Rachel Keenan's Outdoor Photography Blog Part 4
While photography is my career it is something that I still very much enjoy doing, purely for the love of it. Creating images is a relaxing hobby which is not just for the professional. With the advent of smartphones, many of us carry around sophisticated cameras in our pockets! Here are 5 photo projects for the pro or the interested amateur to try, to stay occupied and happy at home!
Up Close Jigsaw
Macro photography opens a fascinating world of the lesser studied subject. The common themes of close up photography are usually the faces of insects or expanded views of flowers. However, up close, textures of even banal subjects take on a life of their own. Challenge yourself to find intriguing details in something very ordinary around the house. Once you start to look, you will find beautiful textures and shapes in your miniature world.Test housemates and family and see if they can guess the item - the more abstract the better!! Although expensive lenses produce great results, technology nowadays means that you don't need to break the bank to start shooting macro. Apps for smartphones increase your camera's magnifying capabilities. Or purchase a "phonescope©", these miniature microscopes click over the phone's camera and will soon have you on the hunt for the minutia!
Experiment with this one, remembering that a portrait doesn't necessarily have to be a person! Perhaps you have a handsome pet worth sharing, or if you live alone, set a timer and create a self portrait! In simple terms rainbows are produced when light is bent or refracted through an object which causes the light to split into all of it's colours, producing the rainbow. Glass prisms can be picked up cheap online, however remember that the same effect can be achieved with more commonplace objects, CDs when held into a beam of light produce a similar rainbow, a cheap alternative! Move the prism in the light and observe the effect this has on your subject matter. Get creative, in photography there are no wrong answers!
Flat Lay Photography
Flat Lay photography has experienced a boom, it is a hugely popular style of still life. Simply put, it is a photograph taken from a birds eye view, of objects which display a general theme. Usually they are simple, bold and eye-catching. For the subject of your image begin by thinking of your theme. Think about what you are passionate about, channel it into the items that you gather. Perhaps travel is your thing, collect such items as a passport, ticket stubs, sunglasses and maps, capturing the essence of planning that next adventure. Or maybe you are a foodie, have fun artfully arranging the ingredients and utensils needed for your next culinary masterpiece! Experiment with different surfaces and remember that light direction will also be very important, shadows shot from above might be obvious so think about how this will affect your overall image.
This is the optical device from which all photography developed. In simple terms a CameraObscura is an aperture which allows light into a darkened space. This will create the fantastic effect of projecting the outside world onto the walls, though it will be upside down and back to front! It is curious indeed to watch birds fly across the ceiling or cars drive across the walls as the outside world is projected in!! This effect can be created by covering up windows to fully darken the room, then creating a small hole to allow light in. The brightness of the light outside will affect the strength of your image, so look out for the changes in effect on a sunny day versus an overcast one. Your resulting photographs will look as though you've hired a projector for the evening!!
A fun way to show the passage of time, this collection of images taken at intervals which, when viewed together, create a wonderful video zipping through time. Most smartphones now have a setting for timelapse photography, which takes care of the technical aspects. Stick your phone in timelapse mode, attach to your bike's handlebars and capture your daily exercise as it will slowly (and somewhat bumpily!) photograph the changing scene in front of you, documenting your journey! Or keep it simple and point your phone at the setting sun and capture the last light of the evening, sinking in the sky. A fun project to try that doesn't require too much set up or extra kit!