The Academy 2016 / November Challenge: Common Fate and a Single Swede.

The Academy 2016 / November Challenge: Common Fate and a Single Swede.

One of a Kind © Knut Skjærven

One of a Kind © Knut Skjærven

Last Chance © Knut Skjærven

Last Chance © Knut Skjærven

Welcome to the November Challenge on The Academy.

You get the November briefing a week ahead because this is the way we use to do it. This challenge can be a bit tricky and that is another good reason to serve you ahead of time.

You need to shoot from November 1 to November 31 and in the same period load up to 3 pictures to the dedicated group on Facebook. The name of the group is New Street Agenda: The Academy 2016.  That is our work area.

You need to be a member of the group if you want to participate in the challenges. If you are a street photographer or an aspiring street photographer, be welcome.

Most of the pictures loaded during November will be critiqued in terms of the content of the November briefing. Not necessarily all pictures.

As a member of New Street Agenda: The Academy 2016, you are expected to participate in the discussion around each photo. Don’t wait to be the first to say something. Be the first. Participation is part of the challenge agenda. It sharpens your visions as well as your wit :-).

The challenge 2016 runs from October 2016 to Mars 2017. Both months included. 6 consecutive months.

Please read and theme for November and understand it before you take any pictures and load any to the work area.

The theme for November is Common Fate and A single Swede. You have to handle that within each photograph you shoot.

The term Common Fate relates to Gestalt psychology, which is a trend within psychology that was developed at what today is Humboldt University of Berlin. Roughly 100 years ago. Key actors are Wertheimer and his two students Kohler and Koffka. Common Fate is one of 8 gestalt factors that deals with basics in visual communication.

The use of gestalt factor in street photography was introduced by the forerunners of New Street Agenda. A fact that we are proud of.

Common Fate means a group of people that do the same thing at the same time in the same way. In your solution for November this must be clearly perceivable. You have to make it distinct.

Referring to the two images that accompany this briefing Common Fate are identifiable as a the crowd of dark clothed people in “One of A Kind”. In “Last Chance” it is identifiable as the four dancing girls one the posted. (Mind you, you need to shoot real people).

So far so good.

What about the single Swede?

The Single Swede is the rather stylish lady in white overcoat in the first photograph, and the sitting girl in the second photograph. Both are clearly distinguishable from the common fate groups.

A Single Swede stress’ the Common Fate group in each shot. In the meaning that they add a new level of interpretation of the photograph. You move from what could be an ordinary picture to what, in the best of cases, could be an extraordinary picture.

That then, is what you need to picture during November. Got it?

Remember: Show, don’t tell. If you need to explain what you do you are in trouble. Occam is watching over you.

As usual: ask any question you like.

Some of you may recognise this theme. True, we have had it once or twice before. Common Fate is one the basic ways of structuring visual communication. It needs to be repeated.

Good luck with November. You can’s shoot and load for this challenge till it is November. But you are welcome to plan for it.

Copenhagen, October 23, 2016.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.


About author

Knut Skjærven

Knut Skjærven is a Norwegian photographer, writer and researcher working out of Copenhagen, Denmark.