butterfly

The beauty of self-assignments

Challenge yourself to something new.

butterfly at windowIf you’ve ever been to Photoshop World, you know that Joe Glyda has a lot of fun with self-assignments—they’re a great way to stretch yourself and do something you might not normally do. One of his that I really enjoyed was when he replaced people’s heads with the front ends of cars, photoshopped such that they really fit, glasses and all.

butterflyI recently did this at Franklin Park Conservatory, if not mostly by accident. I committed to a photo meetup at the conservatory, but remembered only that morning that my camera was out of state! Rather than cancel, I gave myself an assignment: take the best pictures I could using only my iPhone and an ōlloclip lens. Honestly, I think I got some better pictures than I might have, had I been using my DSLR.

Some self-assignment ideas:

  • Go on a photo shoot using only your phone’s camera.
  • Take pictures with the intention of NOT editing them afterwards!
  • Go back to film days with your digital: only take 24 pictures, and set your display so it doesn’t review your pictures. Don’t peek at them until you get home!
  • Take a picture of something everyday, but from a new and interesting angle.
  • Leave home with your camera, with no particular aim. Let the world inspire you. When in doubt, just go somewhere new.
  • Pick a setting on your camera you never use. That’s all you can play with today.
  • Take a picture in/under/through/under/over something.
  • Pick a number. Find the book/magazine closest to you. Go to that page and read the 15th line on the page. Take a picture with those words as inspiration.
  • Pretend you’re someone else… a pet, child, etc. Take a picture from their point of view. What do they see and how?
  • Find a local headline in the news. Make a picture inspired by the story, or one that could be its new cover photo.
  • Go on a night hike. Take some long exposure photography.
  • Take pictures of everyday objects from such a different perspective that someone can’t guess what it is.

Find the ōlloclip on Amazon:

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