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I got my first bridge camera ( Lumix FZ80/82 ) last year, but unfortunately didn't use it nearly as much as I'd have liked - Just taking a few local wildlife photos, etc.

So into the new year I really want to up my photography and thought that a great way of doing this would be to start a 365 photo project / A photo a day for a year ( but really an ongoing project ).

I initially thought of this as an open themed project, where I take photos of anything that catches my eye, be it wildlife, people, places, events, etc. But then I saw that there were several different ways to get creative using themes:

  • Set January Challenge - Day 1: Self Portrait, etc
  • A to Z Photography ( A: Apple / A: Abstract )

I've found a couple of set challenges made in previous years, but they're all kind of similar, and I have some vague ideas of themed projects to try out, but I was wondering what sort of projects some of you have done in the past. Are there any good themed projects that you can try as a complete amateur?

Please bear in mind that I'm looking for projects that will allow me to photograph a range of different subjects.

Also, I'm looking to get into photo editing using Photoshop (currently Elements), so I'm interested in hearing if anyone has done a similar thing for Editing Projects/Challenges.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Philip Kendall, Romeo Ninov, mattdm, scottbb, Blrfl Dec 14 '18 at 12:44

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One project that was a challenge that grew with me was to pick a common household item and strive to find some interesting variation with each shot one-a-day, say. I chose a plain white cup and saucer which I photographed and re-photographed with different film stocks, different lighting, different angles, different lenses, perspectives, etc. (Even the "etc." could be expanded into dozens more additional and different variations.)

The benefit of this exercise is learning how to visualize, position, light, and render a subject — relevant aspects to photography and the creation of outstanding photographs.
A common object cries for uncommon and innovative approaches to capturing its essence.

Every photograph must be finished not just shot. It must be cropped, printed for presentation, and better would be matted and mounted. Quality over quantity.

My poor room mate chose an egg which was almost beyond either of us. It wasn't interesting enough on its own; but, we did eat a lot of eggs and no, not every shot was of the egg in an unbroken shell.

Great idea. Have fun. Good luck.

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  • Read the Manual (or a photography book) – Each day, read a section of the camera manual or a photography book. Take several pictures to experiment with the settings or techniques described. Select your favorite photo from the set as the photo for the day.

    If necessary, a section may be split over several days. Repeat settings or techniques each time they are discussed in a new section. If no particular setting is described, take a "creative" day, where you shoot a subject you haven't shot before, or haven't shot in a while, using previously learned settings.

  • Word of the Day – Attempt to take a picture to express the word of the day, such as from a dictionary site. You can also use cards from social word games, such as Taboo and Pictionary.

  • Guessing Game – Each day, multiple people take multiple pictures based on abstract themes on random cards from a social game. Periodically get together to guess and discuss the themes of each others photos.

  • Timelapse – Take a picture of a given scene at a set time each day. Try to pick a scene that will change with the seasons and holidays. Assemble into a time lapse at the end of the year.

  • Self-Portraits – Similar to the time lapse, except with self portraits. You can see how you've changed during the year.

  • Broken Camera Challenge (per Hueco) – Get an 8-sided die and a 20-sided die and correlate your aperture and shutter speeds to each number. Now roll. Those are the settings you now have to use.

  • Traveling Gnome – Kidnap your father's garden gnome. Mail pictures of the gnome posing with various landmarks around the world to your father (a la Amélie).

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