I see there's a lot of suggestions on lighting challenges in this thread and it's something I've been thinking about as well for a while now. I really like the challenges Jeremy Birn hosts and how he posts up a gallery of the entries and the scene file which you can download on his own site once the challenge is finished. I wanted to try and do something similar to that on this site where you get a premodeled scene to light and shade, especially since we'll have a lot of lighting content on the new site which will be up sometime next week, we just have to finish writing the new forum.
My idea was this, how about we set the challenges to run for one month only and have a general challenge every two months and a lighting challenge in the month between? I think stwert is right about the bi-monthly thing that it doesn't really work because you see something and start on it but two months becomes a bit too long and the whole thing gets a bit tired and forgotten. Also I'd like to see the general challenges simplified, so that more people can enter. Suggestions for things like make a toy or that thing about a chair someone posted I think would make for good topics.
This way we could start on a new general challenge in the beginning of december and then start off the new year with the first lighting challenge on simply maya and i'll spend xmas modeling something up that we can use. And we could start simple like with a fruitbowl and move on from there as we release more complicated lighting tutorials on the site.
Let me know what you guys think,