Great Movements in Photography

Challenge series hosted by Mark Scott Abeln. Challenges start on Tuesdays.
Art theorists have often struggled to come to a good understanding of photography as an art form, asking the questions "what is photography?" and "what is it that photography ought to be?" Likewise, photographers examine their long experience, and discover what techniques reliably work; and they may ask "why does this work?" In the "Great Movements in Photography" series we examine, imitate, and adapt the great theories and practical styles of photography.
Finished (22 challenges)
Entries: 89
Winners announced: 15th April, 2014 GMT
Winner: Barbican2
Your challenge is to take a photograph suitable for advertising. It took nearly 100 years for photography to become mainstream in the advertising business. The ad industry itself became a professional effort in the 1920s, and advertising largely became photographic by the end of the decade. Not originally considered a fine art form, advertising photography nevertheless employed the highest-paid...
Entries: 94
Winners announced: 8th April, 2014 GMT
Winner: Through Thick & Thin
The world can be a brutal place. Perhaps worse than natural disaster is man's cruelty or indifference to his fellow man. Social documentary photography is a compassionate view of the injustice in the world. The movement started in the 19th century, when cities -- and poverty -- grew at an alarming rate. This was documented by photographers including Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine. During the Great...
Entries: 194
Winners announced: 30th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Wating...
First you decide on a concept or idea for your photograph, then you take a photograph that expresses that concept. The goal of conceptual photography is to make your idea or concept obvious - even though precisely *what* your concept is can be clear or ambiguous. A common conceptual photograph is a wedding ring placed in the middle of an open book, casting a shadow in the shape of a heart that...
Entries: 343
Winners announced: 23rd October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Indian eyes
Good portraits in the classical tradition attempt to show people as they are. A classical portrait is minimalist portraiture, since it emphasizes the most recognizable part of a subject, the face. Everything else is less important. Typically, the subjects in these portraits aren't doing anything, they simply *are*. Their poses are relaxed without appearing stiff or awkward. Lighting is very...
Entries: 354
Winners announced: 16th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Bloody Moss
Face it. All the photographs in these galleries are in fact merely flat rectangles of light. What kind of photographs could you make if you took this flatness and rectangleness as your main starting point? The Abstract Expressionist movement in art, which started in New York in the late 1940s, is said to have been a reaction against the horrors of the Second World War. Seemingly apolitical,...
Entries: 217
Winners announced: 9th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: The New Pictorialism II
In the 19th century, photographers struggled to be seen as artists, and not merely technicians. The Pictorialists wanted to make photography an art form, and they went far beyond mere technical capture of a subject. They wanted to make objects of art that were beautiful and expressed personal emotion. To this end, they heavily modified their images. Pictorialist photographers were more...
Entries: 193
Winners announced: 2nd October, 2012 GMT
Winner: 88 storey IFC2 tower in Hong Kong
The Group f.64 championed the notion of "straight photography" - making prints that best expressed the technology of photography without additional artifice taken from painting and drawing. They thought that their techniques were objective, and they rejected the subjective quality of earlier photographic styles. The famous photographers in this group, which included Ansel Adams, Imogen...
Entries: 40
Winners announced: 14th June, 2011 GMT
Winner: Under The Canopy
Submit any image that scored 30th place or higher on any challenge of the series "Great Movements in Photography".
Entries: 198
Winners announced: 24th May, 2011 GMT
Winner: This Old House
Look over all the genres found in "Great Movements in Photography" series of challenges. Which one, or combination, best expresses the art of photography? Submit images that in your opinion best illustrate the art of photography.
Entries: 117
Winners announced: 17th May, 2011 GMT
Winner: U&I
The greatest and most praised photograph hanging on a museum gallery wall is of trivial importance compared to your snapshot of a loved one. Vernacular photography is the photography of everyday life: family, friends, home, and familiar places. --- According to the Austrian art theorist Joseph August Lux, personal photography provides stability against the ebb and flow of modernity. Submit...
Entries: 103
Winners announced: 10th May, 2011 GMT
Winner: Veil Nebula (NGC6960)
Photography is more than just an art form; rather it also has great importance in science, industry, and government. Submit a photograph that has scientific or technological importance: consider astrophotography, photomicrography, or other photos with scientific, industrial, or technological interest. Just because a photograph has scientific interest, that does not mean that it must not be a...
Entries: 499
Winners announced: 3rd May, 2011 GMT
Winner: REJ_7496 VSD
This challenge is to produce a photograph which could sell. Photographers: submit images that you think would have a good market value. Voters: give high scores to photos that you would conceivably purchase. ---- Photography moved from a laboratory curiosity to a business, thanks to improvement in technology. It was the invention of the daguerrotype which made the photography business possible:...
Entries: 147
Winners announced: 26th April, 2011 GMT
Winner: Piquete
Photojournalism captures newsworthy images. The photographs for this challenge ought to be timely, objective, and ought to tell a story. You are capturing a specific subject in a straightforward manner that tells a story. Photojournalism became popular in the 1880s, when newspaper presses could reproduce halftone images. The 'Golden Age' of photojournalism started in the 1930s after the...
Entries: 198
Winners announced: 19th April, 2011 GMT
Winner: Untitled-5
Advances in computer software gives photographers and digital artists unprecedented control over their final images. Use Photoshop or other software to create a striking digital image, far removed from your original photography.
Entries: 199
Winners announced: 12th April, 2011 GMT
Winner: Manhattan Bridge on clouds
Photographers usually attempt to produce images that are representations of subjects out in the real world. This kind of representation is not unique, for skilled artists can make pleasing representations using the media of painting, drawing, mosaics, and others. But the photographic medium offers specific possibilities and problems not found in the older art forms. For this challenge, produce...
Entries: 149
Winners announced: 15th March, 2011 GMT
Winner: Gillette
Your challenge is to take a photograph suitable for advertising. It took nearly 100 years for photography to become mainstream in the advertising business. The ad industry itself became a professional effort in the 1920s, and advertising largely became photographic by the end of the decade. Not originally considered a fine art form, advertising photography nevertheless employed the highest-paid...
Entries: 147
Winners announced: 8th March, 2011 GMT
Winner: One eyed
The world can be a brutal place. Perhaps worse than natural disaster is man's cruelty or indifference to his fellow man. Social documentary photography is a compassionate view of the injustice in the world. The movement started in the 19th century, when cities -- and poverty -- grew at an alarming rate. This was documented by photographers including Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine. During the Great...
Entries: 150
Winners announced: 1st March, 2011 GMT
Winner: HumanAshtray
First you decide on a concept or idea for your photograph, then you take a photograph that expresses that concept. The goal of conceptual photography is to make your idea or concept obvious - even though precisely *what* your concept is can be clear or ambiguous. A common conceptual photograph is a wedding ring placed in the middle of an open book, casting a shadow in the shape of a heart that...
Entries: 400
Winners announced: 22nd February, 2011 GMT
Winner: Bad Boy O'Kane
Good portraits in the classical tradition attempt to show people as they are. A classical portrait is minimalist portraiture, since it emphasizes the most recognizable part of a subject, the face. Everything else is less important. Typically, the subjects in these portraits aren't doing anything, they simply *are*. Their poses are relaxed without appearing stiff or awkward. Lighting is very...
Entries: 174
Winners announced: 15th February, 2011 GMT
Winner: Fantastic Plastic
Face it. All the photographs in these galleries are in fact merely flat rectangles of light. What kind of photographs could you make if you took this flatness and rectangleness as your main starting point? The Abstract Expressionist movement in art, which started in New York in the late 1940s, is said to have been a reaction against the horrors of the Second World War. Seemingly apolitical,...
Entries: 149
Winners announced: 8th February, 2011 GMT
Winner: NewPict
In the 19th century, photographers struggled to be seen as artists, and not merely technicians. The Pictorialists wanted to make photography an art form, and they went far beyond mere technical capture of a subject. They wanted to make objects of art that were beautiful and expressed personal emotion. To this end, they heavily modified their images. Pictorialist photographers were more...
Entries: 148
Winners announced: 1st February, 2011 GMT
Winner: dune-Columbia River, Washington State
The Group f.64 championed the notion of "straight photography" - making prints that best expressed the technology of photography without additional artifice taken from painting and drawing. They thought that their techniques were objective, and they rejected the subjective quality of earlier photographic styles. The famous photographers in this group, which included Ansel Adams, Imogen...