And so begins my 100 Strangers project!

As soon as I take delivery of my snazzy new Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/85 lens, I've decided to kick off my next photography challenge - a 100 Strangers project.

I love the idea of photography challenges. In 2010, I started a 365 Challenge, where I took a photo (more or less) every day for a year. I learnt so much about my camera gear, different techniques and the type of photos I most like taking - and have been keen to do another challenge of sorts, but I wanted this one to be different.

The Zeiss 85mm lens is sold as a classic portrait lens, and will be perfect for my 100 Strangers project. I'm going to try to shoot the entire project with this lens on my 5D (or a 7D if I buy one before the project ends).

The idea of this project is simply to approach 100 Strangers (over no specific time frame), ask permission to take their photograph, publish the photo on Flickr (and this blog) and write up a bit about their story. The photojournalistic nature of this project really appeals to me, as does the idea of practicing portrait photography in a range of situations.

I'm sure that like the 365 Challenge, there will be ups and downs in my 100 Strangers project. I'm sure there will be photos I love, as well as photos that I later wonder what I was thinking - it's all part of the learning process. There's even a Flickr group for people to share their 100 Strangers project photos and experiences.

Anyway, I can't wait to start. Here's a promotional photo used on the Zeiss site for the 85mm lens. Now - I just to get the lens (4 days and counting!) and find my first stranger :)

Photo Copyright Rene Budde as shown on

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