I’ve recently found a great youtube channel called The Art of Photography, ran by Ted Forbes. One of its video series is a set of photo assignments where he talks a bit about different photography concepts and then sets an assignment related to the specific concept covered in each video. I probably won’t do them all, but there are a few that I find particularly interesting.
The first assignment is called Variations and it’s quite simple: choose one thing and photograph it in 10, maybe 20 different ways. The purpose is to try to get as many different photos of the same subject as possible, which will most likely make us step out of our photography comfort zone and try to come up with new ideas. For my subject, I choose a mannequin my friend has at her house (which also displays a lovely yellow wall).
These photos were taken with Sophie, my digital camera
As you can probably tell, I very quickly ran out of different angles at which to photograph the mannequin, and after adding an accessory to it (my sunglasses) I must say my creativity escaped me, getting a total of 15 not-so-great photographs. Funny enough, my favorite photo of this set is the first one I took, of the mannequin where it stood before I started to move it to try to find a “better” photograph.
I also tried a few different things while processing these photos. None of them are heavily edited, but some were a bit cropped to exclude certain objects that I accidentally had left in the frame. One of the things I tried, though, and which I think worked out quite well, was turning one of the photos black and white.
Overall, I believe this was an important exercise, one which I’ll probably repeat in the future. For one thing, it showed me that I run out of ideas on different photographs very quickly, even with a quite interesting subject and a very lovely background. And also, it made me think a bit on how the subject and background definitely don’t make the photograph. I encourage anyone who likes photography to try this assignment. It’s very simple and difficult at the same time, which is a quite interesting combination – and I think it works extremely well. Have fun!