Assignment #19 – Portraits (Podcast 171)

by | Jan 12, 2009 | Art Talk, Assignment, Podcast | 0 comments

Today we will hear who won the Portraits assignment, and set the stage for our next assignment. There are a few changes from this month, so please do listen on after the announcement of the winners. Hopefully you’ll like the changes we’re making.

In Third place, an image called Sorrow, from Pixelated:



In Second place, an image called Nadine from Super Digital Girl



In First place, This image doesn’t have a title, but it’s from Maruf



Well, now, I have an important announcement to make. Following a discussion in the forum, as a community we have decided to change the frequency of the assignments to one month. Basically from now on, the assignment will run in line with the calendar month, so it will be easier from now on to remember when the current assignment finishes. A few other things need to change to accommodate this. Voting will still take two weeks, to give everyone time to vote, but this will be in parallel with the currently running assignment for that month. I’ll do a Podcast once a month to announce the winners, pretty much like I’ve done today, but then we won’t kick off the next assignment until the last Podcast of the month, a few weeks later. I’ll let you know what the next theme is at the end of the episode. Note that there may be a few days left in the month when I tell you the next theme, and that will give  you a few more days to think about it and start planning, but your images should not be shot before the start of the month of the assignment, and must be shot before that month finishes. If for any reason I am a little late doing that last podcast of the month with the announcement, the assignment will start late, but we’ll still finish at the end of the month.

As we are now twelve days into January, it’s a bit late to be starting a new assignment, but we’re going to do a short one this month, to get on track for the new schedule. The theme, also from a recent discussion in the community started by Marisa, is going to be Composite. Now, this is a tough one to lay down rules for. Of course, composite images are not allowed for our assignments usually, and that rule will remain, but in the spirit of change, it is allowed this month. Well, it’s not just allowed, it’s mandatory for this month, but with a few guidelines as follows. I’ll upload these guidelines to the Assignment forum too, so you don’t need to worry about noting this down. Anyway, here we go.

  • The base image, or the background for your composite has to have been shot in January 2009. This can be any images that you’ve shot since January 1st, not the 12th, today.
  • You must use the background as the base image, so that the exif data shows that it was shot in January 2009. If you shoot film, this is not required. We’ll use the honour system. I know that you’re good for it.
  • All other components of the image can come from your archives, or can also be new, shot for the assignment with a mind to merge them into your composite.
  • All images used must be your own work. You cannot grab images from the Internet or anywhere else and sneak them into your composite. Again, we’ll have to trust you here, so please stick to this.
  • No animated graphics can be used. The image should be a single still image.
  • The composite can be created in any photo editing tool you choose, but it must be saved as a JPEG for upload.

As we only have just over two weeks left in January, the theme itself can be anything you want. Get inventive. I suggest you take the time to make your composite look as good as you can. This is pretty much a first for me too, and I intend to try and learn something from this along the way. I’m actually not a big fan of composites, and I’ve never done it in my photography. I may never do it again, but I’m game for anything as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Remember you will have until the 31st of January 2009 to upload your image to the Composite Assignment gallery at I’ll turn on voting from the 1st of February for two weeks, and then announce the winner in the following Podcast episode.

There is something else that I want to put to you today, for your consideration. We also discussed possibly using flickr to upload our images instead of, which we currently use. We’d have to use a different voting system, but flickr supports this, and will also enable us to limit uploads per month to one, so the infrastructure is pretty much there. The problem is, not everyone had a flickr account, and not everybody wants to get involved in flickr. In favour of this is that many listeners do have a flickr account, and it could possibly help us to increase participation in the assignment, and therefore increase comments on the images and in turn the usefulness of the exercise. I personally don’t mind either way. Both are not difficult and won’t take me much more time. In the usual democratic style of the MBP community, I really want to decide what to do together. I’ve created a poll in the forum, and I’d like anyone that has an opinion to vote. I’ll put a link in the show-notes, but you can find the poll in the Assignment forum at We’ll go with what the majority wants, so please do cast your vote if you have an opinion. For now, we’ll continue to use the assignment albums.

So, that’s it for this week. Lots to think about and lots to do, and not a lot of time to do it, so let’s get our thinking caps on, and start to composite. For now, you have a great week, whatever you’re doing. Bye bye.

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