5 Exciting Photography Challenges To Relieve the Boredom of Being Stuck Indoors on a Cold Winter’s Day or Weekend
Every year, the excitement of the holidays quickly disappears when the worst of the winter weather slams the temperate part of the world during January and February. It’s especially a bummer if you received photography gifts and the weather forces you to stay indoors, so you can’t try that new camera, lens or accessory.
It may be much too cold and wet for any outdoors photography, but it’s the perfect time of the year to focus on improving your techniques indoors. Plus, these 5 challenges should energize you (and even your family) and relieve any boredom, wintertime blues or cabin fever.
1. The most obvious photography subject matter you could learn how to shoot surrounds you: the rooms of your home. They may not be the grand rooms of a mansion or castle, but they’re yours. Someday, you’ll be happy you recorded well-lit and -composed images of the place you call home. They could be particularly beneficial when or if you sell your home and could prove useful if there was a fire, to help support an insurance claim. Since you want each to room to look its best, this is also an excellent opportunity to clean everything thoroughly, add some flowers or other accents to revive your digs.
Then, read some of the PhotographyTalk.com articles about architectural photography and shooting interiors and review some of these images in the gallery section. You’ll then be ready to duplicate those techniques and looks in your home. It may be necessary to rent the appropriate lens (wide-angle) and lighting equipment to take your best shot at architectural photography, but it’s a worthwhile investment.
2. Another photography challenge for a cold afternoon is to work on your portrait skills using your family members as subjects. This becomes a family activity; instead of everyone watching you have fun, as they burrow under another blanket on the sofa. Direct your attention to PhotographyTalk.com articles about the three-point lighting technique, rent a lighting kit, tell your family members how warm they will feel under those lights and start creating!
Even though the light will be low, pose someone near a window and 90 degrees to it, so one side of his or her face receives all the light and the other side is in shadows. This is excellent exercise to help you understand the direction of light and how it affects your pictures. Ask your “models” to turn at slightly different angles towards and away from the light, so the light on their faces change. Try to create some interesting two-person and three-person portraits, as the light will become very interesting when there are multiple subjects being struck by the side light. You don’t need a flash unit or other artificial light, but a tripod could be very helpful, since you may have to shoot at a slow shutter speed. Pushing the shutter release button could cause the camera to shake, so if you’re renting a tripod, then add a remote shutter release device.
3. Another challenge that will make the time pass, as you endure the winter, is to try your hand at food photography. What a great opportunity to prepare a feast! You’ll also find articles about food photography at PhotographyTalk.com. Your equipment needs are a bit more specific. Again, a tripod and remote shutter release are critical and a lens with a minimum focus distance that is quite short, less than a foot, if possible. Lighting equipment will also be required.
4. Similar to food photography, general macro photography will also keep you occupied for hours. Look for close-up patterns and textures on your walls, furniture, carpet, etc. Involve a child by shooting close-ups of tiny car models, the inside of a dollhouse and other small toys and collectibles. You can learn together; and he or she can choose poses or positioning for the toys. With a tripod and remote shutter release, it’s easy to invite your child to take the picture.
5. A cold, dreary winter day can be pleasurably passed by inviting your photo buddies to come to your home to share and discuss whatever they’ve learned or tried recently. You can also make plans for spring and summer photography expeditions (Your spouses would be happy to join you, then again…).
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Photo by PhotographyTalk Member Tre' Everett