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Digital photography projects to make you a better photographer

Updated on March 14, 2015

Photo projects

Book on special landscape projects that will make you a better photographer.

One of the best ways to make yourself a better photographer is to do projects that will make you focus on a specific thing and allow you to explore all you can within that specific area to make you learn all you can and get you proficient in that area.

I have put together 10 projects that you can do that will advance your hobby as a photographer by leaps and bounds. They will allow you to increase your knowledge about the particular focus of the project and you will be able to take those types of photos with confidence and skill that you didn't have before.

Copy a photo

1. Find a photo taken by someone that you really like and recreate it yourself. This project is a great way to learn about lighting, focus, depth of field, and how to create the conditions and the look that you are trying to get. You may not be able to get the exact look, but I have done this a few times, and this smoking shot actually was better than the original. It doesn't have to be an exact replication, try to use your ideas and what you have available to get across the same message so the viewer will understand what your trying to say.

300 mm zoom at zoo
300 mm zoom at zoo

Single focal length

2. Use a single focal length lens, or if using a zoom, set it at one focal length and don’t move it. Go out for a day of shooting and take all your shots at one focal length. Move your body closer and farther away and concentrate on making the best photo of each shot. Think about what you want it to look like before you snap it.

shot from my backyard
shot from my backyard

Macro

3. Macro. Get out your macro lens, or use a zoom with macro capabilities. Get in close and see things that you can’t see with the naked eye. The macro world is very interesting, it gives me some of my best shots and my most fun times learning as a photographer.

Light trails with a city skyline in the background
Light trails with a city skyline in the background | Source

Night photography

4. Night photography. Go out in the dark and look for things to shoot. You will need a tripod to keep the camera from shaking and blurring the photos. You will be using long shutter speeds that will make useless photos if you don’t use a tripod. Take some shots of moving lights. Take some shots of things that are not even in the light. Using a long shutter speed and just the ambient light that is available in the area, you will be able to get some really cool shots of many things.

lots of color
lots of color

Colors

5. Colors. Go out for a day of shooting, and look for a particular color, or look for complimentary color in all your shots. Make the focus of each shot you take a certain color. Or focus on all the shots using complimentary colors. I like doing the complimentary with flowers.

Lots of different texture makes this shot interesting
Lots of different texture makes this shot interesting | Source

Textures

6. Texture. This is another of my favorite projects. Textures are all over the place, and it is fun to focus on texture in your shots. The use of harsh side lighting can make for some very interesting shots. Getting close also is a good to show textures. Focus on light and shadows to really pull out the textures.

taken at a church
taken at a church

Shapes

7. Shapes. Look for a certain shape in your shots. Circles, triangles, squares. Compose your shots to bring out the shapes. Use can use colors and textures as well to focus on the shapes and draw them out so the shapes are the focus of the shot.

Source

Repeating patterns

8. Repeating patterns. Look for patterns that repeat such as shapes, or colors, or even surfaces that repeat and look cool. There are a lot of different things you can use to do this project. The main point of all these projects is to get you to look at everything in a way that you may have never looked at thing before.

Statues are one of my favorites as well

Statues are one of my projects
Statues are one of my projects

Objects

9. Objects. Pick a subject for your day of shooting. Churches, signs, trees, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is, just pick something you want to shoot. Go out shooting and look for the objects and take the best and most creative shot you can of each of these objects you come across. I did a barn project for about a year. I got some really cool shots and I realized that the cool looking wooden barns are disappearing and will soon be a thing of the past.

Manual settings only

10. Manual settings only. Go out for a day of shooting, and don’t take any shots on auto. Set the shutter speed and aperture manually, Take several shots of each subject. Look at the subject and try something, then change the setting to make it better until you get it as good as you can. You will learn what the different settings will do and what you can do to affect the outcome. After you get what you think is the best, change to the auto and see what the camera settings say are best, and compare.

shot I took with manual to get good contrast
shot I took with manual to get good contrast

Get out and learn

There are a thousand other things you can do as photo projects. The point of the projects are to make you focus on something that you want to learn more about. For other projects, just pick something that you want to learn more about and do a project on that subject. Learn to look at things in ways that most people don’t look at them. The key to being a great photographer is to be able to see things in creative ways that most people don’t see or other people look past or through some really cool things.

As you do it more, you will start to do it without thinking specifically about it and you will begin to see great shots all around you every day, and you will see great photos in things that you never thought would make a good photo. All you need to do is to learn how to look for them.

Macro projects

Manual Settings On Your SLR Digital Camera

Almost all digital camera's that are more than a point and shoot digital camera allow you to set some manual settings. Doing this allows you to set the aperture and the shutter speed independently of each other.

Black and white photography

Many people like to shoot black and white photos, the main reason being, some pictures look much better in black and white than in color. The great thing about digital over film is that you can shoot it in color, and change it to black and white in the computer.

Digital slr

With the growth of digital photography, almost everyone now has at least one digital camera. Most digital cameras will take fairly decent pictures. But what if you want to go beyond decent, and move into the area of great photos, which will make them into cherished images that will become lifelong memories for you or the people you shoot the photos for.

Have you tried projects to improve your photography?

See results

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