Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Wide open

Most of the challenge assignments are of a single subject. Sometimes its something that I think might interesting, other times it may be about some technique that I think may be worth trying out. This assignment, however, will be an open one, meaning the subject is what ever you want it to be.

Sometimes I’ll be given an assignment by my editors to do. A football game, press conference or portrait, it could be any number of things. Other times the subject is up to me to find. We call these “enterprise” assignments. It could be something that I heard about or it could be something I see while just driving around.

You can approach this assignment in a couple of ways. First, you can find a thing, activity, or even person that you find interesting to photograph. If you like hiking then bring your camera along and take pictures along the way. If sports is your thing, then send in images from a sporting event (there are lots of high school sports happening this time of year). Maybe you’ll be celebrating a birthday of a loved one – a child, grandparent or favorite uncle – it’ll be a perfect time to take a portrait.

Another approach is to try something that you’re unfamiliar with. It could be a technique that you want to perfect like stopping motion or depth of field. If you’ve never taken a night shot, this is a great opportunity to try your hand at it. If your a little shy about approaching people to take their picture, try overcoming your fears and just ask someone. The worst they can say is “no.” It may require you to out of your respective comfort zones, but you’ll learn something new in the process.

Lastly, you could just set out without a specific plan or agenda. When Looking for an enterprise photo I often just drive around town looking for a photo. It can be an effective technique but you have to be ever vigilant and open to any all photo possibilities. You have to keep and eye out for unique or picturesque compositions or lighting situations.

The key is to follow the first rule of photography: “Always have your camera.” You never know when something might happen or appear or when inspiration might hit you. If you’re without a camera, then you’re out of luck. Most of us have at least a phone camera with us so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Whatever approach you choose the subject is ultimately up to you, just be sure to keep your options open.

How to Enter:

1. Email your entries to Type in “Open” in the subject line.

2. Photos have to be shot between October 19 and November 2.

3. Entries are limited to up to 12 photos from each photographer.

4. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of camera/lens you used and where it was taken (e.g.: “John Doe of Stockton. Location: Pershing Avenue, Stockton. Camera: Canon Rebel T3 w/ 55-300mm lens”).

5. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and what they are doing in the photos and where they are. (e.g.: Jimmy Doe of Stockton plays at Victory Park in Stockton).

6. Please feel free to include any interesting anecdotes or stories on how you took the picture.

7. The deadline for submission is Thursday, November 2. A photo gallery of all the pictures submitted will be run on November 9 at


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