As humans, it is only natural that we sometimes find ourselves in a rut. These ruts aren't limited to our day-to-day lives and can often crop up in our hobbies. Even the most passionate photographers find themselves in a loop now and again, and when these situations arise it is important we rise to the challenge and force ourselves out of our comfort zones with interesting projects. Here are five great ways to breathe new life into your photography
Taking Pictures of Yourself
Often times photographers spend so much time behind the camera that they forget about taking pictures of themselves. Self-portraiture is a difficult branch of photography that comes with several challenges. Focus up a remote focus, making yourself look good (in your own eyes), framing, and many of the other things we take for granted as photographers become infinitely more complicated when we lose the ability to look through the lens. If you want to liven up your pictures try adding a few props to your self portrait and see how it turns out.
Take a Step Back in Time
Sure, you may be a pro with that fancy all-digital SLR in your hands, but what about with and old-school twin reflex? If you've run out of fresh ideas, there is nothing better than getting some old equipment and figuring out how to use it. As an extra bonus, you will even learn new elements of photography that may be automatically done with your near gear. Get rid of your light meter and break out your notepad!
One of the most interesting things to do with photography is superimposition. If you're not familiar with superimposing, it's the art of taking two pictures and superimposing them over each other. This can create interesting and impressive images that challenge your imagination. Digital editing software has certainly made this easier than it used to be as you can now take two good shots and work them together later on instead of waiting to get it right.
Time-lapse photography refers to taking hundreds of pictures of the same subject over long periods of time. Although this type of project does require a big commitment it can be very satisfying when it's all completed. Interesting subjects for this include children, buildings, outdoor environments that experience weather changes, or even you. If you've ever seen a slide show of someone who photographed themselves every day for several years, it's a great example of time lapse photography.
Tell a Story with Your Pictures
If you find yourself walking the thin line between photographer and writer, this may be the best project for you. What you want to do is create a narrative on paper or in your mind about someone who lives in your neighborhood. You should think of how they spend their day and then take a lot of pictures of how you think they would spend their day. At the end of the day, you can put all of your photographs in order and add descriptions to each one explaining what your character would have been doing in those locations.
Photography is a form of art and like any artwork requires regular inspiration. When you find new ways to take pictures it will not only keep you engaged but will help you gain even more photographic skills. The next time you find yourself in a photo-rut, give one of these great projects a try and see how they can help get the gears of your mind turning.