The Pixel Game

v1.1 – Progressive Scavenger Challenge

episode started 4 x dice rolled photo challenge criteria result
002 2014-07-15 1 + 3 + 4 + 3 macro + dark + mechanical / tech / made + effective use of night in progress
001 2014-06-23 6 + 4 + 1 + 1 post-processed + single colour emphasis + nature / flora / fauna + non-standard lens A Mating Game

v1.0 – Weekly (Random) Scavenger Challenge

The first ‘kick-at-the-can’ I tried this as a weekly thing, a pace I just couldn’t keep. Sometimes I could have done four in a day.. and then there are those long, dark spans of time of which we dare not speak. So, onto version 1.1: the next challenge begins when the old one has been posted.

week date span dice rolled photo challenge
b06 May 17 – June 7, 2014
(extended due to personal injury)
4,5,2,1 artistic + colourful + human/people + everyday life
b05 May 10 – 17, 2014 1,1,4,3 macro + black-and-white + mech/tech/made + unusual/mysterious
b04 May 3 – 10, 2014 5,6,1,5 snap-shot + standard + nature/flora/fauna + taste/smell/sound
b03 April 26 – May 3, 2014 3,2,6,6 perspective + over-saturated + still-life + abstract
b02 April 19 – 26, 2014 6,4,5,5 post-processed + one colour emphasis + action/sport/moving + taste/smell/sound
b01 April 12 – 19, 2014 5,4,2,4 snap-shot + one colour emphasis + human/people + emotion


Roll 4 die to get 4 random numbers. In order, pick the characteristic from each column matching the number. Four characteristics equals the weekly challenge.

The following table illustrates the collection of characteristics:

v1.1 – Current, June 2014

dice roll style primary palette subject / theme bonus for…
1 macro black-and-white nature / flora / fauna non-standard lens
2 wide over-saturated human / people / daily life +1 sec exposure
3 perspective dark urban / city / architecture effective use of night
4 artistic / abstract single colour emphasis mechanical / tech / made light as subject
5 snap-shot colourful action / sport / motion implied taste / smell / sound
6 post-processed standard still-life studio / tripod / light-box

v1.0 – Depricated, April 2014

The original set of randomizers. After a half-dozen challenges, it seemed to me that the theme and the subject were too conflicting, so I’ve updated the rules a bit, tweaking to incorporate a different variable. Use the newer version.

dice roll style palette subject theme
1 macro black-and-white nature/flora/fauna everyday life
2 wide over-saturated human/people season/weather
3 perspective dark urban/city unusual/mysterious
4 artistic one colour emphasis mech/tech/made emotion
5 snap-shot colourful action/sport/moving taste/smell/sound
6 post-processed standard still-life abstract

Criteria Explained


Things that are not necessarily required and can add a bit more complexity to the challenge, but you get bonus game points if you add it into the equation. But who’s counting, eh?

non-standard lens

Everyone has a few “standard lenses in their kit. It came with your camera, or it’s a prime that you picked up at a later date. You know it’s “standard” because it’s one of the lenses you always have on your camera. And then there are those other lenses: a super zoom, a lensbaby, a fish-eye, a pin-hole, or a soft-focus kit you pull out on occasion when you’re trying to all photographically hipster.

+1 sec exposure

Do you use your camera in “P” mode too much? Do you let the camera pick your exposure? Bonus points if you not only click over to full manual mode, but you dial up that exposure to longer than one second. This can cause some funky things to happen if you’re not at ease playing with aperture or you don’t grab yourself a steady mount. But then that’s why this is a bonus, right?

effective use of night

Night is a subject all in itself, and using the night time effectively is a super skill you should learn. But sometimes it’s a challenge to add it into the equation: after all, weather and timing factor into that narrow window of practicality. Bring the nighttime into the mix and score a bonus.

light as subject

Photography is always about light, but there are times when the light becomes the subject: a sunset, a precisely placed lens flare, a light painting, or even a streak of a pair of tail-lights blurring through the night. Can you bring the light to the attention of the audience, and in a way that tells us how epic your photography is, too? Bonus!

implied taste / smell / sound

This used to be a theme or a subject all in itself, but getting something to imply one of those non-visual senses in a visual medium is crazy-tough. That said, some subject matter lends itself better than others, and if you can figure out how to wrap that factor into your pics, all the better for your final photo score.

studio / tripod / light-box

Some photos need a steady hand or a balanced and controlled light source. Anything but snapshots, using some kind of studio equipment to enhance the control of your photos may not be obvious in the final product, but it often shows in the quality. This isn’t a strict criteria, but is simply that you get a bonus for using equipment that is either detached from your camera or otherwise supplements and controls the environment in which you’re snapping.