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kuvvy
12-26-2004, 02:08
My photography has become a little stale of late and needs a bit of a kick-start. I think that Iím going to have to find a project that I can really get into to get me productive again. I was wondering what plans you guys have for the coming year. What will you be shooting? I know many of us tend to shoot a mixture of anything and everything that takes our fancy. Thatís the pleasure of being an amateur. But I would really like to know if any of you have a particular project, theme or subject you intend shooting. I would be interested in your ideas.

Paul

rover
12-26-2004, 03:13
I strongly recommend finding something or someplace that is of strong interest personally as well as photographicly to you and just go an burn lots of film. I had made a number of trips to the Mansfield Training School before deciding to make it into a project.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php/cat/663

For this project I made 3 trips, 150 ish images and edited down from there. My goals were to tell a story, to focus on small details to show the larger picture, to show the beauty of what was, and to learn about my skills and equipment. I think I was successful.

Hope this helps.

RML
12-26-2004, 03:38
Rover has a really good point: it's not important what other people take for a project; it's important that any project you start is something that has personal meaning for you.

I have one personal project recording the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This has deep personal meaning to me as Mongolia is my second home, the ger districts appeal to me, and recording a disappearing way of life appeals to my historical senses.

Hopefully I'll be able to one or two other projects in Mongolia as well. One would be shooting tsam masks and items for a book; another would be shooting how a ger is build, the felt covers made, etc. Both appeal to me in a religious or cultural sense: the tsam masks project will deepen my knowledge of Mongolian culture and how Mongolians experience their form of the Buddhist faith; the ger building project will bring me closer to another essential aspect of Mongolian culture.

I can tell you that new equipment won't rid you of your blues. :) I just got a Canon 300D and have been shooting it for the past few days. I'm already getting bored with it and I'm longing for a digital rangefinder (I enjoy the digital part but detest the SLR part of the 300D :) ). The Dark Side is strong, however, so beware!

And, if in the end, even a project doesn't cure your blues than just put down the camera for a while! In due time your hands will be itching again to start shooting.

GeneW
12-26-2004, 03:58
The monthly themes here on RFF often prod me into action.

A couple of folks here have set up a PAW (picture a week) website to post their most interesting picture each week. It can make a kind of photo journal.

One project I like is this: my village (city, neighbourhood, etc). Imagine someone 30 yrs from now wondering what it looked like 30 yrs ago, then start documenting how it looks today. It's amazing how many changes occur in a relatively short time. Shots that look mundane today take on historical interest. Very few of our neighbourhoods get a good historical treatment. Be sure to include automobiles, trash days, signs, buildings, intersections, and people where possible. Even the changes in their clothing styles become interesting over time.

Gene

back alley
12-26-2004, 05:39
i too often wonder about what to shoot.
i like to go to the touristy part of town, generally known as 'whyte avenue', here in edmonton. i've been shooting here long before it became trendy to hang out here.
but, the older i get the more i hate the cold, so walking about in winter doesn't happen nearly as much.
most saturday mornings i head out to the local farmer's market. i arrive early as the set up is happening. i'm begining to be more accepted and recognized and people are talking to me about the photos and what i am doing there. but that's only a couple hours a week and more often than not i walk away without anything special on film.
i'm starting to put together a list of indoor activites with an eye towards shooting.

i look forward to other's respnses to this question also.

joe

FrankS
12-26-2004, 06:57
I've been taking pictures of musical performers at my local cool coffee shop. I've made prints, scanned them and sent them to the coffee shop's owner and to the performers. I also gave the shop owner a print of him playing guitar along with one of the bands. He's wanting to talk to me about displaying some of my photos there.

Over the coming year I'd also like to do far more nude photography with attractive female models, but I don't think that'll fly with my wife.

RML
12-26-2004, 07:24
Originally posted by FrankS
Over the coming year I'd also like to do far more nude photography with attractive female models, but I don't think that'll fly with my wife.

I think if you replaced the attractive female models with handsome male models your wife might be more inclined to let you indulge in your photographic passion. :)

FrankS
12-26-2004, 07:36
But thats' just not my cup of tea.

back alley
12-26-2004, 08:17
it'a all about the pics frank!
remember it's art;)

joe

FrankS
12-26-2004, 08:23
I'm not that artistic.

Borghesia
12-26-2004, 08:37
My projects are to finally print out the best pictures I have to decorate my home (never done that). My amateuristic work is slowly moving up to professional work. One or two times a month I am asked for a (paid) photography project. RF camera's are part of my equipment, and my Electro and Hexar AF did a good job.
Though I have digital equipment, my advertisement is that I shoot mainly on old fashioned film. My second project for the new year will be that I stick with film and try to master that more fully.

peter_n
12-26-2004, 08:43
Originally posted by FrankS
I'm not that artistic. Too funny! :) I love music and I'm working on a 3 year project with GBYSO, a Boston youth orchestra that produces many talented professional musicians. I've been associated with GBYSO for many years and both my children are grads of the program. I'm hoping that my efforts will result in an exhibit in 2008, which is GBYSO's 50th anniversary.

FrankS
12-26-2004, 10:39
About photographing male nudes, I just want to clarify that this is not my area of passion in photography, but if it is for anyone else, I have no problem with that, even if what we're talking about is sexual orientation: I have no problem with that, it's just not my cup of tea, and i have only respect for anyone self-actualized enough to realize and make that choice for themselves. I'm all about inclusiveness - racial, sexual orientation, whatever.

back alley
12-26-2004, 10:56
it's ok frank, it was only in fun.
in fact, my next phase was to start in about the photographer being nude.
but maybe i'll pass on that.

afa nudes, i have done a few. both men & women.
we have a lively gay community in our red neck town and it's not just the straight women who want boudiour shots for their partners.

i had a small studio, downtown, many years ago for a couple of years, and did some very nice portrait sessions with men, women and families. most kept their close on but occasionally i was lucky enough to find some brave souls who were wanting to shed their clothes.
and i only say lucky because it afforded me the opportunity to try working at nude photography.
it a tough shoot, trying to make nekked people look good.
there were a couple of women who would have looked good in noon light and a throw away camera but most needed some well placed shadows.

ah, for the old days...

joe

sfaust
12-26-2004, 12:27
I'll be doing a lot of work for stock, but for my personal stuff, I had at one point though about doing a PAW series. But the more I though about it, the more I decided to try something different.

I had stared on a few other projects, so I will contine with them and put my effort there. One is to do a study on Boston at night. I've got quite a few good images from it, and will continue on. I like going into town at night, and its rich with photographic opportunities. I tend to shoot 35mm digital as 'recon', then go back in and shoot either medium format or large format images of the nicer compositions.

Its nice too that at 2am when I finish up, I can still find a half dozen places to get coffee, pizza, chinese, or whatever tickles my fancy!

Doug
12-26-2004, 20:44
Hi Paul, I can relate to the situation. You might go back over your entire photo history looking at contact sheets, enlargements, slides, etc. Get an overview of what you've done in the past and see if that triggers any ideas, either to work more on or avoid.

A few years ago I computerized all my old filecards containing notes on rolls of film shot back into the 60's. In the process I had to deal with incomplete records, so I also looked at contact sheets and some neg file pages.

In all these photos of the past, the ones that struck me as most interesting had to do with people directly. Pondering this, I decided to concentrate now on people-oriented shots and stretch my social skills in that direction!

I've started by targeting people I encounter in the course of their business. Sort of a captive clientele, though some prefer not to get shot. I think I've now covered the easy ones and am wondering how to refocus the project, refine the idea, for the coming year.

This is just an example of how I found a new direction, and not to suggest you'd necessarily find the same solution... just that the methodoligy may suggest something to you!

RObert Budding
12-27-2004, 01:25
I've enrolled in a zone system course at the New England School of Photography. Time to get back into the darkroom - I've had no time since my kids started arriving 8 years ago! But now my wife has agreed that I can have Wedneday nights out!

This should be fun!

wlewisiii
12-27-2004, 05:38
I have two series that I'm thinking about seriously working on. One is my flag studies - flags in front of houses especially, but in other contexts as well. And also my barn studies. I'm thinking for the latter of doing them predominatly with a longer lens (J9 or J11) and in TriX.

I also have a co-worker at the book store who wants me to take her portrait for use on dust jackets (she's an author/poet) and doesn't want it "pretty" but rather "interesting"... :eek:

William

kuvvy
12-27-2004, 07:11
Thanks for your replies guys. I know it really is down to me to find something that interests me. Franks idea to shoot musicians something I tried once and enjoyed. Took pix of a local rock band and they liked the shots. My brother-in-law is currently practising with his new band so I could probably attend some of those and try some shots there.
Also thought of enquiring at a local music recording studio to try a few shots, possibly with the Hexar AF and fast film.

Another idea is to shoot a kind of A-Z of folk in my town and their occupations eg: A-artist, B-butcher etc and to put them on display in the hope of raising money for charity.

Looking at my pictures now I find that I don't take many people shots. Odd really, when I spent a number of years shooting weddings every weekend.

Thanks again

Paul

Brian Sweeney
12-28-2004, 07:00
I am taking more pictures at Nikki's little school, about 200 students from K-12. They have never had a yearbook, so the thought of putting together one in PDF format and having it available on lulu.com is appealing. At work, I am a "Powerpoint Ranger", so it can't be that bad...

If successful, I can turn the template over to the older kids for subsequent editions. I like nothing better than taking pictures of Kids, and these kids make very willing "models".

st3ph3nm
12-28-2004, 14:44
I've been planning for a while, now, to do a series of shots of my drive home from work. From a few nice corner stores to a modern freeway with a large curved sound barrier, there're some interesting shots. It's now just a matter of taking the time to work out the best light for each shot.

I've been recently shooting a lot of wrestling & mixed martial arts tournaments that a friend of mine has been in. This has led to me being asked to do a shoot of his junior class (photos in soon, guys), and I want to do some portraits of some guys he trains with, and him, too - great physiques, and interesting characters.

I guess here it's a case of finding something else that you're interested in, and combining it with photography. I can't tell you how many photos I've taken of old Datsun roadsters - some of them are actually half good photos! :)

Finally, I'll mention the monthly projects here - sometimes you can find yourself challenged to do a type of shot that you'd have never tried just to meet the needs of the project, and you end up pushing yourself. Some of my best photography has been directly a result of this kind of thing (mainly in the rec.photo.equipment.35mm newsgroup "shoot-in").

Hope these ideas help.

Cheers,
Steve

Stu :)
12-28-2004, 16:21
I have nothing in projects photography department as of now, I guess I should really get my A-into-G and start working now I've left university. But the post-grad application form is sitting my desk beside me half complete. Sure another two years of university would be fun... but do I really need a MFA in photography?

But in other plans the LF gear is going up for sale soon and proceeds going towards my DSLR with TS lens setup. Continue with the expansion of the darkroom and hone my toning skills some more (Tim Rudman's book is making me buy toners... help!). Also I'd like to get a set of non-T* lenses for my Hasselblad and of course as everybody has heard, me wants a 5cm Summicron.

Stu :)

Marc Jutras
12-28-2004, 18:54
I have a few ideas for larger scale projects, what I consider complete documentaries. The only problem is that these require lots of time and money to produce.

Today, after I completed the little make over of my website, I realized that the image I chose for the header contained my best subject: Montreal. Looking at the shots I chose for my site's gallery, it became more obvious. They are all pictures of the city and its inhabitants.

There are many reasons for this to be my best subject. One obvious reason is logistics. I live there so I don't need to plan for a trip. Another reason is that I really love that city. Those of you who visited might understand. another reason is the immense variety of subjects to be found here.

So, here's my plan: I'll document the city of Montreal in all its aspects as much as I can. I'll really try to find the time and energy between the professional shoots to burn at least a roll a week.

BTW, if anyone of you visits Montreal, let me know.

taffer
12-29-2004, 02:52
Fun, I remember having a conversation about this with Don while he was visiting Barcelona. The PAW thing is nice and helped me a lot, and in fact you always end with some sort of mini-series which can go from something so odd as abanoned drink cans :p to people walking, one of my favorites.

After those pics of craftsman on a local photo fair here, Don suggested me about that, and I'd really like the idea of doing some work about these 'forgotten' artists and their jobs in Catalonia or even the whole Spain.

Sometimes these jobs have got a wave of new interest and them being included in that fair was an example, other times unfortunately there's only one person in a small village doing that work and nobody's willing to continue with it, meaning it will be probably lost forever.

That said, I have a final degree project in front of me and the idea of leaving university and go find a 'real' job doesn't appeal too much to me, so if I can I'll try to apply for some staff / research position inside the uni and combine my photography with it.

EDIT: Curious how this thread seems to merge with the 'How did you take that picture?' one and the references to the excerpt I read yesterday from 'On being a photographer'...

st3ph3nm
12-30-2004, 16:48
BTW, this thread prompted to get off my lazy arse and actually SHOOT something towards the "trip from work" idea.:p

Thanks!

Steve