spare)
  57. Something Old (Spare)
  58. Reflection (Spare)

(Dates following the prompt indicate the start of the week. Those labeled “spare” may be used to substitute for any of the others, though each spare prompt may only be used once.)

Glen Campbell
Lynnwood, WA (USA)
October 21, 2018