You gotta have a goal. Why not make 2020 the year you try 20 new things in photography?
Read on for some suggestions. Many of these are the topics for this year’s
competitions. So push yourself this year and getcha some ribbons!
1. Go Old School
Shoot in black and white. But don’t just desaturate an existing image. Seek out something you think will look fabulous in B&W and shoot that (for the March contest).
2. Get a Silhouette
Find something that is strongly backlit and expose for the background. Submit in the April competition.
3. Reflect on Reflections
This is another option for the April contest. Take a second look at still water, store windows, puddles, and well, mirrors.
Put some extra dimension in your shots by purposely finding subjects that have elements in the foreground and background.
5. Paint with Light
June’s contest is the source for many of the ideas in this article. Take a long exposure at night, and use a flashlight to “paint” certain areas for dramatic effect.
6. Move While Shooting
Add a sense of motion to your images by zooming or panning during an exposure. The longer the shutter speed, the bigger the effect.
7. Add a Filter
Try shooting through a neutral density filter to smooth out water or clouds. Might be a nice effect for the July contest.
8. Get on Your Belly
Our eyes see almost everything from a standing perspective, so shooting from a unique angle is an easy way to make your photographs instantly more interesting. Get really low for the August contest.
9. Find a Pattern
Our November competition will have you looking for geometric shapes in nature. Go even further by finding interruptions in patterns—almost always makes a great photo.
10. Get Closer
A common remark heard from judges is the subject is too far away in the photo. So move in. Push yourself to get closer than you usually do. Might work nicely in the February contest.
11. Go Somewhere New
Texas has amazing places to shoot. Here are just a few and a few more.
12. Go Somewhere Old
Push yourself to find new subject matter in familiar places. If you’ve photographed every animal at the zoo, go again and capture shots of people.
13. Alarm Yourself
While out shooting, set the timer on your phone to go off in an hour or so. When it does, immediately shoot the most interesting thing you see.
14. Do the Opposite
Go ahead and get the shot. Then force yourself to do something completely different with the same subject. The crazier, the better.
15. Flash Someone
Most photographers wait too long to explore the power of flash. Did you know you can probably change the intensity of the flash on your camera? Start with that. Use it to fill shadows. Try using reflectors to bounce light.
16. Go on a TAPC Field Trip
Have you seen the images we get when we go somewhere together? Our Facebook page is the best place to hear about upcoming trips.
17. Sit Still
Find a nice place. Sit. Then wait. Observe. Absorb. Look at the same things until they seem to be foreign. If you’re getting bored, you may be about to see something amazing. Good things come to those who wait.
18. Go Out in the Rain
To capture images you don’t normally get, shoot when you don’t normally go. Turn your excuses—too rainy, too cold, too windy—into invitations.
Many local businesses would love some free photography. This will push you to do interesting work and may just help you move from hobbyist to pro.
20. Shoot Yourself
For most photographers, the subject matter they have the least of is themselves. Use the timer on your camera and capture a headshot. You’ll need it after all these challenges make you rich and famous.
If you’ve already done a few of these, add your own challenges to the list. But push yourself to find (and do) 20 in ‘20.