Photo Projects

Same Hill, Different Day — A Daily Photo Project

Scientists claim it takes hundreds of years and a couple of glaciers to transform a hill.

For Paul Octavious, it took a little over 3 years and a camera.

Ever since he found the hill in 2007 while walking around Chicago, he’s photographed it hundreds, probably thousands of times.

Yet every time, the hill looks different.

Humble and nondescript, it’s the way the seasons and people interact with it that transforms the hill into exquisite, otherworldly scenes:

First snow falls, kite festivals, outdoor movies. Paul even captured the Ghana World Cup team practicing on the hill one foggy day.

He sums it up beautifully, “The hill is my stage and the locals are the actors in this daily play.” This may inspire you to wonder: What everyday place is your stage?

EXTRA!: The beauty of this project is that Paul’s always capturing new images. Today he posted a new video of the kite festival! It’s amazing.

Same Hill, Different Day by Paul Octavious

p.s. Make sure to follow us on Facebook *today*: We’re giving away a Cell Phone Lens Fun Kit!

Make the World’s Smallest Photo Postcard

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Of all the technological advancements of the 20th century, our favorite is the ability to click a device named after a rodent (mouse!) and have our inner most thoughts shot through space, right into the computers of our dearest friends and family.

We wonder, is it possible to one-up that?

It is! Ain’t no biggie. Actually, it’s very tiny. Introducing the world’s smallest photo postcard.

You can turn your photos into 1″x1/2″ confetti-sized wonders that you can even write on and mail to your favorite people. Our pal, artist and founder of the World’s Smallest Post Service Lea Redmond will show you how!

Download the template, insert your photos, sign and deliver. Your delighted friends will wonder if the world has gone mad or if it just accidentally stood under an electromagnetic shrink ray.

Make and Send the World’s Tiniest Photo Postcard READ MORE

How to Shoot Underwater Photos with a Vintage Camera

Is that cool looking vintage camera you found at the local flea really fulfilling its destiny by merely sitting on your shelf?

Your old timey cam can still give you some awesome through-the-viewfinder (TTV) shots, even if it’s broken!

We’re taking TTV one step further by dipping that ‘ol camera into the water. All your photog friends will wonder how you got these sweet vintage style underwater shots. Read on to learn how!

How to Create Coloring Book Pages Using Your Very Own Photos!

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Imagine a world where you can color on your friend’s faces and not get in trouble for it.

Now you can by making your own coloring book out of photos!

With a little help from your photo editor, you’ll be able to turn your very own snaps into a stack of ready-to-be-colored in images.

You may not be able to control the color of your photos while you’re taking pics, but with our coloring book tutorial, you’ll have the power to make your photos any little color you want.

Also, your friends will thank you for not taking a sharpie to their face in real life.

Create Coloring Book Pages Using Photos!

p.s. We’re on Facebook! (Along with yer dad and dentist) Follow us for uh-mazing extras.

Create Psychedelic Photos with a Teleidoscope

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Is real life bumming you out? Does everything around you seem too random and organic?

Then go on a teleidoscope trip and bring back some pictures!

Using a cheap kids’ teleidoscope (a type of kaleidoscope that turns whatever you look at into a pattern) and a camera, you can enter a mind-bending geometric dreamscape and have the photos to prove it.

Now that otherwise regular ‘ol photo is a limitless sea of hexagons and triangles!

Create Psychedelic Photos with a Teleidoscope

p.s. Heard of our pals Artsy Couture? They print and mount your snaps onto beautiful solid wood blocks called Gallery Blocks. We think you might like ’em! READ MORE

Plan the Photog Party of the Century in 5 Easy Steps!

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We all do it – pass by the same awesome thing everyday and think, “Someday I’m gonna take a picture of that!”

It’s time to admit that our “Someday” list is growing and growing, Jack and the Beanstalk style (no end in sight!).

Instead of tackling that giant list on your own, turn your ‘someday list’ into a group effort by having the most-fun-you-ever-had-with-a-group-of-photog-nerds: a photo scavenger hunt.

Write out your shoot list, invite your peeps, and cue up some Andrew W.K. ’cause it’s time to party.

Plan an Epic Photo Scavenger Hunt Party

p.s. Andrew W.K. is on Twitter, and so are we. (a.k.a. All the cool kids are doin’ it.)

Best Pet Portraits Ever: DIY Backdrops + Strategic Angles

Did you know cats spend 73% of their lives lying down? (That’s what we guesstimate at least.)

So if your cat – or dog, ferret or snake – spends its days lolling about your living room floor, why not turn that unused energy into creative ambition?

Theresa did. While others might’ve merely seen a cat sprawled on the ground, Theresa saw pure photographic potential.

Scissors and paper were all Theresa needed to create a fanciful underwater backdrop. Angling her camera from above, she was able to capture the best pet portrait ever: a scuba scene starring her beloved cat.

With what started as one incredible photo quickly turned into a whole new way of capturing her cat on camera.

Soon enough, her cat went form the laziest feline on the block to a balloon-wrangling, umbrella-dancing wonder.

Sure, Theresa’s cat was probably knocked out in half the shots, but if babies and kids can have dreams, pets can, too.

Make DIY Scenes for the Best Pet Portraits

Valentine’s Day: 5 Fun Ways to Share Your Love With Photos!

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Valentine’s Day: that special day each year when we get to show our cameras (or *cough* loved ones) how much we ♥ them.

Whether you have a valentine or not, it’s a great time to give love (and chocolate!) to your friends, GF/BF, family, or yourself. Just keep your hands off our Leica, she’s spoken for! ;)

With that in mind, what better time to round up some feel-good photo projects than Valentine’s Day?

We’ve whipped up a quick batch of our sweetest photo projects to shower your friends, loved ones, and walls with photo love!

Read on for secret valentine film rolls, origami photo hearts, color-me-in photography valentine cards, and even more (omg).


How to Fit 24 Hours into One Photo

We’re convinced some photographers are born with a rather rare yet want-worthy gene.

…A mysterious code of DNA that inspires impossible-to-accomplish projects and an anti-impossible mechanism to carry them through.

Chris Kotsiopoulos is one of these photographers; his most recent endeavor: is it possible to capture a 24-hour day in one photograph?

500+ photos, 30 hours, and one 12V battery later, he discovered it was! See the impressive result.

Chris shot through day and night (Yup, he stayed up all night.), capturing the arch of the sun’s rise and fall and an epic 11 hour startrail with twilight hours to fill in the space between day and night.

Over a 12 hour period, he then composed the hundreds of photos into one endless panorama a la “little planet.” (Click the link below for his full description.)

Lesson learned: the next time an impossible-sounding project pops into your head, don’t write it off! Where there’s a will, there’s a way…or a mutated gene.

Chris Kotsiopoulus’ 24 Hour Photograph
[Take a look at his star-trail time lapse!]

See Through Your Kids’ Eyes, Wirelessly Upload from Their Camera to a Flickr Stream

The little ones in our lives are fascinating people.

They start out barely able to hold up their own head, and within a few months, they’re tearing up the rug.

It may not come as a surprise then that some kids are starting their photography lessons at the wee age of 3….like famed blogger Jason Kottke’s son Ollie!

Jason placed a digital camera in Ollie’s teeny 3 year-old hands to see what would happen.

The most awesomely clever part? He used an Eye-Fi memory card in Ollie’s camera to automatically and wirelessly upload Ollie’s photos from his camera to a Flickr account.

At any moment of the day, family and friends can take a look at his photo stream for an instant window into Ollie’s daily photo adventures.

It’s like seeing right through little Ollie’s eyes, and the photos themselves are adorable (the low-to-the-ground point of view) yet astonishing (portraits of his grandfather).

Connect with your little one through photography, and if you’re worried about your kid dropping the camera, second-hand cameras + kids = a match made in heaven.

How to Wirelessly Upload Kids’ Photos to Flickr

Photos by Ollie Kottke