What Should Our Next Project Be?

I’ve been feeling the urge to run another project here at Epic Edits. We’ve had decent success with past projects such as 66 Faces of Photography and 28 Ways To Interpret A Photo. I want to do another one that’s just as exciting and inspiring. Here are three ideas I had for the next project:

[UPDATE] I’ve added links to the project results because we actually completed them all!

    I’ve been buying old film cameras on eBay lately, and it got me thinking about photography projects. The project would require that you purchase a film camera of your choice from a vendor of your choice for under $50. You’d run a roll or two through it, write up a short review on the camera, and post one entire roll of photos. I figured this would be good motivation for non-film shooters to give it a try, and old film shooters to get back into if for a few shots. The downside to this project is that it would require you to buy a camera and some film. The upside is that you’d have a new camera and possibly a new hobby. The point of buying a camera (even if you already have a film camera) is to show what kind of neat old equipment you can pick up for relatively little money.
    Similar to the Edit My Photo project, we’d all be asked to process the same raw photo. But this time around, we could break it up into two parts: picking the photo, and processing the photo. In part one, everybody would have a chance to enter an unprocessed photo and you would all vote on which one would be used for the second part of the project. In part two, we’d do the same as last time and distribute the raw file to participants for processing.
    Not too long ago I talked about How To Create Photoshop Actions. I think it would be pretty cool if we gathered up all the actions from you guys and put them in a big action set for redistribution. You could use your blog or a Flickr page to describe the steps in the action and show what it does. Then, I could compile the actions in one big set and include a pointer to the web addresses for the tutorial portion that goes along with each action. Might be kind of a nifty way to share some cool actions. We could also do the same with Lightroom/ACR presets — or we could do both.

Ok, so those are three of the better ideas I have rolling around in my head right now. Maybe you love them all or maybe they all suck — I don’t know. Give me an indication as to what you’d be more prone to participate in. Oh, and comments count more than votes on the poll (most of the people who vote on the poll might not actually participate) — so if you feel really strong about a particular project or two, leave a comment and let me know.


And don’t forget to check out the results from the last poll: What’s Your Gender? I watched the numbers throughout the entire poll and the shares stayed the same: 33% female, 67% male. That’s 1/3 of you who are female! A bit higher than I expected, but not completely surprising. What IS surprising, however, is that only one out of 14 Fine Art Photoblog portfolio entries came from a female photographer. That is NOT 33% ladies… where the heck are those portfolios?

21 thoughts on “What Should Our Next Project Be?

  1. the_wolf_brigade

    I voted for the “buy a camera idea”, though I’m not sure how I’d convince my wife I need another camera! Although, another box camera wouldn’t go astray…. :D

    What about for those who have film cameras, picking one that they purchased or secured for under $50? They could still write up a review with some sample shots, with the upside being that they might be using a camera that’s been handed down in the family, but put aside since the introduction of digital.

    It might mean that you get a bigger variety of cameras, and more people might participate. Examples (from my own collection) that would qualify include various medium format folders (including my Mum’s Brownie folder which I just put a roll through), as well as an old TLR (my Dad’s), and even a couple of old point and shoots from the days before digital.

    Suggestions for those who want to hit ebay could include disposable film cameras (very cheap now), Holgas, pinholes and even some Russian SLRs like the Zenits – although these tend to be heavy so the postage is high.

  2. the_wolf_brigade

    In addition to the above reasons, it would also show what’s possible by just hitting the family up for some memories…talking about the photos my Mum and Dad made with their cameras back when they were new is a great way to learn more about the family.

  3. Janne

    I voted for the cheap film camera. Partly because the other idea – photoshop actions – flounder on me not having or using photoshop, and partly because I’ve been toying with the idea of picking up a film camera anyhow, and this would give me the kick I need to actually do it. My only hesitation is the max price level – 50$ is just 5000 yen; I was wanting to pick up something in a little better condition than what that price implies.

  4. Brian Auer Post author

    @the_wolf_brigade great ideas for the camera project. I suppose it wouldn’t be so terrible if people used an already held camera that currently sells for pretty cheap.

    @Janne you’re right that $50 isn’t that much for a camera, but you can find some real gems for that price. I just bought an old fixed lens rangefinder for $35 and it can take photos just as well as a camera that costs $235. For under $50, you’re going to be looking at rangefinders, viewfinders, box cameras, and maybe a few SLRs — but most of them are going to be fully manual cameras, and some might even be formats other than 35mm (polaroid, 110, 120, etc). In my opinion, if you’re going to get into film, that’s the most interesting way to do it. If you find out that you like film, sure then go ahead and buy that fancy equipment. But I’m willing to bet that you’ll still fall back on that old cheapie every once in a while just because it’s so fun to shoot with.

  5. Lori

    >>What IS surprising, however, is that only one out of 14 Fine Art Photoblog portfolio entries came from a female photographer. That is NOT 33% ladies… where the heck are those portfolios?

    No one ever said that the proportion of women interested in *fine art* photography was the same as the proportion of women who read your blog. But that’s a poll for another day :)

    I like the Photoshop Action collection project.

  6. Chica

    ‘Edit Your Photo” is what I’d like to see, but who says you can’t do all of these? Just one project a month or something. :)

  7. Brian Auer Post author

    @Lori – Good point!

    @Chica – We can probably do all of them over a period of time. I’m just trying to gage which one people would be most excited about. So far, it doesn’t look like there’s a HUGE lead on any one project.

  8. Jessica

    I voted for the action collection but I think that’s because I’m an action addict. I think the camera idea sounds fabulous. I’ve been thinking about buying a film camera and I’ve been looking on ebay. Great place to inexpensive SLR’s. :)

  9. jjohnsen

    I love the “Edit your photo” idea, I think I’d learn the most from it. The actions don’t interest me because after looking around I’ve found very few that are useful. And spending money on a new camera doesn’t make sense when I could save that money for a new great lens.

  10. Bryan

    I agree with Chica, why not do all three? While people vote on the photo for #2 and take pictures with their old cameras, they can be creating and uploading the photoshop actions. Just spread the projects out over a few months and everyone wins!

  11. Brian Auer Post author

    Well like I said, we can certainly do all three… just probably not all at once. From a project hosting standpoint, it would be a logistical nightmare. Some of these projects burn up a lot of my time keeping track of project entries and preparing the final results.

  12. kristarella

    Maybe I’m unadventurous; I voted for edit a photo. My second choice would be buy a camera because it does sound a bit fun.

    I don’t love the actions idea because I don’t have Photoshop :( I’d like to buy it sometime, but I’d rather buy a new speedlight first.

  13. dawn

    I would have entered a portfolio — but I’m in the process of moving to Minnesota. During the next 3 months, my availability will be very iffy and I took your guidelines seriously.

    Next time, maybe, if it opens again.


  14. Dan

    I like the edit my photo idea since it is something I’m trying to learn. However, I heard about an ongoing project that a local class is doing that you may want to consider. It is the alphabet project. Each week, or month, you’ll go up one letter in the alphabet. The task is to shoot an image that shows that letter without shooting the actual letter. Last night, the gentleman I was speaking to was shooting the moon for his “C”

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  16. the_wolf_brigade

    You’re thinking about a sponsor for one of the projects? Maybe the Lomographic Society would be interested in sponsoring the $50 camera idea, with the prize being some film or a cheap camera from them? Or even some credit for their site? Just a thought….

  17. Travis Truman

    $50 camera – I just bought 3 fixed lens rangefinders: a Yashica Electro GSN, Konica Auto S2 and a Canonet QL17 GIII, all in that price range and am itching to burn up some film.

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