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Top ten mind-blowing photography projects of 2021


Like every year, our team at DIYP has seen plenty of wonderful photo projects throughout 2021. As we’re wrapping up the current year, it’s time to get reminded of all those creative folks we got in touch with and who generously shared their work, stories, and good vibes with us. We have selected the top ten amazing photography projects of 2021… And some honorable mentions, because it was so darn hard to pick only ten!

Photographer tracks down people he photographed to recreate their photos 40+ years later

If I had to pick just one project from 2021, it would be Reunions by Chris Porsz. Over the course of 2020 and 2021, this British photographer tracked down people he photographed in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The resulting photos and the stories that follow them took me through all the emotions, they had me both laugh and cry, and the project left a huge impression on me days after publishing the article and chatting with Chris about it.

Our team loves beautiful photos and DIY projects (obviously). Well, a large format digital camera obscura by Olexiy Shportun combines the two perfectly. He created a digital camera obscura himself and I loved the idea just as much as I liked his resulting images!

I’m not exactly a fan of winter, but I’m really happy that there are creative projects that are beginning to change my mind. Oliver Turpin made one such project when he took a series of portraits in a quite unusual way – by sticking his head in the snow! With lots of patience, good lighting, and photography skill, he turned his head imprints into one of the most creative portrait series I’ve seen this year.

Sadly, some macro photographers drug or kill insects in order to take their photos. But not Tina Eisen. Thanks to a beekeeper in the family, she regularly gets a Tupperware of deceased bees who have died of natural causes. And she uses them for stunning close-up images that you definitely don’t see every day.

When you’re creative, possibilities for creating are endless, and so are the combinations of art forms. Indian artist Vimal Chandran is one of those creative folks who combines different art forms, turning them into something eye-catching and heartwarming. Vimal shoots photos with his smartphone and then adds illustrations to them, turning them into artworks that look like they belong in fairytale books.

Although it’s not entirely a photography project, -N- UPRISING ‘The Green Reapers’ by Thomas Blanchard just had to be on this list. He combined 8K video of insects shot on the RED Helium 8K with 8K timelapse of carnivorous plants shot on the Canon EOS 5DS R. The result is an absolutely stunning, captivating short film about these unusual plants.

Just when you thought I’d make one post without cats and dogs – no, I won’t. 🙂 I just had to include a colorization project by  Tom Marshall of PhotograFix. He gathered photos of cats and dogs from the First and Second World War and gave them a new life by adding colors to them.

Can’t visit other countries because of the travel restrictions? Worry not – you can travel around your own country. Or, like photographer César Llaneza Rodríguez, you can just look around you. This creative photographer makes beautiful abstract art with something you can find anywhere – mud.

Speaking of looking around you –  wildlife photographers might also find something fantastic to photograph as close as in their own backyard. Ola Maddams is a perfect example. Using camera traps set off by infrared technology, she captures gorgeous images of wild animals that visit her garden.

The pandemic made us do some crazy creative (or just crazy) stuff to stay sane. Photographer Justinas Stonkus is one of those people who opted for the creative option. Using his photography skill, lots of imagination, and probably way too much free time, he recreated famous paintings with the help of his girlfriend and two cats.

Honorable mentions

As I mentioned, it was impossible to pick only ten projects. So, I decided to slide in just a few more and make this list a little longer. For example, we mustn’t forget Barbara Peacock and her ambitious project American Bedroom. This photographer has traveled across the US to take photos of people and their bedrooms, telling intimate, personal stories of them all.

Then, there’s a series of self-portraits by  Flóra Borsi. Her work has gone viral a few times so far, and it’s no wonder. From her self-portraits, Flóra looks at you through animals’ eyes. Intrigues? Take a look!

And while this is not a photography project on its own, it’s very much photography-related. It’s more of an experiment conducted by our very own Alex Baker. She tested top photography tips from TikTok to see if they work. I think you may be surprised by some results, so in case you’ve missed this article, make sure to check it out.

Even though I had a hard time coming up with only ten projects, it was amazing to get reminded of all those amazing photos and people that DIYP brought into my daily life. I hope it was interesting for you too, and we hope to bring you even more stunning photo projects in 2022.





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