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Digital SLR Assignments

I'm slowly learning more and more about my new digital SLR. One of the things I'd like to try is to put together a list of "assignments" that I could do (and perhaps share with folks here on the blog).

By "assignment" I mean something like: "night shot at ISO 1600" and the corrolary, "night shot with tripod." I mean things like "B&W Showing Emotion" and "smooth pan of something in motion." Perhaps it could even be the start of a new blog, and people could post their own images to the various "assignments." The assignments would cover a variety of techniques and subjects.

But for now, I'm just looking for a list of assignments. I'll add to my own list in the comments, but here, off the top of my head, are the ones I can think of, in no particular order (for those who can't take context clues from the <ul>, I suppose! :-D):

  • Running Water
  • Child Sleeping
  • Dilapidated Building
  • Night shot with high ISO
  • Night shot with long shutter speed
  • Closeup of Flower
  • Panoramic Images
  • Photograph a subject with different white balances
  • Landscape
  • Silhouette
  • More to come…

Not all of the suggestions will be good, but that's the point of brainstorming: to put ideas out there and sort through them later.

7 Responses to "Digital SLR Assignments"

    • Take a picture of an object you see every day
    • Two Photos: one with a little depth of field and one with a lot
    • Two Photos: one with motion and one without
    • Take a sharp, well-exposed photo of your favorite local haunt
    • Shoot the same subject from three different angles
    • Photograph a natural or manmade pattern
    • Two Photos: one that shows your first impression of a subject, the second that shows a simplified view
    • Pretend you're on assignment for National Geographic in your own hometown and shoot three landscapes that tell the story of where you live
    • Take a photograph of a subject that never bores you
    • Two Photos: the same object in portrait and in landscape
  1. You might want to check out It's not exactly what you're looking for, but they do have weekly challenges which involve shooting a variety of subjects.

  2. flickr is full of such games, such as the circle squared assignment.

    Within the realm of the relatively mundane everyday (vacation and family shots), I always thought these could use a twist or two. What if, in twenty years, you had twenty prints framed on your wall, of a family portrait, in front of a favorite tree or whatever, all shot identically as possible, but exactly a year apart?

    This is done all of the time to a degree... photo Xmas cards, school portraits, but hardly anyone ever places them together so one can see the changes over the years altogether in one eyeful. I wouldn't mind having every shot of myself in grade school together in one frame somehow, but I seriously doubt I could find as many as half of the prints.

    The image then becomes the difference between the exhibition clearly in the eye of the beholder.

  3. Photo Friday kinda does this, but not quite the way I had envisioned. They have an interesting way of showing people's photos, though: by using a frameset and letting people post on their own blogs.

  4. I'll take down your list and see what I can throw together over the next week. I'd like to add one off the top of my head (keying off one of yours)

    Take an interesting picture of something that *completely* bores you, every time.

  5. Erik, a lot of your own suggestions seem excellent, and seem clearly geared towards your learning and becoming familiar with and stretching the technical limits of your camera. Carry them out even if you do get boring results until you get a keeper... at least with digital, you don't have to pay for film and prints.

  6. Give me a buzz, and I'll send you a list of assignments I've done in the past. It'll get you up to speed super fast. Also I'll point you towards some good books, that are good to have as quick references as well, some of them with some great sections on digital photography.

    Me, personally, I guess I'm a huge fan of 35mm B&W, because I really love the process of development. There is so much one can do there. I like the idea of adjusting my pictures in analog (vs digitally, i guess). So a lot of my self assigned assignments do with development as well.