Possible Year Projects
We have discussed year projects, why you could undertake them, the benefits and how to go about it in the article A project For This Year. In this article I want to look at just a small selection of projects that you could take on, and point you in the direction to find out more.
Your Photobook on your favourite topic, or a new one
Photobooks can be printed singularly or in larger numbers, switching to become Print on Demand (POD) books if marketed and needed in larger numbers. The cost of producing just a few copies is low, and gives you the opportunity to see some of your work in print, to show others what you can do and provides a use and purpose for your photographs. They may make nice presents, and will bring you pleasure. With a book, any book you need ideally to start with an outline, so that you know what you want to include. See Making Your Own Photography Book.
Developing a website or one of the Photographers Resource on a country
This involves both photography and research, and can grow over time, it does not all need to be available at a single time. Involvement with a portal project may also mean you can get assistance to achieve these objectives, from those who would like you to cover what they have available, this could vary from free entry, to accommodation to flights or other items. While doing this you may well be building a wider library of photographs to use in other ways. If you want to do something on your own, then it can be more difficult to get support from others, but there are always cost effective ways to achieve any objective.
Contact Us if you are interested in undertaking a portal project.
A Calendar Project
A calendar normally requires at least 13 photos, one for the cover and one for each month. Frequently the monthly photos have some connection with the time of year, but not always. There is a lot of scope to produce calendars beyond doing them just for your own use. They can raise money for good causes and charities, and can be sold for a profit. While there are many general ones and some for popular tourist destinations, many places don't have a local calendar and many specialist topics may not be covered to the depth that is possible. Companies, businesses, organisations and some individuals like to have a quantity of calendars, often with their business or other promotional message on them. Areas that appear to be covered well, may also be so popular that a greater number is needed. With a calendar project you need to decide if it is a calendar for next year or the year after, if next year, then you are short of time if you want the calendar photographed and available by soon after the summer at the latest. If you have a topic you can photograph on this time scale or of you have existing photographs for some of it, this should be possible. See Producing Calendars at Home, Selling Pictures to Calendar Publishers, and An Income from Calendars.
Heritage Railway Photography
Heritage (steam) railway photography uses a number of skills including using ND graduated filters. It can be planned and with events on throughout most of the year, there is quite a lot to photograph, and much of it can be worked out before the train arrives. There are many photographers who are very keen on railway photography and at some events may be too many at popular places, however if you get a line side pass from one of the lines that allows you on the line, you can go and find picturesque locations with few problems. We have an extensive Railways trains and trams section that will help, but check back often as its being expanded over time.
Historic Buildings and Sites
Membership of English Heritage, the National Trust and similar other organisations allows you access to very large number of Heritage properties, some however limit, or attempt to limit you using the images commercially unless they get a cut. You therefore perhaps need to think about the use of the photos before deciding which of the organisations to join. We have a lot of information on this site on photographing different types of ancient buildings and sites, see the Sections Index for the fast route into those areas that are covered in depth or the Topic Index to get to specific items. We have been undertaking a project to photograph windmills and you will find a lot of information on these available in the Windmills section.
Wildlife photography is a specialist area, that often requires longer lenses and can involve hides, and in some cases automating the taking of images, or using remote means. It is time consuming to do well, and like any form of hunting success is not guaranteed, you may get an excellent photo on your first attempt, later or never. Generally the more you know about the subjects you are to photograph, the more you will achieve. We have a general article on Wildlife photography linked to some others and an extensive and growing coverage, including information and/or links on every UK bird and mammal - see the Wildlife and Animals section off the topics menu.
Plants, Gardens, and Nature
Seasonal, like much of the wildlife, this area is often easier to plan and able to be achieved by those who need longer to think about a photo they are taking. Macro photography and wide angle is as much apart of this as using a standard zoom. National Trust membership may give you access to some larger gardens, others are open, some all the time and some seasonally. See the Gardens section for more details. The nature section off the topic index gives you information on a very much wider range including wild flowers. Also look at the article on Indoor flower photography as this is something you can do throughout the year from the comfort of your own home, you may also find the Waterfalls and Follies and Monuments sections also interesting.
A Walk or Country Path
This could equally include rivers, canals, and other routes, or a section of coastline. The objective in many cases is to follow them, and document what can be seen. As this may change at different times of the year, involve special events and development history, there is quite some scope here. Some also develop local booklets of shorter local walks. See the index of information on Walks in the topic index and the Walks section to see what we have available to help you, and check out the entries under Landscape in the Alpha index to see more articles that may be interesting. Other articles you will find in the topic menu under Photography.
In Britain we have a very wide range of events, from the crazy ones, to historic traditions, to parades and carnivals, any or sub groups of which could make a good project. To see what's coming up check out the Photographers Diary regularly, and watch out for the articles we have covering some of these events. Past magazine issues are all online, so check out the past issues around a year ago, and this may provide you with an idea of what you could be looking at now, as well as what is covered in the current editions.
Britain still has very many churches, and many are now operated in groups, used occasionally. However recent changes in rules on use and the addition of high water rates for drainage, based on roof area, have meant that some are now being partly converted for community use, and this practice and other conversions are likely to increase rapidly, making it perhaps the last time to make a photographic record of a very wide cross-section of churches in your area. Churches are all shown on the Ordnance Survey maps, and with a little planning a lot can be covered quite quickly. Watch out for more information on photographing churches in Photographers Resource.
Studio photography is not really a single topic, but a collection of topics from model work, to still life to specialties like food photography. You don't need a lot of equipment to start, and your home an be used for a studio. Beyond this you can take it right the way up to full blown movie stages. A lot of work has been done on creating a studio section for Photographers Resource, it's not complete but take look and see what you can achieve so far with it.
Many areas, many types. As we have little interest in sports, this is currently an under covered area in Photographers Resource, perhaps if you have an interest you would like to work with us on rectifying this. Besides the obvious sports photography, some have undertaken projects to produce coverage of specific individuals over a period, but if you envisage this it may be a good idea to contact them first so they don't think you are stalker. Contact Us if you would like to discuss this.
We have covered this in a separate article looking at an area project based on Lincolnshire, how one can go about researching and working out what there is to photograph within a geographic area.
We have, I am sure, just touched the surface of the available projects that you could consider, some others generally known, and a very wide selection very specialist areas are available to select from. Perhaps over time more and more of these will be covered within Photographers Resource, and if you have an interest and would like to bring this area to a wider audience then let us know.