26 Weeks Camera Challenge #9: Forget Everything / by Simeon Smith

I shot this image on a Holga, a camera with no controls at all.

I shot this image on a Holga, a camera with no controls at all.

Over the last 3 weeks we’ve been learning the basics of camera control and technique. But the greatest photos aren’t about correct exposure, razor sharp focus and wafer-thin depth of field. The greatest photos use techniques like the ones we’ve discussed to portray emotion, to communicate. 

So this week, forget camera control. Pop your camera in auto, if it has such a setting, forget technique and take the most emotive photo you can. Shoot people close to you, shoot strangers. Shoot self-portraits. Shoot like a child. Shoot like you’re documenting the last day of humanity. Shoot the highs, the lows and the in-betweens. 


  1. Why do we learn camera technique if it’s not what photography is about?
  2. What’s the hardest emotion to catch with a camera? 
  3. Is there anything off-limits in photography?


26 WEEKS is a camera challenge I’m putting together to help someone through their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. You can follow along here on the the blog, but it’s best to start at the beginning. Here’s what we’ve already covered: 

Week 1: Do You. 

Week 2: Find Your Masters.

Week 3: Study Your Masters.

Week 4: Kill Your Masters. 

Week 5: The One Thing.

Week 6: Depth of Field. 

Week 7: Blur.

Week 8: We Were Made In The Dark.