Can Someone explain the "challenges"?


I'm relatively new here and they don't seem . . . open to those not already acquitnted to them. I'm having trouble seeing a pattern to them. Yet I see photos that aren't too different from mine.

Explaining things like, how to know what the challenger is looking for, what is expected of entrants and their submissions, "Unwritten conventions" that causes regular users distress or to assume a newbie is a complete ass, that sort of thing.
Challenges generally follow a set of rules - if you're interested in a specific one you can't get an angle on, just ask a moderator or a regular.

There are two (or three) perpetual challenges you'll see regular entries to:
  • The "Today" challenge has been running for the number of days you see in the daily threads (1170 days). You can join at every given point in time - the goal is to shoot and post for a continuous stretch of as many days as you can manage. Some of us have been doing this for the entire duration of the challenge, others have dropped in and out several times.
  • The "Darkroom Derby" challenge is a post-processing challenge - the challenger uploads a file and looks for best processing/presentation; those challenges only run for a couple of days (three, usually). The winner puts up the next one - there's been a continuous string of them for quite a while now.
  • There are - somewhat irregular - monthly challenges; usually, the winner of the last challenge starts the next one. However, there hasn't been one in a while IIRC.
There are a couple of special challenges:
  • The "Single in" challenges require you to shoot one camera with one lens for one month and post one shot from the combination every day to the daily threads. You can even add further restrictions (up to only shooting the chosen combo for the whole month - nothing else). There are discussions, threads for outtakes and a collage of everyone's favourite images to round it off. "Single in" challenges run on a seven-month cycle (in order to hit every month over the course of seven years. The next one will be held in September 2023.
  • The "One picture story" challenge just requires you to add an image that tells a story - no further strings attached.
Other, more personal (or more quirky) challenges have been proposed on an irregular schedule. Some succeed and get adopted, some fade ...

Again, if there's something else you want to know more about, just ask.