Shooting Challenge: Take The Worst Photo Possible

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Take The Worst Photo Possible

Taking an amazing photograph is hard. So let's lower the bar a bit this week. I want you to take a bad photo—actually—I want you to take the absolute worst photo you can.

The Challenge

Take the worst photo you can, whatever that means to you. It could be because of the production value or its subject. (Just don't leave the lens cap on, because that joke is too obvious.)


The Technique

This is a stolen idea—but there's a method to the madness.

Back in my college days, I was in a playwriting class. Everyone had an ego, of course, but almost one had ever written a play before. The teacher's solution cut right through all of the false bravado. She forced us to fail by making us write the worst play possible.

Reading the plays aloud the following week was one of my fondest memories of writing. And it taught me that bad is just bad. But really, excruciatingly rotten—like kimchi—is actually quite good.

The Technique

Our lead image is by flickr's photologic. It's rotten apples, and it's beautiful. Your image doesn't need to be ironically beautiful like this. Have fun and really make it horrible.


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, February 1oth at 9AM Eastern to with "Worst" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameWorst.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameWorstWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions.

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