We’re starting up a brand new photography challenge for 2017!  Based off of the hugely successful Dogwood Photography photo challenge, but with a Hawaii twist.

To be clear, this isn’t a competition and there are no prizes or specific due dates for this challenge, rather, its purpose is to encourage photographers to examine their own creative inclinations and push them to capture new images in new ways that they might not try if not challenged to do so.

Weekly Challenge Categories:

Each week, the weekly assignment will be in one of 3 categories:

  • Story Telling: Good photographers can take beautiful images of something. Great photographers can take an image that tells its story. This category makes use of compositional rules and directed prompts to push you towards not just looking at the beauty of something, but to find a way to tell that something’s story.
  • Technical: Technical Aptitude is just as important as creative inspiration in photography. With that in mind this category is a mix of in camera and post processing techniques designed to expose you to new technical skills and techniques.
  • Artistic Impression: When this category comes up, you really have room to express yourself. You can interpret the assignment literally or figuratively. Unlike the other two categories that are more focused, the idea of this category is to let your creativity shine.

How to share your images

I know it is difficult to create new images every week, but we highly encourage you to step out of your norm and challenge yourself to be diligent with your post.  If you’d like to see what others are doing and share you work with them on your favorite social media platforms, try using the hashtag #hawaiishoots52

Don’t forget to encourage your friends and colleagues to join you in on the challenge!

Some places to share your work:

  • Join the Facebook Group HawaiiShoots52 to talk about the challenge at:
  • Share your work on Instagram and Facebook, or other hashtag friendly social media sites with the hashtags listed above.
  • Share your work in your favorite photography forum… and even encourage others to participate.
  • Share your work via websites dedicated to photographers like or

Challenge Rules:

1: BE NICE. No personal attacks. Criticize the photo, don’t criticize the person.

2: CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM (CC): If you want CC on your images, ask for it.  If someone doesn’t ask for CC please don’t give it. A simple comment if you like it is fine, but not deep CC without the photographer asking for it first.

3: See Rule 1.

Please Only Post work that was shot for this challenge.  This is a shooting challenge, not a dig through your catalog and post old work challenge. I also ask that you only post one image per challenge. Posting multiple images may result in them being removed.
When providing CC, I ask that you use the ‘sandwich’ method.  Start with what you like in an image, follow with what you think could be improved, and finish with positive encouragement. In a large online community like this one, this approach works the best. Save the brutal art school type CC for the academic world (unless someone specifically asks for it).

A note on being offended: Art is often thought provoking, and at times, may offend. If an image is offensive to you, step back and ask why.  Is it thought provoking? Does it challenge your way of thinking?  Maybe that is the point. If something is offensive enough that you feel it needs attention please report to the Admins so that we may ultimately decide.

Nudity. The group level is safe, and all images should meet Flickr’s guidelines for the Safe Content Level. No exposed genitalia or female nipples (except in breast feeding). We have had some fantastic images though that had very strong artistic merit come through, but simply fell outside of what those guidelines allow. If you have an image that you feel has artistic merit, but just not suitable for the Safe Content Level, you are welcome to post a censored version of it to the group and link to the uncensored image in the description. Just add a disclaimer that the image is NSFW. Controversial images with no artistic merit, or those deemed to be pornography, will have the links removed by admin with no warning.

This is a journey, not a competition.  There is no start date.  You decide when your week one is and start working through the list. Each of us is on our own journey in this, and you are only competing against yourself.

No “like ladders” or posts promoting your business page/website/IG/Flickr etc please. These will be deleted without notice. You are welcome to mention your social networks/website in the description of your weekly submission images. Watermarks are also acceptable.

Week Challenge Explanation
1 Story: Rule of Thirds The rule of thirds is the first compositional rule most photographers learn; but most don't know why they learn it. The rule of thirds is amazing for telling a story. Tell a story using rule of thirds.
2 Technical: Long Exposure Long exposure leaves the shutter open for longer periods of time than usual. Find subjects and textures that light up in magical ways using this technique.
3 Artistic: Land Your inspiration this week is land. This could be a landscape or an image inspired by the land in some way.
4 Story: Mirror Tell a story using a mirror.
5 Technical: Ten Shots Shoot 10 shots of the same subject. Each shot should be from a different angle distance and focal length. Share your favorite image from the set.
6 Artistic: Surf Whether a surfer surf board or just surf exploding off a reef creatively capture Hawaii’s most popular sport.
7 Story: Forgotten Abandoned was a very popular week in the Dogwood challenge. Simply tell the story of something forgotten.
8 Technical: One Shot Imagine that it is the last frame on a roll of film and you have to nail it. For this challenge only take one shot. No deleting no 2nd shot. The honor system is in play.
9 Artistic: Architecture Hawaii is full of natural beauty. Show us another side of Hawaii using buildings and structures.
10 Story: Perspective Perspective for the purpose of this challenge is the relationship of objects in the scene. If you really want a challenge this is a good chance to use forced perspective.
11 Technical: Split Tone Split Tone is an editing technique where the shadows are toned one color and the highlights a second color. Shoot an image that will work well with a moody tone.
12 Artistic: Orange Your inspiration this week is orange. Either the color orange or an actual orange. Or both.
13 Story: Golden Hour The golden hour is the hour before sunset or after sunrise when the sun casts amazing golden tones. Find a way to use the golden hour to tell a story.
14 Technical: Panning Use the technique of panning to capture a subject in movement. Panning is using a slower shutter speed while following the subject with the camera to create the sense of movement in an image. Hint: See our blog post about Silky Surf shots.
15 Artistic: Hard Your artistic inspiration this week is hard. Hard is both an adjective and an adverb. Interpret this how you wish.
16 Story: Leading Lines Leading Lines are a very important composition element that every photographer needs to master. Use leading lines to tell a story. No train tracks.
17 Technical: Loop Lighting Loop lighting is one of the most used portrait lighting techniques. Shoot a portrait using loop lighting. If you don't have an off camera flash setup get creative with how you light your subject.
18 Artistic: Blue Your inspiration this week is Blue. Use the color to show us coolness sleek calmness and rest.
19 Story: Backyard  Tell the story of your immediate surroundings. Give us a glimpse into your daily life.
20 Technical: Sky Overlay Sometimes the sky just doesn't cooperate. This week replace the sky in your image. If you need a sky to use in the replacement search for an image to use under Creative Commons Licensing.
21 Artistic: Soft Soft is both and adjective and an adverb. Interpret this how you will.
22 Story: Geometric Shapes Triangles squares and circles. They are all very strong compositional elements in an image. Find a way to use geometric shapes in your storytelling.
23 Technical: F/8 Portrait Shoot a portrait using an aperture setting of F/8. Since this is the advanced challenge be sure to find a way to isolate your subject other than shallow depth of field.
24 Artistic: Green Your inspiration this week is green. Green is the color of life nature and hope.
25 Story: Lazy Day Tell a story of checking out for the day.
26 Technical: Light Painting Put your camera on a tripod at night open the shutter for 30 seconds and paint your subject with light. Flashlights LED strips and even laser pointers work great.
27 Artistic: Red Your inspiration this week is Red. It’s the color of passion and aggression.
28 Story: Portrait as Landscape Shoot a portrait that is posing as a landscape. Tell a story of the subject using the landscape around them. Fool the viewer.
29 Technical: Water like Silk Getting waterfalls and streams to look silky yet not letting it become just white sheets of water is a challenge in finding the right light and settings on your camera.
30 Artistic: Family Get creative in showing what family means to you. This can be a typical traditional family moment or a family of your own choosing. Make it meaningful and make it unique.
31 Story: Frame Within a Frame Another classic composition tool is to frame the subject within the frame of the image. Use this technique this week to tell your story.
32 Technical: HDR HDR is the technique of combining several photos of the same scene but shot at different exposures to create an image with a High Dynamic Range.
33 Artistic: Silhouette Hawaii’s bright skies makes the perfect backdrop for meaningful silhouettes. Tell us about a subject just by the shape of their outline and the context of the environment.
34 Story: Adventure Tell the story of an adventure. One that is about to happen or is happening or already happened.
35 Technical: Stitched Panorama A stitched panorama is an image made up of several smaller images stitched together during editing. For an added challenge try using the Brenizer Method.
36 Artistic: Low Key Shoot an image where most of the tonal range is on left side of the histogram. Give context to a subject without the help of a background.
37 Story: Balance Balance is the composition technique of giving each area in a scene equal visual weight. You can achieve balance using color or tone or juxtaposed subjects.
38 Technical: 50mm Learn to sneaker zoom! Shoot an image using only the 50mm Focal Length. Either use a fixed 50mm lens or set your zoom lens to 50mm. Make sure the image is compelling.
39 Art: Water Your inspiration this week is water. Interpret this how you will but make sure your shots this week differs widely from past water-based themes.
40 Story: Colorful B & W Hawaii is full of color-between culture and food and the landscape. Tell the story of a colorful scene and do it in Black and White.
41 Technical: Levitation Levitation is part camera trick and part photoshop. Create an interesting levitation image this week. See our blog post on Levitation photography to see how to do this.
42 Artistic: Music Your inspiration this week is music. This is wide open so have fun with it.
43 Story: Movement Capturing and creating movement in a still photo is a challenge for every photographer. Use movement this week to tell a story. Don’t be afraid of motion blur!
44 Technical: Magic ND Filter Use an ND filter combined with a shutter speed of 30 seconds or even longer to create your image. Try a waterscape or even a busy landmark to see the magic happen.
45 Artistic: Barren Your inspiration this week is barren. Hawaii is a place of growth and life. Challenge yourself to trick us into thinking the opposite.
46 Story: Landscape Foreground Make your landscapes come to life by shooting it as if it were a subject as well as a background.
47 Technical: Bokeh For all you bokeh addicts this is your chance to go crazy. Make sure your bokeh helps isolate and elevate your image rather than distracting from it.
48 Artistic: Bodyscape The human form has been the study of art since art was first inspired. Your inspiration this week is the human body. Remember this isn’t about bikini shots. Elevate the human form in an artistic way. Remember keep it work safe!
49 Story: Blue Hour The Blue Hour is the hour after sunset or the hour before sunrise when the sky is dominated by amazing blue and purple hues. Tell a story about what happens during this time.
50 Technical: Freeze Time Capture something tack sharp that happens too fast for the eye to see normally. Whether sports or something in nature try to make sure your image freezes time in some way.
51 Artistic: Courage Much of photography is about being brave and having the courage to tell your story. Courage is your inspiration this week. Inspire us.
52 Story: Your Story Tell your story in one frame. Just try your best!

Check out the video for some inspiration for this weeks challenge! ...

Week 2: Long Exposure. Go out and kill it. Join the group See the details:

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Oh yeah, week 2 in the bag! Hope to see what the rest of y'all come out with! CC welcome, as always! Whoop whoop! ...

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"One Day..." Photo 1 for Week 1 of the #Hawaiishoots52 week challenge! Thanks to Kyle Kosaki for being my beautiful model lol and Berad Studio for letting me use the #RedDigitalCinema camera! ...

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I actually took out my camera today! So here's some real story...but thirds...haha. ...

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Brad Watanabe updated the group photo in Hawaii Shoots 52 Week Photo Challenge. ...

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