Deciding on theme directions for your photo

Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in ResidenceRegistered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
edited March 20, 2007 in The Dgrin Challenges
The contest, as is well known by now, is a dual but contrasting theme. It serves two main purposes. One, it opens up more opportunity for the photographer to find something interesting or even possible to shoot. For example, during the Chilled or Steamy contest, if someone were in the tropics, it might be a lot easier to find something steamy to capture, while those of us in the tundra of the north would likely have a chance to have something chilly to shoot (taking the theme literally as an example).

Secondly, the contrasting themes also prove beneficial for the viewers of the contest. By seeing these contrasting (yet complimentary) ideas presented before them, them have more visual interest and pleasure in finding something unexpected.

But now we come to a potential pitfall. Combining the contrasting themes into one photo. A photographer may be tempted to think it gives them two chances to interest the viewer or judge, but often times, it can just serve to dilute the relevancy and impact of the photo. Successfully pulling off a double contrasting theme in one photo is very difficult. As in math, if you add +2 to -2 you wind up with 0 as the opposites cancel each other out. But as in nature, opposites attract. So that leads us to the following advice for your consideration...
Only shoot a photo that contains both theme elements if you have a really great idea for a photo where both themes are powerfully illustrated. If you don't have that, then you are much better off if you only focus on a single theme.
Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
"Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
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