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52 photography projects: a great technique to try every week of the year

Perfect weekend photography projects

More outdoor photography projects

28. Recreate a tilt-shift effect

52 photo projects

The 'toytown' effect that you can get from using an expensive tilt-shift lens 'incorrectly' is addictive. But you can achieve a very similar look in Photoshop by blurring all but a small area of an image. For the most convincing effect, shoot the scene from a high viewpoint on a sunny day to heighten the 'model village' look.

29. A-Z photos

Rather than simply shoot a photo alphabet made up of letters on road signs and shop fronts, find objects and shapes that resemble letters. For example, the frame of swings in a play-park forming the letter A, or the curve of a rivers forming an S-shape.

30. 1-100

Similar to creating a photographic alphabet, this project requires you to shoot objects that illustrate the numbers 1 to 100. You can take pictures of subjects that add up to each number, or shoot objects that resemble the numbers.

31. Faces in unusual places

An easy and fun photo idea: train your eyes to spot 'faces' unintentionally formed by everyday objects. Everything from a pair of bath taps to a manhole cover is fair game. See the Faces in Places blog for inspiration.

32. Light orbs

52 photography projects

Light painting offers plenty of opportunity for creative photo projects, but how about trying your hand at a series of light orb shots. You don't need much in the way of kit - a string of battery-powered LED lights wrapped around a hula hoop is perfect. Simply spin it in front of a tripod-mounted camera. If you're shooting by yourself, use the camera's self-timer function so that you can position yourself in the frame before the exposure starts.

33. Steel wool on fire

A night photography project you'll need to do in an open area away from flammable objects… Put fine wire wool in a metal whisk, attach this to a chain, then set the wool alight and spin it. You need a brave volunteer, a tripod, and an exposure of about 15 secs at f/11 at ISO100. See our guide on how to create light orbs for more details.

34. Alternative car trails

For traffic trail photographs with a difference, shoot from a moving car at night as a friend drives slowly along a well-lit road. You will need an exposure of around 30 seconds. Use a tripod set up in the passenger seat and trigger the shutter with a remote release.

35. Intentional photo mistakes

52 photography projects

Write a list of typical photography mistakes, then go out and see if you can take successful images that illustrate each of the ideas. Severely overexpose or underexpose pictures. Crop a subject awkwardly. Focus on the backdrop instead of the subject or intentionally include flare in the frame.

36. Cinemagraphs

Make a series of animated GIFs which feature subtle motion. This technique requires a bit of Photoshop work, and you'll need to shoot video rather than stills, but the results can be stunning. You'll need to use a tripod so that the background remains still throughout the sequence and choose a scene where the moving elements are continuous or looping, so that the start and stop points will be less obvious in your finished cinemagraph. Subtle movement - such as a breeze blowing the leaves on a tree - often works best too.

37. Intentional Camera Movement (ICM)

You may be used to doing everything possible to take a sharp photo, but it can be liberating to do the opposite and move the camera during a comparatively long exposure. Try working in Shutter Priority mode, dialling in a shutter speed of 1/15sec or slower. See the work of British art photographer Chris Friel for inspiration.

38. Lo-Fi look

52 photography projects

Although it's fairly easy to add Photoshop or Lightroom retro effects to your photos, you'll get a more authentic appearance if you think about the style of image you want as you shoot. Lo-fi effects work well with simple, graphic subjects that are easily recognisable once the effect has been applied.

39. Time-lapse photo

How many of us have the time to fit time-lapse photography into the daily routine? Force yourself to try this addictive technique by making it one of your photo projects for 2015.