Monthly Contest Theme

March: light and shadow

We all know “To photograph is to write with light.” However, shadows add contrast and drama to otherwise dull photographs. Aside from adding depth to images, shadows themselves can be the subject of a photograph. Both light and shadow can add emotion to the photograph. The light and shadow together make the subject come to life. Learn to compose with light and shadow.

April: Lines and Patterns

A surefire way to attract a viewer to your images is to emphasize shape, line, patterns and/or textures. When combined with strong side light, very powerful yet simple images can be created. Look for contrasts between light and dark areas created by side light. Study the scene to see how curves play off each other or how they’re offset by straight or diagonal lines. In addition, note how different colors mold or blend together to create patterns.

May: Simplicity – less is more

Minimalism is a somewhat subjective concept in the art world. Many of us are drawn to ‘less is more’ with simple lines, geometric patterns, strong shadows, contrasting colors, lone subjects, etc. However, deciding what to leave out of the frame to make a stronger image is a difficult exercise. Let’s practice!

June: Storytelling

It’s good to create beautiful images for the sake of beauty, but it can also be fun to create images with stories. If you’ve ever wanted to have a longer conversation with a viewer about one of your photographs, then creating images with stories behind them.

“In this fast-paced world, where the emphasis is on immediacy, a still photograph stops time. It gives the viewer a moment to think, to react, to feel.” — Renée Byer

When think about creating storytelling photographs, think about:
1. Ambiguous stories
Create an image with a story that is unclear. It is a photo that makes you think, where you can imagine multiple stories and arcs based on a single image.
2. Documentary stories and personal stories
You can do documentary anywhere, including to create stories where you live and where you are familiar.

July: Motion

This month’s theme is to capture the moving objects, typical ways to express motion could be:
1. using slower shutter to have some part clear some part blur to show the movement
2. Using slower shutter to follow the object to pan, so the foreground is clear and the background showing moving. This typically gives motion effect
3. We can also use high speed to freeze the image capture during the fast movement. For example, photographing the sports.
There is no right or wrong which way to do it. The purpose is to create a beautiful and passionate image that touches the audience.

Aug: Reflection

Reflection photo could be very straight-forward scenery, for example, a mountain reflects on the calm water, it could also be something more creative. Using reflection in photography can lead to some amazing effects and beautiful images. Using water, windows, mirrors or any sort of reflective surface can change an image into a work of art. The wonderful thing about using reflections when taking photos is that they can completely alter the image from something fairly straightforward to something richer or abstract or otherwise more artistic.

Sept: Night time photography

The photo subject could be a starring night, or night cityscape, night street, rainy night, etc., any beautiful subject that is easily to be missed at night but can be shining, eye catching and emotional when you do it right through photography. Let’s show off the beauty that is beyond what eyes can see!

Oct: Creative Image

Have you had fun taking contest photos per theme? Finally, comes to the monthly contest that is not that restrictive. This month, our monthly contest theme is “creative image”. Please have fun to combine your photography skills, post processing skills, and your imagination to bring out the best creative image to express something deeper in your mind.

Nov: Photo Essay, cancelled

Dec: Holidays, no contest

Jan (2019): Annual competition in multiple themes

Instead of doing annual competition in multiple themes, it is decided to collect all Texas related photographs from our members. Every member can submit up to 10 photos. Think of the categories of city landscape, street photography, portraits, night photography, events, stage photography, etc, open topics can cover skylines, wild flower, cowboy, rodeo, wild life, anything interesting and unique that is taken in Texas. As usual, please submit your photos to NTAPAArtGallery@gmail.com, deadline midnight 1/24. Instead of asking PSA judge to critique our photos, we will have our own Art committee to pick the photos and edit them into 美篇or 公众号。We will use this to put a period for the 2018 and welcome Chinese New Year 2019.