Are you ready for an Instagram challenge?

Submitted by Kate Meyers Emery,

On June 18, 2016, our newest exhibition, Sight Reading: Photography and the Legible World, will open to visitors. The word itself, photography, means “drawing with light” and this exhibition explores the multitude of ways that photographs can be read. A photograph can convey meaning, ideas, and narratives, and it is because of this that they become so powerful. The exhibition looks at how this art form can be used to transmit ideas, deceive the eyes, persuade the viewer, and be read like text.

For example, this image to the right, by Jonathan Lewis is the cover of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album by The Beatles. Even though it is in large pixels, you can still discern the image because it is so recognizable. 

Over the next three months, we are going to be running a series of photographic challenges through Instagram that asks participants to employ different methods of conveying information as can be seen in the Sight Reading: Photography and the Legible World exhibition.

Each challenge will begin with an introduction to the challenge on our blog and posting of an exemplar of the concept on Instagram. Over the next week, participants can post their photograph on Instagram using that week’s hashtag for their chance to win. That weekend, the winner of the challenge who best addresses the specific challenge will be selected by a jury, including the curator of the exhibition and other museum staff. Winner will be announced on Instagram and our blog when the new challenge is announced, and displayed on our social media accounts. The winner will receive a George Eastman Museum t-shirt. At the end of the competition, all individuals who participated in all five challenges will be entered in a drawing for a grand prize.

Interested in participating? Here is a brief review of the five challenge- details and examples will be shared on the Monday of the challenge week.

Challenge One: Urban Text

Entry Period: June 20-27, 2016
Challenge: Share an image that shows text or advertisements
Hashtag: #GEMtext

Challenge Two: Closeup

Entry Period: July 11-18, 2016
Challenge: Get up close and personal with the subject of your photo
Hashtag: #GEMcloseup

Challenge Three: Movement

Entry Period: July 25-August 1, 2016
Challenge: Show movement in a static photo
Hashtag: #GEMmove

Challenge Four: Cropping Matters

Entry Period: August 8-15, 2016
Challenge: Crop your image in a creative way
Hashtag: #GEMcrop

Challenge Five Illusion

Entry Period: August 22-29, 2016
Challenge: Play with the viewers perceptions in this photo
Hashtag: #GEMillusion


1) For your photo to be entered into the challenge, you must:

a. Follow us at @EastmanMuseum on Instagram to participate

b. Use the hashtag specified in the challenge

c. Share an original photo- no reposting of other’s photos as your own

2) All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on the final entry date as specified above

3) This is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's term of use.

4) Participants may submit one photo per day that the challenge is open per Instagram account. 


Photo: Jonathan Lewis (British, b. 1970). Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 2003. Inkjet print. George Eastman Museum, by exchange with Jonathan Lewis. © Jonathan Lewis

Friday, June 17, 2016