This is the official thread for submitting theme ideas for the Photo of the Week competition.

Whenever a new photo contest rolls around (currently they are running bi-weekly) we will take the top-voted idea from this thread, move it to the archive thread, and start a theme announcement thread linked from the PhotoSE header. If, for any reason, a theme week is canceled or a theme idea is determined impractical for that week, it will be returned to the pool here, and the next highest one used.

Rules for Submitting Ideas

  1. ONE idea per answer
  2. Multiple answers per member are allowed, but please don't spam suggestions. We're aiming for quality, not quantity.
  3. Check the Photo of the Week Theme Ideas Archive first
    • Don't submit ideas that have already been done
  4. Duplicates will be deleted (so check this thread first, too!)
  5. Photo-SE is an unrestricted public site that the underage can visit
    • Please keep ideas civil and legal!
  6. Vote up for the ones you like!!

As with the PotW contest, please refrain from down votes. If a particularly offensive theme is suggested, that is a time to flag for moderator attention and comment.

  • I've converted this thread to wiki, so it can be freely edited. I think it would be helpful to allow improvements and refinements to any idea to be made by the community as a whole. PLEASE discuss major edits with the originator before making them, however, so you don't dilute their original intent. Minor edits such as to clarify an original concept or expand an original concept with greater detail are acceptable without prior consultation.
    – jrista
    Dec 20, 2011 at 17:53
  • I think we are well past the point where the plethora of 40 already used themes are ALL superior to pretty much ANY of the 15 remaining unused ones.
    – Michael C
    Nov 8, 2021 at 18:59

13 Answers 13



This could be a pattern on a piece of cloth, a vase, a plate... Or it could be repeating patterns in nature, such as the leaves on a succulent, a spider's web, honeycomb in a bee hive...



Seems rather appropriate, this time of year.
Get out. Shake off those winter cobwebs. Feel the new spark of life.

  • Hmm. Might have to pull an "executive privilege" and elevate this for timeliness purposes. Otherwise, this would almost certainly pop off-season...
    – scottbb Mod
    May 4, 2021 at 0:32
  • 1
    On the other hand, if it's meant to be "current", it suffers from being north/south hemisphere-specific.
    – scottbb Mod
    May 4, 2021 at 0:35
  • I suppose that's going to be true for many things, from seasons to 'mother's day'… we all have them at different times :)
    – Tetsujin
    May 4, 2021 at 6:04


Now that we have guidelines on achieving various Renaissance styles, why not put them into use? If a photo can communicate values of Renaissance era in some other way, that'd be welcome too.



Photographs that:

  1. show a custom made or crafted object, or the process of making a bespoke thing; and
  2. are bespoke for this contest — that is, created after the contest has begun.
  • I like both parts of this, but it feels like they should be two separate themes. It will be hard to judge the two categories against each other. Dec 19, 2021 at 22:26
  • @LightBender Hmm. I wasn't thinking of it as 2 categories. I was suggesting a theme for photos that show a custom object (or the crafting of it), and the photo was taken for this contest. That is, not one-or-the-other, but both conditions.
    – scottbb Mod
    Dec 20, 2021 at 16:02
  • @LightBender I've made a slight edit. Does that improve the theme or clarity?
    – scottbb Mod
    Dec 20, 2021 at 16:04
  • yes, the "and" makes it much more clear 👍 Dec 20, 2021 at 16:09


Photos of people or animals asleep, pictures of occupied beds or nests, piles of leaves etc.

Also pictures of "sleeping" landscapes - eg winter scenes, quiet towns, empty buildings

  • This is interesting, but I wonder if your 2nd paragraph might be too open for interpretation. Does an empty building imply sleep, or decay/abandonment? (I suppose the nature of the emptiness matters: empty because it's just after hours / holiday, or because the business has shut down...). Hmm.
    – scottbb Mod
    Jan 21, 2022 at 1:14
  • @scottbb - I wanted to open it up to some less literal ideas of "sleep" as well, but am not sure how to phrase that (I hope the photographers will be more creative about it than me)
    – Dragonel
    Jan 21, 2022 at 16:20

Forced perspective

According to Wikipedia: "a technique which employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger, or smaller than it actually is"



An image where something unexpected happened that was better than what you had planned to shoot. For example, trying to capture a picture of a flower only to have a bee land on it as you hit the shutter.


Nuclear and Radiological

Radioactive chemicals or signage in scientific laboratories, medical facilities, military weapons or power stations.

Also including human or physical damage caused by radiation, such as power station meltdowns and environmental contamination.

Plus the positives: patients undergoing radiotherapy, rifle sights etc.

  • 2
    This one seems... particularly dangerous, if you get my drift. I'm sure most people don't have access to high power nuclear centers, or don't live near one, or don't want to get near one.
    – 10 Rep
    May 26, 2021 at 0:49


From Wikipedia:

Calmness is the mental state of peace of mind being free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance.1 It also refers being in a state of serenity, tranquillity, or peace.[2] Calmness can most easily occur for the average person during a state of relaxation, but it can also be found during much more alert and aware states.[3]


Old Town Alleys

Residential streets in old towns, maybe cobblestone, flower pots, etc. Not people.

This has some relation to 'street photography' but I think it has enough different focus to be worthy by itself.



Hazy, soft, dream-like images.

  • So, taken with either Vaseline smeared on it, or pantyhose stretched across? ;-)
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 30, 2022 at 20:59

Frozen Lake

As winters are going on. Hence, I think it can be a good theme for the week in which travellers/photographers can share the pictures of frozen lake.



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