Photography project: TIME

Create three shots on a theme of ‘time’ with this new project.

Sometimes it’s good to have a project brief that is really tight, prescribed and that leaves no room for lengthy thinking and many possible interpretations. Throughout the three years I spent learning photography at art college in the UK, I occasionally used to dread the projects that left me too much room to get conceptual. That was me being lazy of course and pretty much every time – without fail – I would do the project at the last minute. But, it’s good to think outside the box although, come to think of it, I don’t remember that phrase existing back in 1988!

This new project – ‘TIME’ – is one of those conceptual type briefs so you’ll have to get your thinking-caps on as to how to interpret the word and the concept. Here’s the task at hand…..

  • Produce three pictures, either as three single images or a triptych [three images displayed on the same canvas], which convey a sense of time; the transit of time, the passing of time. Or you could go for more literal interpretations.. such as clocks, sundials etc. And again you could use words that include the word ‘time’: time-less, bed-time, lunch-time and so on.
  • This project can be in black and white or colour.
  • There is no limit on the amount of shots you can shoot to get to your final three, but a selection of the shots you took to get to your final three should be produced as visual research and to show how and why you chose the final three pictures.
  • No deadline. In your own time. We’re all busy folk.
  • If you have a Flickr account, pop the pics in a set on your stream and tag with ‘japanorama-time-project-may-2010’
  • Also add them to the Japanorama Flickr group photo-pool, please
  • If you don’t have a Flickr account, send the pics into me at – they need to be no larger, on the long-side, than 1280 pixels and in JPEG format. I will then put them in a gallery on this page.

That’s it! Easy, huh?


Not so easy now you come to think of it, eh? Well don’t worry as below you will find some visual inspiration from myself and from Joanna, who was one of the folk who came out on our photowalk last Saturday, during which we explored this theme and had a stab at producing images to fit the brief.

Here’s Jo’s slideshow on Flickr. Her three images nicely convey some of the different ways you can approach this project: the passage of time as shown by the rings on a tree-stump or the erosion on the face of a statue. The last one is more conceptual: a child’s playground, a cemetery, a child playing in the background. Three elements that conspire to illustrate time in a different way. Nice work, Jo!

Here are a couple of mine from that same walk. I didn’t get so many but remember, I am the teacher and don’t often shoot so many pics when we are out. I mean, does the golf-pro do all the driving when he teaches you? No, he shows you how to swing the club :-) I’ve been shooting a few more these past few days and will add them in to this article as soon as I can.

[click each to see it large]

Nap time

Suspended animation

So, there you have it. Enjoy this project. It’s pretty open to lots of interpretations so you should have some fun being able to shoot in your own way, in your own style and still find some great shots to fill the brief. I look forward to seeing them.

Here’s a set I just put together in my Flickr, with images in that could work in this project in one way or another. Just a few bots of inspiration, possibly….

If you aren’t already on our mailing-list for events, workshop itineraries, details of the photo-walks we do etc etc… then sign up using the form on the right-hand side on the front page of the site. Thanks a lot. It’s great to take lovely shots but the best part is sharing them. It’s always a joy to see all of you enjoying your photography.

About Japanorama

Japanorama is run by British professional photographer, Alfie Goodrich, and provides practical photography teaching in Tokyo. Weekly workshops, group and one-to-one lessons bring together photographers of all ages and abilities.

We also welcome submissions of photos and articles for this site, so please get in touch via our contact page. Thanks. © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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