Needing photographic inspiration recently, I stumbled upon 7 Photography Projects to Jumpstart your Creativity.  Out of the 7, the 2 that resonate most with are those headed 52 photowalks and Pick-a-something. Both seem achievable, both relate to observing, really seeing a place or thing, really being absorbed in the work and seem to bring about their own creativity.  The photowalks idea puts me in mind of a Sydney based project - 52 suburbs/ - that I came across last year.  I've included those 2 favourites below for reference.  I'm unsure about picking a project that requires commitment at the moment - 365 days, 52 weeks etc - but the concepts hold up.

2. 52 Photowalks

I use the term “photowalk” pretty loosely here.   While photowalks often include groups of people walking through cities together, all capturing images of the same landmarks from their own point of view, I’m being slightly more liberal with the term.

Basically, I’m saying you should get out of the house once a week with your camera.  I looked through all my photos from my first year with my DSLR and realized about 90% of them were in or around my house.  So I got up and walked out the door once a week. I’ve been to local parks, abandoned buildings (careful with this one: it can be frowned upon or even illegal to poke around some abandoned buildings), downtown and other small towns near me.

Besides adding a bigger variety to my photo collection, I’ve noticed two other side effects from this project so far: I’ve discovered all sorts of parks and areas of downtown that I didn’t even know existed, and I’ve been able to go to places that I already knew and see them from a totally different viewpoint.  For instance, the picture above is of a local amphitheater.  I’ve been there a number of times and never thought much of it… but being there when the park was empty, and walking to the back of the stage looking out has given me a completely different perspective.

5. Pick-A-Something

Pick something and try to get a collection of photos representing it.  For instance, pick a color and try to go all day photographing only red things, or try only getting pictures of things that are square when you’re on a walk.  I was once at a cookout and, while I took photos of other things, I also tried to get  photos of people’s shoes.  

The upside of this project is that it, once again, gets you to start seeing ordinary things in different way – taking a snapshot looking down at everyone’s shoes is going to start to get boring, so it forces you to start thinking creatively.  The downside of this project is that people are going to start giving you weird looks for crawling around on the ground taking pictures of shoes while everyone else is enjoying hamburgers and potato salad.