#1056. Final Challenge : Storytelling

By pascaljappy | Art & Creativity

Nov 04

It’s time for our regular challenges to end. Let me explain why. Let us end brilliantly. And let me tell you why that is in fact great news πŸ™‚

You see, in spite of being a loner who enjoys nothing more than being alone at the top of a mountain with only clouds and the wind as neighbours, there’s little I enjoy more than doing stuff with others. As much as the peace and quiet of escaping the noise and turmoil of cities soothes me, I long for collaboration between people, common project, particularly when they bring together human beings separated by arbitrary borders and frontiers. Nothing makes me happier and much of my work as a marketing consultant hinges around creating communities.

So, Challenges felt like a natural project for DearSusan. One idea, multiple submissions. No competition but an opportunity to contemplate multiple understandings and facets of a same root thought.

And it worked beautifully, with photographs coming in from multiple continents and a rich show of talent.

But all good things come to an end.

In recent challenges, I felt a drop of enthusiasm. Challenge posts are *a lot* of work for me and challenge posts were those receiving the least comments of anything we published. As much as readers seemed eager to send in photographs, they just didn’t seem all that interested in viewing the global resulst.

Comments are my measure for success. To me, if no one is commenting, then the idea isn’t working, and the content is boring people more than it brings joy. Time to move on.

Time to move on. But not to turn the page completely πŸ˜‰

You see, the incentive of challenges was only interesting for people like me, who like collaborative work for its own sake. And there’s no reason that should be the only motivator. People engage in photography and blog reading for many reasons and there’s no point in force feeding my own when we can all have more fun doing something else.

So, let’s change the incentive a little bit … πŸ˜‰

And before we do that, let’s have one last challenge : Storytelling.

The rules are simple. Rather than impose a topic, this one will allow any subject, any situation, any setting, anything you want. But (1) no photographs of people if you don’t have permission to share their photograph. And (2) a story to go with the photo!

So, before the end of the month, you can send in

  • any number of photographs,
  • all in jpg format at 1000 to 2000 pixels long side (I won’t accept large files, it just takes me too long to resize everything)
  • all as attachments to an email titled with your name and “storytelling challenge”
  • all with a story of how/why the photograph was made, why it is significant. Make long or short, but make it vibrant, fun, fascinating …

The photographs can be family souvenirs, backyard shots, conceptual art, adventure memories, … anything. But they have to illustrate a great story.

And now for something not completely different πŸ˜‰

Behind the scenes, a few DS regulars have been working on collaborative art projects. We’ll talk more about these, but one idea behind them is that we can all submit photographs that we feel support the project’s core idea and others working on the project can work on series using those common photographs (as opposed to using only photographs they shot themselves).

Several projects are ongoing, though at very early stages. And we’ll share initial results towards the middle of the month.

It’s still very early days and we are still figuring out how this could work. But the aim is to publish the work and organise serious group exhibitions.

And here’s where the successor to the collaborative challenge might offer a more stimulating incentive …

Periodically, to support work on one of the ongoing projects, DS will hold “requests for proposals”. Much like challenges, these will hinge around a specific idea. And much like challenges, we will ask for photographs corresponding to that idea.

But the change is that comments will be just as useful as photographs. So, if you have nothing to contribute in the way of photographs but have ideas in your mind, you can just share them in the comments.

Whatever photographs and comments get picked may end up in the exhibitions, obviously with credit. And If this ever extends to actual print sales, we’ll figure out a profit sharing scheme as well. But that’s still a long way away and we haven’t given it any thought yet. For now, let’s just say that the main difference with challenges is that your photographs and ideas can go way beyond publication in a single post. What happens after is still pure speculation, but the work has started and it is facinating πŸ™‚ I hope you’ll join in and love it.

Step 1: The Storytelling Challenge. The rules are above. My email address is pascal dot jappy at gmail dot com. And the limit date is end of month. Let’s make this a great last hurrah πŸ™‚

What say you? Comment or no comment? πŸ™‚


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  • Lani Edwards says:

    I suspect The Rona had a lot to do with the participation fervor – even on social media platforms the level of involvement in groups, have basically come to a standstill.

    I do like the whole collaboration thing very much and believe we can learn oodles from each other.

    Let the participation party commence, I say!

    • Cliff Neil Rossenrode says:

      Lani, that makes sense and I have noticed the same lack of fervor, though i believe it is but a phase?

      • pascaljappy says:

        Lani, Cliff, unfortunately, I think you are correct. The global gloom has taken our mind off “fun” and human contact (of which comments are a weak form but still a form). It’s a sad matter of fact as those are the very things that lift the gloom, but it’s hard to fight that sort of mini-depression from the inside. I hope those new “challenges” can stimulate at least some people to break out of it and get back into a more positive groove πŸ™‚

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Hmm – well “street” is ruled out, then – nobody can possibly get consents from all the people in the street!

    And here am I, thinking “I must get round to assembling a series of photos of ‘my street’, for Pascal”.

    Oh well – can I do “pets”, instead?

    • pascaljappy says:

      Jean-Pierre, it all depends on the country and the photograph. In most places a scene with people in it won’t be an offense. But a photo with someone’s face occupying 60% of the frame can get you in big trouble in France, for example. I’m just trying to protect contributors πŸ™‚ So, if it is OK to photograph people in the street without their consent in WA, then by all means, send those street pics πŸ™‚ You know the local rules better than I do πŸ™‚

      Otherwise, pets work just fine. So long as there is a story associated, a keyring or a carrot are fine πŸ™‚

  • JohnW says:

    Pascal – your change of focus is prophetic. You probably noticed my absence of comments on the last couple of posts … no offence to the contributors … just felling a little “hermit” lately; it happens occasionally. But the “hermit” kept thinking about what he could next offer to the group smorgasbord and realized that he’d missed the greatest backyard gem of all, less than 10mins from home, with a neat story to go with it. As a famous American TV host says … “Watch this space.”

    • pascaljappy says:

      Brilliant!! (the local gem, not the hermit-itude πŸ˜‰ )

      We are all watching your space with great anticipation. That’s your fault for habituating us to gems … πŸ˜‰

  • Paul Watson says:

    Ok , now that Zombie Season is over , let the games begin .. What were we doing again ? Where am I ? * looks confused .well more than normal . πŸ™‚

    • pascaljappy says:

      πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

      Rules are simple.
      (1) Send us pics with attached stories by the end of the month and we’ll publish them in a group post
      (2) Send us pics to support projects and we’ll do our very best to have them published and displayed on gallery walls πŸ™‚


  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    Hi Pascal, Is the rule a single picture with a story only ?

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Ian, multiple photographs are fine, so long as they come with a story πŸ™‚ Multiple photographs can correspond to a single story, if that helps πŸ™‚ Cheers

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    I’m in! Just have to get back from the beach where I’ve been hiding from the election hoopla!

  • philberphoto says:

    I am in!! Great idea. And don’t worry about the comment count, ’cause if that is what you’re after, just bend it like no, not Becks, like DPR… Yet, many of us are here because it is an un-DPR (at least comment-wise), so best to count the un-comments IMHO!

    • pascaljappy says:

      I’m not counting, but it is my only indicator of what people are interested in. Given the amount of money and work involved in maintaining this site, I’d like it to be as useful as possible πŸ˜‰ Cheers

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