It’s always fun to spice up your photography with some cool project ideas. After all, who wants to take family portraits all the time? This article outlines five photography project ideas that you can start right now and create some stunning images for your portfolio or simply to share with friends. Also, don’t forget to check out Photography Projects for a Rainy Weekend for even more ideas.
Low light portraits are interesting and add a unique twist to normal portrait photographs. The soft light and cooler colors at this time of day add an entirely new palette of emotions to your pictures.
Shooting portraits in these low light conditions takes some practice; making it an excellent technique to hone your basic photography techniques in addition to being a lot of fun. In general, you’ll need to select wider apertures and higher ISO settings to effectively shoot low light, twilight portraits. Night Photography Unlocked teaches you a lot of useful low light/night shooting techniques.
The trick is to emphasize the blue quality of the light by using a standard daylight white balance. If your camera is set on auto white balance, it will try to warm the scene too much and remove the somewhat somber mood that is typical of properly exposed twilight portraits.
You can also adopt this project for other twilight scenes besides portraits. Just about everything takes on a whole new perspective in the hours before dark. Nature photography can be very impressive when taken in the soft blue glow of the twilight hours.
Get Creative with Still Life
Still life photography is an age-old technique that can produce some visually stunning images. The best part about still life photography is you can set up a light tent at home very inexpensively; experimenting with different amounts of light depending on your subject.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to still life photography. Some photographers use fruit arranged to “look and act” like people. The trick to attractive still life is trying different things until you find something that works. Light tents work especially well because of the unique shadows that can be cast on your subjects using everything from a flashlight to a torch.
Depending on the intensity of the light you use, your exposure times could be 13 seconds or longer, so a tripod is a must if you want to create a still life project.
If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where there are four distinct seasons each year, consider doing a four seasons project to capture nature during its annual metamorphosis. The best way to complete this project is to find quiet area near your home and take pictures of it all the time.
You could do it every day, every week, or every month. Obviously, the more often you take pictures of the same area, the more likely you are to capture subtle changes in the environment.
This project can produce beautiful photographs that highlight the changes in nature throughout the year. The only prerequisite for doing this project is a tripod and a specific subject that you use as an anchor point throughout the project. This could be a tree, a bush, or some landmark that is always framed in the same exact spot in every picture you take.
10 Steps to Dramatic Nature Photography helps you maximize the effect of your nature projects.
Out of Focus
As a photographer, you probably worry about focusing properly all the time. In this fun project, the point is not to focus properly. Make sure your camera is in manual focus mode and play around with different settings to get the best results.
Many photographers have taken impressive images of city skylines at night with the lights intentionally out of focus. The results are attractive and give a more impressionistic view of the scene.
Similarly, you could also do a bokeh project. Bokeh is a photography technique where you purposely leave certain elements (especially light reflecting and light emitting subjects) out of focus to increase the aesthetic value of the scene. There are even special filters available that allow you to transform these out of focus “light blobs” into various shapes such as stars and hearts for a truly unique photograph.
The good thing about weather is that it’s always happening. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but ever present; making it an excellent photo project that you can do anytime. Maybe you decide to focus on snow-covered streets during a blizzard, rain storms battering a coastline in the summer, or capturing rainbows whenever you find them.
The raw beauty of nature is undeniable and makes a perfect subject for your next photo project. You could even take this to a more abstract level and take pictures of the effects of weather. Umbrellas, puddles, or even ice cream melting in the summer sun could become photo projects of their own. And the best part about this project is that you’re outside – what’s bad about that? Make sure you are getting the most out of your landscape shots with the Landscape Photography course.
Feel free to modify any of these photography project ideas as you see fit. One of the best things about being a photographer is that there are literally no rules and you can take any pictures that you like. Any of these five projects could easily be modified five or more different ways to keep you busy throughout the year.
Now that you don’t have an excuse to get out there and start taking cool pictures – what are you waiting for?