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What Is a Rotary Club?
With a global mission to address issues such as peace, health and education, Rotary members strive to make a difference as they tackle projects and work to make the world a better place.
Overview of Rotary Club
Rotary Club is a worldwide network with over a million members who are committed to working together toward a wide array of solutions. Rotary includes more than 35,000 clubs around the world, and its members are dedicated to helping others solve problems, promote peace, support education and help local communities prosper.
The structure of Rotary is threefold. It includes the clubs around the world as well as Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation. Rotary International is the coordinating entity that supports the clubs and organizes programs and initiatives. The Rotary Foundation is the means by which Rotary uses donations to touch lives and make a difference.
Rotary Club History
The first Rotary Club was founded in 1905 by Paul Harris. The idea was to bring professionals together to form friendships, share ideas and give back to local communities. The name of the club originated as meetings rotated from office to office of the founding members.
Although Rotary has evolved significantly since its inception, the original premise of the club has not changed. Members continue to devote their time and energy to helping those who need assistance. The Rotary Foundation shares that it has spent three billion dollars on projects around the world, and the vision continues as members remain committed to serving those in need.
Reasons for Joining a Rotary Club
The reasons for joining a Rotary Club are many, and members often have more than one objective when they join Rotary. Developing friendships is one reason for joining Rotary, and this purpose was one of the main reasons Paul Harris began the club. Members also derive professional benefits as they network with other professionals in Rotary. Rotarians receive ongoing leadership training and development, and they have many opportunities for learning as they attend weekly meetings. Rotary meetings and activities are not only educational, they are also entertaining and enjoyable.
Becoming a Member of a Local Rotary Club
If you want to become a Rotarian, you’ll need an invitation. Click the “join” link on the Rotary website to start the process. You’ll proceed through a series of questions to fit you into a club that matches your goals and interests. Once you’re linked to a club, your interest will be relayed to the club, which will then reach out to you so you can move forward with membership.
Your Responsibilities as a Rotarian
With membership, you’ll be expected to pay club dues, attend meetings and special events and use your skills and time in service to others. Service clubs are also available for youth and young professionals who want to make a difference.
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65+ Photography Project Ideas You Can Start Today
Written by Shutterfly Community Last Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Do you want to sharpen your skills, learn fresh techniques or just have fun with your camera? Photography projects help you accomplish all three.
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Through themed projects, you can capture unique images that follow a certain framework or style. Your project can last a week, month or year—depending on how in depth you’d like to go. To offer you inspiration, we’ve compiled 68 creative photography projects that are appropriate for all skill levels.
Once you’ve completed your project, be sure to create a photo book with your images or select your favorite for a canvas print .
1. Self Portrait
By switching the focus from other subjects to yourself as the subject, your photography takes on a whole new perspective. When setting up your shot, choose a landmark item to use as a stand-in until you’re ready to jump in the frame.
Play with auto and manual focus with your stand-in until you get the shot just right. Then, enter the scene using the timer option.
For the wisdom project, the goal is to gather photographs of those who have offered you wisdom or a helpful perspective. You might feature grandparents or mentors—or be inclined to include young ones who have provided you a fresh angle on life.
Aim to capture individuals in their natural state, especially if it’s in a location where they shared a special moment with you.
3. Candid Photo
Photographing someone in their natural state allows for their true personality to shine through. With a candid photography project, incorporate a range of human subjects for a diverse collection, or capture the same subject across different settings and days.
Building a portfolio of several candids allows you to paint a vivid persona of your subjects.
4. Street Style Photography
Authentic street style photography allows you to snag shots of the latest fashion—all without the strut of the runway. Look for colors first (either eye-catching or stunningly neutral), then watch for the cut and structure of the clothes.
Aim for overall beauty within the frame, including the street or walkway, so the focus isn’t solely on the clothes.
5. All About The Details
Create a collection of shots with unique subjects that focus on the details. Whether the photos are for an engagement , graduation or everyday occasion, you can take portraits of smaller details, like wisps of hair, relaxed hands and prominent features. Making your subjects feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera is the first priority. Plan a single shoot for various angles to help capture what looks best on a given day or moment.
6. Natural Element
Plan for your gallery of photos to include candid shots of the subject in their element. Whether they love the beach or like to craft, you can capture your subject in their favorite space or place to go.
If a subject feels awkward in front of the camera, have him or her lean against something vertical, like a fence, wall or car. They’ll feel more anchored and their body angle will offer the photo some character without seeming unnatural.
7. Pet Photography
From cats to dogs to horses, the heart and soul of your pets can be captured with the right technique. Incorporate natural light in your shoot keep watch of your pet’s eyes. Expressions and personality often shine through and it’s a great time to capture these moments.
Being a mother is one of life’s greatest gifts. When we’re parents, beautiful moments take place along with messy and chaotic ones. Encapsulate the full spectrum of motherhood with photos from quiet moments like snuggling with your child to lively times like cooking together in the kitchen.
With any photography project, it’s important that your images tell a story.
9. Panoramic Pictures
A popular technique for landscapes, panoramic photography enlarges the viewpoint beyond the normal size of a camera lens. To ensure there are no gaps in your panoramic shot, overlap your image by 15-30%.
You’ll also want to keep your camera as level as possible to ensure the photo is even throughout. Don’t forget that panos work well for vertical shots, too, like waterfalls and deep canyons.
10. Sunsets Photos
Sunsets make for stunning photos—especially when executed well. For maximum beauty, be sure to slightly underexpose the sunset for rich and dramatic colors. Use manual mode and a fast shutter speed for underexposure, or use aperture priority with exposure compensation.
Make your sunset even more magnificent by arranging an object or scene in the foreground of the sunset, like a lake or mountain.
Mist and fog are natural elements that can enhance the beauty of your photography. Check the weather to determine when fog might pop up. Oftentimes the best lighting for fog photos occurs in the wee hours of the morning or late in the evening after sunset. The low lighting causes a slower shutter speed, which means a shakier camera.
Keep your camera as still as possible or use a tripod. The best places for foggy photos? Open bodies of water and other sweeping landscapes like fields and low rolling hills.
Hovering skyscrapers and diverse skylines are part of what makes cityscapes such attractive photography. For a cityscapes project, try different vantage points across the city to see what works best (think: a popular lookout compared with a more secret locale).
Prepare for an after sunset shoot, allowing the city lights to pop against the dark sky. Remember to use a wide angle lens to cover as much ground as possible.
13. Water (Rain, Ocean)
Whether you’re hoping to create scenes of smooth, flowing water or capture dynamic waves crashing against a seawall, it’s critical to have better than average camera equipment. For nearly every water shot, a tripod is also essential to keep the frame still for the length of the exposure (usually two to four seconds).
Pack along a lens-friendly cloth to remove splashes and water marks. Plan to get wet if you’re banking on a stunning water shot.
Each season offers its own charms—from snowy branches to colored leaves. Select a location for your seasons project where you’ll snap photos throughout all four seasons. Once the year is complete, you’ll have a collection of stunning images that tell the story of your special place over the course of a year.
15. Star Trails
Spectacular from edge to edge, star trails photography is an adventure to shoot. The first step is to find a clear sky full of stars, but free of pollution and other light interference. Anchoring your camera on a tripod, set your camera to shoot on manual mode. The faster the lens you have, the better.
Once you have your shot prepared, select drive mode for consecutive shots rather than a single frame. With your remote, let your camera take photos for thirty minutes up to a few hours, depending on the length of star trails you’re creating.
Capturing still images with a remote-controlled drone opens up the options for angles and perspectives in your photography. Consider sending a drone above a beach, golf course or mountaintop.
Increase the altitude of your drone for a more impressive viewpoint and try GPS mode for a more stable shot.
17. Food Photography
As a still life technique, food photography requires a few main ingredients: good lighting, props and style. Place your items near natural lighting or use a flash to give the photo a balanced look. When it comes to the arrangement, consider adding in table setting details like plates and silverware.
Amplify the photo’s texture with decorative pieces like colorful fruits and sprigs of herbs. For a well-rounded food photography project, shoot a variety of foods and dishes.
18. Black and White Month
Instead of using the full color spectrum, this project idea prompts you to capture images in black and white only. Two-toned photography provides a different perspective or feel to your work, and gives you a chance to highlight people, places and objects in a novel way.
For instance, a close-up of hands be enticing when displayed in color, but in black and white, the image paints the story that all humankind is united.
19. Everyday Moments
Photos that showcase a slice of regular life contain a certain genuine beauty. When preparing for everyday moment shots, make sure subjects are comfortable. People should interact as if you aren’t even present.
The true magic happens when you’re able to capture two people’s true connection.
20. Random Acts of Kindness
The random acts of kindness project prompts you to capture someone doing something thoughtful or helpful for another person. By photographing these moments, you’re telling a larger story of humanity.
To be successful in this project, you’ll need to keep a keen eye out for small acts of generosity, like a young man holding the door or a little girl smiling at a stranger.
21. Shoes For a Week
Narrow your photography focus for a week by capturing different styles of footwear. From boots to sandals to athletic shoes, diversify your image collection. Be sure to utilize a range of angles to create unique stories for each photo (i.e. a guy lounging with shoes on, two people talking while standing, a woman running).
22. Comfort Zone Challenge
Pushing the limits of your creativity often leaves you with impressive and surprising results. With the comfort zone challenge, throw caution to the wind and experiment without expectations.
Maybe that means you’ll shoot a paragliding experience, a fireworks explosion or animals in action. When you’re snapping shots, play around with your shutter speed, aperture, focal length and movement.
23. 30 Strangers
Taking a photo of someone whom you’ve only just met can be thrilling. It can also be personally and professionally rewarding. Through the 30 strangers project, you’ll capture 30 portraits of people you’ve never met before. Find people on the street, in a shopping mall or at a park.
Be sure to ask each person’s consent first before posting publicly. The 30 strangers challenge will certainly stretch you outside of your artistic comfort zone.
Duotone photography refers to a multitone production of an image, usually imposed through photo editing techniques. The superimposition of a contrasting color halftone (normally black) over another color halftone enhances the middle tones of an image.
Photographs with one main object, like a flower, seashell or tree, are ideal for creating duotone effects.
Perspective photography can take many forms: those shot from a low angle, ones with strong leading lines and those that look straight up into the sky. Whether your scene is a railroad track or skyscraper, your image should emphasize the angle and the unique perspective you’re hoping to give the viewer.
Train your eye to notice patterns, lines and reflections you can capture from different angles.
Not only is coffee delicious and rejuvenating, it’s also a work of art. Collaborate with a barista on a latte design or the type of mug to use. Choose a simple backdrop so the coffee remains the focal point.
A dark backdrop is best if you’re aiming to capture the steam rolling off of a warm drink.
27. Create a Photo Album
Let your memories last forever by creating a photo album for a recent vacation, an adventurous summer or a year filled with fun. Design your photo album with a theme in mind to build cohesion. Vary your layouts from page to page for texture and personality.
28. Traffic Lights
When photographing traffic lights and other light trails, the best time is during or after twilight on a night when minimal wind is present. Based on your camera angle and objects, you’ll need to adjust and experiment with your settings.
Often times, shutter priority mode is ideal along with a shutter speed of six seconds. Make stability a non-issue with a tripod, and remember you won’t be using a flash.
29. Happy Days
Allow joy to take the center stage of your photos. Whether they’re candid shots of family members interacting or a single subject, make sure the smiles are natural. Enhance the happiness level by highlighting the subject with ample natural lightening.
30. Photo Scavenger Hunt
Challenge yourself and your fellow photographers by setting up a photo scavenger hunt . Rather than choosing objects and locations to capture, create a list of photography styles to achieve. For instance, your list might include building a motion blur or catching a clear action shot. At the end of your hunt, you’ll have a collection of impressive photographs.
31. Night Scenes
Night scenes, also known as low light photography, allow you to make the most of dark scenes that are hard to capture. When less light is present, it means you’ll also have slower shutter speeds, which equals more camera shake. For this reason, landscapes and long exposures at night time require tripods.
Whether you’re shooting special moments around the campfire or gazing up at the stars, utilize a wide aperture or a low f-number to let in as much light as possible.
Polaroids offer a timeless feel and give photos a natural frame. When creating a collection of polaroids, be sure to switch up your angles and perspectives. Try a few upclose shots of objects along with macro shots of mountains and lakes.
For polaroids with human subjects, allow for plenty of natural light and aim for candids.
With any inanimate object, the challenge with photography is to bring it to life. With letters and signs, try to enrich the shot with the surrounding scene whether it’s greenery or a neat light fixture. Angle your lens in a way that makes the lettering most striking.
Build a full photography project with at least five to ten different signs.
34. Action Shots
To nail a clear action shot—for sports, animals or anything else—the most important aspect is to be prepared. Consider pre-focusing your shot, so when the subject enters the frame, you’re ready.
Because it may take several shots to capture even one solid photo, shoot in short bursts for a few seconds at a time. Keep extra space at either edge of your frame to allow for your subject’s movement.
Fundamental to abstract photography are lines and curves. The shapes you highlight will guide the viewer’s eye to a certain engaging element. To get up close and personal with an object or design, use a macro lens. With the macro, your photo composition will have clearer resolution and sharpness. Complete your project by gathering a collection of abstract photo pieces.
36. New Lens
Your camera equipment plays a large role in your work as a photographer. Your tools, like your lenses, can fundamentally change the structure your art.
To sharpen your skills, try using a single lense for an entire month. Ideally, the lense will be new to you—allowing you to master the new tool and broaden your photography skills.
Photographing architecture—whether modern or classic—presents unique challenges. Consider capturing an array of building styles for your portfolio and don’t forget to mix up your angles. Vary your shots by choosing a different weather conditions and times of day.
Through your diversity of shots, you’ll have richer story of the buildings’ relationship with the environment.
To enhance your gratitude and happiness, consider completing a thankful project where you take one photo every day of something you’re grateful for. From flowers to pets to family members, find subjects that have personal meaning to you.
By capturing what you’re thankful for, you connect deeper with the people, places and things that surround you.
39. Sunday Mornings
Whether you’re enjoying a cup of coffee or a good book, snap a photo every Sunday morning for one month or a year. Capturing everyday occurrences through photography is a form of artistic journaling, helping you to document life’s big and small moments.
40. Top View
The angle of your shot makes all the difference in how appealing and engaging it is. Try a series of photos where your perspective comes from the top. Amp up the creativity by getting higher for your shoot and using a wide angle lens.
A busy environment, like a packed street or active household, can become a striking composition when using a top view perspective because it offers necessary distance from the cluttered setting.
41. Guilty Pleasures
We all have foods and activities we love despite feeling that they might not be held in high regard. Perhaps your guilty pleasure is cream-filled donuts or binge watching reruns of your favorite sitcom.
Collecting images of your guilty pleasures will likely bring you humor and levity, knowing that these items are a part of you, but they don’t necessarily define you.
Forming a distinct contrast between light and dark, silhouettes highlight one or multiple subjects. Ensure your subject is backlit with the sun behind them. The best times to shoot silhouettes are in the morning or late evening.
Build a stunning image by setting the scene with open space, like in a field or along the beach. Set up your camera angle facing the sun, then ask your subject to stand between the sun and you. Play around with the exact angle until you have a strong contrast.
Create a collection of photos shot with prism filters on your lens or by placing a prism in front of your lens. The light that dances off of the prism will add creative effects to your photography by dispersing light before it hits the camera. Secure your camera on a tripod so you can have your hands free to play with the prism and lighting.
Prism photography can include large subjects like nature scenes and architecture or smaller objects like books and candles.
Finding subjects that offer you symmetry is the foundational step for this photography project idea. Look for symmetry in architecture and nature, but don’t leave out human and animals subjects. Smaller details, like hands or feet, often make for the perfect symmetrical photo.
Bokeh photography is denoted by one unique characteristic: a blur produced in the out-of-focus area of an image. The blur, produced by a lens, helps direct the focus of the photo. A fast lens is necessary to achieve this technique, with at least an f/2.8 aperture.
With a wide open lens, you can create bokeh with subjects like butterflies, humans and fencing around a baseball field. These photos are perfect for framing around your home .
46. Action Figures
Due to their size, action figures are easy to rearrange and shoot from multiple angles. Bring the scene to life by having the figures interact with each other. If you’re looking for an extra challenge, tell a story through your action figures, like one you would find in a comic book. Include action shots against a simple backdrop.
47. Steel Wool
Although it may seem like steel wool photography would require expensive equipment, it is a surprisingly inexpensive technique. For this project, you’ll need the following: a camera, lens, tripod, shutter cable, steel wool, string, stainless steel whisk, lighter and protective gloves. In a dark location—away from combustible items and other people—burn steel wool that’s loosely packed in a whisk.
As the steel wool burns, spin the whisk either vertically or horizontally to create the desired effect. The burning will only last about ten seconds, so you’ll want to set up for at least five seconds of exposure time. Steel wool photography creates wild and interesting images, but be sure to follow safety precautions to avoid hazards.
To enhance your skills and test out a nifty shooting technique, try macro photography on tiny subjects like insects, match-heads and flowers. Keeping your budget in mind, choose a magnification lens that lets you make super small items appear larger than life. For your macro project, vary your subjects.
Consider nature’s smallest members, miniature household items and up close shots of human elements for your portfolio.
49. Double Exposure
Double exposure, also known as multiple exposure, is a technique that combines two images in a single image. By using double exposure, you can create a distinct effect like a mirror image or ghost-like presence. The layering technique can be done with or without photoshop, depending on your equipment and skill set.
Photography, like any type of art, can be a form of escapism. Through the camera, we can create images that help us step out of reality and into our daydreams. Prepare for your escapism photography project by thinking of your ‘happy places’ or locations you go to get away.
After brainstorming, head to one of those locations and shoot scenes that offer a mystical aura—whether it’s birds fluttering in the forest or the clouds lifting off of the mountains.
51. Shadow Art
Just as light is a critical element to photography, so is darkness. With shadow art, the focus is placed on the subject as it blocks light from reaching a surface, like a sidewalk or table. Experiment with the angle, distance and size of your light source to alter the intensity and scale of your shadows.
Consider humans as your subjects, but inanimate objects, too, like musical instruments, buildings and action figures.
From brick walls to tiled roofs to wooden fences, textures are all around us. Complete a photo challenge where you take one shot of a textured surface every day. Turn on your auto focus to ensure the object is in perfect focus. Adjust your distance from the subject based on how much detail you want in your image. This idea is perfect if you’re also looking for creative Instagram photo ideas .
Aim for a ninety degree angle when you shoot the image so your texture is lined up straight with the camera.
53. 365 Wardrobe
On each day of the year, snap photos of your clothes before you begin the day. Arrange them differently—sometimes orderly, sometimes more carelessly—to gain a sense of how your mood changed from day to day. Remember to include accessories like purses, shoes, belts and headbands.
54. Suspend Time
Photography is a powerful art medium: it can even pause time. Whether you’re suspending an item with a fishing line or taking a shot of someone jumping, you can create the look of time being stopped. Start this photography project by choosing three items or people you’d like to suspend.
Bursting with color or more neutral tones, balloons make for versatile props. Let helium balloons off into the sky and capture photos as they float up. Surround the birthday girl with balloons in an otherwise empty room. Or tie a balloon to a child’s wrist and photograph them as they wander through a park.
56. Hotel Carpet
If you travel frequently, the hotel carpet project may be the right kind of fun for you. Next time you’re walking through a hotel lobby, glance down at the carpet beneath your feet. All sorts of patterns and colors are used in hotel carpets across the world. Take a snapshot (ideally at a 90-degree angle) of each carpet for a collection that will help you remember all of the places you’ve been.
Across neighborhoods and cities, doors provide insight to each home’s character. For this photography project, set out on an adventure to collect as many styles and sizes of doors as possible. Choose a macro approach, where the whole door makes the shot, or go micro by narrowing the frame to door handles and styles of wood.
To build juxtaposition in your photographs, place two opposite subjects next to one another. Like a blue ocean and a green forest, the contrast between the two is noticeable yet stunning. Types of juxtaposition might include a person and their shadow or a thin item next to a thicker item. For this photography project, try several contrasting subjects or locations.
Photos full of irony can be humorous or thought-provoking. Maybe you snap an image of a tow truck hauling another tow truck or you notice a descriptive sign in a place that doesn’t quite seem to fit. When it comes to ironic photos, a keen eye is needed along with a quick wit.
60. Fairy Lights
Fairy lights make for beautiful focal points. You can wrap the lights around a tree, weave them between human subjects or fill mason jars with them. Build a larger scene by ensuring no backdrop distractions are present or capture the fairy lights up close.
Regardless of what subjects and scenes you decide to shoot, proper exposure is crucial.
For this photography project, choose smoke as your primary accent. Incense sticks are easy to use and allow you to play with various colors. Your setup should ensure ample ventilation for the smoke to escape the room. Some photographers merge two photographs (one of the smoke and one of the object) to design a special scene, like one of a toy train blowing smoke or a tea kettle steaming.
62. Vintage Cars
From sporty models to classic town cars, vintage vehicles never go out of style. Look for vintage makes at car rallies and exhibitions, although sometimes you’ll come across them in your everyday happenings. The golden hours, right after sunrise or right before sunset, are ideal for shooting cars. Highlight specific parts, like bumpers, trunks and hoods for diverse perspectives.
63. Faces In Things
You’ve probably seen images that double as a face and another object. In this photography project, you’ll create a similar effect. Take a close look at nature, food and furniture to locate hidden human faces. Compile as many faces as you can, and see if your friends can guess what’s in the images.
Alter your perspective by shooting your subject through a picture frame. The frame technique works best outdoors where you can place ample distance between your lens and your subject. Consider creating scenes with a woman standing on the beach, a tree in an open field or a tall building at the end of a street.
Any body of water—like a lake, river, pond or swimming pool—can act as your reflective tool for this photography project. You’ll want to avoid direct light on the water to eliminate glare. Practice using reflections on waterfront cityscapes or mountains overlooking a lake.
66. Take My Hand
When you can represent human connection in photography, the emotion of the image is strengthened. Head out on a hike or stroll through a garden to practice photographing two hands linked together.
A relatively new technique, picception images incorporate another camera or photo into the shot. It can be a picture-in-a-picture style or something more subtle like a photograph of someone taking a photograph. While often informal, picception shots can be formal if intentionally designed.
Often eye-catching, neon photos provide a stunning mix of light, shape and color. Whether you’re on the Vegas strip or exploring your hometown at night, take photos of neon signs with your camera’s evaluative meter exposure setting. Choose a low ISO of 200 or 100 to avoid noise. Be sure to place your camera on a tripod for stability.
No matter which photography projects you decide to complete, remember to enjoy the process and save copies of your photos. Design a themed calendar or metal print to showcase your results.
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Home » Lifestyle » 14 Creative Photography Projects Ideas You Need to Try
Tackling a photography project is not only a great way to improve your photography skills but it can keep you from feeling like you take the same photo everyday. However trying to come up with photography project ideas can be a challenge. Below are a list of photography ideas.
Creative Photography Project Ideas
1. project 365 or project 52.
You know I love a Project 365 and have lots of tips on completing one . Whether you take a photo a day in a Project 365 or choose to do one photo a week in a Project 52 this is a great way to focus on your photography skills.
2. 30 Day Project
Take on a shorter commitment by doing a project that lasts on 30 days. There are many different ways you can do this. In my ebook, The Unexpected Everyday, I give you a 30 day photography ideas challenge to learn a new skill and give you a prompt for each day. You can’t help but improve your photography all while taking timeless photos of your children.
Read more: 30 day photo challenge (become an EVEN BETTER Photographer)
3. Pick a theme
Deciding on one particular thing to focus on can help you improve a skill. Theme ideas:
- Light – backlighting , low light , natural light , indoor light
- Composition – framing , leading lines , golden spiral
- Street photography
- Macro – even if you don’t have a macro lens you can use macro filters
- Candid Photos
4. Choose a subject
If you have children you may notice they are in 95% of your photos. Focus on a new subject to try new compositions and break out of your normal photography routine.
Subject ideas: – Shoes – Flags – Windows – A color – Lines – Doors – Chairs
5. ABC project
There are two ways you can tackle this project. You can either choose a letter to photograph something that starts with that letter. Another photography idea is to photograph something that looks like the letter. This option is fun if you want to create a collage of photos to spell out your last name or “welcome”.
6. Work through a book
There are many books out there that will teach you different skills. You can tackle a new chapter each week or month. Book ideas include:
- The Photographer’s Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos
- The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
- People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs
7. Grateful photography project idea
Choose to photograph things, people or places you are grateful for. Not only will you never run out of ideas of things to photograph but it helps you focus on what is really important and how blessed you are.
8. Focus on one lens
If you have multiple lenses choose one your don’t normally use. Stick that one on your camera for a week, a month or a whole year. This will help push your creativity. I remember doing a photo walk with a photographer who took street photos with a macro. Don’t assume a certain lens is only for one time of photos.
Not sure which lens to use? Check out our photography resource page.
9. Go outside your comfort zone
Maybe you rock at portraits, try your hand at food photography . Try a different type of photography you are used to. Not only will you learn some new skills but it is fun to try something you aren’t strong at.
Read more: How to Shoot Still Life Photography to Push Your Creativity
10. Photograph birthday month/week
Whether it is your birthday month, or one of your kids or loved one. Photograph them everyday for the week or month of their birthday. It is a fun way to document them that year as well as capture what they are like at that age.
11. A Day in the Life of
I do this once a year, but you could really do this once a month or more. Photograph your day all day . You can either take photos through out the day or just on the hour. Either way it is a fun way to capture the everyday moments and routines that we often forget to capture.
12. 10 on 10
A lot of photographers will capture 10 photos on the 10th. This is similar to the “Day in the Life of” project. But this may help you to remember to do this project each month on the 10th.
13. Letters to Our Children
This is something I do with a few other photographers. Write a letter each month to your children or just focus on one child. Then take photos of them to include with the letter. I write advice to all my girls. This helps me to get at least one photo of all three of them together each month. This can be quite the challenge but I enjoy it. Some girls in the group choose one child to write a letter to and do a mini photo shoot each month with that child. Do what works best for you.
14. Self portraits photography project idea
Photographers are not in enough photos. Choose either to do a self portrait , daily, weekly, or monthly. What is important is that you are getting in the photo. When I did my first Project 365 I did a “Monday Me” where each Monday I took a self portrait. It’s a good idea to have a specific day in mind. If you are going to do it monthly, choose the date of your birthday and each month take a photo on that date.
Which ever one of these photography project ideas you decide to tackle it’s important to do something. The key to growing and improving as a photography is taking these photography ideas and implementing them into your day to day life.
Which one of these photography ideas will you start today?
Learn it all, step-by-step, with me, the force behind Click it Up a Notch, a Huffington Post Top 5 Blogs for momtographers.
A former teacher who got into photography to capture my beautiful family, I am eager to share what I’ve learned over the past 5 years & open the door to photography for other moms.
- 365 Photography Project Tips Read More >
- 6 Ways to Stay Motivated with a Photography Project Read More >
- Photography Project – One subject, 30 days Read More >
This will certainly challenge me. I am just an amateur and love taking pictures. But want to learn more and be more creative. Put those books on my Amazon Wish List to get sometime soon.
Awesome! Aren’t we all wanting to learn more and be more creative :)
I did a 365 a few years back. Every day I took a shot out my window and made a time laps out of it. Pretty cool as the snow got deeper and then melted…Also as the leaves changed
Other than that,,,,meh!
That is a great idea to focus on one window!
Big salute to you. I am trying to edit photo black and white effect as you did; sadly my edited photos were not like you. How should I make black and white style( the black and white effect you did) . Plz show mercy with me. :D waiting for you
DANNY THE KACHIN
I start with the Casablanca preset from Clickin’ Moms Cinema collection and adjust it to achieve the look I want. Make sure you start with a properly exposed and correct white balance image :) http://store.clickinmoms.com/cinema-presets-for-lightroom/
Thanks you for your kindness. I am working on it. God bless you. :)
Love your site. I find this app useful for projects learnphoto.ca/apps
Thanks for these ideas. I’m a beginning photographer and always want to find ways to improve. I will tackle one of these for 2014!!
Thanks! Good luck with your project!
thanks for your tips.. I’m thinking of doing a project featuring my sister..I’ll take picture of her everyday for 23 days before her 23rd birthday and that would be my gift for her. .
Yep, I decided to do a 10 on the 10th project this year. My plan is to create a book at the end of the year. I cheated this month though. I forgot to do it on the 10th so I did it on the 13th instead which turned out great because my daughters school Valentine party was that day.
Hi, I stumbled upon your website by accident a few weeks ago and I am so in love with it. I have been taking picturs for years now with 2 young kids but have recently lost my mojo and motivation. Your blog has given me new inspirations and ideas. Thank you so much.
I love hearing that. Thank you! Welcome!
Great tips. I need to start taking more self portraits.
Thanks for the ideas, I am sharing this with the Board of our community’s camera club, for ideas on our summer projects, we take the summers off because we live in Florida and a few members are snowbirds, great IDEAS, thank you….
Thanks so much for sharing!
Hi! Love some of these ideas! I’m an amateur, who prefers nature macro. Do you know the name of the person you did the street tour with, that did it all with macro? This would be fun perspective for me. Thanks!
Hey Amy, I believe it was Stacey Vukelj – https://www.facebook.com/staceyvukeljnycphotography :)
How do you recommend taking self portraits?
Are you wondering about what lens to use?
I haven’t started yet but I’ve been considering a rainbow challenge. Take a day/week and take all red pictures, then yellow, orange and so on. It’s something you can vary the difficulty of since some colors are going to be easier to find depending on the season but if you want a real challenge you can mix that up.
Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed to read right now. These are great!!
Do you have any specific blog sites you would recommend using for a new amateur photographer?
Yes –> http://clickitupanotch.com/how-to-start-a-photography-blog/
How do you Link up to Others 365 i tried Clicking on the Links but it just goes Back to The top of the page. Thanks :-)
I’m confused by what you mean you click on the link and it takes you back to the top. Which page does it take you to the top of?
Hi, I just click on the names of the sites and it doesn’t take me anywhere, sorry I don’t have a blog just google+1, I completed your 30 day challenge what you did in June, and decided to carry on, but wanted to see everyone else who was doing it. Thanks for getting back to me :)
Some of the people may no longer being doing the project. We started that list last November :) I think it’s great you are going to keep going! Yay!
This has been such an inspiration! I am looking forward to starting a challenge. Even though I am in college I think this will be a cool way to remember all that I have done!
Thanks for the time you put together for this post :)
I love that! I wish I had some kind of photography challenge when I was in college. What a fun way to remember your time!
Thank you so very much. This is a wonderful article and you have given me and lot of awesome ideas for future photo shoots and a lot of fun for my family as well.
I happened upon your blog late last night. I’m a new photographer, eager to find a direction. I think doing one of your 30 day projects is the ticket to getting my ball rolling. Thank you. I’ll be back. (website to come in the future)
Welcome! And thank you for your sweet words :) Excited to be a part of your photography journey.
I am a mom of a 13 year-old & a 20 year-old daughter, who has a 2 month-old daughter. I have always dreamed off taking up photography as a serious hobby. Now is my time since I am staying home full-time caring for granddaughter. I am absolutely clueless about what camera to purchase. I hear talk of DSLR. I am committed to investing in a high quality camera & expect to make a financial investment. But, what camera is for me? Would love to get involved in your project, but need to purchase quality equipment. Some advice please? Thanks so much for any input.
I love all these photography projects. I have no idea which one I want to try first! Great post!
Thank you for this great ideas…!!! I just finish My 365 project and I really want to start an Other project…!!!
I started a 30 day project after reading your book Courtney, and enjoyed doing that so much that I continued on and finished my 365 project at the end of April this year Great timely post to give me some other ideas for my next project. I had sort of continued with the 365 with half thoughts of turning it into a 52 project, but might incorporate some of the other ones as well. Thanks for being part of my learning journey Courtney it is really inspiring to read about your journey and others on your blog:)
I’m a 13-year-old photographer and I’ve been wanting more things to take pictures of so I decided to do a photo project. This article gave me so many ideas for my project so thank you!
Wonderful! Enjoy, Alex :)
These are all great ideas! Thank you for the inspiration!
I love your site. I plan to read more of your posts tonight! Yay!
Wow! This list was so great, and for my senior project, I think I’ll do the Grateful Project. Thank you so much for the idea!
Hey, thanks for sharing. Just in the middle of planning a new project, but I find it’s quite challenging with a little one running around. Although, my boy is a great model, I quite like exploring – what I call Organic Sculptures- and then photographing them.
During my last project I grew mold and here are some shots that came out of it https://digitalphoto.blog/2016/11/29/first-blog-post/ but obviously it’s not the best idea cultivating mold now with a young toddler…
Will get there though, I hope…
Wow! This project ideas list is so awe-inspiring. Can’t wait to see more of your articles. Thanks for sharing!
NOW I GOT A FIRE IN MY BELLY!!!
Thank you you have given me ways to keep myself busy in 2022.
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Photography Project Ideas for High School in 2023
Are you going to try your hand at creating school photography project but have no idea what to start with? Then this article will come especially in handy since it includes 20 fantastic photography project ideas for high school.
Each concept listed below is easy to realize. If you properly follow these tips and use your artistic vision, you will definitely achieve “A”.
20 Great Ideas for High School Photography Project
Look though these photo essay examples that will help you to leave both your teacher and classmates in awe. The majority of them were picked in accordance with two aspects: accessible materials and development of your creativity.
1. FaceTime Photo Session
Those who stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak can do a virtual FaceTime photoshoot to have a great time with friends.
Ask them to take you on a guided tour around their house so that you can choose the most appropriate background. Next, your friends will need to take the flattering pose, look in the right direction, etc.
2. Portraits Employing Projector
Creative photographers can use a projector to organize an exciting photo session even at home. All you need is to pick an appealing picture, dim the lighting, and optimize the color saturation of your projector in order to achieve the balanced lighting cover.
Let your imagination run wild. You can play with various images, map the light on both a model and background, or only a model/background. Complement your work with some photo editing manipulations to bring your pictures to perfection.
3. Light Painting
Light Painting is one of the most exciting photography portfolio ideas for students. You can take fantastic photos just using your camera, light source, and your creativity.
When you release the shutter and keep it open in the dark room, the film or digital sensor acts like the canvas upon which photographers paint.
4. ‘Bokeh’ Lights
Bokeh photography effect is a special technique, which requires a fast lens. You need to use a lens with an aperture of at least f/2.8. However, to create a better bokeh effect, it is better to pick a lens with apertures of f/2, f/1.8 or f/1.4. Thus, you can produce not only out-of-focus background but go even further and use it as a main tool to create engaging compositions.
Photographers typically use this effect while shooting a night city full of lights or dark room illuminated with multiple light sources. Play with camera settings, use different lighting conditions, subjects, and locations to create an aesthetically pleasing bokeh effect.
5. A Day in Life
One of the shortest high school photography projects can be a “Day in Life” photo session. You will to choose the models and photograph them the entire day.
To specify the concept of your project, you can photograph the life of people engaging in different professions. Not only people can become subjects of your storytelling. You can depict the life of your pet or take a closer look at a tree ecosystem.
6. Forced Perspective
Forced perspective is one of the most creative photography techniques that uses optical illusion. The photographer can shoot the objects from an unusual angle so that they appear of different sizes or distances than they really are.
One of the most popular forced perspective photography ideas is when tourists pretend to prop the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
Make usual photographs look different, or add extra meaning to them, by simply cutting out some silhouette on a sheet of paper and taking a shot through it.
You can choose harmonic combinations, like shooting nature through shapes of animals, or go for contrast and shoot some highly technogenic landscapes through shapes of trees.
8. 100 Strangers
The 100 Strangers is another cool idea for your photography series project. You need to find 100+ strangers and photograph each of them. For some people, it may seem a challenge to take photos of strangers in the street or park.
However, if you want to be a successful photographer, you should overcome your fear. This project may be a good starting point for you to become a more confident professional.
9. Phone Camera Photos
Currently, many high school students want to purchase the best DSLR camera before even trying to photograph something. And while it may seem that having a good camera is a must to practice photography, it's not really like that.
If you choose a smartphone as a main tool for your photo project, you will understand how to focus on perspectives, lighting, composition, and subject posing. Moreover, you can demonstrate your classmates that it’s not necessary to have an expensive camera gear to produce high-quality content.
10. 365 Project
People know it as the 365 Project or Photo a Day project. Whatever you call it, that doesn’t change the outcome – a picture for every day of a year. This is one of the long-lasting photography projects for high school that will enable you to explore your creative potential and improve your photography and image editing skills.
Also, 365 will come in handy for those, who are searching for some interesting photography ideas at home .
11. 52 Weeks
The 52 Weeks project resembles 365, but you should take a new picture each week of a year. To make your work even more dramatic, you can devote each new photo to a different topic.
It is possible to shoot specific locations, subjects, or attend a photo walk. During such walking tours, you can explore new places and get inspired for new achievements.
12. Reproduce Famous Paintings
If you are into painting, you can employ it in your photography project by reproducing your favorite paintings.
It’s up to you, to choose the level of similarity with the original, the only rule is to keep it recognizable. You can start off by simply imitating poses and general composition of the painting and slowly get to adding all of the original props to the photo.
Another great option will be to change setting or elements of the photo that contrast with the original idea while keeping composition and signature details. It usually makes for a great comedic effect.
13. Shadows of Objects
Incorporate shadows in your project in a creative way.
You can use them to create shadows that appear like something different (as in example above). Another option would be to capture shadows without objects themselves in frame to create a type of “shadow composition”.
14. Funny Photoshop Collages
If you will learn how to make a collage in Photoshop or any other program it will allow you to create interesting photography projects even if you are stuck at home, or are limited in your resources and props.
Tripods are advised to make shooting easier. Otherwise you’ll be pretty limited with your shooting angles.
15. Juxtaposition Illusions
Juxtaposition illusion is a great subtype of forced perspective that employs collaging to create an interesting, usually funny effect of combining objects in unusual way. Be creative with objects that you put together, think about associations that objects in the original shot bring about in your mind.
16. Motion Blur
One of the most extraordinary photography portfolio ideas for students is taking a series of motion blur pictures. Thus, your subject appears still in the picture while surrounding objects are blurred, which creates an illusion of motion.
There are many ways to use this technique, but the most popular is to take a picture through a car window. There is no need to have in-depth photography knowledge to capture the motion.
17. Crystal Ball Photography
Use crystal ball to jazz up your photoshoot and amaze your viewers. Crystal ball photography allows you to use glass or crystal ball as an extra lens element to flip the image, experiment with lighting, achieve unusual abstractions and even a fish-eye effect. All you need is to get this optical tool and express your artistic talent.
18. Drawing Directly onto Photographs
If you are looking for photography series inspiration, you can use this unusual photography technique to hook your viewers with striking combination of drawn and photographed objects. You can think about this type of project as creating augmented reality in your photos.
You can do the drawing-over both by digital editing, or printing the photo and then using markers or pencils (depending on the type of printing paper you’ve used).
19. Shoot Self-Portrait in a Different Way
Self portrait photography allows you to combine different techniques in your project. Also, it is a way out for those, who can’t find a model or aren’t ready to work with strangers.
With a great variety of self-portrait ideas available on the net, finding the most suitable concept for your project will be a breeze.
Just experiment with various compositions and use unusual lighting and perspectives. Try cheap photography props to explore all the boundaries of your creativity.
20. Social Awareness Project
Most iconic photos always include a special message and social commentary on particular events. You can document some local protests (just take care of yourself and stick to the law).
Also, it is possible to face a series of environmental or social challenges, for example, alcoholism, water pollution, scarcity of drinking water, etc.)
Apart from developing your skills in photojournalism, you can do something really meaningful for people and society.
If you want to enhance your photography projects for high school, you can use these photo editing freebies. These presets and actions will help you make your creative works shine even if you don’t have enough experience in image editing.
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Check your email to download freebies. (approx. 1-2 min)
The Double Exposure effect is a combination of two exposures in one image to produce a dreamy and surreal photo. You can achieve this effect just in several clicks by applying this Ps action. Thus, you will get a considerably enhanced picture and open up new photo editing opportunities for you.
Improve your pictures and make them appear as if they were taken during the Golden Hour. Aside from facilitating your workflow, these Lightroom presets will add a special warm atmosphere to your photos while emphasizing orange, brown, and yellow tones.
These Lightroom presets will help you bring your street photos to perfection. They are suitable both for images taken during the daytime and at night. You can also experiment with other photography genres and apply these presets to the shots that include the buildings in the background.
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Personal Photography Projects: 13 of the Best Ideas
Personal photography projects are one of the best ways to help you improve your photography . Being focused on a particular topic you will develop more than if you photograph random subjects. Learning as you regularly take photos for your project will accelerate your progress even more.
We all like to get better at the things we enjoy doing. How we approach our photography has a direct effect on whether we will improve much over time. Taking photos now and then with no real direction will not help you develop your technical or creative skills.
When you work on personal photography projects you will become a better photographer. You’ll be able to compare your photos over the period of time you are working on your project and see your development.
Using your camera each day, and combining this will some study, will help you build your skill more than if you don’t incorporate any study. Learning a little each day and putting it into practice is the best way to grow as a photographer.
How to Come up with Personal Photography Project Ideas
Some photographers struggle to come up with project ideas for their personal photography . The best encouragement I can offer you is to make a photography project on something you enjoy a lot. The more you take photos of what you love, the more exceptional your images will be.
Combine photographing what you love with on-going education. This will build your photography skills more than anything else. Learning a little and putting it into practice often will help you keep your ideas alive and more easily come up with new ones.
Make a point of pushing your photography abilities beyond what you are comfortable with. The main risk in photographing something you really enjoy is that you become complacent and capture images that are all very similar. This is why learning step by step as you work on your photography project will help your progress and growth as a photographer.
Ideas for photo projects are important. What’s also necessary is that you are committed to the continuation of your project. If your motivation wanes and you become disinterested, your personal photography project idea will be no fun. This article will help you come up with some good ideas.
Sometimes known as project 365, this idea for a personal project has a long history. I remember reading about the concept of taking a photo a day when I got my first camera. That’s nearly 40 years ago. 365 Photography has remained popular throughout the world because it’s effective.
Taking photos each day for a year will make you a better photographer. Combine this with learning a little about photography each day. You will see a progressive quality increase in your pictures.
Doing a search online and you’ll find lists of ideas of what to photograph for the 365 photo challenge. These lists may not be so helpful, depending on what you like to photograph and where in the world you live. I think a personal photography project is more effective and fun when you come up with ideas of what to photograph yourself. These lists can be helpful used as guides for inspiration, but I don’t think they work so well if you stick to them rigidly.
Being self-motivated leads to success when doing a 365 photo challenge. Having a well planned and mapped-out study guide helps keep you energized throughout the 365 projects. Having a photo challenge associated with the 365 lessons means you put into practice what you are learning, as you are learning it.
If you take your focus off having to come up with ideas of what to photograph every day, then you’ll be less anxious. Focus on learning and the ideas of what to photograph will come to you naturally. You could also combine this with some of the following photography project ideas I have listed below.
Take Photos of One Subject
Concentrating your photography on a single subject eliminates the need to come up with other ideas of what to take pictures of. Find a subject that intrigues you and challenge yourself to take interesting photos of it.
You might like to photograph your kids or your pets. Maybe you love being in your garden or walking in your local park. The more you can easily incorporate your idea so it’s a regular part of your routine, the more likely you are to succeed.
You don’t need to photograph lots of different things. Sometimes photographing one subject will improve your photography even more.
Day in the Life (Day in My Life)
This is another well-seasoned photo project idea. Taking photos from dawn until dusk. Following a routine and so that you compile a series of photos that tell a story.
You could make it about any topic that changes during the day. Your own life could be the most convenient.
Start taking photos in the morning and throughout the day. Keep in mind who your audience might be. It could be friends who know you or people on social media who may not know you. Think about what you are photographing and how people will relate to the images you are presenting to them.
See Everything in Black and White
We see everything in color. Choosing a topic of black and white for a personal project you’ll have to develop a habit of seeing in black and white. This is one of the best photography tips I can give you that will help produce stronger monochrome images.
It’s easy to convert digital images to black and white . Taking photos purposely to display them as monochrome images requires you to think differently. This is a great photo project challenge that can be used in conjunction with any other photography project idea.
Use Only One (Prime) Lens
Restrict yourself to photographing everything with one lens. Especially if it’s a new one. Limiting yourself like this, and using only a prime lens, will heighten your awareness. Looking at what to photograph using a single focal length will reshape the way you think about composition.
If you’ve recently bought a new lens, attach it to your camera and leave it there. For a zoom lens, leave it set to one focal length. Try to make as many interesting compositions without changing focal lengths.
Practice Composition One Rule At A Time
The compositional rules are taught for a reason. Using them often makes your images stronger and they help build your sense of how to arrange elements within your frame.
Many photographers don’t practice their craft as a musician practices with their instrument. Study the rules of composition. Choose one and work it until you know it inside out and backward.
Look to make your chosen rule the format of your composition for a week, or a month, or longer. Aim to become proficient in knowing when and how to apply it. Then move on and practice another composition rule in the same manner.
Photograph Your Other Hobby
Photograph things you enjoy. Your images will have more feeling because of the connection you make. Choose one of your other hobbies and create a photo project around it. Maybe you like gardening. Photograph your garden. You might enjoy cycling. Photograph bicycles. Whatever you enjoy doing, think about how you can make an interesting series of images for your project.
Make a Personal Photography Project of Your Community
Where you live and interact every day. Take photos of the people you meet along the way. Have a story to tell them about what you are doing and don’t be shy to ask. People make a community. Aim to build a collective portrait of the people who inhabit your locale.
Take pictures of the trees, architecture, and transportation. Think about what makes your community unique and make a collection of photos to illustrate this.
Volunteer as a Photographer
Put yourself forward and offer to take photos for a non-profit organization. It might be your place of worship, your kid’s school, an animal shelter, a social group , etc. Choose something that will interest you.
This can be quite a challenging personal project because you will have to take photos that meet others’ requirements. This to me is the main difference between an amateur and a professional. Professionals have to take photos to please someone else. They must provide photographs that their clients or editors want.
Being a volunteer will provide you with a wonderful opportunity to grow as a photographer and to bless others with the photos you take.
Illustrate Songs You Love
Think about music and how you can illustrate the lyrics of feel of your favorite songs. Engaging with this type of photography project will push you to think abstractly. How can you show an image of what you hear in the music?
Stretch your mind and be as creative as you like. There is no right or wrong way. Be flexible in your intent and the expression of what you enjoy most in the songs you love to listen to.
You could choose to restrict your style to a particular genre that you like to shoot. Maybe you like street photography or macro photography . Use any style you like to be the basis of how you illustrate and have fun doing it!
Emulate a Master
My two on-going personal photography projects are both inspired by famous photographers.
I make photomontages . I first started producing them after seeing a documentary about British artist David Hockney. He was making what he called a photo joiner. This got me hooked. Working with multiple photographs and putting them together to create cubist like artwork is great fun.
I also produce these as videos. Mainly working with photographs. Sometimes including video clips. I combine them on a timeline and add movement.
Irving Penn inspired my other main photography project ideas. Penn was a master of natural light and had a portable outdoor studio. After reading about it I adapted the idea and made my own outdoor studio. I take it with me when I visit mountain villages here in Thailand and make portraits of the ethnic minorities.
Find a photographer whose work you love and emulate it. This will push you to become a better photographer as you seek to see the hidden style in their photographs and begin to create your own.
Create a Photography Project Book
It could be a fiction or a non-fiction book. Think about the story you want to tell and then go about illustrating it with the pictures you take. Plan your book and map out the photos you think you’ll need.
Set yourself a deadline so your project does not become endless. Think about how many pages you want and how you will publish it. This could be something you plan to give as a gift or use to present as a portfolio of your photography to others.
Become a Self Portrait Artist
Many people struggle to come up with ideas for personal projects. Choosing to take self portraits is a great way to overcome this problem. With self-portrait projects, you always have your subject on hand. Your portraits can be made at home or anywhere you feel comfortable.
I’m not talking about selfies you’d take with your mobile photo, but well-composed, lit, and styled portraits of yourself in various situations. Think about how you can include props to make more interesting portraits.
This might seem challenging at first for some people. Think about it and how it will help your understanding as a photographer. Particularly if you are someone who likes to photograph other people. Taking self-portraits will give you a better understanding of what it’s like to be in front of the camera. Give it a shot! You may love it.
Choosing Personal Photography Projects
Whatever type of personal photography project ideas you think of, your commitment to is key. Photographers are often not focused on personal projects or practicing in some way or another. They rely on picking up photography tips here and there and have a random approach to improving their craft.
Tackling the 365 Days of Photography or any other project you commit to will make you a better photographer. Being committed to a plan and having a focused purpose you will start to see your photography develop in ways you may never have been able to imagine.
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The 52 Week Project is a photography challenge that encourages photographers to take 1 photograph every week for 52 weeks .
7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
A Post By: Simon Bond
Photography can be a lonely business, but there is no reason why that has to be the case. Of course, there are many that enjoy the solitude. If you’re a photographer who enjoys more of a community there are some great ways to get together for group photography.
The reasons to join a group are varied, and even if you’re a lone ranger there are likely some ideas here for you. Linking up with others could just be about an online community, or meeting up in person. However you like to do group photography, here are seven ideas for you.
Who’s going to take your photo if you always photograph alone?
1 – Create a photo walk
One of the easiest and most informal types of group photography event is the photo walk. These are often organized by photography clubs, and there is a popular one run annually by Scott Kelby . The nice thing about a photo walk is each participant can go at their own pace. The general idea is to have a start point, a finish point, and a time limit. You may choose to walk together as a group, or split off individually.
There may be some members who pass on tips to other photographers, making this type of event an informal workshop. At the end of the walk take some time to get to know your fellow photographers by having a meal, or stopping for a drink somewhere. Finally, share the photos you’ve taken that day on an agreed social media platform of some description.
Some people like to take all their gear to the photo walk! Or is the check-in for that flight this way?
2 – Photography clubs
Joining a photography club is one of the best conduits for group photography. Through a club, there is the possibility to organize many of the other ideas mentioned in this article. Photography clubs typically meet at regular intervals of perhaps once a week or once a month, though lots of activity can occur online between meetings.
The best place to find these clubs is through searching social media, your local community center, or perhaps there is a school club near you. These clubs are a great place to learn new photography skills, with evening post-processing workshops being fairly typical. Are you having trouble finding the right club for you? You could always start up your own group!
Meeting up with other photographers at a photo club is social, and is also a great way to learn.
3 – Group photography projects
These are projects that a number of photographers partake in together . The idea at the end is to have a body of work under a common theme taken by every member of the group. A project like this could well lead to a group exhibition or a collaborative photography book.
In most cases, you’ll work on the photography individually, though the leader of the project may seek to curate your work in a certain direction. The following are a few ideas that you could try:
- Subway project – Most big cities have a mass transit system, with many stations. The aim of this type of project would be to take one photograph per station. The larger cities usually have many stations, so dividing up the workload makes sense. In projects like these, it’s often a good idea to seek permission from the authorities before beginning to do any photography.
- 365 days or 52 weeks – Instead of working on your own project share it with others, and ask them to make photographs on the same theme as your own! The dPS weekly photography challenge could form the basis of this project.
- Food photography – Everyone loves good food, so combine this with your photography. Each photographer can pick a country. Then make food from that country, and photograph it. You could even make this into an international cookbook.
This photo was taken as part of a subway project in Seoul. It was a big challenge to photograph all the stations.
4 – A photography team
There are times when forming a photography team will give you the edge as a photographer. The more you move into the commercial world of photography the more this becomes a need, as you can’t be everywhere all the time. Think of events like weddings, sports, or festivals. The need to cover all your angles means teaming up with other photographers so they can be where you’re not.
- Event photography – Having more than one photographer allows one of you to concentrate on the wider scene, while the other covers moments closer to the action. Think of when tennis players go from singles to playing in pairs on a team. In doubles they have different roles and need to complement each other.
- Portrait photography – Another great example of when a team of photographers is needed is portrait work with strobes. In this scenario, there is one main photographer, but having other photographers or assistants there to help with lighting equipment is desirable.
Teaming up with other photographers can be a great way to pool resources.
5 – Create an association
Related to creating a photography team is making an association. In this case, you’re creating more of a guild, and indeed a photo team could be formed from members of that guild. A grouping of photographers like this will look to use each other’s strengths, to form a stronger unit when a client comes along.
Such an association might look to create a stock library of their images, albeit on a much smaller scale to larger firms such as Getty Images. Other models for such a grouping of photographers would be the Magnum organization , though of course on a smaller scale.
The more the merrier as long as you don’t step on each other’s toes!
6 – Weekly challenges
Weekly challenges are a good way to do group photography on an individual basis, and you can decide to opt out of weeks that are not your style. There is a great weekly challenge run by Digital Photography School , and you’ll find other photography communities that run a similar program as well.
It’s of course, possible to organize these on a more local level, where perhaps you meet up in a coffee shop together once a week to make your own challenge.
Seasonal photo challenges are a yearly staple for many photography groups. Spring is often a popular theme.
7 – Enter a photo competition
A final way you can interact with your fellow photographers is through a photo competition. The weekly challenge is, of course, a competition, but there are many different types of competition. Among the biggest contests are those organized by National Geographic or Sony to name but two. These are annual competitions and often have themes for contestants to try and fulfill.
There are also photography contests that require you to tell a story through a sequence of perhaps 10 photos. Once again these contests can be adapted to you and your community. If you have a photography club, why not take a leaf out of the bigger company’s book, and make a competition. A little competitive edge within your group can often be a great way of pushing you out of your comfort zone to help you produce even more amazing results.
How will you do your group photography?
There are many good ways to collaborate with others and do more group photography activities. Have you tried any of the ideas in this article before?
Perhaps you have a new more novel way to make a photography community that can be shared here. As always I’d love to get feedback from you, so leave your comments and I shall endeavor to respond.
Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category
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A Photo Teacher
Live, learn and love your photography.
Ideas For Photo Projects
Photography Projects :
- All projects should be accompanied by an artist statement communicating the visual ideas behind the image or series and reference materials.
- If you have an alternative idea for a project please email and schedule a meeting with Ms. Lieberman.
- Output: TBA, most are portfolio size, 11X14 at 300 dpi
Photo essay project examples:
- An Honest And Humbling Look Into The Life Of A Multi-Handicapped Boy
- Ed Kashi Photojournalist & Filmmaker
- Lens Culture
- Media Storm
- New York Times Photo Blog
- Visualizing Race, Identity, and Change
- Tadao Cern Photographer
Alternative ideas for photography projects:
- Discarded Objects (wrapping paper from the holidays, empty food containers, etc.)
- Holiday Expressions (capture the moments family/friends open presents)
- Find an advertisement you really like and imitate it, (for example, Humans of New York can become Humans of Graphics , or Humans of My Family , etc.)
- I Am… My Sign (Obsessed with Horoscopes)
- My Style (Obsessed with hair, nails, beauty, sneakers, fashion portraits)
- The Paper Doll Series (imitate the feel of an old fashion paper doll cut out with modern items that belong to the individuals photographed)
- Messages (a series of portraits of individuals holding up messages… to a singular person).
- Get inspired by a wind machine: Tadao Cern
- Take your passion and document it! Remember, it is important to have a theme and continuity within your images.
- Long exposures at night – painting with light.
Individual Project Ideas:
- Project 1: Portrait and Still Life Diptych: A portrait is viewed next to a still life image that represents an aspect of your subject.
- Project 2: Stories from the Street: Develop a series of images that convey a message of social impact. For example, homelessness, poverty, pollution, etc. Students should produce between 6 – 8 final images.
- Project 3: Geometric Triptych: using lines and shapes from various buildings, urban streets and nature. Photography images that contain various geometric shapes then choose three images that work well when placed next to each other. The images should flow and achieve an nice balance together.
- Project 4: “Day In The Life” Series, a photo-journalistic study of an individual/object. Students should produce between 10 – 20 final images. Students must shoot and edit their images then submit a series of images that explore the events that surround their day. For those individuals who wish to borrow a class camera on the weekend, please see Ms. Lieberman.
- Project 5: Beauty Series, a series of images that are similar to an editorial or advertising assignment. Students should produce between 6 – 8 final images.
- Project 6: Urban Landscapes, a series of images that incorporate the natural world. Students should produce between 8 – 10 final images.
- Project 7: Decay, a series of images that illustrate decay in society, nature or architecture. Students should produce between 8 – 10 final images.
- Project 8: Portraits, a series of images that have a common thread that binds them. For example, a series of clouds, a series of images of War Veterans, similar expressions of individuals and similar body positions, etc. Students should produce between 8 – 10 final images.
- Project 9: Transformation Project: In the transformation project students shoot a before and after portrait of their subject. The transformation can be almost anything, from young to old, plain to fancy, masculine to feminine, or vice versa, you can use props to help express your transformation. The final results must be two images shot on the same background and with the subject in a similar body position.
- Project 10: Abstract; a series of images that focuses on the details, the form and shape, of objects or individuals, in which you can not distinguish the whole. Students should produce between 8 – 10 final images.
- Project 11: Tintype Series; a series of images that mimics the look and feel of a tintype processed image. Students should produce between 8 – 10 final images. See the tutorial – Recreating the Look of Tintype Photography Using Photoshop
- Project 12: Dreams; Make photography to visually represent your dreams. Create a storyboard or a photo montage, anything and everything is fair game.
- Project 13: Re-Do; Find old photographs and make new versions, place them side by side for an interesting visual comparison!
- Project 14: Create your own project; for example, Body Parts; Multiples; Fashion; Clouds;…
- Project 15: Create a series of Tilt-Shift style images .
- “Tilt-shift photography is a creative and unique type of photography in which the camera is manipulated so that a life-sized location or subject looks like a miniature-scale model.”
- Project 16: Photo Assignment: A Few Of Your Favorite Things
- Project 17: EVERY SINGLE OBJECT TOUCHED , if you like to sort, this project is for you!
Group Project Ideas:
- Group Project 1: Working with a group of between 3-5 students, do a series of altered perspective images. Click here to see examples
- Group Project 2: Working with a group of between 3-5 students, do a series of images in which students form letters of the alphabet with their bodies. ( Hint: You can put your bodies on the ground to obtain the idea contortion.) Click here , here and here to see examples.
- Group Project 3: Working with a group of between 3-5 students, do a series of chalk art drawings and place students in the scenes. For example, draw a series of balloons on the ground then place students so it appears they are holding onto the balloons that are floating, arrange clothes and hair to inform the viewer.
- Group Project 4: Working with a group of between 3-5 students, recreate album covers or magazine covers of your favorite musicians. Look at all genres… there are some beauties out there.
- Group Project 5: Working with a group of between 3-5 students, create a photographic dictionary .
- Group Project 6: Turn your sleepy friends into surreal scenes. Construct your own version of Wengenn in Wonderland , more images from the series for inspiration here .
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Digital Photography Club Ideas
100+ Creative Photography Ideas: Techniques, Compositions & Mixed Media Approaches
Last Updated on May 27, 2021
Students taking high school photography qualifications such as A Level Photography or NCEA Level 3 Photography often search the internet looking for tips, ideas and inspiration. This article contains over 100 creative techniques and mixed media approaches that Fine Art / Photography students may wish to use within their work. It showcases student and artist examples along with brief descriptions of the techniques that have been used. Approaches relate specifically to mixed media photography techniques, technical / trick photography ideas and interesting, fun or unique compositional strategies.
Note: The creative photography ideas listed in this article should not be explored haphazardly within a photography course, but rather selected purposefully, if appropriate for your topic or theme. These approaches may or may not be relevant for your own photography project and should be chosen only in conjunction with advice from your teacher. The techniques listed here are created using a range of different cameras and devices, such as a digital SLR/DSLR camera, traditional camera, pinhole camera and/or camera phone.
Stain, smudge and erode photographs using water , like Matthew Brandt :
Sew or embroider photos , as in the stitched vintage photography of Maurizio Anzeri :
Stitch photographs together , like Lisa Kokin :
Wrap torn plastic or other materials around the edge of your camera to create hazy edges , as in the photographs of Jesse David McGrady (via PetaPixel ):
Use a hand-held glass lens or prism, to create blurred, abstract forms , like this photograph by Sam Hurd :
Deliberately unfocus lights to create ‘bokeh’ , as in this beautiful landscape by Takashi Kitajima :
Photograph scenes through visible hand-held lenses , as in this A Level Photography work by Freya Dumasia :
Abstract an image completely through three mirrors, creating a vortograph , like Alvin Langdon Coburn :
Fold a photograph and make a installation, still life or sculpture , as in this example by Joseph Parra :
Collage mixed media materials onto images , as in Vasilisa Forbes’ photography :
Splash, smear or throw mixed media upon photographs , as in this A Level Photography sketchbook example by Jemma Kelly :
Simulate the effect of the wet collodion process used by Sally Mann via Edwynn Houk Gallery :
Paint developer sporadically onto photo paper to expose only parts of the work , as in these portraits by Timothy Pakron :
Paint directly onto photographs , as in these works by Gerhard Richter :
Combine paint and photographs digitally , like Fabienne Rivory ‘s LaBokoff project:
Redraw part of a scene with paint , as in these works by Aliza Razell :
Paint onto objects and then photograph them , as in this IGCSE Photography piece by Rachel Ecclestone :
Mark or scratch negatives or photos , as in this 100 year old vintage print by Frank Eugene :
Use a CNC or Laser Engraving Machine to etch a photographic image onto glass, wood, aluminium or another similar material :
As technology progresses, it is possible for digital images to be engraved upon various surfaces (such as stone, timber, fabric or leather); on or within glass, as in a 3D crystal engraving; or around cylindrical items, such as a rotating bottle. A laser is used like a pencil, with a controlled beam moving in different directions, intensities and speeds, delivering energy to the surface, heating up and vaporises areas or causing small pieces to fracture and flake away. Although the majority of laser photo engraving examples online seem to be uninspiring commercial shots, laser engraving offers new possibilities for high school Photography students – not just in terms of printing images onto exciting materials, but as a way of creating a textured plate which can then be printed from. It should be noted that although most high school Art Departments are not in a position to purchase a 3D laser engraving machine to experiment with (although this may change in the future) some Design and Technology Departments are beginning to. Many companies also offer a custom laser engraving service that students may make use of. Remember that those who must post work away for assessment are not able to submit heavy, bulky or fragile pieces (such as laser wood engraving or laser engraving on glass).
Use an ink transfer method to print photograph images onto other materials , as in this video by Crystal Hethcote:
This video shows a simple image transfer technique using gel medium, which could be useful for applying a digital image to any number of creative surfaces.
Add sculptural elements that protrude from the photograph , as in this example by Carmen Freudenthal & Elle Verhagen :
Take photos using a scanner , like Evilsabeth Schmitz-Garcia :
Place objects on top of a photograph and scan it , like this example by Rosanna Jones :
Put objects on top of photographs and rephotograph them , like these images by Arnaud Jarsaillon and Remy Poncet of Brest Brest :
Project images onto textured surfaces and rephotograph them , as in these experimental images by Pete Ashton :
Project images onto people or scenes , as in these examples by freelance photographer Lee Kirby :
Create a photogram , as in this example by Joanne Keen :
Create pinhole photography , making your own pinhole camera from scratch like Matt Bigwood (via The Phoblographer ):
Note: some teachers purchase a make-at-home pinhole camera set for their students, such as this one from Amazon US or Amazon UK (affiliate links). Matt Bigwood ‘s DIY pinhole cameras are made from ordinary aluminium drink cans:
Deliberately overexpose a shot, creating ‘high-key’ photography , like this portrait by Gabi Lukacs :
Experiment with underwater photography like Elena Kalis :
Use a homemade light box to create uncluttered backdrops for photography , as in this YouTube video by Auctiva:
Art teachers and students frequently take photographs upon cluttered classroom tabletops, often with less than optimal lighting conditions. Light box photography can be especially useful in this situation, helping those who wish to create professional product shots (Graphic Design students creating promotional material, for instance) or those who want to photograph sculptural or design pieces, create composite works from several elements or just to have a simple backdrop for their images. Tabletop photography becomes infinitely easier when you can light a subject well, and capture true colour and details, in a reliable, uniform way. If you are looking for other less time-intensive tabletop photography ideas or backdrop ideas, it is possible to purchase inexpensive light box kits and light tents from Amazon.com and Amazon UK (affiliate links).
Experiment with camera filters , like the neutral density filter that was used to photograph this beautiful seascape by Salim Al-Harthy :
Use specialised photography lighting to achieve dramatic contrasts , as in this portrait of two brothers by dankos-unlmtd :
Use a transportable photography reflector (i.e. this one from Amazon.com or Amazom UK – affiliate links) to create better lighting within your shots, such as in this outdoor portrait by Toni Lynn :
Take unfocused shots and create semi-abstract photographs , like those by Bill Armstrong :
Create 360 degree 3D panoramic photography , as in this image by Nemo Nikt :
Use kites to create aerial photography , as in this image by Pierre Lesage :
Produce High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDR Photography) , as in this example by Karim Nafatni :
Use tilt-shift photography to make real things look miniature , as in this example by Nicolas :
Use a tilt-shift effect to make paintings or drawings appear real , as in these photographs of Vincent van Gogh artworks by Serena Malyon :
Photograph things with extreme macro lenses , like these photos of water drops by Andrew Osokin :
Photograph things without contextual information, so objects become almost unrecognisable , as in this example by Peter Lik :
Take photos from uncommon or unexpected viewpoints , like these birds eye view photographs commissioned by the human rights organization Society for Community Organization :
Use frames within frames to create intriguing compositions , such as these photographs by Chen Po-I :
Emphasise reflections, rather than the objects themselves , as in the urban landscape photography of Yafiq Yusman :
Play with shadows , like Russ and Reyn Photography :
Create illusions using forced perspective , like these photographs by Laurent Laveder :
Arrange compositions as if they were a beautiful still life painting , such as these food photographs styled by Maggie Ruggiero and photographed by Martyn Thompson (left) and Marcus Nilsson (right):
Create candid documentary photography , like these emotion-filled black and white football fan shots by Christopher Klettermayer :
Capture the same scene at different times , as in this photography series by Clarisse d’Arcimoles :
Use mirrors to create illusions , as in this self-portrait by 18 year old photographer Laura Williams :
Create a complex ‘unrealistic’ setting and photograph it , as in this composition by Cerise Doucède :
Collect many similar items and produce typology photography , like Sam Oster ’s apparatus series:
Organise subject matter into patterns , like Jim Golden :
Digitally create patterns , as in this artwork by Misha Gordin :
Overlay multiple photos from slightly different angles , like these experimental photographs by Stephanie Jung :
Digitally erase parts of objects , as in this A Level Photography work by Leigh Drinkwater :
Colour select areas , as in this example by Locopelli :
Apply a digital filter to create an illustrative effect , as shown in this Adobe Photoshop tutorial :
Digitally overlay textures onto photos , as illustrated in this tutorial by PhotoshopStar :
Digitally draw over photographs , as in these portraits by May Xiong :
Digitally superimpose photographs onto other products , as in these watches by John Rankin Waddell :
Digitally merge images to play with scale and create fantasy scenes like Lorna Freytag :
Combine objects in unexpected ways, to create something new , as in Carl Warner’s foodscapes :
Photograph objects through mottled or translucent screens , like this work by Matthew Tischler :
Overlay tracing paper, obscuring parts of an image , like this photograph by Gemma Schiebe :
Cut through photographs to expose other layers of photographs below , as in these images by Lucas Simões :
Note: If you are interested in laser cut work, you may wish to see the excellent A Level Art project by Lucy Feng , which has been featured on the Student Art Guide.
Create layered handmade collages , like these works by Damien Blottière :
Cut out shapes and insert coloured paper , as in these photographs by Micah Danges :
Collage photographs and found materials together , creating mixed media art like Jelle Martens :
Make a photomontage , as in these examples by David Hockney :
Make a photographic assemblage combining foreground, middleground and background , as in this example by Matthew Chase-Daniel :
Photograph a single scene over time and join the pieces in sequence , like these composite photographs by Fong Qi Wei :
Cut and Overlap a sequence of photos to create a sense of movement , as in this A Level Photography project by Harriet James-Weed :
Combine multiple exposures to create the illusion of repeated objects , like these creative compositions by Lera :
Superimpose two different but related scenes over the top of each other , like in this photograph by Adam Goldberg :
Photograph an artwork within a scene to create illusions , as in these images by Gregory Scott via Catherine Edelman Gallery :
Add photography cuttings to real life situations , like the surrealist scenes created by Yorch Miranda :
Inset scenes within other scenes , as in these photographs by Richard Koenig :
Poke or cut holes in photos and shine light through , like Amy Friend :
Photograph scenes through small gaps or holes , as in these photographs by Reina Takahashi :
Experiment with night photography and create a light painting or drawing , as in A Level Photography example by Georgia Shattky:
Note: If you are interested in light painting you may also wish to view this high school NCEA Photography project by Jessica Louise . Jessica uses a range of night photography techniques, including using a laser to paint with light.
Use a fast shutter speed to freeze motion , like the action photography of Justin Grant :
Move the camera horizontally, so a moving subject is in focus but the background is blurred , as in the panning photography of Mr Bones (via My Modern Met ):
Use slow shutter speeds to create blurred movement , as in this beautiful water photo by Antti Viitala :
Zoom in while shooting with a slow shutter speed , like A Level Photography student Freya Dumasia :
Experiment with slow shutter speeds at night, blurring lights , as in the abstract ‘Sightseeing Tunnel’ series by Jakob Wagner :
Photograph slow moving objects over a long period of time , as in this photograph by Paul Schneggenburger :
Swing the camera while taking photos to achieve a swirling effect , as in this photo by Lucasbenc :
Shake or jiggle the camera to create an impressionist effect , like these examples by Gerald Sanders (via Apogee Photo Magazine ):
Photograph moving subjects to create blurred, painterly forms , as in these examples by Mirjam Appelhof :
Create abstract photography from blurred motion , as in the ‘Revolution’ series by Yvette Meltzer :
Digitally add abstract elements to an image , such as these architectural photographs by Nick Frank :
Take close-up, tightly cropped scenes, creating abstract photography from surfaces and pattern , like these works by Frank Hallam Day :
Finally, forget all fancy techniques. Open your eyes. Produce an unflinching record of what you see , as in this example by Gianfranco Meloni :
This collection is a work in progress. It is continually updated with creative photography ideas and examples. If you are looking instead for photography theme ideas or project ideas for your entire high school or college photography course, please read our article about how to select a great subject or theme for your Art project .
You may also wish to view our collection of Featured Photography Projects by high school students from around the world.
Amiria has been an Art & Design teacher and a Curriculum Co-ordinator for seven years, responsible for the course design and assessment of student work in two high-achieving Auckland schools. She has a Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Bachelor of Architecture (First Class Honours) and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching. Amiria is a CIE Accredited Art & Design Coursework Assessor.
52 photography projects: a great technique to try every week of the year
Our pick of the perfect weekend photography projects.
- Home photography projects
- Outdoor photography projects
- More outdoor photography projects
- Long-term photography projects
Looking for photography projects to stimulate your creativity? Whether you’re a beginner who’s just learning the ropes or a seasoned snapper in need of inspiration, trying out a new technique can help you grow as a photographer. That’s why the list below features our pick of the best ideas to try with your camera.
From painting with light trails to capturing twilight landscapes, there are countless creative ways to use your camera and its lens. This round-up of our favorite weekend projects features suggestions to suit every skill level – whether you’re shooting with a smartphone or a ‘proper’ camera like a DSLR.
Some you can do from the comfort of you home, while others will have you heading out in search of specific scenes. Whether it’s a novel technique or an inventive suggestion for finding fresh subjects, every idea below has one thing in common: it should challenge you to try something different and find a fresh perspective.
Most of the projects can be attempted using the equipment you already own. Those that do require additional materials should all be achievable with pocket-money purchases – and if there’s any crafting involved, it should be well worth the effort when you see the results.
We’ve shared 52 of our favorite suggestions to do in 2022 below. Try them all and, in a year’s time, there’s a good chance you’ll be a better photographer, with a keener understanding of your camera and what it’s capable of. Plus you’ll be all set to attempt the final project: self-publishing a photo book.
The best home photography projects:
1. water drop art.
The basic idea with this project is to suspend a container of liquid and let drops fall through a small hole, then capture the resulting splash. Timing the shutter as the splash is created is everything. We achieved good results using two flashguns set to their lowest power (1/128th), an aperture of f/22 and water mixed with Xanthan gum to make a more viscous solution. We also used a SplashArt water drop kit from PhotoTrigger , which helped to regulate the size and frequency of the drops.
2. Indoor splash shots
For this project you'll need a flashgun that you can fire remotely, a container with clear sides for your water, a coloured background and a tripod. Set up the container and backdrop, then position the flash over the container. With the camera on a tripod and set to manual focus and exposure - f/8, ISO200 and the fastest shutter speed that will work with your flash - drop the object into the water and fire the shutter as it hits.
3. Shapes of bokeh
Out-of-focus orbs of light can add magic to any image, but the bokeh effect needn’t be limited to standard circles. From love hearts to stars, a simple cutout filter can transform background sparkles into brilliant shapes.
Using your lens cap as a guide, draw a circle on a piece of card. Cut out the circle, score a small shape in the centre using scissors or a craft knife, then push the card onto the front of your lens (or attach it with an elastic band). When you next shoot a scene, any unfocused light will take the form of your shape.
Use a wide aperture to maximize the effect and remember that, as the filter restricts the amount of light entering your lens, you’ll want to set a longer exposure or higher ISO. Try simple shapes such as triangles to get started, before progressing to stars, hearts, crosses and more.
4. Create smoke art
Smoke trails are a firm favourite among still-life photographers. But how about taking it to the next level and using the shapes in a creative Photoshop project. Once you've taken a few good smoke art photos, make a blank document in Photoshop, then copy and paste one of the smoke images into it. Set the blending mode to Screen and use Warp Transform to reshape it. Continue the process to combine a range of smoke shots into a new image.
5. DIY lightbox
Lightboxes are used to illuminate objects evenly against a plain background, often for the purposes of product or food photography. Luckily, you don’t have to have a pro budget to make one at home. All you need is a cardboard box, some white paper and a table lamp.
Remove the top flaps, stand the box on one end and cut window holes in either side. Line the box with a single, seamless piece of white paper and cover the holes with thin paper or fabric, taped in place. Then it’s as simple as positioning a desk lamp on one or both sides: the paper will diffuse the light, evenly illuminating whatever object you put inside.
Or for an even simpler setup, use a single piece of paper as the backdrop, with one white wall made from card, and position near a window (as pictured). Experiment with aperture and shutter speed to shoot subjects with totally white backgrounds or some shadow for a sense of perspective. Then mix things up with color backgrounds. If the quality is high enough, you could list your images for sale on a stock photography website to earn some lockdown pocket money.
6. Lubricate your lens
Want to give your housebound portraits added glow? If you have a spare lens filter lying around, try an old Hollywood trick: smear a layer of Vaseline on the glass to give your images a soft, dreamy look, keeping aperture wide to emphasize the ethereal effect with a shallow depth of field.
Get experimental by leaving the middle of the filter free from Vaseline to create a halo effect, with the centre in clear focus but the outer elements blurry and soft. Don’t want to sacrifice a filter? Stretch cling-film tight across the lens and keep it in place with an elastic band, before using the Vaseline in the same way. If you’re not into portraits, try the effect when shooting a light source for a unique style of diffusion.
7. Make your own filters
It’s no secret that color is a major element of any image, but you don’t need expensive filters or editing software to experiment with saturation. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your home: all manner of household objects can function as color filters to bring new hues to your photography – and to transform mundane moments into brighter snaps.
Attach tissue paper to your lens with an elastic band for an instant change of scene, or try shooting through thin fabric with a light source placed behind. Too easy? Take a snap through a laundry capsule for a liquid tone adjustment or use a whisky bottle for sepia shades with a hint of distortion. Petals are pretty effective, too, as are translucent sweet wrappers.
8. Try cross-polarization
This fun project exploits the effect that polarised light has on some plastics. You'll need two polarising filters - ideally one of these should be a sheet of polarising film. You can pick up an A4 sheet of Lee 239 polarising film for £50 (try www.robertwhite.co.uk (opens in new tab) or www.pnta.com (opens in new tab) ). The sheet of film should be placed on a lightbox or in front of the only light source. An iPad screen and most computer screens have a polarising filter built in, so if you don't have a sheet of polarising film you can always experiment by creating a white document to fill the screen. Simply attach the circular polariser to the camera lens and rotate it to make the colours appear in clear plastic items
9. Food landscapes
Spice up your food photography! All you need is a set of model figures - Hornby 00 gauge figures are perfect, as they're available in a wide range of poses. Preiser has a great range too. The most important aspect is to establish a sense of narrative. Here you can see that there's a conversation between the characters, with the mountaineer on the 'mash face' being helped by his colleagues on the ground.
10. Fine-art food
Try turning your dinner ingredients into photo art using just a lightbox and a very sharp knife. Slice fruit and vegetables as thinly and evenly as possible, then place them on the lightbox. With the camera positioned directly above, use Live View to focus manually on the details. Set an aperture of f/8 to give adequate depth of field, and dial in some exposure compensation of +1 to +3 stops as the bright light can fool the camera's meter into underexposure.
11. Flowers in ice
A relatively inexpensive way of taking 'kitchen sink' close-ups that look great blown up as wall art. Freeze flowers in plastic containers of distilled or de-ionised water (available through your local auto or hardware store). The flowers will float, so try to weigh them down or fasten them in place so that they freeze under the water. Place the block of ice on top of a clear bowl or glass in a white sink or plate, so that the light can bounce through from below. Position a flashgun off to one side, angled down towards it, and shoot from the opposite side.
12. Abstracts in oil
Oil floating on the surface of water is a great way to make striking abstracts. This table-top photo project exploits the refractive quality of oil and bubbles to accentuate and distort colours. All you need to do is place a few drops of cooking oil on the surface of water in a glass dish. Make sure the dish is supported about 25cm about the table top, then place coloured paper under it and use an anglepoise lamp or flashgun to light the paper.
13. Play with fire
It doesn’t take a pyromaniac to see the photographic potential of fire, but it does take patience, skill and plenty of precautionary measures to capture a stunning action shot of a match igniting. If you’d rather not risk singeing your fingertips, try a different type of flame photography.
Shooting by candlelight alone can lead to magical results. As with any single source of light, it allows you to experiment extensively with shadows – especially if you’re capturing a portrait – while the soft, warm tone and flicker of the flame both contribute to an especially ethereal effect.
In a darkened room, try shooting with a medium-high ISO and a relatively slow shutter speed. Start with just a candle and your subject, before introducing additional elements and playing with positioning. A nearby wall, for example, will throw the candlelight back in different ways, while glass will add to the magic with fiery reflections
Tweak shutter speed to affect the strength of shadows or try adding further flames – though you might need to adjust the white balance if things look more yellow than mellow.
14. Repaint the walls with camera obscura
Familiar with pinhole photography? That technique relies on camera obscura – a natural optical effect that occurs when a small hole in an otherwise sealed space (such as a box) projects an inverted image of the world outside onto the opposite wall. You could make a pinhole camera as an at-home project, or you could go even bigger: with the right setup, you can create the camera obscura phenomenon in an entire room.
First, you’ll need to black out a room – for example, by taping opaque sheets over your windows. Then you’ll need to make an aperture through which light can enter; the smaller the hole, the sharper but dimmer the image. Camera obscura works best in small/medium rooms, with an aperture of around 10-15mm diameter. Allow your eyes to adjust and determine whether you need to brighten the image by making a larger hole, then marvel as an inverted version of the outside world appears on the wall.
Capture the entirety of this remarkable natural effect using a wide angle, a relatively long exposure and a tripod, or focus on specific elements of your room to emphasis the effect – such as houses appearing to float upside down on your mantelpiece.
15. Camera tossing
Chucking your precious photographic equipment into the air might sound like something designed to void the warranty, but – provided you’re not too clumsy – camera tossing can deliver some truly spectacular results. Try it in a dark room with a single light source. Set a shutter speed of around one second (roughly the length of time it’ll be in the air) and, as the timer hits zero, launch it upwards. Catching it is the important part, but once you’re comfortable with the technique you can experiment with multiple light sources, different colors and even spinning your camera as you release it.
16. Psychedelic soap film
This is a wonderful project that makes for vibrant desktop wallpaper or abstract wall art. You'll need liquid soap mixed with glycerine for long-lasting soap film, plus a wire loop, a black cloth background and a macro lens of at least 100mm. The colours created by soap film only appear when hit by light from a certain angle, so set up near a north-facing window and shoot from around 45 degrees.
17. Refractive art
Light bends when it passes through water, causing the objects behind to change appearance. This is called refraction, and you'll make use of this phenomenon in this arty photo project. All you need is a few glasses, a flashgun, a tripod and a black-and-white pattern print. Simply place the pattern in the background with the glasses in front. Fill them with different levels of water and move the pattern backwards or forwards to fine-tune the effect.
18. Kitchen close-ups
Your kitchen is an ideal location for shooting a macro project. Its reflective surfaces can be used to create interesting backgrounds for your shots, and a shallow depth of field can transform the most mundane of objects you'll find there. Creating a triptych of images can result in a piece of fantastic wall art for your kitchen too, although it's important to think about how they're going to work together before you start shooting. Here, 3 objects - a fork, a bowl of cereal and coffee granules - were all shot from a similar angle, with the impression of height linking the sequence.
19. Invert the world with a crystal ball
Shoot through a crystal ball and, while you won’t see into the future, you will capture an inverted version of the scene behind the orb. Just as light is refracted when it passes through the glass elements of a lens, the same thing happens with a glass sphere. There are dedicated photography balls on the market, but the effect can often be achieved using a clear marble or even a paperweight. Nothing suitable? A water-filled wine glass can also work.
All sorts of subjects look good through an orb, from sunsets and cityscapes to abstract items and even portraits. Try shooting with a macro lens to fill the frame with the sphere, or with a wider angle to include some of the scene behind. To really play with perspectives, rotate the image with editing software so that the background is inverted but the scene in the orb is the right way up. You can also incorporate elements that support the ball into the image, such as hands, bowls or miscellaneous objects.
20. Still-life bokeh
Something as simple as a crumpled piece of foil can be the basis for a creative photo project. Position a still-life subject on a sheet of glass with a piece of dark material underneath it. Scrunch up the kitchen foil then smooth it back out and place it in the background. Shine a table lamp or torch on the foil and, with a tripod mounted camera, dial in the lens's widest aperture to create some beautiful ' bokeh '. During the exposure, shine a flashlight onto the subject.
21. Play with shadows
Photography is fundamentally about capturing light, which is exactly why shadows can be so powerful. They can create contrast with lighter parts of a composition or add texture to an otherwise plain subject. They can even be manipulated to tell a story. Incorporating shadows into your images will challenge you to think not just about the objects within a scene, but how things outside of the frame can affect the light that falls within it.
To play with shadows, all you need is a light source and a solid object to block it. This could be something natural, such as the shadow of a tree cast by sunlight. Equally, it could be something man-made, such as the outline of a street sign created by a car’s headlights. Or it could be something you create yourself: try playing puppet-master by shining a torch and dancing your hand in front of it.
You can also invert this idea by shooting a subject which is predominantly in shadow and experimenting with how splashes of light fall upon it.
22. Still life light trails
Light trails can be used in all kinds of photography, but they're perfect for a creative still life project. You can use a regular Maglite torch, but try removing the end to reveal the bulb and make the light more direct. Use some electrical tape to attach a coloured sweet wrapper, which you can use as a makeshift 'gel'. Set the canera's shutter speed to around 30 secs with an aperture of around f/8, then start moving the torch within the frame before pressing the shutter. Continue the movement throughout the exposure. Here, we suspended the torch from a piece of string and made a gentle circular movement to create a spiral around the bottle.
23. Light spirals
You'll need to attach a torch, suspended by string, to an open area of ceiling. Fit the widest lens you have on your camera, and mount it on a tripod pointing straight up. With the light turned on, autofocus on the tip of the torch and set the lens to manual focus to lock the setting in. With an aperture of f/11 or f/16 dialled in, use Bulb mode and a remote release to keep the shutter open for a minute or so as you send the torch spinning in the dark…
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Formerly News Editor at Stuff, Chris has rarely been able to resist the bite of the travel bug – so he now writes about tech from the road, in whichever Wi-Fi-equipped café he can find. Fond of coffee kit, classic cars and sustainable gear, if there’s one thing Chris loves more than scribbling, shooting and sharing his way around the world, it’s alliterative triplets.
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