Five Elements of Control: #4 Context

Alcohol Plumbing

Have you ever seen something that looks so out of place that it catches your eye?  Well catch it with your lens too, because contextual positioning of subjects in interesting or unusual/unexpected areas creates visual interest.  This is what I refer to as controlling the context of your subject.  So many times I’ve heard people tell me “but how can I change the surroundings?”  The answer lies not in changing the surroundings of subjects you want to shoot, butin reversing that idea:  find unusual subjects in your given surroundings.  Say you are on a photo walk and in a city area.  Well, try and find subject matter that contradicts the sense of city. Read more

Five Elements of Control: #3 Geometry

Days of Yore

Earlier this week, we looked at the idea of how contrast/luminance can impact a photo, and that your creative style may tend toward a wider contrast or a narrower contrast.  Then, yesterday we looked at how the element of color can impact a photo, both in the sense of how colors can balance and compete against one another, and how bright versus dark colors can play off each other.  Since we’re moving from more theoretical to more tangible elements that we want to include in our photos, next up is the geometry of our photos. Read more

Summer Photo Project Ideas

Summer Fireworks

A summer photo project is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing and to keep your skills active.  Just like anything else, if you don’t practice your photography regularly, things can get rusty, so avoid the atrophy with these fun summer projects:

Summer Photo Project Idea 1 – Food!

Some foods are very stereotypical of summers, including hot dogs, bratwurst, watermelons, and salads (chicken salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, etc.)  Heck, even beer at a baseball game can make for some photo ops!  Try to come up with excuses to make the foods and then let your creativity whirl when capturing the images!  The best part is when you’re done shooting, your appetite is easily whetted and gratified!

Summer Food!
Beer cups at a baseball game make for a fun summer photo project

Summer Photo Project Idea 2 – Events!

Lots of fun themes surround summer – school letting out, graduation, independence, traveling, sunny beaches, fireworks, etc.  Pick a theme and look for ways to capture images of your own.  Obviously some will be more time sensitive (are you ready for July 4th fireworks?), so plan your timeline accordingly.

Summer Fireworks
Fireworks are a quintessentially fun summer photo project!

Summer Photo Project Idea 3 – Sunrises and Sunsets!

Yes, they are the intrepid photos we see all the time from all the world over, but every one is different, and every photo can tell a unique story, so stay out late one night or get up early one morning and find out where these classic shots can best be had in your area.  The nice thing about doing this during summer is that you don’t have to get up as early, and for the latter, you can usually wait until after dinner for your photo excursions – long days of summer give us extended times to approach the classic shots!

Summer Sunrise
Sunrise at Folly Beach SC – sunrises and sunsets make for excellent and inspirational summer photo projects!


In conclusion, having a project or theme to drive your creative vision is just one trick in the photographic tool bag. I’ve just given you three ideas for summer photo projects. But, of course, that’s not a corner on the market of creative fun summer photo project ideas. That said, you likely know where I’m going from here! What ideas do you have for summer photo projects?  Share your own experiences and thoughts in the comments!