World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the HIV pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.
Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 35 million people have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV and this year, Leicestershire AIDS Support Services will showcase artistic works at an exhibition between 29th November and 17th December at Apex House Gallery, Leicester to remind the public and local government that HIV has not gone away. There is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. (More on this will be announced this week).
Part of the exhibition will focus on photography and participants in the shooting challenge are invited to exhibit their work.
Each Monday, we’ll set a theme and ask you submit a photo for inclusion, we’ll consider the photographs over the weekend and pick winner then announce it on the following Monday as we set the next weeks theme.
You don’t need an expensive camera or fancy equipment, we’re simply looking for the pictures you can produce so get your smartphone out and join in if you don’t have a camera!
For our first Shooting Challenge let’s keep it easy, we want you to simply photograph anything, provided there’s a reason for it relating to HIV and what it means to you. It could be that of community, an image depicting HIV medicine, a red ribbon, fear or sigma you name it! Your photo could be thought-provoking or humorous, colour or monochrome, have a ‘message’ or just be a great shot that tells a story without any words.
Initially, our example photo is tongue in cheek, yet as you gaze closer into the image you begin to question why the person is sitting in the bin, why are used condoms on her and why is her face blurred? This is a statement about social stigma. That society rejects HIV positive people, not unlike the way people casually toss away used condoms. Does the unidentified face indicate a desire to remain hidden or is she shaking her head furiously saying ‘No – I’m sick of being treated like dirt’.
This is obviously a staged photo, with a ½ second exposure time in order to achieve a blur in the face of the character. This image was taken with a Canon 650D, f/22 (ISO100).
- Follow the brief
- Send your best photos by 6PM on Friday 31st October 2014 with “Shooting Challenge” in the subject. We’ll announce the winner on Monday 3rd November as we set the theme for next week’s shooting challenge.
- Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submissions must be your own work.
- Photos must be taken after the challenge was published; so no existing shots please.
- Explain briefly in your submission email the equipment, settings, technique used and the story behind the image/images.
- We will of course credit you so if you have a website or twitter handle, let us know! – If you’re happy for us to use the images elsewhere on our site – do let us know!
- Save your image as a JPG, and use the following naming convention FirstnameLastnameEasy.jpg
- Anyone can enter, regardless of camera gear, or location!
- The most important rule — HAVE FUN!