If there’s one thing every photographer struggles with from time to time, it’s definitely the dreaded rut. Staying passionate about what you do (and staying well out of those ruts) naturally means regularly thinking outside the box.

If you’re like a lot of landscape photographers, then you might find that it helps to actually keep a running list of fun, innovative shots to try capturing over the course of… say… the next year. When you scratch one off your list, add another and keep it going. Here are some fun ideas to start with.

  1. Experiment With Drones

It’s no secret that drones are super trendy right now for a number of reasons. However, they can also be wonderful additions to a creative landscape photographer’s bag of tricks. If you happen to have one, consider using yours to help you experiment with capturing stunning bird’s-eye views of your favorite areas.

For best results, look for drone models that feature GPS support so that if you let go of the controls, the drone will simply hover in place. Also be sure to plan ahead in regards to local weather conditions. No rain and no high winds.

  1. Explore Abandoned Buildings as Subjects

Most landscape photographers have tried their hand at capturing all manner of natural features. We’ve all photographed out local areas of interest or chased the ideal mountain top shot. If you’re into urban landscape photography, you’ve most certainly captured all of your favorite bustling locations by now as well.

However, it’s important to realize that abandoned buildings can be their own unique focal points to truly intriguing photography. Abandoned buildings can lend drama and emotion to a scene. They can help add a touch of fantasy or a hint of the surreal. Try shooting at night or on foggy days, as well as during the coveted golden hours. Play around and see what you come up with.

  1. Visit Gardens to Study Color

As with abandoned buildings, well-manicured gardens can bring an element of the human into your landscape shots that might not be present in the scenes you typically explore. They also present excellent opportunities to learn about and experiment with color.

Go into your garden photo shoot understanding that garden photography is considered something of an exact science. However, it’s still OK to experiment. Consider the ways the gardener may have arranged the colors in front of you to convey a particular sense of emotion or mood. Explore ways you can create shots that both reinforce and contradict the impressions the gardener may have intended.

  1. Go After the Perfect Wave

Do you swim or surf, as well as take photographs? Are you maybe not as comfortable on a surf board, but love to spend time on boats or walking along the beach? Consider exploring alternative ways to capture waves to inject new life into your portfolio.

Photographers that love shooting water often find it rewarding to attempt shooting waves from as many angles as possible – above, below… from within, you name it. Consider ways you can show your unique point of view through your photography. Experiment with time of day, shutter speed, focus, and so forth as well.