Assigned Topic Definitions for 2020-2021 1. Silhouette/Shadows. 2. Reflections. 3. Sunset/Sunrise. 4. Doors/windows. 5. Angles/curves.

Shadows / Silhouettes – A shadow is a dark area or a dark figure cast upon a surface by an object blocking the light rays from a source of light. Photographer, author, and instructor, Rick Sammon says that Light Illuminates, Shadows Define. Shadows can be the main subject in a picture or greatly enhance it by creating the mood or supporting the subject with strong graphics, framing, leading lines, etc. Silhouette photography is a wonderful way to convey drama, mystery, emotion and mood in a picture. A silhouette is defined as a view of an object or a scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior, with the silhouetted object usually being black. For this assigned topic, the shadow or silhouette should not be incidental in the picture. It must be a critical part that is either the subject itself or the element that creates the impact.


– Many objects reflect light, but for this competition, the reflection needs to be an important element in the composition. The reflection can be a sharp and accurate representation of the subject, a blurry abstract, or anything in between. Mirrors are obviously at the one end of the spectrum, but water is extremely reflective as well (with still water appearing almost mirror-like under the right conditions). Of course, other surfaces reflect well too, although not necessarily with the same intensity and perfection as a mirror or still water. Moving water, wet surfaces, ice, polished metal, glass, and coated plastic can all be used effectively to create reflections.


– Pictures for this competition must be taken during or shortly after sunrise or during or shortly before sunset and include the warm-color sky. The sun itself may or may not be visible (e.g., hidden behind clouds or outside the frame) but the sky and clouds must be. The subject of this competition is the sunrise or sunset. Pictures of landscapes, cityscapes, or other objects that are simply lit by the warm light at sunrise or sunset will not qualify, except for the sky and clouds.

Doors / Windows

– The main subject is a door or a window. The picture may include multiple doors and/or windows. Successful images should show a unique view of the subject, rather than a straight documentary capture of the door or window. For example, it may be a close up of unique features of the door/window, a unique perspective or composition, interesting lighting, or creative handling of the image in post. The photographer may also use other techniques to emphasize the subject, such as selective focus or vignetting.

Angles / Curves

– While almost any subject has angles or curves, the images for this competition must make use of the subject’s angle(s) or curve(s) to create impact and draw the viewer’s attention. The picture may be an abstract that concentrates on shapes, but it doesn’t have to be. Any picture that emphasizes an angle or curve in the subject’s shape would be appropriate. Black & White – A black and white image containing various shades of grey from black to white is considered to be monochrome photo. A black & white work toned entirely in a single color will remain a monochrome work able to stand in the black & white category (e.g., sepia toned). No additional colors will be allowed in the B&W images (e.g., selective coloring).