Keeping the joy of photography alive for you.
What is a personal or passion project?
A personal project is something you choose to focus on to photograph over time. It can be a long-term project with no deadline or end. Your project becomes something that you want to continually work on. It will be a subject or topic that gives you a reason to photograph when you’re not really sure what to shoot.
Why is it important to have a personal project?
Having a personal project that is created around something you are passionate and care about will help keep the joy of photography alive for you. You’ll get better and better at creating images based on your project because you’ll be continually creating work for it. Creativity will be stretched and you will push to keep photographing a body of work you are proud of. Be sure to also display your passion project. Have your images printed or create a book of the project to share with others.
How do you choose a personal project?
Thing about what you are already passionate about photographing. What moves you? What compels you to create images? What are your passions and values? Are you passionate about wildlife, the environment or local history? These are a few of the types of subjects that make for good personal projects. Choose what you love and enjoy.
Don’t make it too difficult. You want to make sure it does not become a burden. Choose something that is easy to access and close to you. If it becomes a challenge to photograph a location or certain subject you’re not likely to continue to create images for the project. On the other hand, don’t choose something too easy or you won’t be challenging yourself to learn more and move your photography forward.
Examples of personal project ideas?
- Here is a list of example topics just to get the thought process started. The possibilities are endless.
- Colours – this is fairly easy as you’ll begin to see your choice of colour or colours everywhere
- Industries – banks, cafes, theaters, abandoned
- Brands – Coke, Harley Davidson, Apple, Levis, etc.
- Pets – dogs, cats, snakes, mice, birds or others, perhaps exotic pets
- Landscapes – sunsets at the same location in different seasons or weather, storms, mountains, water, waves
- People – homeless, workers, athletes, firefighters, elderly, babies, family
- Close-ups – leaves, flowers, doors, insects, eyes, food, textures
- Wildlife – birds, the big five, reptiles, dingos, foxes
Get inspiration by searching your subject on: Instagram, Pinterest, 500.px and Google image search.
Photo BootCamp Magazine
In this issue of BootCamp magazine, let’s go over why personal projects are important to each of our members through their images.
Be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!
Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine.
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Inside BootCamp Magazine
Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Here is our featured artist of the month, Anthony Cadden, from Australia.
This is the same lighthouse from last month’s challenge taken earlier in the day. The original image was flat and Anthony used radial filters to darken and highlight different areas. He originally tried this in black and white before he applied a new set of presets and profiles in Lightroom. The colour version had more depth and interest to give a similar effect as black and white.
Comment: Laima Ratajczak – “Well done Anthony, all the work you put into this image has really paid off. I really like the way you captured the light on both the lighthouse and the crashing waves. There is a real sense of drama.”
This month’s cover image was taken by Susan Swyny from Singapore.
This is a close-up of her sister’s lovely dog, taken about three years ago. He loved jumping up on the bay window, looking at the world outside, or just lying down contemplating. He’s such a sweetheart!
Comment: Jenine Tracey – “You’ve won me over with this one. I love dogs and this guy looks amazing. You really have captured the eyes beautifully; so clear and the colour is spot on.”
Let’s take a look at some of the personal projects of our BootCamp members have shared with us this month.
Ron Du Bois from Great Britain shares this from his garden.
The savagery of a North London garden! This was taken in his back garden after a snowfall. Ron had often found patches of pigeon feathers scattered around, suggesting some predator from time to time but never quite caught the predator in the act. This sparrow hawk let him walk about 3 metres from him before giving him the eye when he retreated. Ron was pretty happy with this as shot with some distracting elements removed in Photoshop.
Comment: Brent Mail – “Oh Ron, those eyes are so mesmerizing. A difficult image to capture at the best of times and you’ve done this really really well. No need to change anything in my opinion.”
Next, we have Caroline Holdstock from the United Kingdom. One of her photography passions is capturing flowers, she loves the variety of colours, shapes and patterns. Caroline can spend hours in a botanic garden. Recently she has been trying to create more abstract and ‘painterly’ style photos using post-processing techniques as well as a narrow depth of field. In this image, she experimented with filters in Photoshop and created a colour vignette in Color Efex. She is very much a beginner with these post-processing techniques but is enjoying creating the different effects.
Comment: Richard Hutson – “Caroline, This is a beautiful image … love the way the center seems to glow ! Well done.”
Next, we have Eugene Brannan from the United States. These assignments fueled one of the personal projects that he has continued for many years now. That project is looking for the small, the unique and often unseen or missed objects or scenes that are all around us. He uses close-up and macro photography to find these scenes. Eugene encountered a green tree frog on his car last night, illuminated only by a nearby street light. He added a portable battery-operated light and went to work getting as close as he could with his macro lens. The resulting image you see here was accomplished with minimal photographic tools, a reflective surface (his car) under his subject and a patient tree frog.
Comment: Jenine Tracey – “Wow!! I can’t believe the clarity and the detail in this image. The reflection almost looks bigger than the original frog. It truly is a winner!”
And last but not the least, we have Rodney Charlton from Australia. It has been raining almost non-stop for the last week or so, and very few insects seem to want to venture out (or people for that matter). He did find this curled leaf hanging from one of his plants and it contains a spider sheltering in the lower end. The spider did pop out briefly but at the same time, the wind gusted even more than it had been, so no chance of a clear photo of the spider. So he offered these spiders a home, perfect for rainy windy weather. Even though it was daytime, there was very little light due to the overcast and wet skies, hence the high ISO needed to accompany the higher shutter speed in order to capture the leaf as it was being blown about.
Comment: Romy Villanueva – “Interesting choice of subject. There are a lot of things around us that may look ordinary but can be presented in a very interesting way. Well shot Rodney.”
These are just a few of the images created and shared by the members which highlight their personal projects.
Share your own images by joining Photo BootCamp Academy. You can count on the community to help and guide you along the way. If you are not yet a member of this awesome family now is the best time to become one.
Check out the complete BootCamp Magazine and see for yourself!
- A personal project is something you choose to focus on to photograph, long or short-term with no deadline.
- Having a personal project will give you something to photograph when you are not really sure what to photograph.
- Using a topic or subject you are passionate about will keep the joy of photography alive for you.
- You will be pushed to create a cohesive body of work that you are proud of.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out these related articles, too:
- Remembering The Holidays Through Photographs
Capturing your memories during holidays.
- Using Reflections in Your Photography
Learn how using reflections can help you create more interesting images
- How Looking Up in your Photography Creates Unique Images
Change the perspective in your photography by looking up.
Do This Now
Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what you think. Brent