Winter Photography Projects: Make a Self Portrait
6. Makea Self- Portrait
We’re getting more portfolio submissions based on self-portraits than ever before, and not just by attractive females. Digital photography has made it easier than ever to experiment with representations of ourselves. Try to shoot a picture of yourself that’s artistic, funny, mysterious or even just plain flattering like this self portrait above by Juicy Carolina
7. Archive your pictures onto CD/DVD
According to recent statistics, around 22% of PCs break down every year and 15% suffer a core component failure in the first three years. A high percentage of these will cause an irretrievable loss of stored data. Which means that if your pictures of baby’s first steps, or your once-in-a- lifetime holiday, exist only on your PC and youve no back-up, you’re on course for heartbreak. Do yourself a favour: burn them to DVD or get yourself a portable USB hard disc drive – they cost less than – £100. Your photo-editing software may even feature an automatic back-up option, or at least a reminder to do so.
8. Try to replicate a classic photo
One way to improve your photography is to learn from the experts. Try picking a photo you admire from one of the greats of photography, or a contemporary professional, and try to copy it. You could pick one of Edward Weston’s famous still-lifes of peppers, one of Bill Brandt’s distorted nudes or perhaps a favourite landscape by Joe Cornish or Charlie Waite.
9. Photograph Frost
Unless global warming launches an all-out assault on the UK in the next few weeks it’s a safe bet that we’ll have a few frosty mornings this winter. It may not be great weather for driving in but it can be very photogenic, though you’ll have to get up early to catch it before it burns off. Frost-covered landscapes can look amazing but you don’t have to travel great distances to find subjects. Try frosty windows or garden plants. Cobwebs can look great and you can find these anywhere. To get a good cobweb shot you’ll need to be able to get close and fill the frame, so a lens with a macro option will be most useful. Try to position yourself so that the light is hitting the front of the cobweb and the background is dark (you may need to move around to achieve this). Alternatively, shoot into the light for an atmospheric contre-jour cobweb. Either way, zoom in to a telephoto setting and shoot at full aperture to blur the background and make the cobweb really stand out.
10. Download Free Software and Learn How to Use it
It’s Winter. You’re broke. Join the club. If your credit card has taken a hammering this month but you still fancy trying some new software take heart, because there’s lots of free stuff online. We don’t just mean trial versions that expire, but fully fledged, permanent imaging applications.
Here’s our top five:
Google Picasa 2 http://picasa.google.co.uk
Corel Snapfire www.Snapfire.co.uk
Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopalbum/starter.html
Serif PhotoPlus 6 www.freeserifsoftware.com
Gimp Downloads: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/
11. Visit a Photography Exhibition
There’s nothing like seeing big prints on a wall to get really inspired. There are always lots of photography exhibitions on at any given time, and most towns host them. If you’re in or around London you’re spoiled for choice.
12. Shoot a still Life With your Ornaments, Glasses etc….
Why not try to create an interesting still-life? Ornaments and glasses make ideal subjects, whether you go for the bright colours and shiny surfaces or warm rustic tones of wood and paper ornaments. One popular and effective treatment is to go for a shallow depth of field effect. You’ll need a fairly fast lens set to a wide aperture (or you can simulate the effect on your PC later). Experiment with domestic lighting and your White Balance control to get the mood you’re after.