There are quite a few "photo challenges" floating about on social media these days for photographers to take part in and showcase their skills.
I've been invited to take part a few times by friends on Google+ but I was probably too busy with other work or projects and didn't really have time to take it on or it was something to do with HDR and I just couldn't be bothered.
Earlier this week however, Darren Melrose - a fellow Canadian expat and photographer friend of mine nominated me to take part in a Black and White Five Day Photo Challenge that he was also nominated in.
The point of the challenge is that you are supposed to post a black and white photo once a day for five days and each day nominate a photographer friend of yours to also take part.
This photo challenge seems pretty popular at the moment, so it required me to scan through my friends list to find a photographer who wasn't actually taking part by the time that it was my turn to nominate. That turned out to be pretty difficult considering almost every photographer I know in Taiwan, and even those back at home in Canada were also taking part.
So, based on the nomination part of the challenge, I suppose I failed.
I did however post a black and white photo each day for five days - which actually wasn't that difficult considering there weren't any rules for using older images.
The hard part for me was that I'm really not very good at producing beautiful black and white images like many of my contemporaries.
I decided on the first day that I would use images that were either street shots or landscapes and that they all had to be new and unpublished images. So I posted shots that were all taken either during this week or the week before.
While some of the images I generally liked, I thought could have been better or that I probably should have put a bit more work into the challenge. I was overall not very judgemental over the shots I posted though because I have pretty low standards when it come to myself and black and white. (Clearly an area I need to improve upon)
The thing I learned from the challenge though didn't really have anything to do with my inability to process images in black and white - it was more about social media.
I found that if I share an image of a beautiful landscape on social networks with the sun and lots of saturated colours, I'll receive a lot of likes, comments and more or less praise about how these images should be in "National Geographic." (I wish I was that good)
But when it comes to monochrome street photography, people just don't seem to really get it and therefore the majority of the people who I've seen taking part in the challenge haven't received much attention apart from that of fellow photographers.
I may suck at monochrome, but I have the utmost respect for people who excel at it.
The non-photographer masses on the other hand don't really seem to get it - which is unfortunate.
Day One - Xinzhuang Back Alley 新莊老巷子
Day Two - The Watchful Grandmother 對面的阿媽看過來
Day Three - Thoroughfare 臺灣交通
Day Four - Chinese Garden 老花園
Day 5 - Homeless Patriot 流浪漢愛國者
Well, thats it. I hope you liked some of the shots. I enjoyed taking part in the challenge. It gave me something to do apart from what I normally do and I won't be so apprehensive to take part in another photo challenge in the future.