A 30-day photography project is a great way to experiment and jump start your inspiration.
We’ve chosen 30 different photography ideas that have a ‘wow factor’. Viewers will scratch their heads in amazement, wondering how you managed to capture the image.
These creative photography ideas will also help you learn and grow as a photographer. Some focus on creative photoshoots and still life, and others on imaginative post-processing. Get your family and friends involved and create great wall art or gifts!
Each challenge is achievable at home, so you won’t even need to leave your house!
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Let’s jump right in with Day 1!
Day 1 – Spiral Light Photography
For our first creative project, grab a torch. We’re making spirals of light!
Spiral light photography is a type of light painting. You can create the image by spinning a light in front of your camera. Painting light in the air leaves a long streak in your image. Leave the shutter open, and you can paint swirls, twirls, and circles.
Add a pop of colour by using glow sticks or add coloured gels on the torches.
All you need is a tripod, a night scene and a light source. Grab some friends. There is no limit on the number of lights you can use!
See our guide for a few creative photography ideas.
Day 2 – High-Speed Photography
Get ready. This creative photography idea is about catching the quick shot.
High-speed photography is about freezing motion. Look for moving vehicles, birds in flight or children at play. Photograph something that happens in the blink of an eye.
The trick to high-speed photography is a fast shutter speed.
See our guide for tips on freezing motion.
Day 3 – Light Trail Photography
Light trail photography is an easy way to capture an image with that wow factor. Light trails make a city come alive at night. This photo idea works anywhere with a moving light source.
With your camera on a tripod, set a long shutter speed. The long shutter speed is the secret ingredient you need in capturing these shots. Moving lights will streak through the scene.
See our guide for creative ways to capture the magical lights around us.
Day 4 – Long Exposure Daytime
Long exposure can dramatise a scene. It can turn clouds into streaks and water into glass. It adds atmosphere while keeping the focus on the important parts.
This style of photography is also used to blur movement or make people magically disappear from a scene.
Getting the effect during the day is a bit tricky. Read our guide to help you achieve the perfect daytime long exposure.
Day 5 – Light Graffiti
Want to send a message with your photography? Let’s have some fun with light graffiti.
We’ve all seen those interesting nighttime images where someone is painting a word or an image in front of the camera. It’s an easy trick!
All you need is a slow shutter speed, a tripod, a torch and a bit of patience. Stand in front of the camera and paint away. You’ll have to complete your image or word before the exposure finishes!
Read our article on light graffiti for all the help you will ever need.
Day 6 – Abstract Macro Photography
Today is the day to explore the tiny worlds around us. Macro photography is photographing close up. Really close up. So close that everyday objects become unrecognisable.
We rarely see objects from up close, so the photographs are unique and interesting.
True macro photography needs some extra equipment like a macro lens or extension tubes. These allow you to photograph objects larger than a 1:1 ratio. In other words, larger than life.
This creative idea is all about inspiring you to see your world differently. Look around the house. You can photograph anything!
Our guide is full of creative photography ideas you can do in your kitchen.
Day 7 – Crystal Ball
Crystal balls add a magical dimension and a new perspective to our photos.
By photographing through a crystal ball, we change the viewer’s perspective. The scene is both upside down and the right way up, at the same time. These glass balls come in various sizes and even different colours.
Don’t have a crystal ball? No problem! Shoot through a wine glass. You’ll get a similar effect.
Read our crystal ball photography article for all the information you need, and some inspiration to get you started.
Day 8 – Colourful Water Drops
Capturing colourful waterdrops is today’s creative photography idea. This is an excellent way to bring out shape, form, colour and texture in a photograph.
Using water droplets, we create a multitude of tiny lenses. Each replicates a colourful background over and over again.
Any background will do, but choose something colourful! Place a piece of glass on top and add drops of water. Focus on the water and let the background blur.
See our guide for more waterdrop photography ideas.
Day 9 – Custom Bokeh
Make a creative photo using custom shaped bokeh. Bokeh describes the shape of out-of-focus light. We can shape this light using a homemade bokeh filter. See our guide for instructions on how to create specific shapes.
Bokeh can be the subject or add interest to the background. Create a still life and use Christmas lights to create a shaped bokeh background.
A wide aperture and creative blur are key to achieving this technique.
Once you know the simple trick of creating custom bokeh, you’ll be coming up with all sorts of creative photography ideas.
Day 10 – Oil and Water
Some things just aren’t meant to go together – like oil and water. This inspired our next photography idea.
Mix oil and water then get in close for a cool abstract image. All you need is some oil, water, a place to put them on and some colour.
The two liquids will stay separated and that gives the oil shape, form and texture. The photos make spectacular pieces of art and great conversation starters. This technique is abstract photography at its best.
Read our article on how to capture and perfect this idea.
Day 11 – Photomontage
Today’s creative photography idea is making a photomontage.
To make a photomontage, take many photos of the same subject. Then, layer them together in a post-processing program to create a single image.
The layering on the images and how you choose to do that is the exciting and creative part.
The technique adds depth and a different perspective. You can take many images to show a wider perspective. You can even show multiple angles in one image.
Give it a try, but first, read our article for inspiration and to make sure you have everything you need.
Day 12 – Photoelasticity
This creative idea will have you seeing rainbows everywhere.
Photoelasticity is photographing an abstract rainbow of colours in otherwise dull plastic objects. You may think this is impossible, but it’s not!
You need a few things to achieve this look, but none are difficult to obtain. You’ll need a clear plastic object, a polarising light source and polarising filter. Not all light is polarising. But the light from your computer and your smartphone are.
Still life photography will come to life with this technique. The camera angles and compositions are down to you. Focus on shape and form, or something very abstract.
See our guide to get started. You may be surprised at how many rainbows you can photograph around the house.
Day 13 – Steel Wool Photography
We’re playing with fire for this next photography idea.
Burning steel wool combined with a long shutter speed lets you create stunning images. As you spin the burning steel wool, your camera captures sparks and long streaks of light.
This technique is best used in a dark, open space. Read here for all the information you’ll need and how to complete this idea safely.
Day 14 – Transferring Photos Onto Wood
Today, let’s do a bit of imaginative printing. A creative way to show off your photos is to use wood. Most images we see are framed behind glass. Transferring a photo directly onto the wood adds a unique flavour to the print.
Most pieces of wood will work, as long as it is flat, and you treat it properly.
These are great gifts or perfect for showcasing your photography in an interesting way. They look fantastic, and the process is simple.
There are a couple of techniques used to get a paper print onto a piece of wood. Read our step-by-step guide on how to create wood prints.
Day 15 – Bubble Photography
Bubbles aren’t only for children; they are also great photography subjects. Bubbles have colour and are reflective. They are visually engaging and make for fantastic abstract images.
It’s easy to create these exciting images, and they have the potential to create otherworldly effects.
All you need to get started is hand soap, water and a straw, along with a secret ingredient. Read our article about bubble photography for details and photography ideas.
Day 16 – Harris Shutter Effect
Today’s photography idea focuses on creating the Harris shutter effect in post-processing.
The Harris shutter effect has its roots in the film days. The idea was to take three photos of a moving subject using three different coloured filters. Combining the images results in a unique photo. Some of the colours combine; others pop – all in one photo.
For this technique, you’ll need a moving subject and a post-processing program.
See our step-by-step guide to creating the Harris shutter effect with Photoshop.
Day 17 – Slow Sync Flash
It’s time for a bit of fun with flash. Slow sync flash lets you freeze motion at long shutter speeds. This cool effect combines the blurred motion of long exposure, but with a sharp subject.
The idea is to add a touch of flash to a long exposure. This technique freezes the subject while allowing you to handhold your camera. No need for a tripod today!
Our guide tells you everything you need to know.
Day 18 – Smoke Photography
Add drama to your still life photography by adding smoke. The idea is simple, but grabbing that particular look, shape or form is the tricky part.
Think dark and mysterious, or focus on the abstract shapes of the smoke.
Many items around the house give you smoke without the fire: incense, snuffed out matches, and blown-out candles all work. The secret to shooting smoke is the backlight.
Everything you need to know is in our guide. It’s full of inspirational photography ideas.
Day 19 – Water Drop Photography
Some photography ideas don’t need a lot of equipment – just a bit of creativity. Water droplet photography captures something simple yet powerful.
The idea is to photograph water drops falling from a height into a bowl filled with water. Freeze the drop in motion or capture the shape created by the splash. The further the water falls, the bigger the splash.
Water droplets add motion and interest to product or food photography. They even work as abstract art on its own.
You can be as creative as you want! Our guide is full of creative photography ideas.
Day 20 – Water Splash Photography
Water splash photography is a creative way to make your food and drink photography stand out. But moving water adds dynamic motion to any still life. Falling water gives a feeling of a cold drink on a hot summers’ day. Or adds a sense of surprise like a bucket of cold water.
Set your still life scene and add a splash. It is a simple enough idea, but it can be tricky to capture the exact moment the water splashes.
Our guide will give you all the information you need.
Day 21 – Fence Cut-Out Photography
It’s time for a photoshoot. We’re going to use a practical chain link fence to create a layered portrait.
Place your model behind the fence. Focus on the model. Then focus on the fence. In post-processing, we’ll cut out parts of the image to hide and show elements.
Our guide will show you how to combine the images in post-processing.
This project may inspire many creative photography ideas. It mixes portrait photography with photographic manipulation.
Day 22 – Day To Night Photography
Today’s creative photography idea is to combine the best of two worlds: day and night photography.
Pick a scene that is interesting. Capture two images, one during the day, and another at night.
Read our full day to night photography article on how to combine the two.
Day 23 – Double Exposure
Never tried to create a double exposure? Today’s the day!
Double exposures creatively combine two images into one. They add texture to a scene or tell a story by layering one image on top of another.
Capture two separate photos of anything that you want. The photos can be related or in sharp contrast. Then stitch the photos together into one image. You can use a post-processing program, but check to see if your camera makes double exposures. Some do!
See our article for tips and inspirational photography ideas.
Day 24 – Hidden Camera Trick
Let’s have a bit of fun today with a household mirror. In this creative photography idea, you’ll take a self-portrait in a mirror. The twist is that the camera will disappear!
Viewers will scratch their heads in amazement, wondering how you managed to capture the photo. This is camera trickery at its best.
Follow our simple step-by-step guide. You can create interesting self-portraits without a camera hiding your face.
Day 25 – Miniature Planet Panoramas
Let’s get creative with post-processing and make little planets. Making little planets is a cool effect that looks like it needs lots of Photoshop know-how. But it’s easy and takes only a few steps to create a tiny planet.
Create the little planets in Photoshop or Gimp using the polar coordinates filter. Or download a smartphone app to transform your world.
Our guide will walk you through the steps.
Once you know the secret, you’ll be creating mini globes with every photo in your catalogue.
Day 26 – Multiplicity Photography
Get ready to clone yourself or your family members. Today’s creative photography idea is to make a multiplicity photo.
Multiplicity photography is a perfect way to show a series in one single image. Photograph a person or a pet doing something: playing, dancing, cooking. The changing movement is important.
Our step-by-step guide will show you how to stitch the images together into one photo.
The photography idea is so simple; you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before.
Day 27 – Picasso Cross Section
Of all our creative photography ideas, this might be the craziest! The Picasso cross-section is a mind-bender of a technique. Just when you think you wrapped your head around it, confusion takes over.
Picasso made this style famous in his painting genre of Cubist art.
Take two portraits – one face on and one in profile. The idea is to create a double exposure portrait using layers in Photoshop.
Follow our step-to-step guide for all the details.
Use this self-portrait on your social media! It will make everyone who sees it do a double-take.
Day 28 – The Droste Effect
You may not have heard of the Droste effect, but when you see the possibilities, you’ll be reaching for your camera.
The idea is to place a copy of an image within itself, often in a way that suggests an infinitely recurring sequence.
It is a creative and weird idea, yet simple once you get the hang of it. We can help you show off your photographic talent, with an easy step-by-step guide.
Day 29 – Tilt-Shift Photography
Tilt-shift photography has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Initially, it was a way to correct perspective distortion in architecture. But it has a look that we can simulate in post-processing.
The tilt-shift effect gives the impression of miniaturisation. You can create model villages of the buildings around you!
Our step-by-step guide will show you how to create this technique.
Day 30 – Time-Lapse Photography
Time-lapse photography is a great way to show movement or change over time.
Time-lapse photography will give you a very different look from long exposure. A long exposure image will blur and even remove movement from a scene. In time-lapse, we capture the movement and layer it into one scene.
This is a great photography idea for cityscapes, watching a building project and flowers opening.
Put your camera on a tripod and take a series of images over a period of time. An intervalometer is a device that will automatically take the pictures, so you don’t have to time the photos yourself.
Our article will help you through the process.
Congratulations on completing our 30-day project! See our Instagram for inspiration and more creative photography ideas.
Want More? Try Our 30 Day Photography Challenge Course
This is a 30 day creative photography project you can do from home, with basic gear.
It shows you how to take photos that make people say ‘Wow! How did you take that?’.
The photos really speak for themselves. And if you’re stuck at home at the moment, this is a great project to spend your time on.