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Challenge Accepted


Welcome to my Challenge Accepted course series. Join me in an adventure to push your photography skills forward through a super-in-depth, one concept at a time series of experiments. Each month(ish), I’ll be taking a small group of photographers through a challenging assignment designed to push your knowledge of a photography sub-topic to an extreme. If you think you knew a subject even as simple as “focal-length” well before, prepare to learn how much deeper this rabbit hole can go.

What you get when you enroll in a subject

  • Detailed instructions for the photography experiments you’re to conduct, with starting example images
  • An account on a slack account for group communication for all photography scientists
    • Access to the sub-channel where you and your peers will work on the tasks of the topic
  • A group accessible place for sharing images (slack or google photos or …)
  • An invitation to the final, recorded, 2-hour group video conference call where results will be discussed and analyzed in depth that will include:
    • A review of the challenge images taken by the group that show the most important concepts of the topic
      • Detailed discussions of “what’s really happening” in the images, and why they work (and don’t work!)
    • A detailed critique of every participants favorite image taken during the experiment
  • A private URL to the recorded video for watching later

What’s required of you

  • You’ll get a month to perform the tasks in challenge; this will typically involve
    • Shooting multiple images “in the field” with specific goals in mind
    • Processing some of those images to produce “examples” that demonstrate knowledge of the skill and understanding
    • Discuss the results of all experiments in your private peer group
    • Create one “Final Report” image showcasing what you’ve learned over the month
  • An administration fee of USD $45/session paid via paypal. Note: this fee is for the initial test run(s) and may be increased slightly in future sessions.

Initial topics

Starting topics that I’m likely to focus on — each item below will be an entire month’s study. Every challenge will push your knowledge to the limit and in opposite directions at the same time. For example, in the Exposure, one of the tasks will have you taking shots at -4, -2 and +2, and +4 exposure compensation of the same subject and then processing it back to zero and comparing the results to see where exposure damage comes into play. Every topic will have multiple experiments to conduct to greatly increase your knowledge. E.G., What is clipping in the histogram exactly and how does it damage my results (easy)? How does exposure affect saturation (less easy)? How does exposure compensation affect hue (even harder)?

  • Exposure
  • Focal Length
  • Shutter speed
  • Light vs Dark environments
  • Colors
  • Shapes and Patterns

Schedule of upcoming sessions

Q4 2018: Expanding on Exposure

How to join the fun

If you wish to be included in the announcement about the next upcoming challenge lesson with subscription, Contact me immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to know how to use photoshop?

No! Most of the experiments are designed to be fairly simple to execute without requiring extensive post-processing knowledge. You will need to have some piece of software that has basic adjustment tools (exposure, light/shadow sliders) and a histogram display.
LightRoom, Adobe Bridge, Luminar, Capture One, The Gimp, DarkTable, etc, should all work. There may be a task or two at times that would be beneficial if you know to use Photoshop, but if no one in the group is able to perform the needed steps I’ll be happy to help the group complete that task.

Do I have to complete all the tasks?

It’s your time and your commitment, so the choice is up to you as to how many you complete. The experiment list per topic will likely be longer than most people can easily complete. Picking the experiments that interest you most is one way forward and work with your group to ensure at least someone takes every task. A potentially best way forward is to start with the experiments that intimidate you the most, since that’s where you’ll learn the most.

What if I fail to get any of the work done?

I can’t return the fee, but you’ll still have the instructions, the ability to participate in the results video discussion, the link to the discussion video and the conversations with your peers to learn from.

What interaction will I get with you during the month?

The experiments will be designed to be group-work and I highly encourage groups to solve problems on the own, experiment together and reach out to me when there is a question or clarification is needed. At the end of the month I’ll do deep dive reviews of the results and present findings during the group video call.

Is there a limit to the number of people that can join a group starting up?

Yes. The exact number of people may change over time, and per subject. It is expected to be 6-10 people per group. The signups will be first-come first-served. Announcements about the next topic will go out to previous participants first.

What are you interested in?

To see more information about what types of stories I send, please see my web page devoted to my newsletter