Anyone Interested in Assignments and Photography Forums?

Adding 'Assignments' and other Forum topics would greatly expand what we're doing here on The Discerning Photographer. (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)

Adding 'Assignments' and other Forum topics would greatly expand what we're doing here on The Discerning Photographer. (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)

I’ve been asked by several Discerning Photographer participants whether I would consider adding some type of ‘photography assignments’ feature to the mix of material posted here on the site. The idea was immediately attractive, since my principle goal with The Discerning Photographer has always been educating/teaching/demystifying the world of photography. I guess passing along the  passion and love I have for the art of photography has always been at the heart of this blog, so adding an ‘Assignments’ feature makes sense.

But how to go about it? Doing some research, I’ve spent some time studying the assignments functionality that Darren Rowse has built over at his excellent website, the Digital Photography School. And while I plan to structure my assignments a bit differently, I found it interesting to see how all of the assignments are handled on his Photography Forums, not on the main site.

So I have two questions for you guys out there that are regular readers/users of The Discerning Photographer: would you be interested in seeing ‘Photography Assignments’ in the monthly mix of material here on the site? I would structure the assignments to be real teaching tools, not simply thematic exercises. In that way, I think we could distinguish ourselves from a lot of what’s currently out there and already available.

And, how you would feel about a tightly-focused group of Photography Forums added to the site as well? I’m thinking that, if there is interest in this, we would start with forum topics for Assignments, Equipment and Techniques. I would post assignments into the Assignments Forum, probably once or twice a month. Equipment questions and photography Techniques would become free-ranging discussions around those topics. I might also go ahead and try adding a Video topic as well, since I know I have several professional videographers who are active on the site already. I would be interested in recruiting knowledge members of our group to help with forum moderation, once we got things up and running.

So: I need Comments! Either comment, or send me an email, if these additions to The Discerning Photographer sound interesting to you. Adding forums will be a bit of a job, but I’m excited about where this could take us all, down the road, if there is sufficient interest. Let me know what you think!

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Web

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

12 Comments on "Anyone Interested in Assignments and Photography Forums?"

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  1. Ana Matos says:

    Hi Andrew,

    it´s seems your ideas are in the right path. I agree with a monthly, for a start, assignment and also with forums. So if people don´t have the possibility to take the assignment can always read and participate on the forums. The assignments for exercise and fun & the forums to learn about the several dimensions of photography.

    Good luck 😉

  2. Thanks Anna! I’m researching how to implement the forums now. Hope to have this figured out in the near future. Glad to know you like the idea!

  3. Elin says:

    I love the idea! I would love to have a forum for assignments and technical/equipment questions and discussions – please count me in!

  4. Thanks, Elin. Glad to know you’re interested. The ‘Assignments’ idea is going to happen; the ‘Forums,’ which I think has tremendous potential, is complicated…I have to see if I can get my blog design to accept it.

  5. Count me as a supporter of the idea as well. Real, helpful critiques and assignments would be useful as long as it doesn’t get mean or personal.

  6. Thanks Greg. We would of course have to moderate/monitor the thing.

  7. Hi Andrew,
    Sounds like a fantastic idea and I would love to participate in the photography assignments. Looking forward to you getting it up and running. Keep us posted. Thanks!

  8. Thanks Joyce! The comments and emails are all running 100% positive for moving forward…so I guess I’ve got my marching orders(!)….

  9. Same here, from my point of view this is a logical development of what you have started.
    One interesting point I think, which can also participate to an extend its the new flickr feature of Photo Session, see Derrick Story’s blog post under . I think this could be part of it. The only drawback is that only 10 people can participate. But to be honest, I am not sure, if the is really drawback, because it is on invitation. A Forum certainly reaches more people at the same time. I guess, that Phot Session between us here can be a nice room to exchange information.


  10. Oh, just to add, I agree with Ana, once a month is ok for me. I guess with all the there thing I like to do, I would not invest more. And there’s my day job, too. 😉

  11. joe chan says:

    Interesting idea, Andrew. Assignment topics may be a fun thing to do every so often for me, but maybe not on a regular on going basis. If, on the other hand, the follow up critiques could further my skills, then it well could become a regular thing.

    Like all those “assignment” themes like 365, 52 weeks, self portraits or what ever else you can name, they run out of gas without a lot of group comments and participation to carry the momentum. It also can become a chore rather than fun when it turns into a “must do” rather than a “want to do”. I photography almost daily because that is what I want to do, not that I have to do it.

    I’m not a big “comment counter” on my work, but I do like well thought of comments that tell me I am on the right path or perhaps I missed the road completely. So that may be a big plus for this new forum.

    I do appreciate the fact that you have gone to your audience for some thoughts!


  12. Thanks, Joe. As usual, your views are helpful. I’m working through how to shape the assignments–I want to have some real depth and thought behind this so it actually helps people improve. Of course, everyone is at their own place in terms of their photographic development, yours truly included. We never stop learning, hopefully.

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