RPS Benelux Summer Challenges 2018

This is just a fun thing to get you focussed on taking photos during July and August. It is open to anyone who wishes to participate, whether a Chapter member or not.

By having 10 Challenges, or different topics and techniques, it aims to stretch you and can be achieved at whatever level you are at in your photography. If you are still aspiring to achieve your LRPS Distinction it might give you focus. If you ended up with 10 quality images they would be, at the very least, a good start towards your panel of 10 that you need. Or you may want to start working on a prospective ARPS panel and testing out ideas there. We are not looking for completed panels – this is just to get you working across many different techniques.

Of course, you might cheat and simply use photos you have in your library – if you do that then you are only cheating yourself. You won’t learn from the experience. Your decision.

All 10 Challenges will be announced at the beginning of the programme. They do not need to be shot in any particular order but do need to be marked with the Challenge number when submitting them to our Chapter Webmaster, André Meyer-Vitali. André will put all the images up on our web site www.rps.org/benelux. Each Challenge is listed below with a link to the corresponding album.

Janet Haines ARPS

The Rules

  • You may only submit one image per Challenge section – no swaps if you change your mind. Whilst we would encourage you to enter each of the separate 10 Challenges it is not essential to do so. This is not competitive.

  • You will get feedback from Dawn Black ARPS and Janet Haines ARPS. We will independently write our feedback and then I will email it out to you. So it is private to you.

  • Work can be colour or mono, as you choose, or manipulated.

  • The file name is as follows - if it is for Challenge 1 (the macro) it would read ‘Your Name C1.jpg’. This will enable André to associate it with the correct Challenge on the web page. Do not include any special characters such as *-',"!

  • Your image needs to be sized to max. 900px on the longer side, in JPG, and under 2MB in file size.

  • The Challenge starts on July 1st and finishes on September 10th.

  • Only email images to André after July 12th as he is on holiday prior to that date. Please, DO NOT leave them all to the last date as none of the volunteers can cope with a massive amount of work all at one time. If you do then we may not be able to accept your work. Spread it out over the weeks as you do the different

  • Email your pictures to André and Janet (click on this link for a template, please).

  • Images will be displayed on www.rps.org/benelux then follow the link down the RHS.

  • If you do not know how to name, resize or check your colour space then email janet.haines@me.com for further support.

  • PS. The links below each 'Challenge' are a really useful source of free tutorials from Photzy. Just take a free trial for a limited time.

The Challenges


  1. A Macro
    This should be something reasonably close to the camera lens. Is likely to be a small item but make it interesting and think about both your composition, sharpness and depth of field. Examples might be a watch face, a pile of chocolates, sewing cottons, pencils, a flower head. Be inventive.
    Short Guide to Macro Photography
  2. Something in Nature
    For this one try to think about using your point of focus creatively. A bee hovering by a plant, sand dunes with the wind blowing the grasses. Have your focal point sharp but perhaps other parts of the scene out of focus but still recognisable. This requires you to demonstrate that you can control your use of aperture to advantage.
    Quick Guide to Wildlife Photography
  3. Something on the Move
    This challenge is expecting you to use your shutter speed to show movement. This might be a bicycle, a moving car, train or animal, for example. Your background should be in focus but your main point of interest moving and slightly out of focus but still recognisable. Alternatively, the subject could be in sharp focus and the background blurred as you pan with the subject (more difficult than the first suggestion).
    How to Effectively Convey Motion
  4. A Natural Light Portrait
    Use window lighting to give interest to the face and good light and shadow. Remember that often you might need to reflect a little light back on the dark side of the face to avoid too much heavy contrast. Use either a reflector or something white. Ask your subject to be reading or attending to some flowers, for example. We want to see the character of the person, not a smiling holiday snap. Watch your highlights and shadows and show a good tonal range.
    10 Tips for Exciting Portraits
  5. Low Light
    Take a shot in that magic hour after sunset perhaps. Or alternatively in a difficult indoors situation when the lighting is dim. Try to give us something intriguing to look at. Check your ISO and exposure is correct for best results.
    5 Tips for Better Low Light Images
  6. Street
    Take something unusual going on, whether that is a carnival, a street musician, kids on skateboards or something amusing. Here you need to be aware of the potential of a shot and ready to take it at the decisive moment.
    Tried and True Methods to Get More Interesting Candid Shots
  7. An Abstract
    Often more difficult than you might imagine. We are looking for imagination and creativity here. It needs to be both balanced and intriguing. The subject matter could be simply shadows of some object, white stairs against a white wall where only shadows and contours show the shapes. Take a flower and then manipulate it in software to create something abstract perhaps. A close up of sand or rock shapes. Find something different.
    Amazing Abstracts with Oil and Water
  8. A Landscape or Seascape
    Think about a good shooting angle which makes the scene flow and gives a strong composition. If you have a wide angle lens consider using this to advantage. Perhaps having something in the foreground to give the composition depth.
    5 Tips for Landscape Shooters from the Great Master Painters
  9. Architecture
    Take an interesting shot maybe looking up or down. An element of a building is often more interesting than the entire building. Use reflections to advantage. Think about your verticals and horizontals. Do you want them accurate or to shoot the whole thing on the tilt? (Not halfway between or they fail).
    Artful Architecture
  10. Free Choice
    Surprise us with something unique. Something that interests you and shows off your skills or individual style.