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Easy Photography Projects
If you seem to be running out of ideas for photographic projects here are two rather simple in their scope which can be done with friends and require little effort and not much equipment other than a camera with a regular 55mm lens and perhaps a flash unit.
The first project involves a trampoline and a clear sky, preferably blue, although clouds will add some effects. About an hour before it gets dark have some of your friends, or models get on the trampoline and start jumping as high as they can. It is helpful if they are also wearing garments with fringes or flaps that will move in the wind.
As they jump you should be much lower than the subjects, preferably on the ground directly below them and aiming high. Record their images as they go up and as they come down. Avoid recording any part of the trampoline. The resulting images will make it appear as if your subjects are flying or falling from the sky.
A variation is to get your subjects very wet thus the water will spread in all directions with their jumping action and a water hose is perfect for this. If possible have them flap their arms too as they jump.
The second project requires a bit more preparation and a few other items besides your gear. Find a location that you can flood with about a few inches of water. Any flat cement surface will do. You should use any barriers that will keep the water from leaving the site, sand bags are good. You do not need that much of a space.
The area encompassed by about half of a tennis court is great. The space needs to be water retaining not water absorbent such as grass or sand. Once the area is flooded with water place a ladder almost in the middle and stand as far up as you can. Have your subjects start dancing or hopping in the middle of the field as your take their photographs from above.
The resulting images will give the impression that they are dancing or walking on water. For those of you that have a large pool, next time that you plan on emptying it, leave about half a foot of water then place a ladder in a safe position right above the subject and proceed with taking their images.
Because of the usual painting that are used in pools the effects are better than those done on regular cemented surfaces. Even better if the pool surface is painted a shade of dark sky blue or plain white.
Be mindful of using flash for these projects. The light source should not be too strong or too close to the subjects otherwise you run the risk of creating a "wash out" effect and unnatural highlights and flash "hot spots".
However, in the first project unless the available light is sufficient enough for photographic purposes you may be forced to use a flash in order to freeze the movement of your subjects.
Try if possible, to use a remote light source which will fire once you depress the shutter angled at about 45 degrees in relation to your subjects.
On the second project you should be keenly aware that water is a reflective surface and may reflect the light back to you, thus creating "light hot spots" so shooting at a slight angle to the subjects is advisable and this helps to eliminate your own reflection from appearing in the photographs.
These two projects are fun and can be undertaken with the help of your friends who are sure to have a blast while helping you take great shots.
The first project is really done from a personal perspective and does not have too much of a commercial value unless the images are really exceptional.
The second project depending on several factors such as the surface that you plan on flooding can sometimes be submittable to photographic stock houses and to general photographic publications.
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