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 '11 at 17:53

19 Answers 19



Candidates can be:

  • A mouth watering cooked dish.
  • Raw vegetables.
  • Raw fruits.
  • Desserts.
  • Beverages like tea, juices etc.
  • Would a watering hole count? A bird table? – forsvarir Jan 20 '12 at 8:42
  • @forsvarir I have no clue about what is a watering hole and bird table. Not a native english speaker. – Aquarius_Girl Jan 20 '12 at 11:04
  • A watering hole would be a gathering point for animals where they go to drink. A bird table would be somewhere (typically in a garden) that people would put food out to feed the birds. The point being are you open to more abstract interpretations of the theme 'food', or are you looking specifically for human food. Would a group gathered around, enjoying a meal together count, An individual blowing out candles on a birthday cake... etc... – forsvarir Jan 20 '12 at 11:28
  • @forsvarir since a food is a food, so it doesn't matter who's eating it, provided (in this context) the focus/emphasis is on the food rather than the cow. – Aquarius_Girl Jan 20 '12 at 11:42


A photo which shows a two (or more) people sharing moment. Like Mom-kids, Father-kids, Siblings, Person-pet, Person-Teacher.



Pictures of your cats. Kittens. Cats in baskets. Cats hanging from stuff. Cats in costumes. Cats with things on their heads. More kittens. Cats making funny expressions. Cats on fire, perhaps from attempts to shoot them by candlelight. Possibly lions. Cats, cats, cats.

  • As a special exception, you may vote this one down. Just sayin'. :) – mattdm Mar 7 '12 at 2:53
  • Voted down before reading the exception :) – dpollitt Mar 7 '12 at 3:28
  • please no lolcats! – fluf Mar 12 '12 at 6:14
  • 1
    Honestly, I hate cats, but I have some really fun cat pictures. +1 – Eric S Apr 20 at 2:00
  • 1
    The inverse square law of cats: "My dislike for a particular cat is equivalent to the inverse square of my distance from said cat." I quite like funny cat pictures because the cat is very, very far away. – LightBender Apr 26 at 3:11


Capture a photo of a scene that demonstrates a "festival celebration", or something which highlights what the festival is about, etc. The subject may be a person or a group of people, or even an inanimate object, so long as the key concept of festive season is the central focus of the photograph.

Festival doesn't have to be necessarily something "official" like Christmas. People may have local customs and hence accordingly local festivals too.

So, any sort of festival pictures are welcomed.


Black and White, Metaphorically

A previous theme restricted submissions to grayscale images. In this theme, black and white should be represented conceptually, not literally.


Shot with Film

Kodak Portra, Tri-X, Ilford Delta, Fujicolor Pro.... any film you want, digitized however is convenient — but shot on film, with minimal digital post-production.

Entries should be photographs taken recently, well into the digital era, rather than older works. There's no way to enforce this, of course, but please follow it in the spirit of the theme.

  • 1
    Shot on iphone. – 10 Rep May 26 at 0:49


1. Open wide areas with some point of interest.
2. Mountains/Valleys.

Open wide areas are a must. "Close ups" shots of a tree/hut won't be acceptable.


No Landscapes

As many of the photos have been landscapes, I think we should try to encourage photos that are not landscapes and more macro, portraits etc.

  • 3
    As a "theme" this is rather open-ended, but I suppose there's no real harm in that. – TRiG Dec 19 '12 at 19:44

Metal on metal

All things metallic. Gears, heavy machinery, drilling metal, cutting metal...


Famous Buildings

The is theme would be any structure that is know relatively widely. It could also include not just buildings but structures such as tunnels, radio masts etc.

For example:

  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Sydney Opera House
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • St Peter's Basilica
  • The Great Wall of China
  • Taipei 101
  • Sagrada Familia
  • The Mezquita, in Córdoba
  • 1
    There is a famous church in Finland, that nearly every Finn (the whole population being 6 million people) would recognise from a photo. Buildings of worldwide recognition are few, really. I don't think there's any of that class in Finland, so to take a photo for this theme, i would need to travel abroad. – Esa Paulasto Mar 14 '13 at 17:30
  • 2
    @EsaPaulasto That would probably count, but some thing like the apartment block next door (to use that figure of speech) wouldn't, the apartment block may be recognized by everyone who lives in the immediate area, but wouldn't be by some one from another area. I would agree that Kotkan kirkko would be an appropriate subject. – damned truths Mar 15 '13 at 6:16
  • 1
    I'm not sure why the building needs to be famous. In fact the more famous the building the more trite the images tend to be. – Eric S Apr 21 at 16:36


Something heavily 'photoshopped' - replaced backgrounds, inserted people or objects, etc.
The resulting image can be pseudo-naturalistic or abstract.



An image that captures only a small part of a much larger whole.



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.


Star Trail

A long exposure shot of a beautiful star trail.


Environmental Destruction

Deforestation, plastic pollution, chemical spills, quarrying, deliberate burning.



Photos with dead stuff. Examples can include decomposing matter, dead trees/plants/animals, animals with their prey, food that was once alive (plant, fungi, or meat based), or other symbolic representations of death.


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.

  • 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 at 0:49


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 at 0:32
  • On the other hand, if it's meant to be "current", it suffers from being north/south hemisphere-specific. – scottbb Mod May 4 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 at 6:04


A photograph that:

  1. shows a custom made or crafted object, or the process of making a bespoke thing.
  2. is bespoke for this contest — that is, created after the contest has begun.

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