Part of becoming an improved photographer is understanding how to challenge yourself to put the skills you already have to the test and acquire new skills that will allow you to expand your boundaries as a photographer. But what many photographers seem to think is that in order to find a challenge, one must travel to far-off locations to find material worthy of a photo. And that is just not so! A good photographer will find a photo right where they are, at their home.

Here is a list of things at home you could just practice on, things that you could do to sharpen your photography skills. These ideas are some things that all photographers can do, that will just plainly, sharpen your skills in composition, as well as lighting, and other great skills.


Photo by Ash on

This time with your food, practice the angles of how food would look in a magazine. Use some of the ingredients that make your food look better. How can you make some of your simple food look and taste even more appetizing in a photo? This is good practice for your photo skill sharpening, as well as creating something yummy at the same time.


Photo by Pixabay on

Find something in the house that would look perfect in black and white. Here is the question I always ask when shooting in black and white: Will this photo look better in black and white, than in color? What would that be? Sometimes a portrait could be great in black and white, if done right. But, usually find something in your home that is really abstract, like the photo above.


Photo by Pixabay on

This is a fun project to do with another photographer, or maybe a spouse can walk around the house, and yard and give you a list of things to photograph. It can be almost anything, but, the goal is: to find a creative way to photograph everything on the list. This is just a fun game you can do to make the scavenger hunt fun.


When I took a photography class (Photography 101), my first assignment was to take a photo of water, but to stop action with water, similar to the photo above. It’s a tougher assignment than you think. I think there are some other fun ideas to do besides this. This is such a good challenge, though, everyone should do this once. But try some other photo like this one below:

With water, doesn’t those cherries look better than ever. There are a lot of other fun ways to photograph the “water assignment”.


Photo by Ali Pazani on

To practice doing shallow depth of field, of course, you would need a good DSLR camera. You would need to have the subject good and sharp and the background out of focus. You need to make sure you are controlling that. Don’t use automatic. Don’t cheat on this. To make it even more of a challenge, pick something other than a person.

You can go out to the garden if you need to, but, focus on a flower and make sure only the flower is in focus, and nothing else. Use a good depth of field.


Photo by Oleg Magni on

There is a world of beauty at our feet, and we often miss this beauty. I see some wonderful photos that come from artists who “Look Down”. Check it out. For fun, have your family gather around and do something fun like this:

Photo by Ingo Joseph on

Interesting photo….. but, oh such memories. Photography is about memories too. Can you see this photo hanging on the wall? I bet that this photo is one of those that somehow makes it to the wall.


Perhaps one of the hardest things to do as a photographer is to learn to thin the herd, so to speak, and compose images that are simple. Going minimal is hard because we don’t see minimal scenes with our own eyes – whether it’s our living room, our backyard, or the view from the front porch, we’re bombarded with stimuli, so it’s natural that we tend to create images with all that stimuli included. But, instead of incorporating absolutely everything into a single image, try to exclude all the clutter and focus on a single, strong subject. All photos benefit from a strong subject, so this project will result in better photos whether they are minimalist or not!


Photo by Rodrigo Santos on

Working in low light is really fun for me. I love how the lighting turns out. The subtle light and shadows are almost breathtaking. And a good low light photo, like above captures such a mood, it is almost mesmerizing. These kind of photos, if you get good at, I think are some of the new types of photos that are going to sell well in stock photography and by people looking for something in their home that are looking for something romantic or something to create a certain mood. A good subject to practice.

And there you have some good tips to practice if you are bored, but want to take photos. Good ideas? If you have some other ideas, leave your ideas in the comments section. We could make another series of this if you have something to add.

This article written by Lanny Cottrell for 123Photogo.


National parks around the world giving the U.S. a run for its money.

Photos of the Week: 8/15/2019: More than 300 million people visited national parks in the United States in 2017, and while ours may be among the best protected natural places in the world, nearly every country across the globe has their own ecological splendor worth exploring. The reputation of some of these (inter)national parks has spread far and wide—Banff in Canada, Torres del Paine in Chile’s Patagonia, and Fiordlands in New Zealand, for example. But for every recognizable (inter)national park, there are dozens of other lesser-known places that are equally as incredible. From Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park to Madagascar’s Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, these fifteen under-the-radar (inter)national parks are on our bucket list. Photos of the Week: 8/15/2019:
Jotunheimen National Park
WHERE: Sogn og Fjordane and Oppland, Norway
Jotunheimen National Park , the “Home of the Giants,” is a stunning land of glacial peaks, cobalt-blue lakes, and deep rutted valleys. The park, the oldest of three in this rugged region of Norway , has Northern Europe’s two tallest mountains—Galdhopiggen and Glittertind—and a slew of others covered in ghostly-blue glaciers that, with climate change, are rapidly melting to reveal items left behind over a thousand years ago by Viking hunters and travelers. The drive through the park from Jotunheimen’s gateway town, Lom, is beyond spectacular, a picture-perfect alpine scene behind every curve, but cross-country skiing (in colder months) and hiking (in warmer ones) are the best ways to get a grasp on the enormity of this massive landscape.
Photo by: Swen Stroop / Shutterstock

Tayrona National Natural Park
WHERE: Santa Marta, Colombia
Not far from the bustling colonial town of Cartagena , 30 square miles of northern Caribbean coastline is protected by the Tayrona National Natural Park . The park, which stretches through the rainforest from the edge of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains to the sea, is a thriving ecosystem full of tropical biodiversity, including 300 species of birds and the last home in the world to the endangered cotton-top tamarin monkey. Though the Caribbean is intense here, with powerful waves that crash against white sand beaches, the waters in some protected coves such as Cabo San Juan and La Piscina are tranquil enough for a dip in the crystalline waters.
Photo by: Diego Grandi / Shutterstock

Sumidero Canyon National Park
WHERE: Chiapas, Mexico
Sumidero Canyon is a deep, narrow geological marvel. Cut over millennia by the Grijalva River, the eight-mile river basin has steep vertical walls that rise as much as 3,300 feet at their highest point. Frequent boats leaving the dock at the neighboring town of Chiapa de Corzo journey through the canyon, past waterfalls and small caves, including the Cueva de Colores, a pink-tinged niche containing an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Beyond the canyon, the park is made up of dense tropical rainforest crisscrossed with hiking trails.
Photo by: WitR / Shutterstock

Sajama National Park
WHERE: Oruro Department, Bolivia
This Andean landscape dominated by the snow-capped cone of the Sajama volcano is Bolivia’s oldest national park . First acknowledged in 1939 to protect a shrub-like tree called the Quenoa De Altura, the park is also home to around 100 Aymara families, indigenous people who have inhabited this area for centuries. The Sajama Lines, ruts almost 10,000 miles long etched in the altiplano that may have once been used as pilgrimage routes by the ancestors of the Aymara, are only one of the unique cultural features in the park: Chullpas , ancient funerary towers, and pucaras , ancient fortifications, are also strewn across the landscape. The park also boasts a variety of unique wildlife, including the vicuña (an alpaca-like camelid), pink flamingos, and Andean cats.
Photo by: sunsinger / Shutterstock

Candelaria Caves National Park
WHERE: Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Caves were, and continue to be, sacred spaces for the Maya people of Guatemala, and the mother of them all is Candelaria. The Candelaria Caves , Central America’s longest at almost 50 miles, is riddled with passages, speleothems, pit caves, and massive rooms, like the 13+ mile main gallery which follows the Candelaria River. Inside, the caves are littered with pottery sherds and paintings, evidence of the ancient Maya. Their descendants, the Q’eqchi’, manage the site today (with different communities maintaining control over the cave’s various entrances) and the caves can only be entered with a local guide.
Photo by: David Herraez Calzada / Shutterstock

Simien Mountains National Park
WHERE: Semien Gondar, Ethiopia
The flat-topped plateaus of northern Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains National Park are distant African cousins to the mesas of America’s southwest, with mountains that rise in jagged, sheer cliffs nearly a mile above the valley below. At its higher altitudes, the park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an alpine forest wonderland while the lower elevations are, today, vast meadows. The result is a study in contrasts, lush green mountainsides with desert-like savannahs. Simien is home not only to dramatic vistas but to animals found only in Ethiopia, including the gelada baboon and Ethiopian wolf, as well as bushbucks, klipspringers, ibex, and leopards.
Photo by: WitR / Shutterstock

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
WHERE: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Fewer than 35 miles from Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar, the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park protects an ecological zone of fairytale-like alpine scenery. Largely undeveloped, the park is a virtual wonderland for hiking, rafting, and horse-riding in the summer, and skiing and dog-sledding in the winter. Massive rock formations draw climbers from around the world. The park’s southern portion has tourist amenities, including restaurants, horses and camels for rent, and yurt camps. Upstream from the tourist area, though, is where some of the park’s most impressive attractions lie, including the glacial lake Khagiin Khar and the Yestii (natural) hot springs. The park’s Buddhist monastery offers some of Gorkhi-Terelj’s most accessible views.
Photo by: Tobias Gaiser / Shutterstock

Jigme Dorji National Park
WHERE: Gasa District, Bhutan
Bhutan’s Jigme Dorji National Park is a vast glaciated landscape where Himalayan peaks as tall as 23,000 feet stretch as far as the eye can see. Over 2,500 square miles and spanning three Bhutanese climate zones, the park is home to around 6,500 people, subsistence farmers and animal herders who live in “gewogs” (village blocks) like Laya, which contains several of the park’s icy glaciers. Both historical and modern spiritual sites are also found within Jigme Dorji, including Mount Jomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake where local deities are worshipped, and the 17th-century monasteries of Lingshi Dzong and Gasa Dzong, partially constructed as fortresses against attackers from the north.
Photo by: Eudaemon / Dreamstime

Ranthambore National Park
WHERE: Sawai Madhopur, India
Back in the 1970s, Ranthambore was declared as one of India’s “Project Tiger” reserves, a conservation program aimed at securing a viable ecosystem for the continued survival of Bengal Tigers. In the ’80s and ’90s, Ranthambore was merged with nearby wildlife sanctuaries into a 109 square mile national park. Today, its tiger population can often be seen patrolling the territory, sunbathing in open grassy meadows or hanging around one of Ranthambore many lakes, the largest of which, Padam Talao, has India’s second-largest banyan tree growing on its shore.
Photo by: Prasanna S / iStockphoto

Khenifiss National Park
WHERE: Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra, Morocco
Khenifiss National Park protects a slice of Morocco’s Atlantic Coast where the desert meets the sea. The Khenifiss Lagoon, Morocco’s largest, is a nesting ground for a variety of ducks, gulls, and pink flamingos; up to 20,000 migrate here each winter. Inland, the park’s Sahara landscape of sand dunes, limestone plateaus, and salt flats, is a desolate but beautiful illustration of North African desert.
Photo by: Ramon Grosso / Dreamstime

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
WHERE: Kanungu District, Uganda
Two words: mountain gorillas. Like the better known Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, neighboring Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is lauded for its mountain gorillas; nearly half of the world’s remaining population live within its borders. Bwindi is one of the most ecologically diverse forests in East Africa and, because of its diversity of trees, mammals, birds, and insects, has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to gorillas, African elephants, chimps, striped jackals, and a variety of monkeys call this portion of the rift valley where the mountain forests meet the plains, home.
Photo taken by: Travel Stock / Shutterstock

Lovćen National Park
WHERE: Lovćen, Montenegro
High above the picturesque fjords of Kotor towers Lovćen Mountain and the eponymous Lovcen National Park . Encompassing nine different ecological habitats and two climate zones in a relatively small space of just 6,220 acres, the rocky massif is a unique habitat with an abundance of diversity in its flora and fauna. More than just a pretty place, Lovćen is considered a symbol of liberty in Montenegro and remnants of history, including guvna (villages) and katuns (summer settlements for cattle breeders) still exist on the landscape. At the tippy-top stands the Mausoleum of Njego š , a stone behemoth that feels like it’s on the edge of the world.
Photo by: Tatiana Popova / Shutterstock

Tasman National Park
WHERE: Tasmania, Australia
Tasman National Park , which includes part of the Forestier and Tasman peninsulas and the island of Tasman in Tasmania, has some of the world’s most impressive dolerite rock formations. At Cape Pillar and along Tasman Island thousand foot tall column-like cliffs swoop steeply into the ocean below. Other formations, including the Blowhole, a sea cave opening, and Tasmans Arch, a tall littoral chasm, are scattered along the coastal shores along with the 113-year old Tasman Lighthouse, and nesting Australian fur seals and “little” penguins. A 29-mile trail, the Three Capes Track, takes backpackers from the historic Port Arthur to the remote Fortescue Bay.
Photo by: Ikonya / Shutterstock

Tsimanampetsotsa National Park
WHERE: Atsimo-Andrefana, Madagascar
Madagascar has some of the most unusual flora and fauna on the planet—primate species like the lemur, aye-ayes, and fossas are found nowhere else in the world—and much of it can be seen at Tsimanampetsotsa National Park . Hot and dry most of the year, distinctive baobab and Pachypodium geayi trees thrive here in spiny forests inhabited by ring-tailed and other lemur species. Elsewhere in the park, the salty Lake Tsimanampetsotsa provides an important wetland for flamingo populations. At the Mitoho Grotto, a sacred cave according to indigenous Antambahoka traditions, invisible people live alongside a species of blind fish.
Photo taken by: Galaxiid / Alamay Stock Photo

Plitvice Lakes National Park
WHERE: Lika-Senj County, Croatia
At the heart of Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park is a series of 16 cascading lakes whose waters plunge from one to the next via waterfalls and small above-ground and underground rivers. The lakes, in vivid shades of blue and green, are surrounded by dramatic karstic cliffs sprouting lush plants, mosses, and 55 different orchid species. A number of caves dot this landscape, including the Šupljara Cave which is open to visitors. Located on an important east-west historical route, the picturesque natural landscape also has a long history of human influence, some of which, like 19th-century hotels and canals and medieval monastery walls, are still visible today.
Photo taken by: Mike Maureen / Shutterstock

This has been a special presentation on MSN by


Has presented this pictorial on MSN and Shoshi Parks put this together. We thank them for the use of their article, dated: 8/5/2019


Have you ever looked at one of those landscape photos, and it was just one of those odd ones, maybe it was a normal landscape photo, but, it was just done so differently that you really liked how it was done? Those photographers who have learned how to take a normal landscape photo, and made it look a little more uncommon. Read this article written by: Sunny Shrestha. I found it a fascinating article about taking landscape photos:

Landscapes are beautiful as they are. Simply pointing your camera at them doesn’t make you a landscape photographer. Professional landscape photographers work with landscapes in a different way. Jason Charles Hill and Gunnar Freyr share some amazing, non-typical tips to step up your landscape photography to the next level:


By adding a person in the frame, you can build a connection with the viewer. You can make them wonder what it would be like to actually be present in that location. It also gives a sense of scale and shows how grand and beautiful the landscape is.


Hill suggests that you build up your arsenal of lenses to cover as many focal lengths as possible. Typically, you’d start with a wide angle lens for landscapes. Additionally, you can get yourself some prime lens for depth of field and a 24–70mm to cover the rest of the range. For subjects that are far away, you can also get a telephoto like the 100–400mm. Such lenses also help you to compress the scene and create a unique perspective.


Apps like “Sun Seeker” or “Moon Seeker” allow you to know the precise location of the sun or the moon at a particular location at any time of the day. This will help you out by letting you visualize the lighting will be ahead of time.


Nature is unpredictable. No matter how prepared you may be, sometimes things can go against you. Poor visibility and bad lighting are common challenges that landscape photographers face. Don’t give up. Shoot whatever you can get. Try to make the most out of whatever you see.


Sometimes we get so obsessed with taking photographs that our vision is bound by the viewfinder. It’s a good idea to sometimes take a break from the camera. Instead of looking through the camera, use your eyes to see. Walk around the location, enjoy the view, and you might find something interesting.

“Sense the sounds, the smells, everything. It’s definitely going to set you apart and make you a better landscape and nature photographer.”


Shooting from eye level gives you a perspective that we are used to seeing all the time. Shoot from a higher or a low perspective at any opportunity that you get. A unique perspective will make the viewers think differently about your image, making it more engaging.

“Sometimes you bring a ladder along or sometimes you’re just going to lay down on the dirt to get the shot.”


Once you’ve planned to go somewhere, it can be a good idea to search for the location tag using a platform like Instagram and reach out to locals. Build a relationrelationshipem and ask them about specialties of that place, the best time to be there, things you shouldn’t miss, and so on. And when you actually get there, may be you can meet them in person.


Taking panoramas doesn’t just mean that you take a series of photos horizontally. You can take multiple overlapping shots in any direction you want and later stitch them up to get a high resolution image. This technique can be especially useful if you’re stuck with a longer lens.


Using the “All Terrain View” in Google Maps, look for interesting patterns in land structures, like mountains or creeks. Aerial views can assist you in finding the perfect location.


Most of the time we get so excited by what’s in front of us that we totally neglect what we might have behind us. Be sure to occasionally take a break from your camera and have a look at your surroundings. Who knows, your best photo opportunity might be behind the camera and not in front of it.


We’ve been programmed to choose a wide angle lens for landscape photography. How about taking some close-up portraits of nature? Using a portrait or a telephoto lens and capture up close details.

Give some of these tips a try when you’re out shooting landscapes and let us know how it goes!

Here are some more great photos of uncommon landscape photos:

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

Photo by revac film’s&photography on

Photo by Mstudio on