Archive for category Monthly Challenge

Teaser’s Archive: Balance With Dog

Dog's Life © Knut Skjærven

Dog’s Life © Knut Skjærven

Click category Teaser’s Archive to see more challenges.

Copenhagen, August 22, 2014.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.

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The Academy: September Challenge 2014

The Reader © Knut Skjærven

The Reader © Knut Skjærven

Welcome to the September Challenge on New Street Agenda: The Academy.

The theme for September is Plane Integration. It is an Itching Theme that I first found in some of the early pictures from Henri Carrier- Bresson. Apart from being a trail blazer for hand held, candid photography, Cartier-Bresson was also something of a trick artist. Some of his well knows photographs are actually executions of Plane Integration as we have baptised it on New Street Agenda.

Remember his shot from Greece with two ladies walking in front of a house with likewise two ladies made in concrete on the second floor of the house? That would be an example of a Soft Plane Integration (Athens 1961). Here are a few others photograph they might suggest the same technique: Tokio 1965 and shot from Leningrad 1973.  You will them all on this site.

I use the term Soft Plane Integretion, because Cartier-Bresson, as far as I know, never developed it as a specific theme but he had elements of it in some of his photographs. And so have many other of the old masters.

In this challenge you want to strive for a Hard Plane Integration. That means that you have to be very specific about it. The Reader, that you see above is a hard integration as is specific and cropped to the point. So it is meant to be, anyway.

It is an extremely good idea if you prior to shooting for this challenge spend time detecting photographs of this type in Cartier-Bresson portfolio. Or in those of other masters of street photography.  We have, in other words, added a bit of research to this challenge. Use the internet or ask around. That is part of the September challenge.

For the short definition of Plane Integration, please see The Wordbook that are there for that reason.

Plane Integration means the integration of planes.

Some additional information before you run to the streets: In street street photography you can talk about flat images and deep images. In flat images you only have one plane. In deep images you have more planes. An other word for plane is ground.  You can talk about foreground, middle ground and background. An image operating on all three grounds have three planes in it. Other would say that a photograph has different layers. As we use them here, these are the terms for the same phenomenon.

In the September Challenge you are asked to operate with two planes only. A foreground and a background. Like in the photograph above.

The two black chairs and the woman constitutes the first plane, and in some distance behind if you find the second plane, which is the shelf with CDs. There is a repeated pattern integrating the two planes. This repeated pattern is the squares that you find a) in the woman’s blouse; b) the two black chair and first and foremost in c) the CDs on the back wall.

You may not have noticed this repeated pattern but let that scare you. Integration of this type mostly works below the threshold of consciousness. Meaning, it effects your unconscious mind. Now that we make a point of it, I am am sure that you see it.

The integrating element don’t have to be squares. That can have any form or shape that you like. Could be colours, could be circles, could be direction, could be almost anything. In your challenge solution for September the integrating elements have to be articulate. For all to see and for Occam to agree on.

Here are the challenge specifics. Take a picture that

a) consist of two distinct planes and two planes only.

b) has both planes in a right angle from the camera perspective. Don’t try to do more fancy work than that.

c) has a clear separation of the two planes.

d) has an articulate and sharp handling of the theme.

e) is cropped so that it only contain the basic theme.

Please remember that The Academy is a training ground. You are meant to deliver a photograph according to this briefing and nothing else. It is the execution of the briefing that is important and not the usual race for best picture. If you can deliver both that would indeed be brilliant but luck comes later.

Also: This group is supposed to be member driven. You should only participate in the challenge if you also take an interest in what others do. Don’t post a photograph and sit back to have other do the job. Comment on their work as you expect them to send words on your photograph.

Admins will comment on some images. Not all.

The takeaway from the September Challenge is this: Plane Integration, as a shooting theme, for street photography will stay with you in the future. You will know what it is and how to shoot for it.

All pictures have to be shot in the challenge period. That is from you read this briefing to the last day of September. If needed, precisions will be made to this description along the way.

Have a good day. Good luck with September.

Copenhagen, August 22, 2014.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.

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Teaser’s Archive: Balance with Dog

Kid With Dog © Knut Skjærven

Kid With Dog © Knut Skjærven

This is a teaser for the August challenge at New Street Agenda: The Academy. Members were asked to take a picture that was in visual balance – including a dog as one of the main and narrative figures.

The question to members was if this image could be said to be in balance and to give reasons why or why not. Here is the full briefing for the August challenge.

Click category Teaser’s Archive to see more challenges.

Copenhagen, August 20, 2014.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.

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The Academy: Introduction to Teaser’s Archive

The Dilemma © Knut Skjærven

The Dilemma © Knut Skjærven

As some of you will know, we run an academy for those with special interest in street photography. The training forum is a Facebook group named New Street Agenda: The Academy. You can go there by clicking the link or by clicking the picture above.

We run monthly challenges for people interested. All can participate but you need to be active to stay in the group.

During a month there will be a challenge description and several teasers. This is a teaser for August 2014. The challenge is on balancing a shot.

In the future, all teasers will be posted here as well. Facebook is not the best place to keep records so we secure important information on this site. This is the first submission to this new Teaser’s Archive.

I hope this will be of use to you in the future. All teasers will be in category Teaser’s Archive and you can, thus, find all teasers by clicking that category. Each post will also be tagged Teaser’s Archive.

Copenhagen, August 18, 2014.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.

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The Academy: August Challenge 2014

The Playground © Knut Skjærven

The Playground © Knut Skjærven


Even in this summer heat, let’s keep our heads cool and reset the July challenge for the rest of August.

From today (August 7) you need to present a well balanced shot The Erwitt Way. Meaning INCLUDING A DOG.

It has to be shot in August 2014. No oldies please since it is part of the challenge that you shoot anew.

Before you shoot and post, please observe the following:

1) Read the original July briefing which now is here:

2) Make sure that people, and there best friends, are the bearing element.

3) Be ARTICULATE and have good size and clearance on each major element in your image.

4) Don’t crawl in the corners for only yourself to see.

5) Do your very best, please.

6) Make sure that your shot is in visual balance.

7) Read The Wordbook or search the internet if you need to:

Remember that this group can only exist if you engage both in posting fine, relevant images and have an opinion on others.

Good luck with it.

Copenhagen, August 7, 2014.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.

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The Academy July Challenge 2014

The Academy July Challenge 2014 © Knut Skjærven

The Academy July Challenge 2014 © Knut Skjærven



Welcome to July 2014 and the third monthly challenge at The Academy.
Even if we are headed towards high summer, many members have wanted to have a challenge even for July. Here it is.

The first thing I will kindly ask you to do is to read the challenges for May and June to get the general information written there. If you don’t read and understand it your posts might not be accurate for July and might be removed.

Yes, at The Academy you are asked to use some energy to find out things for yourself. Just as in real life .


It is all about working with and creating BALANCE in street photography.
Sometimes a shot does not feel right. Other times is strikes you instantly as being right. Many times this has to do with giving your shot a proper visual balance.

Your shots for July have to be ARTICULATE. Visually, all elements, including people, should be well separated, stand clear of each other, have breathing space and have a good and reasonable size. Don’t creep along the borders of the frame and pretend you are an ant. Speak so Occam will understand you.

You could have a thorough look at the placeholder shot for July before you do anything else. What are the elements used to create (or trying to create) balance in the shot? It will sharpen your visual intelligence to answer questions like these.

Test yourself on other shots as well.

Use The Wordbook to find definitions of words and notions. Start by looking up Occam.

The challenge for July then is training, shooting, posting and discussing balance.

Remember that you should only load ONLY ONE SHOT to July Challenge Album. This album.

You training shots should be posted to the wall for discussion. But only AFTER you have made an effort trying to comply with the July challenge.

The Academy is not a regular group for posting photographs. It is a training forum for monthly challenges. If you can’t live with that you are kindly asked to post to other forums. On Every Street may just be the thing for you.


The Academy is supposed to be a member driven group. Take part in the discussions, help your friends out when they are in trouble. Don’t post images blindly. Do your very best and have an opinion on what you have done BEFORE you post your fine shots.

The code for July is zero, minus 4, plus 3 and the album needs to have at least 15 images from 15 different members for this code to get activated for evaluation.

One last reminder.This is a groups for people who are active street photographers and active members. If you are here by a mistake, please respect this and remove yourself.

None active members will be removed by admin. Even in the summertime.

All images have to be shot from July 1 to July 31, 2014. That goes for image posted to the wall as well as to the challenge album.

That said. Have a great, great July .

Good luck with it.

Knut / Admin

Those who want to participate in the next workshop New Street Agenda, please let me know so in a private message.


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