I’m starting a new photography challenge – it is called my “Before & After Challenge”.  The aim of the challenge is to take you through a series of photographic exercises that will help improve your photography.  And so we can see if you have improved or not we will get you to create a set of images at the start and again at the end that we can compare.

Here’s a video of me explaining the challenge and what you will need to do:

Before & After

The first thing you need to do is to pick a location.  This needs to be one you can return to at the end of the challenge.  If you are a people photographers you can optionally include a person (again you will need them to return at the end of the challenge).

At the location create a number of images which sum up the location and after you have done whatever editing you would normally do, select five different images to give a sense of place for your location.  At the end of this blog post there is a link to a video that will help you with creating a sense of place with your images.  But here a few thing to help you.

Each image should be different.  Try to include different techniques & styles. Also try to include a mix of:

  • General location
  • Details
  • Specific features

Imagine these are for a brochure for the location.  Pick the five images that sum up the location. Post the images to my Facebook group.  ONLY post the FIVE images you have chosen.

Over the following 12 weeks you will be given a series of photographic exercises, these are designed to improve the way you make images.  After completing these exercises you will be asked to return to the original location and do the same exercise again.  These are your after images.  Now we compare both sets of images and we can see how you have improved as a photographer of this period of time.

Before & After Themes/Exercises

This a list of the twelve exercises that you will be asked to complete, one a week, between you before and after shoots

  • 3 Rules of composition
  • Blur or freeze
  • Depth of field
  • Focal length
  • Time for night time
  • Reflecting the light
  • Exposure compensation
  • Fill-in flash
  • Noon vs the golden hour
  • Colour vs monochrome
  • Above, below, between
  • Shady places

Quick FAQ

I am late joining the challenge where do I start?

Start at the beginning and create you before images then work your way through the exercises – it doesn’t matter if you are out of step with others doing the challenge – just do it at your own pace.

I missed one of the weekly exercises – what should I do?

I’d encourage you to do it, even if it is a week late and you end up out of step with others.  Although I am releasing the challenges on a weekly basis it doesn’t matter if it takes you two weeks or more to do each step – just work through the challenges at your own pace.

Do I need to do all the exercises before I do back to create my “After” images?

Ideally, yes, that’s the point of the challenge to see how doing the exercises will improve your photography – but it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to complete the challenge.

Before – creating a sense of place

The following video will help you with the task of creating a sense of place in your “before” images