During the photo club’s “open” competitions, it may be tempting to look through past images and choose one of your best. It’s understandable — how else are you going to show off those shots from Prague or Bora Bora? However, it’s also possible to use this assignment to push yourself to do something new. But what? Maybe these ideas will inspire your best image yet.
1. Do something completely different
If you shoot landscapes, try street photography. If your images are usually straightforward, try going abstract. Crawl around your backyard with a macro lens. Fail hard. Fail often. Progress is ugly.
2. Give yourself an assignment
Pick a subject, and spend the month shooting only that. At the point you’ve exhausted all your options, you may break through to something truly unexpected and exceptional.
3. Change your perspective
Spend a day shooting from the hip, or the foot, or a ladder. Again, forcing yourself to stick with it may yield some surprising results.
4. Go somewhere new
5. Look on someone else’s paper
Go out to a site like 500px. See what others are shooting. Find something that inspires
you, and see if you can recreate it or give it your own personal spin.
Give yourself one thing to pay special attention to: triangles, reflections, bright spots… Whether you have your camera or not, spending a month looking for one thing will force your brain to see everything in a new way.
7. Buy, rent or borrow
Maybe it’s time for some new equipment. Try a fisheye lens, flash gels, a neutral density filter, or even a drone. Or start working with an interesting prop: a mirror, glass ball, or prism.