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I read somewhere (probably here on ePz ) that a good way to regain creativity and inspiration was to start a photo project. Since I have one in mind, I was just wondering if other members have done a project or are starting one (or in the middle of one). Interested to hear of the challenges, difficulties, satisfaction and subjects chosen. Also, if you're doing a project, is it going to end up as a pirinted book or just sit on your computer.
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I shot two calendar girls style charity calendars last year. From the start I didn't just want the models down the fruit shop holding melons in front of their bits or in the pub with pints in front of their privates. I wanted some kind of theme. The girls ended up with no real theme, the boys was rugby players tackling other sports, (that was the project in a way)
The shooting took place over several weeks with 24 different locations. There was a time limit to get these things to the printers. Also there were time constraints with availability of models (all volunteers) and locations - plus the weather.
Once you have to contend with stuff like that you start to sacrifice creativity for convenience and you start to make compromises. I'm only truly happy with a couple of the photos. My advice is to avoid anything which has you relying too much on things that may be out of your control.
I am doing a Project this year of visiting Wakehurst Place in West Sussex a couple of times each month to take some photographs.
Obviously there are certain periods to capture specific subjects, narcissuses / bluebells and later in the year the Autumn colours but in general just taking whatever I spot whilst wandering around.
Whilst there is so much to capture I am finding it a real challenge not to just go to my favourite spots, like the wood with the Betulas, but to take shots of less interesting subjects.
This week-end they have some heavy horses working in the meadow so that should be something different / interesting to represent August.
As for satisfaction, well so far that has to be getting a shot of a damselfly resting on a leaf and a pair of butterflies on some flowers.
I have no plans for a printed book or anything else, just doing it for fun really
Quote: I read somewhere (probably here on ePz ) that a good way to regain creativity and inspiration was to start a photo project. Since I have one in mind, I was just wondering if other members have done a project or are starting one (or in the middle of one). Interested to hear of the challenges, difficulties, satisfaction and subjects chosen. Also, if you're doing a project, is it going to end up as a pirinted book or just sit on your computer.
What are you interested in.
I bought an Ipod Touch and found the fun inspiring when taking images. I realised the quality was far too poor so i got an Ipad, which is still pretty poor, and set about getting a collection of images taken and wholly edited on the Ipad. I was more than pleased, despite the resolution, with the images and the creativity of the apps and decided to hold an exhibition. Not being 100% confident in the Ipad images i did a half and half with one half traditional proper camera images and half from the Ipad .. The exhibition was a massive success and the resulting favourite exhibition image came from the Ipad gallery .. I set myself a challenge, to get an exhibition from a pretty awful camera that really was primarily not even a camera, in order to show people they could potentially create things to share in an artistic way from something they carry round every day that they don't even consider primarily, as a camera and it worked well.
I've been pretty much involved in a project since I started this hobby; to find humour in my pictures; I'm delighted when I get something that I find funny enough to laugh out loud nearly every time I look at it. In fact, that's how I measure my success.
There was a fellow on here years ago from New Jersey; I think he was a wildlife officer, or forest ranger. He was the best, imo. He only posted at the weekends, and he had something to bring a big smile to your face every time. He became a friend of Gregg Glazzaro, visited Gregg at his home if I remember correctly. I think he just faded away, or maybe I did.
Thanks for all comments above.
Quote: My advice is to avoid anything which has you relying too much on things that may be out of your control.
I agree - but in your example, whilst it was for charity, it was more business orientated and obviously placed at least some pressure on you. Liked your idea for a project though
Quote: What are you interested in.
Photography LOL My only other interest is playing guitar - since I was a 'late starter' I feel I am now fairly accomplished and have turned to playing Spanish/classical. There might be something in that so food for thought.
@monstersnowman. Thats an interesting topic. A month or so ago I posted a topic about a tog who used an iPhone to take landscape shots in Scotland. The general idea was to eventually publish a book.
@Straycat - agreed, if you're not in it for profit, then photography should be fun. I look at some of my work and can't help but laugh (but for different reasons from yours
Quote: Interested to hear of the challenges, difficulties, satisfaction and subjects chosen.
I was meandering in the gentle flow of photographic mediocrity without much direction, enthusiasm or purpose so I decided to embark on a photo project. My passion in life has always been mountains, I have walked, ran and climbed them for 30 odd years so I set my project to photograph the best ones of Scotland and present them in a book.
I set my self a hard challenge. First I had to research what the possible candidates could be, its a subjective issue but I tried to make it objective as possible by polling people's opinions, researching books and using my own experiences.
Once I had a loose idea and list of 50 or so candidates, I started to plan the best way to photograph them, a lot of maps, guide books and internet walking forums were read at this stage.
Now I had a definite aim, ambition and plan and all I had to do was go out and photograph them....
The next three years were spent solely photographing the mountains for my book. It was mainly an enjoyable experience as I explored new areas and saw some memorable sights but it was also frustrating at times when plans or situations didn't materialise as I had hoped and there were a lot of disappointments along the way.
When I had approx. 75% of the images I started to turn my attention to the book aspect. I wrote a proposal and sent it off to prospective publishers but it soon became apparent that they didn't think it commercial enough for them although remarked on the sound idea and quality of the photography. This was a set back for me as I had to decide if I should carry on, I did and decided to fund the book myself and self-publish.
Once this was decided then I could knuckle down to design and layout of the book. I had no previous knowledge of this and had to learn much about book production in order for me to progress to the design and layout stage. I really enjoyed this stage as I was in complete control how my final book would look, it was a fairly long drawn out process doing basic design of images and text in Word program then getting this translated into an InDesign PDF file but I was lucky in finding a young and enthusiastic designer willing to do it in spare time for a small fee. A word of warning to anyone designing your own book - plan twice as much time as you initially think as most of the aspects such as copy editing and proof reading takes time to get right which is essential before committing to press.
Once the book was printed I then had to worry about selling it. I now had to learn about publicity and marketing, two different things but essential to sell. I had a self-publishing company do all of the trade side (Waterstones, Amaz0n etc) but I still did much leg-work publicising online and in local and relevant press and marketing in book and outdoors shops etc
In the end it all paid off as I sold out within 6 months. It was a lot of very hard work with many hours that went into produce it but I take much satisfaction that I produced a quality book that I know has been received very well.
I have a 365 project ongoing - documenting a full year in my life - thought it was easy to take a photo a day...but it is not.
There are days when it is a real challenge and others where I have lots of things to choose from.
Good thing I always have a back-up idea with 2 dogs making fun in the house and garden
My other project consists of 3 years of basically unedited and unfiled photos... of which I want to print some in large format and hang them on our walls at home.
So far I have finished 2 , one of them at 1,20x1,20 - really cool
So there are many more questions to come for the critique team with regards to processing and of course learning from that for current and future photos.
tbh in my opinion if you don't enjoy doing something, then go and do something else. Fair enough, if it is something you need to do for a living and it's growing stale then it's best to do something about it, but if it is a leisure activity then it really should not be a chore.
However, I have a good book called "The Artist' Way" - with a 'subtitle,' if you like, of "a course in discovering 1 recovering your creative self" by Julia Cameron. It was very useful.
Interestingly, one of the premises is that the 'artist within' is a 'child' who needs to be indulged just a little bit now and then, and ideas such as forcing oneself to take 'one a day' seem to me to be totally at odds with this and likely to have entirely the wrong effect! However, going to places / attending things that you like or what have you will help enormously and photography is actually likely to benefit as you can bring your camera with you.
There are lots more thoughts / ideas in the book, so if you're really are stuck I recommend it.
As I've never thought of my use of photography as being an art form (I took painting more seriously, hence the book) I've never grown tired of it, not since 1960something or other with a box camera. No, I'll never win awards but I really do enjoy photography and consider it as fun and an integral part of my life.
oh dear, a typo.
"a course in discovering 1 recovering your creative self"
"a course in discovering & recovering your creative self"
I did a 365 in 2013 and really enjoyed it. It was tough some days to find something to photograph & I wanted to really try to take imaginative or at least 1/2 decent shots. It gave me lots of ideas that I wanted to continue.
My son is now doing a 52 project and is really enjoying it as well.
In 2013 I started a 365 Project where my aim was to create a picture for each day of the year. However to make it slightly more interesting (and more difficult for me) I tried to stay within a couple of parameters. Firstly I featured each of the seven colours of the rainbow in rotation to be the focus colour in the picture . And then at the same time utilising each of the 26 letters in alphabet in rotation, to be pertinent and representative of the image in the title.
It wasn't easy finding images to fit the criteria, sometimes resorting to "manufactured" images. But it certainly getting the old grey matter working.
You might have got me wrong.
I only said it was a challenge...if I did not enjoy it I would stop immediately - nobody is forcing me to do it
The challenge is as whipspeed says to keep it imaginative. I think it is good to get out of your normal comfort zone and try something else...sometimes it is "just" about editing differently or a completely new angle...
Thanks for comments so far - a variety of ideas.
@JohnParminter - Very useful info - I'm sure your detailed comments will be of use to others and not just to me. I've seen your work in various online mags and realise the amount of work you put in. However,the thought of clambering up some of the Scottish Munroes at my age could be pushing it! That said, I had thought of climbing to the top of the famous and much photgraphed Buachaille and taking some reverse view shots of the many togs clustered round that little patch near the small waterfall down below
Quote: tbh in my opinion if you don't enjoy doing something, then go and do something else.
I take your point but it's not that I'm not interested I just need something to re-inspire me and get me thinking.
Quote: I have a good book called "The Artist' Way"
I think that book has been mentioned on here before so may look it up.
Quote: In 2013 I started a 365 Project where my aim was to create a picture for each day of the year.
I must admit I'm not a great fan of the 365 idea. It seems to me that you end up being forced to take an image in order to get you one a day. That said you have come up with an original idea which goes beyond the standard '365'.
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