Set Subjects

SET SUBJECTS 2023

• Image submission day is always the Monday before the 3rd Wednesday of the month in question. i.e. the Monday before Judging night.
• Image dimensions are 1920 x 1080 pixels (the width must be either 1920 pixels or the height must be 1080 pixels or both), sRGB colour-space and less than 2mb in file size.

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JANUARY 2024 – DIY FILTERS

We are all familiar with commercially available photo filters such as neutral density and polariser. However, it is possible to make your own filters to create a wide variety of photographic effects, and unlike our optical filters, they’re cheap. DIY filters can be gels, cardboard cut-outs, Vaseline or marker pens on an old UV filter (we don’t use those anymore, but can’t bring ourselves to throw them away), a stocking diffuser, an old CD, a plastic bag, fishing line. Virtually anything which can go in front of a lens and let some light through will work; the possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination. The skill in creating a successful image will rest in the choice of subject, composition, and lighting to suit the created filter effect.

RULES: Colour ONLY. NO Manipulation allowed.

Submission Deadline: 15 January 2024

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FEBRUARY 2024 – CREATIVE LIGHTING

What is creative lighting? “Creative Lighting is a philosophy of image-making that sees light as the primary force in imagery. It’s about learning to see and think about light as a photographer or cinematographer does and the craft of image-making as a painter would.” Creative lighting can be used in numerous ways – using different colours to create pattern on its own or to give a different look to a subject be it a portrait or a still life. It can be used to give a creative effect to an object or scene by using one or more lights from different angles. It can be light painted onto an object or it can be the way natural light is allowed to shine on an object or the way it is reflected and manipulated.

The key is to make the light the primary focus of the image. It should be what makes the image stand out from a similar image taken without using any special lighting. It is the way the subject is lit and not the subject itself. Or simply light on its own.

RULES: Colour or Monochrome – manipulation allowed with the exception that the light must not be CREATED in Photoshop.

Submission Deadline: 19 February 2024

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MARCH 2024 – MONOCHROME (MARVILLE CALLENGE)

Our MarVille Challenge Set subject for the next year is MONOCHROME. The subject within your image is purely Open, so it can be Nature, Birds, Macro, Portraits or a Composite. Look into your conversion technique and lets perfect it over the next year!

Monochrome as defined by the PSSA: Monochrome is a black and white image. A black and white work fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey (white) is a monochrome work with various shades of grey.

A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black and white category. A black and white work modified by a partial toning or by the addition of one colour becomes a colour work (polychrome) to stand in the colour category.

RULES: Monochrome only. Monochrome is shades of one colour – so black to white, brown to white, blue to white… with various shades of that colour inbetween.                                                                      

Full editing. For composites, all images must belong to the photographer, and all images must be taken on or after 1 November 2023. No AI generated images allowed.

Submission Deadline: 18 March 2024

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APRIL 2024 – PETS

Pet photography is a fabulous genre to delve into since so many of us have fur babies in our homes. Try capturing your pet’s personality, character, habits, and other memorable moments. The subject matter is vast, as you can go for natural, candid and even portraits. Have fun with your pet, and don’t stress them out while trying to capture the perfect shot.

RULES: Colour or Monochrome. Manipulation is allowed but including composites.

Submission Deadline: 15 APRIL 2024

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MAY 2024 – GOLDEN RATIO

The golden ratio is used as a guide to where to place a subject (a tree, person, building, etc.) or an element in a photo (like the horizon) where it will be most pleasing to the eye. That divine ratio is 1.618:1. The first recorded definition of the golden ratio came from Euclid in the 3rd Century BC. To assist you, turn on your camera’s third’s grid line and when looking through the viewfinder, the approximate location of this spot is on one of the intersecting thirds lines in your viewfinder.

RULES: Colour or Monochrome. Only basic editing allowed.                      

Submission Deadline: 13 May 2024

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JUNE 2024 – MACRO LANDSCAPE

Look a little closer to the ground, and discover the tiny, almost magical landscapes, that tend to go unnoticed. Think, for example, of mushrooms, moss, shiny pebbles, little plants, or even man-made macro “cityscapes”.

RULES: Colour only. Manipulation is allowed including composites.                     

Submission Deadline: 17 June 2024

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JULY 2024 – FRUIT & VEG

Fresh fruit and vegetable look great in natural conditions. Plan your shoot at a time of day when light is abundant and diffuse it for a softer look. Use backlighting if you want to bring out the texture of the subjects. Use fresh fruit and vegetables, or use not so fresh fruit and vegetables, which may have more textures. Be creative with your arrangements. Slice and dice them but make it an interesting
subject.

RULES: Colour or monochrome. Digital Manipulation is allowed including composites.                 

Submission Deadline: 15 July 2024

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AUGUST 2024 – FEMININITY

Femininity is defined as “qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of women”. The female form has been the subject of many artists throughout history, capturing the essences as well as the beauty of the “fairer” sex. No longer the fairer sex nor the sole title holder of femininity, you as the photographer need to capture the qualities that impress Feminine on your subject.  Capturing this tastefully is key.

RULES: Colour or monochrome. Digital Manipulation is allowed including composites.                 

Submission Deadline: 19 August 2024

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SEPTEMBER 2024 – LIGHT TRAILS

Light trails are one of the best ways to add a wow factor to your night photography. With slow shutter speeds, you can capture the path of moving lights. These lights could be traffic in motion, or something as simple as a handheld torch or sparkler.

RULES: Colour only. Basic editing only. No effect that has not been done in camera allowed.                 

Submission Deadline: 16 September 2024

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OCTOBER 2024 – FEET

Capture your feet, be they barefoot or embellished with minimalistic jewellery. Props are a powerful tool to introduce an element of intrigue or novelty. Flowers, seashells or shimmering pebbles. Props enhance the visual interest. Themed foot pictures offer an avenue for creativity, playing with elements from seasons, holidays, or significant cultural events. The outdoor world offers a vast array of natural settings that can remarkably enhance your foot images. Showcasing your feet in action can create a more engaging and dynamic image. Capture feet while they’re involved in different activities. The soothing element of water can add significant value to your foot photos. While these photos typically focus on the top view, showcasing the sole offers a unique perspective. Nail art can add a touch while textures give an interesting dimension. Footwear can dramatically change the feel of your photos. Remember that each choice will tell a different story.

RULES: Colour or Mono. Manipulation allowed but no composites.                 

Submission Deadline: 14 October 2024

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NOVEMBER 2024 – REFLECTIONS AND SHADOW

Reflection photos refer to any shot, no matter what type of photography genre, that uses a reflective surface. Reflection photography really is about the ability to look at an image in different ways. Beautiful reflections can exist anywhere, but you’ll need to train your eyes and be aware of your surroundings to find reflective surfaces to use in your shots. Move around to find the right angles. Try to get low to the ground if you want to get more of the subject reflected such as a puddle on the street.

Shadows are everywhere. Whether they are made with natural light (sun/moon/fire, etc) or artificial (lamps/torches/flashes, etc) your possibilities here are endless. Again, you need to train your eyes to see them – and once you do, they are everywhere! The shadows you capture need to be part of your story telling within the image. Think it through carefully, and make the shadows work for you.

RULES: Colour or Monochrome. Manipulation allowed, but no composites. Reflections and Shadows to be created in camera and not in post processing.                 

Submission Deadline: 18 November 2024

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JANUARY 2025 – NURSERY RHYME COMPOSITE

Nursery rhymes are short rhyming songs or poems that conveys a lesson or tells an amusing story that’s aimed at children. Although these rhymes can have different styles, tones, subjects and themes, there are consistent features such as imagery, that can be found in most nursery rhymes. It is this imagery that you need to interpret using models, lighting, props and/or composites if necessary. The rhyme name should be in the image title, although the image should not be cryptic, but rather clear which rhyme is being referenced.

RULES: Colour only. All elements of composite to be authors own.

Submission Deadline: 17 January 2025

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FEBRUARY 2025 – ARCHITECTURE, CHURCHES OR TEMPLES

Shoot in a variety of weather conditions and times of day. Prioritize good lighting. Look for a unique angle and don’t be afraid to include people (architecture doesn’t exist without them). Explore details as much as the whole and try not to objectify the building, (objectifying a building to the point where one only visualizes it from one point of view), it is one of the greatest disservices of architectural photography. Please feel free to use post-processing tools. Lastly, reading up on the history and context of an architectural site before visiting is an indispensable resource that will, without a doubt, help you to focus your photography on a relevant story or idea that captures the essence of the building.

RULES: Colour or Monochrome.  Digital Manipulations is allowed

Submission Deadline: 17 February 2025

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