Forced Creativity Is A Good Thing

There are numerous things that have helped me to improve my photography over the last few years, but the one that has probably made the most impact is my membership in Fifty Two Frames.

Fifty Two Frames is a photography group on Facebook where we submit a picture each week based on a specific theme.  I joined the group at the start of 2013 and have, so far, managed to submit a photo every week (77 weeks total).

Before I joined, there were times when I wouldn’t pick up my camera in a month at a time.  I’d often get distracted by work, or the needs of raising a family, or some family emergency or even the need to have a day just to “veg out” and not doing anything creative.   In addition, sometimes I’d get into a creative rut and, instead of trying out new things, I’d just recycle some old ideas, just for the sake of saying that I’d done “something” photographic.

Joining a photography group changed all that.  Now that I know that I’m expected to submit a picture each week (and to do so based on a theme), I’ve been forced to challenge myself.  When it comes to this project, I have to plan ahead for what I’m going to shoot.  I’m forced to tap into the creative well and try to come up with something new, different and (hopefully) unique.

I’d be lying if I said that every shot I submitted over the last 77 weeks has been a masterpiece.  Indeed, there were a few weeks that I submitted something just for the sake of “keeping the streak alive.”  But I can also say that some of the nicest shots I’ve taken over the last year and a half have come from this project.  Here are a few of the better ones that I submitted:

2013, Week 26 Theme: HDR/Contrast

2013, Week 52. Theme: Themeless (i.e. anything you want).

2013, Week 41: Landscape

2013, Week 43: Famous Quote (in my case “The Long And Winding Road.”)

2014, Week 4: Greeting From… (your hometown — in my case, New York City.)


Do you belong to a photo group where you have to submit something regularly?  Or do you have a weekly/daily photo project?  If so, I’d love to hear about it.



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