This post was meant to be a recap of the Changing Seasons 2015 and a presentation of the challenge «The Changing Seasons» that will run throughout 2016.
EDIT (21.11.2016): I will also host this challenge in 2017.
After I wrote this, I realized that it’s too many words to add a recap as well, so the recap of 2015 will come later. As most of you are already aware of – either because you are a regular visitor of this blog, or because you’ve been participating in this challenge throughout 2015 – I’ve been hosting The Changing Seasons. My original thought was to keep the challenge going for one year, but a couple of bloggers mentioned that they’d like to keep it up and then Lucile gave me that final push that I needed to make up my mind and keep it going. (Thanks Lucile!).
For those of you who missed it, here’s the how I originally presented this challenge in january 2015:
“I’d like you to join me on this project: Find a location near your home, take somewhere between 5-20 photos and post them in a gallery in your blog. Continue to do this every month. For my project I’ve chosen the general area “downtown Oslo”, but if you like to, you can choose a more specific area like a park or a building. It doesn’t even have to be a city. If you live on the countryside, there’s probably plenty of locations to choose from nearby: a field with some trees, a beach, a mountain, or just a simple dirt road? It can be whatever. Just keep the project going throughout the year. Try to shoot every month, so that in the end of the year, you’ll have a nice and diverse set of photos in your portfolio. The idea is to capture all the changes: the seasons, the weather, different times of the day, some night photography perhaps?
Also, the idea is to build your portfolio and train your eye.”
These were/are the rules (The Changing Seasons V1):
- Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
- Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
- Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
Now… New year, same-ish rules, plus some minor adjustments.
The rules will basically be the same, but for The Changing Seasons 2016 there will be 3 alternatives:
- You can do like we all did in 2015, then you’ll follow the same rules like before (see the short presentation above).
- You can choose the new version if the challenge (presentation follows).
- You can do a mix: do both the new & the old version each month, or mix them up as you feel like: the new version in January, the old version in February & March, then the new one, etc, etc.
It’s all up to you and your schedule.
Here are the rules for the new, updated version of The Changing Seasons (The Changing Seasons V2):
- Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
- Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
- Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
«OK… What do you mean with “one photo that represents your interpretation of the month”?»
This can be a photo, a painting, a drawing or a digital manipulation of what YOU think about when you try to picture the specific month: what do you associate with the months? For example, if you’re an American, April might mean Spring Break (or the fond memory of spring break). Perhaps you associate July with summer holidays on the beach. What about that friend of your that has his/hers birthday in March and always throws the best parties? January? Winter cabins in the woods perhaps? Perhaps you’re one of those lucky persons that are travelling the world in 2016? In that case the choice is easy: “It’s January and I’m in Australia. It’s February and I’m here in Azerbaijan, March is the perfect month to visit Camp Barneo (Camp Barneo (Russian: Лагерь Бaрнео) is a private Russian temporary ice base established annually since 2002 on an ice floe relatively close to the North Pole), etc, etc.”
The choice is yours and it’s all up to you: use your creativity and show us your interpretation of each single month.
So, you can either choose the original version (V1) and follow the old rules, you can do the 2016 version of the challenge (V2) and follow the new rules. Alternatively you can mix them up as you please.
V2, the 2016 version, makes it easy for those of you who are constantly on the move: changing places because of jobs, moving to another place, travelling the world… It’s also a great option if you want to push your creativity. Think of it as creating your own calendar for the year (if you’re pleased with the result when 2016 comes to an end, you can actually print your own personal calendar and give it to your family/friends as a gift, or just make one for yourself).
Another option is to think of it as some sort of diary: “in May I spent a lot of time redecorating my kitchen (and here’s the result), in September I shot portraits (so you’ll post a portrait)”.
You’re a food blogger? No problem! January is winter and soup time. June is barbecuing with friends (just make sure to present your recipes with a photo, but you probably do that already anyway).
If you choose to do the original version of the challenge, it can also be nice with a break now and then. Because, let’s face it, even if it’s just once per month, it can actually be difficult to go out and take photos of the same place for a whole bunch of reasons: you’re tired of the area, you have personal things happening in your life, it’s cold outside and you prefer staying inside when the temperatures are acting silly…
As you can see, V2 has a lot of benefits, but so has V1! V1 is very good for consistency (shooting the same place, forcing you to see the same place ‘with new eyes’), it gives you a nice portfolio, it also gives you the option to try new photographic techniques that you might not be so familiar with: night photos/long-exposures, etc. Also, like I’ve learned (and I know that a several of the participants in 2015 felt the same way); looking for photo opportunities in your own area, makes you discover new things about it. I’ve walked some new streets (new to me) and I’ve seen a couple of new places that I probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for this challenge.
Why do I have to tag my posts with the tags #TheChangingSeasons and #MonthlyPhotoChallenge?
That’s because it makes it very easy for the other participants to find your post (if you’re running your blog on the WordPress platform). Here you can read about “creating a list and follow tags in the WordPress reader”:
Join the challenge and spread the word.
I hope that this challenge sounds interesting to you and that you’ll choose to join us in 2016. I always appreciate a link back to my blog and a comment with a link to your post, but that’s optional and not one of the official rules. Even the official rules aren’t really rules, but more like guidelines. In 2015, several of the other bloggers (myself included) posted way more photos than the official guidelines on 5-20 photos (for example in July I shot a wild amount of photos).
During 2015 my posts were up on the 7th each month, while the other participant could choose to post whenever they wanted to. For me that was a bit strict and on my November post (the one I posted on December the 7th) I realized on the evening of the 6th that I had to write-up the post and publish it before I went to bed. It also felt wrong to publish everything with a one month lag: January stuff in February, February in March etc.
That’s why, in 2016, I’ll give my self some of the same freedom that the other participants had and I’ll publish my posts in the end of the month (January in the end of January, February in the end of, well, you probably get the point already). Sometime between the 20th – 30th/31st, my monthly posts will be published. I hope that you’ll publish your posts within that same period, but you’re free to do as you please.
In 2016 I’ll do V2, but if I’ve been around with my camera and have photos from downtown Oslo that I want to share, I might throw in a gallery in the same post (yes, you can do that too if you want to. Who’s gonna stop you?).
Join in, tell your fellow bloggers to join. Use WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Telefax, whatever your platform and social media might be.
Hoping to see your first entry in this challenge (or your continuation from 2015) towards the end of January 2016!
(If you want to see my previous posts, just follow this tag: #TheChangingSeasons (see how easy it is with just a simple tag).