Taking a photo everyday can be a daunting task, but as I look back over the last 20 days worth of shots I’ve taken for my Mostly365 challenge I am really proud of the results. To keep everyone inspired I’m giving you 16 photo project suggestions for your 365!
1. Self portraits
50 f/1.4, 1/30 @ f/2.8, ISO 640.
Give people a glimpse at the artist behind the camera and take a self-portrait. You can do a classic camera-in-hand mirror snap like mine, or get creative and put your camera on a tripod, set a timer, and run in a wheat field. There are so many options for creative shots and the best thing about you being the model is you can take your shot whenever you like and take as long as you want snapping it!
2. Moon shots
Bay Bridge, SF. 5DMKII+ 100mm f/2.8 L, 1/40 at f/8.0, ISO 500.
There are many faces of the moon and almost all of them make for spectacular photos. If you happen to own a long or telephoto lens put it to good use and grab some stunning shots. If not, consider renting one for your dSLR and go on a special nighttime shoot and capture both the moon and stars. You can even share the rental cost between friends and make a fun night of it.
You’d also be surprised at the shots you can get with your camera phone. Just make sure you prop your phone on something stable while you take your shot.
3. Nature Macros
Dew drops on grass.
There is so much beauty out there — leaves in puddles, dew drops on grass, snowflakes on tree branches. Head outside and capture all the little details of nature. Try shooting with a really shallow depth of field (f/2 and lower) to get dreamy artistic shots.
5DMKII, 85mm f/1.8, 1/200 @ f/2.8, ISO 100.
I am most passionate about taking portraits. From candid street photos shots, to strobe light lit creatives, to magic hour back lit shots, the possibilities are endless. The only problem is you need a subject. If you are blessed with an understanding and patient partner or family member, start practicing taking portraits of them. If you are feeling a bit more bold, you can always head out on the street and try to get some candids of people walking by or even ask strangers to pose for you.
If you are looking to photograph the attractive sort then you can try finding a model through ModelMayhem.com (more tips on photographinc models here) or pester some of your good-lookin’ Facebook friends. Almost everyone wants a great Facebook profile shots, so offer to give them a nice shot for their time. More tips on taking great portraits.
5. Fun Macros
5DMKII+100 f/2.8, 1/200 at f/4.5, ISO 125 + 430EX double CTO gel.
During bad weather days, dig around in your house for a fun little toy, keepsake or gadget to snap. You can light your subject with strobes to get a bit more creative, or just position your toy in front of a large day lit window and get great natural light.
6. Musical Performances
Florence + the Machine NYE at the Cosmopolitan, 1/60 at f/3.2, ISO 1600.
Every time you are out at a show grab a shot. Taking photos at concerts was actually how I started working as a photographer and all I had was my little Canon Rebel Xti and the 50mm f/1.4. Often, you aren’t able to bring dSLRs into concerts, so make sure you can before you head out. If you aren’t allowed to bring your gear, try to grab a shot with your camera phone or small point and shoot.
7. Your City’s Landmarks through the Seasons
Union Square heart, SF. 16-35mm, 1/80 at f/4.0, ISO 4000
Every city has it’s famous landmarks. Set a goal to capture 10 of most interesting over the course of the year, and take a shot of each landmark during the 4 seasons. Imagine a a collection of shots of the same statue during fall, winter, spring and summer seasons. For more variation, you can take a shot during the day, night or sunrise and sunset. It’s always good to have your camera on you whenever you go out in your city, so that if you see a good lighting situation you can grab a quick shot!
8. Bokeh shots
Bokeh shots are always fun to shoot whether you set up little lights behind your subject like I did here or just use what’s in your environment. This is another great project for a rainy day. You can also get great bokeh with street or building lights at night.
9. Architecture & Building shots
The Plaza Hotel, NYC. 5DMKII, 16-35mm f/2.8, 1/125 at f/3.2, ISO 4000.
Head to your local museum, parliament building, or city sites with interesting architecture. A wide angle lens from 15mm to 35mm is ideal for this type of photography. Most kit lenses fit the bill. Obviously a really wide angle like the 16-35mm or even a fish-eye yield the most interesting results. But, if you don’t have a wide angle lens, then focus on capturing the details. Close-ups of pillars, doorways, or statues can make cool shots.
Oxbow Bend, Grand Tetons. Xti, 7s at f/, ISO 100.
If you live near nature or are taking a trip out of the city then make sure you take some shots of breathtaking landscapes. Old roads winding through snowy fields, mountains jutting up into cloudy skies, or majestic trees lining a sunken vallies all make great photos. Pay attention to your composition and look for “S” shapes in rivers, paths, and rocks.
11. Raindrops on windows
Rainy day in SF, iPhone4 processed with Camera+.
Raindrops on windows make really cool and interesting shots. You can get really creative with these shots so really stretch your imagination and see what you can create.
12. Food Photos
It may be slightly annoying to your friends and family, but snap a shot of your food before you eat it, especially fancy foods and deserts. Mmm. Chocolates :) Try to light your shots, either by placing the food in front of a nice bright window, or with speed lights if you have them, or just turn on some ambient light and use a nice low aperture lens like the 50mm f/1.4. If you are in a really dark restaurant you can also try moving the candle light close to your food to get a bit more light.
13. Pet Portraits
Leo’s Ozzie, Xti, 1/100 at f/4.0, ISO 100.
Pets are often easier to shoot than most people. Plus, they whine less and can be bribed with snacks. Here are some tips to get great pet photos.
14. Sports & Action shots
CFL Felions, 5DMKII, 15mm f/2.8, 1/25, f/5.6, IS0 320.
Whether you are at at a World Series showdown or a little league game, there are amazing sports photos just waiting to be taken. Freeze the action with a fast shutter speed and a long telephoto, take a tilt-shift of the entire stadium, or snap a fish-eye shot of the distracting cheerleaders at the game like I did :P If you can’t make it to the Superbowl, head to a local sporting event or even down the street to the nearest park. I’m sure you can find some impromptu soccer match for some great action shots.
iPhone 4, edited in Camera+.
From cityscapes to silhouetted figures in front of a sandy horizon line, everything looks magical at sunset. What’s great about sunsets is that every camera can capture the magic . I shot the above photo with my iPhone. :)
16. Night shots
Golden Gate, 16-35mm, 10s @ f5.0, 1SO 100.
Grab your tripod and shutter release and head out into the night to take some stunning night photos. Take long 15s exposures of cars whizzing by creating trails of light, or ghost-like movement of people walking by dark buildings, or bright neon city signs. If you plan on doing regular night photography, you might want to invest in a small headlamp or LED flashlight to hemp you find your camera buttons in the dark.
Hope that this list helps keep you motivated and inspired to keep snapping a daily photo. Not every photo has to be a masterpiece. Remember to take photos that remind you of your daily life and the little things that make you smile.
If you haven’t already joined my Mostly365 project feel free to jump in anytime! I can’t tell you how happy I am to see your shots everyday. Getting a glimpse into the lives of so many photographers from all over the world is a wonderful thing!
I am also tweeting daily suggestions and showcasing some of the best 365 shots each day, so be sure to follow Mostly365 on Twitter.