When I started this last year it was a challenge for myself to grow and evolve as a photographer but since then it seems to have started a life of its own with many people coming onboard throughout the year. Each person had their own reasons for taking part but without exception I have witnessed all those that took part last year improve their photography massively. So why not join us this year for the 2010 Photo52, for those that aren’t aware of Photo52 let me introduce it. In its simplest form, every week (usually on the Sunday) a theme is pulled from a bag (I call it the black bag of destiny ) and is posted in a new thread in the Competitions, Challenges and Inspiration section. During the following week anyone taking part posts a photo within the theme in their own special 52 thread in the Projects, Personal Challenges and Themes section (under General Photo Sharing). There is no competition element to this, you simply shoot for your own enjoyment, progression and sense of achievement. INSTRUCTIONS 1) Wait for the theme to be announced (watch the Competitions, Challenges and Inspiration section) - I will post the first theme some time on 1st Jan (to give you a little extra time ) 2) Think about your the theme and how you want to photograph it 3) Take your Photo 4) Create yourself your own special thread for your own 52 in the The Projects, Personal Challenges and Themes section (that's under the General Photo Sharing) 5) Share your photo and your reasons for taking it plus if you feel like sharing what you learned this week 6) Take a look at some of the other 52s and post a few comments to encourage your fellow 52ers 7) Wait for the next theme to be announced (usually on Sundays - the second theme will be announced on the weekend of 9th / 10th ) 8) Repeat steps 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 until the end of the year Why themes? Well it stems from the idea that I wanted to get the development of a 365 but with less time investment so I recognised that simply posting a random photo a week wouldn’t be that difficult so I came up with the idea of themes. Originally I thought of choosing and posting the theme for the following week when I posted the shot from the previous week but as pointed out (by StewartR IIRC) all I would be doing would be shooting a theme I fancied the next week. So the idea of pulling a random theme out the bag was born. I am sure those that have taken part in 2009 will join me to say that it is a real challenge. I would also go so far to say that despite it not having the kudos of a 365 I believe and would argue that it is actually harder. Random themes have something in it for everyone from getting people considering areas of photography they wouldn’t normally shoot to giving more experienced togs with Pro aspirations the challenge of shooting great images that speak for the theme in a short timeframe when someone else is calling the shots and telling you what theme to shoot. What are the themes? As I am taking part and as I am putting the themes in the bag there could be accusations that I have an advantage so to make sure everyone has the same opportunity to prepare (if they wanted to) the list of the themes that were entered into the bag are listed in the next post Special Features RESHOOT cards – there are 5 RESHOOT cards that have been added to the bag and if one of these are pulled in a week a second card is pulled with a theme as normal and those taking part have 3 options a) RESHOOT a theme from any of the previous weeks (the idea is that you can have a little break from thinking about another new theme and demonstrate to the world how much you’ve improved). b) Shoot the week’s theme as normal ignoring the RESHOOT card c) Prove you are a hardened 52er and RESHOOT a theme and shoot the new theme. There will be at least 4 weeks between RESHOOT cards JOKERS – new for 2010, if you don’t like a theme you can play a JOKER and use it to either a) Miss the week completely b) Post a photo that doesn’t fall within the drawn theme. What are the rules? There are no rules; or at least I don’t set any rules for you to follow. The idea is if you want to join in you make your own rules as it is your own personal challenge (but I would encourage you to define and share the rules you have chosen at the start of the year). If you want you can trawl your own archives, shoot 2 weeks behind the theme, have as many JOKERS as you want and there is nothing stopping you using the themes to do a 26 by picking one theme out of every 2. If you want someone to set rules for you please feel free to share the rules I will be taking part with: 1) New photos will be taken each week specifically for the theme and only 1 photo will be selected as the shot for the week as this forces me to get out there take photos and pick the image I like best. 2) I may show any other shots taken in the week but if I do I will explain why I selected the shot I did (i.e. what I like about the image and what I don’t like). 3) I will share what I have learned that week and how I might approach it differently next time (or if I had more time) 4) No photos posted as my shot for the week will be posted as an entry in to the TP Monthly Competition 5) I will limit myself to 1 JOKER during the entire year and if I decide to play it I will still post a new photo. 6) Once I post my image I will provide meaningful feedback on at least 3 other 52ers shots for that week (I’d like to comment on everyone’s images but due to the sheer numbers of you now I can’t as I don’t want to spend my life on here posting comments) Start the next decade in style and come an join us.