This is the official thread for submitting theme ideas for the Picture of the Week. Generally speaking, there will be about 11-12 "open" theme weeks a year. Some theme weeks will be predetermined, such as during Christmas time or other key holidays (we WILL try our best to accommodate global holidays wherever possible, not just US holidays.) Whenever a theme week rolls around (or rather, a couple weeks ahead of time) 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
  3. Check the Picture of the Week Theme Idea Archive first
    • Don't submit ideas that have already been done
  4. Duplicates will be deleted (so check this thread first, too!)
  5. PhotoSE 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
  • Could we remove themes once they have been completed so that other themes have more attention. – damned truths Aug 16 '12 at 9:33
  • @damnedtruths -- completed themes are supposed to be moved to another question, and then the remaining top one should be up next. – mattdm Oct 26 '12 at 0:22
  • @mattdm I believe that the science theme has already been completed – damned truths Oct 26 '12 at 7:38
  • Yep. Flagged for a moderator. – mattdm Oct 26 '12 at 10:56
  • After which these comments can be deleted, as it does say that they're supposed to be archived in the text above. :) – mattdm Oct 26 '12 at 10:57

40 Answers 40


Low Key

The image should be low key, using the definition where the overall tone of the photograph is dark (below middle grey), while still retaining detail in the shadows.


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.

  • 1
    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


Theme: any photo that will surprise the viewer.



A photo of the final frontier. No real requirements other than that photo must be outside of this earth.

  • How do we do this ? Not many of us have been outside earth. Does taking pictures using flying drones count ? – Ghazanfar Sep 17 '16 at 9:12
  • @MohammadGhazanfar - Outside of earth means the final photo's main subject must not be earth based. In other words, photos of space, planets, moon, etc. With that said, I do think landscape shots that show an amazing view of the milky way or moon would be acceptable. Here are a couple examples of what I am thinking of: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160826.html or apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160508.html – L84 Sep 18 '16 at 22:43
  • Ah ! That seems interesting ! – Ghazanfar Sep 19 '16 at 5:42


Can post the photographs that involve rain and other relating rainy season. this would be a good theme.



Theme of blue covers any photo that you could and would call blue. Better to close twilight landscape photos off this theme, but otherwise no restrictions. A solid blue rectangle would be eligible, but i bet there's more to it than that.


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 C√≥rdoba
  • 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


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.


Zoo photographs, so well composed that one would think they were taken in the wild.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .