5 Nature Photography Projects to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Fun ideas to get you outdoors with your camera

Mark Ali

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A bird flies by an early-morning sky, just before sunrise.
“Bird at Dawn” (© Mark Ali)

I know what you’re thinking. You read the title of this article, and you’re thinking that true nature photographers don’t really need “projects” because there’s plenty of subject matter in the natural world all around us.

And you may be right, generally speaking. But even with an abundance of photo ops out there, even the most ardent nature photographer occasionally needs some new incentive to spark their creativity.

If you’re one of those people, here’s a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

An image of 3 orchid blooms.
“Orchid” (© Mark Ali)

“Groups of Threes”

Groupings in nature — whether a group of flowers, trees, etc. — are not always easy to come by. And that’s where the challenge is here — just finding subjects in the right number.

I’m suggesting three (3) here, just because I think three tends to be an eye-pleasing number. (Think about it, isn’t a photo of three orchid blooms just more pleasing than a photo of four?)

Don’t let yourself “cheat” by cropping or cloning things out in post-production. Really make an effort to find a grouping in the right number, then compose an image that captures them nicely in the frame.

It’ll feel good. Trust me.

Flowers are the easiest subject for this challenge. But any type of subject would do — trees, animals, even clouds. Find as many as you can. You could even make it a time-limited competition with your photographer friends (perhaps with a friendly wager involved).

A red apple sitting on a shelf.
“A is for Apple” (© Mark Ali)

“Alphabet Soup”

This project involves shooting 26 photos, with each image featuring a subject that starts with a different letter of the alphabet.

This isn’t a new idea, of course. But when you narrow the subject matter to nature

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Mark Ali

I’m a writer, a photographer, a music lover, and a professional ice sculptor. I’m kidding about that last thing. (View my portfolio at: markaliphotos.com)