photo project

photo project

7 Photography Projects to Jumpstart your Creativity

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In this post Jennifer Jacobs from iffles.com shares some tips on how to spark creativity in your photography.

Let’s face it, no matter how much we take our camera out, there’s only so many pictures we can take of our kids, pets, house and garden before we start itching to shoot something else… but what?

Hopefully this list of projects you can undertake will inspire you to find something creative to shoot.

1. 365 Days

The most popular of the projects on this list, there are multiple variations of the 365 project. Typically, it involves taking a self-portrait every day for a year – the only rule is that you have to hit the shutter button (or remote) and at least some part of you must be in the photo. It doesn’t sound so bad at first, but believe me, there’s only so many photos you can take holding the camera at arms length before even you get bored. Suddenly you find yourself doing things like wrapping yourself in christmas lights, jumping in piles of leaves, or taping your mouth shut. For inspiration, check out the 365 Days group on flickr.

If a photo-a-day seems like too much of a commitment, you can do one self-portrait a week for a year – a 52 Weeks project.

If the self-portrait part makes you a bit squeamish, you can either round up the kids and get pictures of them everyday for a 365 kids project, or you can just do a open-topic 365 project where you just have to take a picture of anything every day for a year.

2. 52 Photowalks

I use the term “photowalk” pretty loosely here. While photowalks often include groups of people walking through cities together, all capturing images of the same landmarks from their own point of view, I’m being slightly more liberal with the term.

Basically, I’m saying you should get out of the house once a week with your camera. I looked through all my photos from my first year with my DSLR and realized about 90% of them were in or around my house. So I got up and walked out the door once a week. I’ve been to local parks, abandoned buildings (careful with this one: it can be frowned upon or even illegal to poke around some abandoned buildings), downtown and other small towns near me.

Besides adding a bigger variety to my photo collection, I’ve noticed two other side effects from this project so far: I’ve discovered all sorts of parks and areas of downtown that I didn’t even know existed, and I’ve been able to go to places that I already knew and see them from a totally different viewpoint. For instance, the picture above is of a local amphitheater. I’ve been there a number of times and never thought much of it… but being there when the park was empty, and walking to the back of the stage looking out has given me a completely different perspective.

3. 100 Strangers

This is a project I personally don’t have the guts to do, as I’m bit shy (that’s the whole reason why I’m behind the lens to begin with!), but I know some people doing this project and I’m loving their results so far. The idea is to approach someone you’ve never met before, ask if you can take their picture, and talk to them a bit to get some kind of backstory, and then upload the photo (and a short description of who they are and what you talked about) to flickr and add it to the 100 Strangers group. Then repeat 99 more times.

Not only will get photos of different people in your collection, but you just might make a new friend or two. You can, of course, skip the flickr part and do this project on your own, but you would gain a lot of inspiration from the group.

Once again, there’s a couple ways you can go with an A-Z project. You can pick a place and try to get a picture of objects that start with or represent each letter of the alphabet (for instance, it might be easy to take a photo of the grass for G, but Q is going to be harder, maybe a picture of a kid running around could be Quick, or a picture of a completely still pond could be Quiet). You can also try this with numbers, too – take a photo of one acorn on the ground, two ducks by a pond, three trees grouped together, etc.

The other interpretation of this project is to take pictures of things that look like the letters A-Z. Take a look at the photo above, it’s actually a chain to a porch swing, but the one piece looks like a letter S. Once you start this project you’ll start looking at ordinary things – buildings, cloud formations, playground equipment, etc. – in a complete different way, giving you a new perspective on things to photograph. This project can also be done with numbers, too.

5. Pick-A-Something

Pick something and try to get a collection of photos representing it. For instance, pick a color and try to go all day photographing only red things, or try only getting pictures of things that are square when you’re on a walk. I was once at a cookout and, while I took photos of other things, I also tried to get photos of people’s shoes.

The upside of this project is that it, once again, gets you to start seeing ordinary things in different way – taking a snapshot looking down at everyone’s shoes is going to start to get boring, so it forces you to start thinking creatively. The downside of this project is that people are going to start giving you weird looks for crawling around on the ground taking pictures of shoes while everyone else is enjoying hamburgers and potato salad.

During my 365 (open-topic, not self-portraits), I decided to take one month and do all my photos in black-and-white. My goal was to get better at converting photos to black and white, which I think I did, but I noticed I was also starting to see things differently, and figure out what photos would look better in mono, and which ones wouldn’t.

There were also a few surprises, like the leaf with water drops on it that you see above. If I hadn’t been doing a month of mono, I would have edited that photo in color and loved it, and left it like that. But I converted it for my 365 project, and I loved it even more. Surprises like that made the whole month worth it.

7. Scavenger Hunt

A photo scavenger hunt is simple. You need someone to come up with a list of things to photograph (they can be actually things like “railroad tracks”, or they can be more conceptual like “fun with friends”, or even techniques like “shallow depth of field”). Then, a group of people all go out and interpret the list how they want and show them to the group. As with a lot of the other projects I mentioned, it really gets you to start looking at ordinary things in a different way. Looking for a list? Do a search in the flickr groups for “scavenger hunt” and you’ll come up with a number of groups that have hunts going on. Including a DPS Scavenger Hunt group, made up of other DPS users that posts a new list each month.

PS from Darren: Also check out our weekly Assignments in the DPS forums for a little inspiration – we nominate a topic for each week for everyone to take a photo on – it can be a lot of fun and a great way to get out of a creative rut!

About the Author: Jennifer Jacobs is an amateur photographer who runs iffles.com – a site for photography beginners. She’s also addicted to flickr and you can follow her stream here.

12 Photography Projects to Stretch Your Skills, One Month at a Time

Even the best photographers can get stuck in a rut and there’s no better way to stretch your skills than to embark on a photography project. If you find yourself shooting the same types of photos or just want an excuse to shoot more, there’s no shortage of fun, creative ideas to keep you motivated.

If you’re really committed, you might want to dive into a 365-day photo challenge, but sometimes once a month is enough to keep the creative juices flowing. We’ve put together a list of 12 photography project ideas—one for every month of the year—that will help you stay sharp and shooting while helping you develop some new skills. Some may require more setup than others, and some require special equipment, but they will all test different aspects of your photography knowledge and help you grow.

Here are 12 photography project ideas to keep you busy every month, for an entire year.

Watch the Shadows, Capture the Silhouettes

It’s common to play with shadows in photography, but stretch yourself further by focusing on silhouettes only. To do this, you can either cast shadows directly on your subjects or employ shadows as the focal point of the composition. In either case, creatively harnessing shadows will prompt viewers to see them in a new light and will help train your eye to look at light and shadow in a different way. Plus, this easy photo project doesn’t require any special equipment.

Spark Up Some Steel Wool Photography

Photo: Stock Photos from SanchaiRat/Shutterstock

Light up the sky and try your hand at steel wool photography. It’s relatively easy to set up, materials—which include steel wool, a bundle of fine steel filaments, a standard whisk, some wire, wire cutters, and matches or a lighter—are easy to source, and it’ll push you one step further than regular light painting. Check out our handy guide on how to shoot steel wool photography and get started in creating some sparkling images.

See Colors Differently with Infrared Photography

Photo: Stock Photos from ppl/Shutterstock

Get instantly artistic photos by experimenting with infrared photography. By revealing an otherwise invisible light, your images will appear otherworldly—though mastering the process is entirely attainable. Once you check how sensitive your camera is to light, it’s just a matter of purchasing an infrared filter and letting your imagination run wild. Digital Photography School has a great guide on how to test your camera for infrared sensitivity.

Get Wet While Experimenting with Liqu >

Interested in street photography, but feeling a little shy? Open your doors, get out on the street, and set a goal to photograph a stranger a day for an entire month. The best street photographers spend the majority of time immersed in society, seeking out their subject, and so should you. For some extra inspiration, check out our interview with Dina Alfasi, a photographer who spends her morning commutes snapping surprisingly profound portraits of her fellow passengers.

Immortalize Your Own Image

Photo: Stock Photos from mavo/Shutterstock

It can be surprising how many photographers are reluctant to turn the cameras on themselves, but some of the world’s most famous photographers specialize in self-portraits. Using yourself as your own model doesn’t necessarily mean a seated portrait, but is more an excuse to experiment with poses, costumes, and artistry with the only model you’ll ever have who won’t complain—yourself.

Photo project

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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.

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

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:

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.

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.

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.

Create and order print products in Photos with Project Extensions

Learn how to download, install, and use third-party Project Extensions in Photos for macOS.

With third-party Project Extensions for Photos, you can add a variety of powerful tools for creating photo projects and ordering print products. To get started, make sure that your Mac is running macOS High Sierra 10.13 or later. Then download and install extensions from the Mac App Store.

How to find and install Photos Project Extensions

  1. Open Photos.
  2. In the Photos menu bar, choose File > Create > [project type] > App Store. The Mac App Store opens and shows available Project Extensions.
  3. Click an extension to learn more, or click Get to download the extension.
  4. After the extension downloads, it becomes available as a Project Extension in Photos.

Convert existing projects

You can update or continue to work on your existing Photos projects by converting them using third-party extensions:

  1. In the Photos sidebar under Projects, select the project that you want to convert.
  2. In the Photos menu bar, choose File > Create > [project type], then choose the Project Extension that you want to use. The extension shows options for the project, then converts the project into its own format.
  3. Use the Project Extension’s interface within Photos to edit your project and place your order for print products. Click Done in the upper-right corner of Photos when you’re finished. The converted project appears in the sidebar along with your original project.

After you convert your projects, you can edit them further and place orders using the extension’s interface within Photos.

Create new projects

To create a new Photos project using extensions, follow these steps:

  1. Select a Memory, Album, or group of photos that you want to use for your project.
  2. Choose File > Create > [project type], then choose a Project Extension.
  3. Use the extension’s interface to create your project, edit it, and place an order.

You can add more photos to your project after it’s created: drag the photos from the Photos view and drop them onto the project’s name in the sidebar.

Available Project Extensions

Motif
Motif is a new service that lets you create high-quality books, cards, and calendars. The extension identifies your best photos using machine learning, automatically creates your project in just a few clicks, and lets you customize each page to your liking. Get support for the Motif extension.

Mimeo Photos
Access a tremendous variety of themes for creating books, cards, and calendars — including book themes that match the Apple themes you’ve used in the past. If you want complete creative freedom, this extension offers unlimited customization of every page in your project. Get support for the Mimeo Photos extension.

WhiteWall
Create gallery-quality framed prints using this extension. Quickly design the perfect gallery wall for your home with frames available in a wide variety of styles — from traditional to contemporary. Get support for the WhiteWall extension.

ifolor Photo Products
Available in Europe, ifolor offers great choices for framed prints, photo canvases, photo collages, custom iPhone cases, photo mugs, and more.

Mpix
In the United States, Mpix produces high-quality photo prints, frames, canvas wraps, cards, and much more. Creating the perfect photo gift is easy to do using this extension, and delivery is incredibly fast. Get support for the Mpix extension.

Fujifilm Prints & Gifts
Print your photos in a variety of standard sizes, make photo mugs, and even create canvases you can hang on your wall. Get support for the Fujifilm Prints & Gifts extension.

Wix Photo Albums
Quickly create digital photo albums and elegant photo websites that are hosted on Wix.com. Your albums can be added to over time and easily shared with friends, family, and social media. Get support for the Wix Photo Albums extension.

Project Extensions for Photos might not be available in all countries or regions.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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Check out the thousands of photos and learn more about species from around the world.

Sounding the alarm for species at risk,
one photograph at a time

Species are disappearing at an alarming rate, but together we can help.

The National Geographic Photo Ark is using the power of photography to inspire people to help save species at risk before it’s too late. Photo Ark founder Joel Sartore has photographed more than 9,000 species around the world as part of a multiyear effort to document every species living in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts.

SPECIES AT RISK

Giant Anteater: The giant anteater is considered the most endangered mammal in Latin America. Through the National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowship program our grantees are working to protect the giant anteater and four other species at risk in Latin America. Learn more.

Grey crowned crane: Fewer than 500 left in the wild in Rwanda. Learn about National Geographic grantee Olivier Nsengimana and his work with the grey crowned crane here. Photographed at Parc des Oiseaux in Villars-les-Dombes, France.

Burmese star tortoise: Fewer than 5,000 left in the world. Learn about National Geographic grantee Kalyar Platt and her work with the Burmese star tortoise here. Photographed at Zoo Atlanta.

White-backed vulture: Fewer than 270,000 left in the wild. Learn about National Geographic grantee Corinne Kendall and her work with the white-backed vulture here. Photographed at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Chinese merganser: Fewer than 10,000 mature Chinese mergansers left in the wild. Learn about National Geographic grantee Jia Zhong and her work with the Chinese merganser here. Photographed at Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, North Carolina.

Florida panther: Fewer than 230 Florida panthers left in the wild. Learn about National Geographic explorer Carlton Ward Jr. and his work with the Florida panther here. Photographed at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida.

Largetooth Sawfish: The largetooth sawfish is critically endangered and is in need of urgent conservation protection. That’s why it is one of the species the National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE fellowship aims to support with on-the-ground conservation efforts. Learn more about the species we’re working to protect in Asia.

365 Photography Projects to Try in 2020

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Want to challenge yourself and try new things for some inspiration? Try a 365 photography project and grow your skills as a photographer.

2020 is around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about your goals and resolutions. Have you considered trying a 365 photography project?

Image by Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich

Accomplishing a 365 photography project in 2020 could be the perfect project to keep you engaged in your photography in the new year. Completing a project daily is a great way to stay inspired, create unique work, and challenge your photography.

Working on a 365 photography project you want to share? Upload it to Shutterstock as a collection so customers can find your work as it progresses through the year.

What is a 365 Photography Project?

A 365 photography project involves taking a photograph, every single day, for a full year. It could be a general photograph of anything you are surrounded by, or you can choose to focus on a specific theme or genre in an area of your photography that you’re hoping to improve.

365 photography projects exist to push your creative boundaries and help motivate you to seek new experiences that may improve your work.

Image by Piya_kiewkamjeen

While the idea of a daily 365 photography project may seem simple, you may unexpectedly find a new passion for something you wouldn’t have otherwise tried. In the following blog post, we’re outlining a few ideas that you can take on for your 365 photography project in 2020.

365 Photography Project Idea: Black & White

Challenge yourself to shoot one black and white image a day. That doesn’t mean editing a photograph you’ve shot into a black and white picture.

Instead, shoot a meaningful black and white exposure. Think about the light, and the depth and dimensions in your imagery. Study the work of black and white photographers such as Ansel Adams and understand what they do to their images to create impactful photographs without color.

Image by Ranta Images

365 Photography Project Idea: Colors

This is a great one for Instagram or Tumblr, and it’s easy if you don’t have a specific subject you’d like to shoot. You pick one color each month, and then shoot with a focus on including that color in every single photograph.

So for example, if you select blue your photographs for that month might have a lot of water, blue facades, and blue jackets on your subjects. Check out our 2020 Color Trends for some ideas on colors to try.

365 Photography Project Idea: One Subject

This works fantastic if you have a pet or a partner who is willing to be your subject. Try shooting one subject, every day, for all of 2020 for this 365 photography project. Change the environments, themes, and props that you use to photograph them to make each shot unique.

This challenge is a great encouragement if you are looking to diversify your portfolio, and practice shooting a wide variety of genres and themes. With the single consistency of one subject, you can compare and contrast how each shoot you designed changed the look and mood of the photograph.

Image by New Africa

365 Photography Project Idea: Self Portrait

Similar to the single subject, a self portrait project is another great way to push your creative boundaries. This is a great project if you are a fashion photographer or portrait photographer, to learn how your own body moves and how manipulating a model can drastically change the photograph. This is also a great project if you’re trying to get better at using tripods, or if you’re simply trying to step up your portrait game and want to practice.

With long-term projects, especially ones that involve shooting every single day, you might get bored or feel the need to quit half way down the road. Here are a few tips to keep you going if you feel like giving up!

5 Tips on Completing a 365 Photography Project

Tip #1: Always have a camera with you

We’ve all been there. You have the perfect scenario, but nothing to capture it with. Whether you are using your iPhone or DSLR, always make sure you have something to capture every opportunity.

Tip #2: Share your images

By committing to post every day to some public channel on social media or a blog, it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable to posting those images consistently.

Image by Kicking Studio

Tip #3: Create a schedule

Planning for your 365 photography project is a great way to keep yourself on track. Try to create a routine or schedule around your project, so that you are prompted daily to keep on track.

Tip #4: Accept that you may miss a day

There may be days when you forget to take a photograph for your project, and that is okay. Things happen. You can always take two the next day!

Image by Bisual Photo

Tip #5: Remember why you started your project

Your 365 photography project is a fun exercise to help you improve a skill in your craft that is a goal, not to stress you out. Have a clear vision of what your goal is at the end, and think about it as you progress through your project to re-focus.

A 365 photography project doesn’t have to begin on New Years. You can start one whenever. If you are feeling like you are in a creative rut, or need to focus your craft on something to challenge yourself, a photo project can be a great start.

This article was originally published on Shutterstock Custom.

Photos for macOS

Photos in macOS Catalina has an immersive, dynamic look that showcases your best photos. Find the shots you’re looking for with powerful search options. Organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums. Perfect your images with intuitive built-in editing tools, or use your favorite photos apps. And with iCloud Photos, you can keep all your photos and videos stored in iCloud and up to date on your Mac, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and even your PC.

A smarter way to find your favorites.

Photos in macOS Catalina intelligently declutters and curates your photos and videos — so you can easily see your best memories.

Focus on your best shots.

Photos emphasizes the best shots in your library, hiding duplicates, receipts, and screenshots. Days, Months, and Years views organize your photos by when they were taken. Your best shots are highlighted with larger previews, and Live Photos and videos play automatically, bringing your library to life. Photos also highlights important moments like birthdays, anniversaries, and trips in the Months and Years views.

Your memories. Now playing.

Memories finds your best photos and videos and weaves them together into a memorable movie — complete with theme music, titles, and cinematic transitions — that you can personalize and share. So you can enjoy a curated collection of your trips, holidays, friends, family, pets, and more. And when you use iCloud Photos, all edits automatically sync to your other devices.

The moment you’re looking for, always at hand.

With Search, you can look for photos based on who’s in them or what’s in them — like strawberries or sunsets. Or combine search terms, like “beach 2017.” If you’re looking for photos you imported a couple of months ago, use the expanded import history to look back at each batch in chronological order. And in the My Albums tab, you’ll find your videos, selfies, panoramas, and other media types automatically organized into separate albums.

Fill your library, not your device.

iCloud Photos can help you make the most of the space on your Mac. When you choose “Optimize Mac Storage,” all your full‑resolution photos and videos are stored in iCloud in their original formats, with storage-saving versions kept on your Mac as space is needed. You can also optimize storage on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, so you can access more photos and videos than ever before. You get 5GB of free storage in iCloud — and as your library grows, you have the option to choose a plan for up to 2TB.

Make an edit here, see it there. When you make changes on your Mac like editing a photo, marking a Favorite, or adding to an album, they’re kept up to date on your iPhone, your iPad, and iCloud.com. And vice versa — any changes made on your iOS or iPadOS devices are automatically reflected on your Mac.

All your photos on all your devices. iCloud Photos gives you access to your entire Mac photo and video library from all your devices. If you shoot a snapshot, slo-mo, or selfie on your iPhone, it’s automatically added to iCloud Photos — so it appears on your Mac, iOS and iPadOS devices, Apple TV, iCloud.com, and your PC. Even the photos and videos imported from your DSLR, GoPro, or drone to your Mac appear on all your iCloud Photos–enabled devices. And since your collection is organized the same way across your Apple devices, navigating your library always feels familiar.

Resize. Crop. Collage. Zoom. Warp. GIF. And more.

Create standout photos with a comprehensive set of powerful but easy-to-use editing tools. Instantly transform photos taken in Portrait mode with five different studio-quality lighting effects. Choose Enhance to improve your photo with just a click. Then use a filter to give it a new look. Or use Smart Sliders to quickly edit like a pro even if you’re a beginner. Markup lets you add text, shapes, sketches, or a signature to your images. And you can turn Live Photos into fun, short video loops to share. You can also make edits to photos using third-party app extensions like Pixelmator, or edit a photo in an app like Photoshop and save your changes to your Photos library.

7 Creative Indoor Photographic Projects For You To Try

Is the British weather letting you down again? Well, we have some ideas to keep you busy indoors.

8 Oct 2019 12:10AM by ePHOTOzine | General Photography

We are well into October which probably means more rainy days are on the way. With this in mind, here are 7 things you can still photograph when you’re stuck at home sheltering from the bad weather.

1. Photograph Cutlery

The kitchen holds a world of photo opportunities and all you need is some imagination to exploit it. Forks, colanders, wooden spoons etc. can make interesting photographs when shot right. For more tips, have a look at these articles:

Photo by Peter Bargh

2. Explore The House With A Macro Lens

Take a different look at your home through a macro lens. You’ll find patterns, textures and shapes you didn’t know existed until you looked down a macro lens. Cushions, glasses and salt & pepper pots can all make interesting subjects.

If you do not own a macro lens, just try using the lens’s minimum focusing distance. Or consider investing in a close-up lens.

It’s important when shooting close-up and macro photographs to use a tripod and a remote release — so as to maximise depth-of-field, avoid camera-shake, and ensure accurate focusing. Anchor your camera firmly, though, and your shutter speeds can be as long as you like.

Maximising depth-of-field, by setting an aperture of f/16 or smaller, is important because the closer you get to your subject the more limited depth-of-field becomes. At a larger aperture, such as f/5.6, parts of the subject will almost certainly be out-of-focus.

Using a tripod also makes it easier to ensure accurate focusing. Even at a small aperture you may only have a few millimetres of depth-of-field in front of and behind the point on which you focus — and the natural sway of the body when hand-holding can easily take you outside that, and leave you with an unsharp image. You’ll also find it easier, if you have an autofocus camera, to switch to manual focusing.

3. Coloured Liquid In Glasses

Get a selection of glasses, add water and your choice of food colouring to them. Place them on a clear, reflective surface (glass on white paper works well) and place a large piece of white card behind them. If you want to light the background use your flash off-camera to do this. You want an even light that will bounce off the background back onto the scene you’re photographing without causing flare.

4. Water Droplets On A Window

There are plenty of opportunities to get great pictures of rain on patio doors or windows and you don’t even have to get wet! When rain hits the pane it leaves tiny water droplets and when these droplets are combined they create fascinating patterns. With a close-up lens you can fill the frame with interesting shapes or use a macro lens to give your piece even more impact.

If a white sky is behind the droplets they will all appear white with just a thin black outline. If you move around so a wall or greenery is in the background instead, the droplets will take on those colours and patterns making more interesting shapes.

5. Frozen Items

This technique is brilliant with a macro lens but will work with the lens at minimum focus.

Freeze water in a suitable clear container. Once frozen place the container or either a white or even coloured surface so it shows through the container. If you have a lightbox, place the container onto it so light shines through from the bottom. If you don’t have a lightbox, just be creative your whatever furniture you have. Ideally, being able to get a lamp or flash under the ice container is what you want.

A 50mm macro lens with the camera on the tripod will let you get closer to capture the patterns that form in the water and cracking ice as it melts. Use a kettle of hot water and gently pour it onto the ice to cause cracks and to start the melting process. Look through the viewfinder for interesting patterns and snap away.

A twist on this is freezing objects — leaves, flowerheads, shells, pebbles — in the container and then shooting them.

Obviously, this idea needs a little bit of planning, so get the container in the freezer early on and try shooting some of our other ideas while you wait for the thing to freeze.


6. Cross Polarisation

Cross polarising effect is where you use a pair of polarising filters — one on the camera and one on the light source (behind the subject) to show stress in plastic which appears as wonderful multicoloured pattern.

You can use an LCD computer monitor as a light source, plus they have a polariser built in. You’ll need to use a camera with a polarising filter either attached or positioned in front of the lens. Of course, you’ll need a monitor and a steady support will also be useful.

Some clear hard plastic items will also be needed as well as something to hold the plastic item steady in front of the computer monitor.

For step-by-step tips on how this technique works, have a read of this: Easy Cross Polarisation

7. Capturing Oil On Water

With a few items you’ll find around your house you can create interesting abstract shots of oil on water. You’ll need a camera with a close focus facility, tripod, a light source, a clear dish, water, oil and something to add colour to your shot (card, paper, a t-shirt. etc.).

You’ll find a guide on what to do next in our article full of tips on how to photograph oil on water with just a basic set up.

Interview: Vintage Photo Project Captures Universal Feelings of “Family”

There’s something about old family photos that touches an emotional chord in each of us. Viewing history through this personal lens, through personal memories, we’re able to recognize just how little—and how much—has changed over time. In just under a year, The Anonymous Project has taken the nostalgia of vintage Kodachrome slides and placed them online for the world to see.

Filmmaker Lee Shulman, along with photography curator Emmanuelle Halkin began The Anonymous Project as a way to digitize the fragile film negatives and film that will slowly degrade over time—as most survive around 50 years. Focusing on imagery from the 1960s, when color photography took off as film prices dropped, through the 1980s, they encourage anonymous donors to send in their slides for consideration. Shulman and Halkin carefully curate the submissions, selecting the most nostalgic, candid, and universal images of “family.”

“…Color photography developed into the dominant medium to capture daily life. Not just weddings and graduations, or friends posing for friends, or families gathering for portraits, but everything. Life, often unstaged, caught in lush Kodachrome color. These amateur photographs are a kaleidoscopic diary of that era, all the more fascinating and arresting because of their unpolished quality.”

We had the opportunity to speak with Shulman about how The Anonymous Project began, what he’s learned over this first year, and what we can expect in the future. Read on for our exclusive interview.

When did The Anonymous Project project begin and what inspired it?

The project is quite new. I started in January with my good friend Emanuelle Halkin. I have always been slightly obsessed with color slides even since I was little. I was always amazed at the quality of these unique images, which are like little windows into our past. I feel that slides have an emotional quality, more than some photos in the way they react to light. As I started collecting them, I realized that there were recurring themes in all these images; it was then that I had the idea of trying to assemble this collection. I also found that the slides that I found where often in a bad state of degradation and needed care and preservation. This is when it all came together and the project was born.

What attracted you to Kodachrome as a medium and why do you think it’s vital to preserve these images?

Not all the images are Kodachrome but there is a majority of these amazing slides in our collection. The colors and quality of these images are like no other images of their time. They have a depth and quality that is completely unique. I love projected images. As a filmmaker, it’s the crossroads between cinema and photography. They are the stories of all our lives.

The Anonymous Project started out with you finding negatives at secondhand shops and digitizing them, when did you begin opening up submissions to the public?

At the beginning, we started looking at slides and negatives, but we soon realized that it was only the slides that we were interested in. We realized that they were going to be the base of our project. Part of the original idea was to create a community of collaborators and friends from around the globe that would help us source and collect these treasures.

It took a moment before people got the idea but once the project got going we were quickly inundated with people offering up their slides. We often get a lot of slides from clearance sales and people emptying their attics. We even receive anonymous lots arriving at the office with no trace. All very mysterious. It makes for good detective work.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized since opening up submissions?

There are daily surprises just in the images we receive every day, but one thing that is a constant and makes this project very special in my eyes is that it doesn’t matter what era or culture we live in—we all have the same goals, ideas, hope, and dreams. These are universal. Different, but the same is how I often think of this project.

Is there any one image that has really stuck with you and why?

There are so many that I love and it would be impossible to choose. The last image that stuck with me is a simple family breakfast scene from the UK. I love the colors and the atmosphere of this very intimate family moment. The wallpaper, the radio cassette player, this could be a scene from my own childhood.

What are the biggest themes that have come through when looking through so many images?

Well, there are the obvious ones from cars to holidays to dinners and family celebrations but there are themes that are much more emotionally charged. Themes around love and friendship. We have a theme on our website just simply titled ‘Together’ which is about this. In term of the collection, the themes are limitless.

How many photos are currently in the database and what country are most of them from?

So far we have estimated approximately 400,000 slides that we have viewed. We have edited them down to a collection of around 5,000 specially selected images. Mostly from the USA, as that where the technology was born, but we also have images from all over the world including UK, France, Italy, Germany, South America, Korea, and even some from Africa. The network is growing. It’s a monumental task.

Where’s the most surprising place you’ve received a submission from?

We have a family from Ghana, which I absolutely love. They are fabulous. A proud father and his beautiful family always well presented and perfectly groomed.

What do you hope that people take away from the project?

I think this project means different things to different people. I hope that they will have an emotional attachment with the project and take away a sense of the collective memory that we all share and is our duty to preserve. It’s not who we are but what we share that makes us human.

What’s next?

These are exciting times for The Anonymous Project. We have our first major exhibition in January in Paris followed by London. There are two books in the pipeline, and some conference talks next year. Also, a few photo festivals to come…and this is just our first year.

The Anonymous Project’s mission to save old family photos from extinction is becoming a reality thanks to donations that pour in from around the world.

The Anonymous Project: Website | Instagram | Facebook

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