Photographing a Perfect Year

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If you like to take photographs there are basically thousand of ideas, topics and subject to satisfy your every whim. Among these projects one that is very commonly followed is to record images on a regular basis with the most popular being one project per month. If you like to photograph nature subjects, landscapes, and city scenes this becomes that much better.

A Photo Perfect Year deals with photographing one particular area each and every month of the year. Granted, to do this you may need plenty of time and capital simply because of the certainty that you will have to travel from location to location. Although it is possible to conduct a scaled down project around one main region, it is better if it is done at several locations, each with its own distinctiveness in fauna, flora, landscape or theme.

Another scaled down themes is to photograph one state in 30 days. Keep in mind that so long as the project encompasses a year (the 12 months of the year) or 30 days in one month, this does not mean that it has to be done in one single year or month. Take your time and conduct it as you are able.

Once you have chosen a particular theme; animals, plant life, birds landscapes and so on or even a variety of subjects a "mixed bag" of sorts, you can move on into the next phase which will be to plan you itinerary and map out the locations, made all the arrangement to travel, lodging etc and go for it.

You should also do research into the best times to conduct a photo shoot, sunset, dawn, dusk and so on and or preferred times for your animal subject to be there. There are many variations and each location has its slew of them. Not to miss are the particulars such as towns and special attractions that are worthy of being photographed at each location.

You can make up a wish list of the locations that appeal to you or seek guidance from a reputable source such as the National Audubon Society of the United States, which has made a very concise list of locations, the times and the subjects for each worth recording.

On what month you commence the project is not that crucial, what matters is that at the end you have a set of images from each location; one location in December, another location in January, yet another in February and so on. In other words, once you have completed your project you will have twelve sets of images.

You do not need to concentrate on only one particular theme, doing various themes that highlight each location's best works quite well too but you must plan ahead and take the necessary equipment with you like a tripod, flash, several lenses in several focal ranges, plenty of film or memory cards at least one extra camera body, extra batteries and appropriate clothing.

Let's start with January; California's Big Sur Coastline, here you can record images of beautiful beach scenes and local flora, canyons, waterfalls and other natural scenes that are rich with color and diversity in a relatively sparsely populated region. Best times are early morning or early dusk.

Move on to February and welcome to sunny Florida where the diversity of visiting and local bird species is enough to overwhelm the senses. The Everglades National Park is notorious for attracting a plethora of birds that visit each year to raise their young, virtually turning otherwise green foliage into seemingly winter scenes.

Next would be March and the Grand Canyon and its bounty of local wildlife, spectacular views of the valleys and gorges and breathtaking canyons not to mention the large populations of grizzly bears and majestic redwood forests, dessert views, prairies and abundant flowering plant life.

We then come up on April and the state of Texas with its ample supply of flowers such as the paintbrush, bluebonnets and primroses. A must see are any of the famous cattle ranches for which this state is known as well as any of the several monuments such as the Alamo.

May is another of those months where you will not be at a loss for subjects to photograph if you happen to visit Vancouver Island in British Columbia with its gorgeous seaside scenes and wildflowers and panoramas of temperate forest growth, lake scenes and seaside fishing resorts.

Next on our list would off course be the month of June and views of South Dakota's Bad lands. Here you can feast upon the many varieties of natural caves, prairies, buffalo, wild flowers and many other scenes. Best photographed at dusk or dawn.

Let's see we are up to July next and the San Juan Mountains where you can photograph until exhaustion the many scenes brought to you by the splendorous mountain ranges parts of which exhibit abundant wildflowers, snow covered peaks typical of the state of Colorado and many other alpine views in this high altitude environmental atmosphere.

We are now up to the month of August and Mount Rainier National Park and its splendorous scenes featuring wildflowers, snow peaks and a long dormant volcano. There are plenty of rivers, cascades, and waterfalls to photograph as well as beautiful lake vistas.

September brings with it views of Yellowstone National Park and its many splendorous scenes such as moose and elk plus many of the crowds are long gone leaving plenty of space to photograph these magnificent creatures. Don't forget to record images of the famous Yellowstone active geysers and waterfalls as well as many of the local wildflower species.

October rolls around at we get to The Smoky Mountains in Tennessee where there are plenty of pristine forest worth photographing as well as plenty of streams, rivers and cascades. The trees turn into beautiful hues of yellows and oranges to almost totally red.

Then comes November at we head to Bosque Del Apache in the great state of New Mexico where one can find lovely samples of desserts, and woodlands along with many species of birds, deer and coyotes. Not to miss are sand hill cranes, eagles and water foraging birds species.

Finally we arrive at our final photographic destination during the month of December and we should not miss relaxing by the beautiful beaches and enjoying all that Hawaii has to offer.

Here one should not miss the opportunity of photographing one of the several volcanoes that can be found at most islands that are part of this great state. Great for landscapes, beach scenes and plant life and perhaps sea turtles. If able visit Maui where you will be able to record images of one of the most beautiful beach areas in the North American Continent and where most of them are virtually deserted, especially at this time of the year.


One you recover from this almost certain exhausting project and the traveling and the countless hours of trekking here and there, not to mention the airport routines and the shock of having spent God knows how much money going from place to place. It is time to consider what to do with all of these beautiful images.

One thing is certain, you can submit the complete project to any of the major photographic stock houses as complete photographic packages like this one are always in demand.

Next would be any of the major greeting card publishers as they are also always looking for such a set of images.

Calendar producing companies are prime buyers and submitting images to them should be high on your list of potential clients.

Look also for the state tourism boards as they produce literature to highlight the wonders of their state from time to time and can use your images, albeit more than likely those that are representational of their locale.

Even if you end up not selling one single image, which is doubtful, at least you did something that very few people ever get to do; that is to travel across our beautiful country and partake in experiences from the many natural wonders that abound and are often much closer than we think.

Keep in mind that this is not subjected to just the North American Continent. Any country or region of the world where nature offers photo worthy scenes is a prime target for this once a year photography project.

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Comments 10 comments

erag2011 profile image

erag2011 4 years ago from United Kingdom

really nice!! :)


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

ERAG2011: Thank you very much


Lynn S. Murphy 4 years ago

Okay wow!!! Hmmm....This has given me ideas though...


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Lynn; You scare me when you start getting ideas....behave...lol


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I always enjoy your photos and am inspired by their beauty. What a great idea on starting monthly photo theme. Living in South Florida, we have many opportunities to catch wildlife on the water and the ideal tropical weather. This would be just touching the tip of the iceberg. Thanks for the suggestions. Great hub and voted up!


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

teaches12345: Thank, glad you liked it


Michaela Magellan profile image

Michaela Magellan 4 years ago from Where Brown Water Flows

Amazing!!!


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Michaela Magellan: Thank you very much


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Love this project idea!


PHILLYDREAMER profile image

PHILLYDREAMER 4 years ago from Lodi, New Jersey

Being a photographer sounds so exciting. I wish i could travel to all these place. The scenic views must be heaven on the eyes.

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