Looks like we’re all going to be stuck indoors for a while or at best confined to our immediate surroundings – so herewith some photography projects ideas to get you through it.
Who knows how long this is going to last – I think a lot longer than we dare to admit.
We may as well make the best of this bad time and do what we love.
These projects and ideas can of course be done at any time and not just because you are confined.
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining ...
When we were told that we were going into lock-down I thought – bummer!
But then I gave it some thought and realised that I am one of the fortunate ones.
As well as being a family portrait photographer I work from home as an affiliate marketer. I have a hobby and passion in photography that is incorporated in my work.
Then I got to thinking how can I best use this time to catch up on things that are long overdue and maybe start a new project or two?
Where is the silver lining for us photographers in this dark cloud?
So Much To Do - So Little Time ...
When I started thinking about it I got quite excited because there really is a lot one can do when you have spare time on your hands.
What was really interesting is that some of the projects I came up with are things I have put on the back burner for a while because “life gets in the way”.
Well now we have time – plenty of time during which to catch up on outstanding projects and start new ones.
Getting the House In Order - tidying up those loose ends ...
I make no bones about it – I’m not the most organised person in the world.
If you’re anything like me then you will understand when I say I am a great starter but a bad finisher – I always have loose ends to tidy up.
Time to tidy up those loosed ends – and the obvious starting place is to tidy up my LightRoom and PhotoShop cataloging system.
It’s not an altogether disaster and I’m not starting from scratch as I have implemented Aaron Nace’s system – see the video on the right.
Delete Photos ... time to get real
I have thousands of photos that I have kept “just in case”.
It’s time to get real (and ruthless) and delete those I am clearly never going to use.
Hoarding old, out-of-focus photos is as bad as hoarding junk – be ruthless, delete them.
If there are photos you may use ‘one day’ for a composite or arty project create a specific folder for them in your catalog and move them to this folder.
Add Keywords ... this makes things so much easier!
Have you ever looked for a specific photo and not been able to find it?
Frustrating isn’t it?
Now is the time to add keywords to all your photos which will make things so much easier and save you hours of frustration in the future.
Get into the habit of adding keywords and tags as you import and save files into the correct folders.
Catch up on Post-Processing
We’ve all got them – those files that we want to process but haven’t had the time to.
Now we have time – lots of it.
Learn a New Photography Skill ... fun stuff
Trick Photography and Special Effects ... making magic
One of the fun sides of photography is trying new things and having people ask “how did you do that?”
It’s probably how a magician feels when asked the same question
Evan Sharboneau has for years been regarded as the leading exponent of trick photography and Special effects.
His e-book tutorial has been a best seller for many years now and continues to be very popular.
The cool thing about Evan’s techniques is that you don’t need a fantastic camera or PhotoShop – a lot of his stuff can be done in camera.
There are over 30 different set skills that are covered in the e-book and videos.
There is something there for everyone and with a 100% Money Back Guarantee (No Questions Asked) you have nothing to lose and a lot of skills to gain.
Visit the website to learn more about: Trick Photography and Special Effects
My Photo Artistic Life ... turning your photographs into art
It gives me a lot of pleasure to introduce “My Photo Artistic Life” to you.
I guarantee that if you take this course the lockdown time will be too short for you – no matter how long it lasts!
The brainchild of Sebastian Michaels “My Photo Artistic Life” shows you how to turn your photos, however mundane and boring they may be, into true works of art.
In that sense it is not a photography course – it is a course showing you how to make fantastic and personalised art using photography as a base.
You will need to have a basic understanding of PhotoShop or a similar program that uses layers.
Remember those photos I said to keep for possible use later when your artistic juices start to flow? This is where you can use them.
The course comprises 121 lessons broken into 4 easy to follow modules with videos, bonus content a library of backgrounds and textures collected over a number of years for you to use in your art.
- Module 1 – Fundamentals and Image Harvesting
- Module 2 – Advanced Layer Effects
- Module 3 – Vectors, brushes and Typography
- Module 4 – Photo Art Composition
There are over 75 high quality training videos, PDF cheat sheets (including keyboard shortcuts to Photoshop commands) and a ton of Sebastian’s and other leading artist’s backgrounds and textures – all included for free.
For me the culmination of this program is where you get to craft your own portfolio.
No two people have the same tastes and by the time you get to this part of the course you will have developed your own unique style.
With over 20,000 students in more than 100 countries “My Photo Artistic Life” has proved to be very popular and for every student, most gratifying.
Get started today with your own unique art – and who knows, you may be successfully showing and selling your work- just like thousands of other students who have completed the program.
The images shown right are a very small selection of some of the work that can be achieved – reproduced from the website with Sebastian’s permission.
I think they are amazing.
I’ve definitely undersold this amazing program and suggest you visit Sebastian’s Photoshop Artistry site to see exactly what is on offer.
Master Your Videography ... you know you want to
One thing I’ve never bothered to study but feel I want to – one day, is videography.
I know you can do this with a phone to a pretty good level and it is easy enough to simply point ad press but let’s be honest phone cameras and videos are limited.
DSLR and Mirrorless have however come a long way with video technology and capabilities in almost every model.
Have you mastered your camera’s video shooting and editing capabilities?
I certainly haven’t and if you are like me you will be interested to know that there is an excellent videography course available from Jarod Polin and Todd Wolfe.
Jarod is famously known over the internet as FroKnowsPhoto and has been successfully teaching thousands of students online for many years.
In “The Complete FroKnowsPhoto 6-Hour Guide to Shooting Video” he has teamed up with award winning film maker Todd Wolfe to bring you an exceptional videography tutorial.
The course comprises over 6 hours of video training – taking you from the very basics to full video productions with a cinematic feel to them.
Your friends and family will be blown away with your videos and you will be in demand for weddings, birthdays and other special events.
If video is something that interests you (and always been nervous to try – like me) then this is right up your street.
Visit the “The Complete FroKnowsPhoto 6-Hour Guide to Shooting Video” site to learn more about this course.
A short behind the scenes video showing Todd at work …
Around the House ... and garden
It’s often been said that you don’t have to travel far to get great photos and it is so true. There are great photos all around us.
Family Portraits ... they can't escape
This is probably my favourite thing – family portraits.
Get the kids dressed up and take some fun photos of them that will remind you of these uncertain times.
Take some great ones of them that you can print and hang on the walls or add to an album. Share them with loved ones that you may not be able to visit for a while.
Can you persuade your lovely wife to do some private boudoir?
Show her how beautiful she is.
Forget those inhibitions – have fun.
Build That Home Studio You've Always Wanted ... you don't need much
You really don’t need much to set up a home studio.
One room will do and a garage is the perfect solution!
Ideally you will want:
- A room that has some natural lighting from either a door or a window or both.
- A couple of plain light coloured walls.
- Two double-sided V-flats (white and black) – great for moody and romantic portraits
- A couple of backdrops and a system to hang them.
- A lighting kit or off-camera flash.
- A Softbox (or two)
- And reflectors
These can all be bought at once or added to as time and funds permit.
The kit shown here sells for under $150.00 and has everything you need – in fact it probably has more than you need!
For something a bit more robust you might want to consider the Neewer Studio Softbox and Strobe Lighting kit.
Macro Photos With Your Very Own Bugs ... or whatever else you choose
Macro photography is one of the most rewarding photo genres – its also one of the most difficult!
The difficulty lies not in finding subjects but in perfecting focus!
The reason focus is so hard to effect is because the depth-of-field is so narrow with macro lenses – regardless of what f stop one uses. Even the tiniest of subjects are almost impossible to get the entire subject in focus.
The most rewarding subjects are real live bugs, such as the very attractive jumping spiders that are everywhere.
Even house flies and ants are interesting.
The best time to shoot bugs is at night in your garden.
I have rigged up a small head-lamp to fit on my Tamron 90mm Macro lens and use that as my prime search and focusing light and as a bonus it also acts as a fill light.
The best time of year to find bugs in your garden is in winter for some reason – a little secret shared with me by one of New Zealand’s leading bug photographers.
And if bugs is not your thing then take fine details of everyday objects such as the eye of a needle, screw threads and flower stamens etc.
Final Word on Photography Projects Ideas
The interesting thing about being confined as we all are is that it does make you think outside the square.
The good thing about it is that it teaches us that there are interesting subjects all around us and we don’t need to go far to capture them.
We also don’t have to wait until we are confined …
Fortunately for me my Affiliate Marketing Business which I do from home (but can do from anywhere) incoprorates my photography passion – something I really appreciate.
Let me know what photography projects you have lined up for the isolation period – I’d be really interested to know.
Leave a comment below.
Be safe my friends – this time will pass. We all need to play our part in being sensible for it to pass as quickly as possible.