A few weeks ago I participated in an online photography event called “synchronized watching” organized by Else Kramer. Around 1250 people participated, me included. The premise was simple: sign up and for a whole week you get a new assignment or theme every day. Then you post the pictures you’ve made on various social media and tag them appropriately.
This was the first time Else Kramer organized this, but it was so succesful she is already looking into the future of doing it again in the Netherlands, as well as worldwide. Not only was it succesful in the number of people that participated, it was mighty fun as well! The themes were very varied, there were all kinds of ways to interpret them. Here’ are my results:
Day 1 : Socks
The first one was pretty straightforward, to ease us in. I chose to use my macro lens (a very cheap add-on to your existing lens, but it does the trick!) and get a nice close-up. I tried out various arrangements till I was satisfied with this one.
Day 2 : Something that you made yourself
Another subject that is pretty easy to interpret, but this time it already has a slightly wider range. There were pictures of children, sandwiches and grocery lists. I photographed a necklace I made a while ago. I had some plans to sell them, but I never got to making a whole line. This is what I would picture the product photography would look like. I’m very pleased how it turned out
Day 3 : Summer
This theme was tricky all on its own, because the day (actually the whole week) we got this assignment it was lousy weather all around. So how are you supposed to use that in your expression of what summer means to you? I did it by picturing something that is my go-to summer refreshment: homemade iced tea. It’s a simple concept and I added frozen raspberries for extra freshness and summer feel.
Day 4 : Blue
A very broad theme once more. I didn’t want to make a staged photograph so I biked around the city until I found this door with the gorgeous knocker and snapped it up with my phone. It’s simple, but I like it.
Day 5 : Void
Now were talking! A very deep theme indeed. Some participants really laid their life bare with this one. It’s very interesting to think about picturing something that’s not there. The only way to do that is to make it visible in some way. So I bought a bubble blower and started experimenting. Not as easy as you think when you’re on your own! You can’t hold the camera to your eye and blow the bubbles at the same time. You don’t really have the time to alternate the two (especially if it’s windy, which it was). So after over 200 pictures I was lucky to have snapped a few that had both and interesting composition and were sharp.
Day 6 : Something small
Ah, I got to combine two of the previous results in this picture! I set out with my macro lens, but didn’t really find anything interesting. I had the idea to maybe take a picture of a bubble’s reflection or something, but it didn’t really work out nicely. There aren’t really much interesting flowers or plants around here so that plan was out as well. Then I had the idea of sticking a bubble to a flower. Now this was even harder than my attempts of the previous day! My boyfriend was with me to assist me and it took a few tries but we eventually managed to do so.
Day 7 : Self portrait
Now this was the scary one! Would you just show yourself to over a thousand other people you’ve never met? Of course you were allowed to only show a small part of yourself, like feet or hands. And there were some who took selfies, used mirrors or photographed shadows. But I went for the all-traditional and quite simple head shot. It turned out dark since I was home late that day and light was scarce, but I kind of like that. I use it as a profile picture now.
As for the verdict: it was a fun and very interesting week! It really forces you to get out your comfort zone to photograph things you normally wouldn’t (or didn’t have time for in the past). Moreover, it motivates you to keep up so you can share your pictures with the other participants! And that was truly the most fun part: to just browse through all the pictures and like or favourite them and strike up a conversation with another photographer. I will definitely try and participate again next year.