Photography Projects

Like all photographers (should be), I am constantly trying to improve my picture-taking. As expected, however, the introduction of Lucy has made time with the camera more a matter of point-and-shoot at friends and family, rather than an exercise in good image composition.

As light reading material, I bought John Hedgecoe’s The Art of Digital Photography a while back and have decided to try and spend one afternoon or evening a week on a photo project of my own. The main difficulty in starting out taking pictures is “what should I take a picture of?”. I’m going to follow the various sections in the book and keep working on each one until I have at least one image that I’m really proud of, before moving on to the next.

The book is broken down into sections as follows:

  1. Elements of an Image (shape, form and tone, pattern, texture)
  2. Colour (impact and power of colour, colour harmony, colour temperature, shooting in black and white)
  3. Depth (using perspective, aerial perspective, depth of field, scale, high and low viewpoints)
  4. Organising the Frame (simplifying the scene, leading the eye, exploring angle of view, balance and proportion, framing, choosing backgrounds)
  5. Direction of Light (direct and indirect light, frontal lighting, sidelighting, backlighting)
  6. Changing Light (dawn to dusk, the impact of silhouettes, seasonal changes, photographing in low light, dramatic light, using shadows, snow and ice, high and low key)
  7. People (striking a pose, isolating faces, people in their environment, candid camera, children and babies, group portraits, studio portraits, human form)
  8. Still Life (simple setups, abstracts all around)
  9. Architecture (gallery of doors, buildings in their surroundings, night lights in the city, abstracts and patterns, tackling interiors)
  10. Landscapes (capturing the seasons, skyscapes, panoramas, monochromatic moods, parks and gardens)
  11. Nature (plants, birds, bugs, pets, animals)
  12. Sport (freezing the action, prefocusing, burst rates, capturing the spirit)

In total, that’s about 60 different topics to cover and even at a phenomenally-fast learning success rate of one great image every week, that’s well-over a year to cover.

I’ll post both my successes and failures here as a blog entry, which should make for a good history trail, if nothing else.