For 2016, why not get out of your comfort lens zone and try something different? Crossing genres and exploring new themes often provide a fresh perspective for any jaded photographer looking for a breath of inspiration. Here are 10 ideas to challenge your:


What if this is more about gaining perspective than just the run-of-the-mill literal interpretation of the theme? Could reflections also be about hindsight, insight or foresight? Could this theme include contemplation, epiphanies and changes of perspective both literal and figurative? The ideas are boundless in this category.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/8.0 | ISO 125 | 1/250 | Photo by Ngee Chye Teo

EOS 5D Mark III | F/4.0 | ISO 800 | 1/1250s | Photo by Kok Hou Cheng


Of motion or perhaps memory. Images are blurred deliberately to capture a mood. Whether that be of horsemen on a hunt, pedestrians racing for shelter in the rain, or the feverish pitch of a mosh pit at an underground gig.

EOS 550D | F/2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/100s | Photo by Che Lian

Monochromatic Colour

Ice in hues of blue under a glacier. Tumultuous greys of a storm brewing in a darkened sky. Weather-beaten lines of a wizened face painted in shades of brown. Monochromatic images are highly dramatic yet have an uncanny way of suspending time, casting an air of nostalgia reminiscent of the era of film, darkrooms and the art of Ansel Adams.

EOS 5D Mark III | Photo by Joseph

EOS 5D Mark III | F/22.0 | ISO 100 | 25s | Photo by Kevin Fan

Big Cities

Bright lights. Nightlife. Street life. Motion. Urban living. Diversity. Lifestyle. So many themes to explore under this heading. Limited only by time and energy!

EOS 6D | F/2.8 | ISO 12800 | 1/60s | Photo by Raymond Chan

EOS 6D | F/16.0 | ISO 50 | 161s | Photo by Che Lian

Family Matters

Family is more diversified than ever in today’s world. And to be able to highlight the good, bad and ugly as a form of journalling and storytelling is an art form for those who are ready to explore their journalistic and documentary aspirations behind the lens.

EOS-1D Mark III | F/4.0 | ISO 6400 | 1/2500s | Photo by David Ng

Epic Landscape

Nature untouched by Man. The beauty of open fields, wild mountains, breathtaking horizons from ground level or aerial view that still renders poets speechless. Its grandeur awaits to be articulated by the expert eye of an adventurous photographer.

EOS 5DS | F/4 | ISO 250 | 1/60s | Photo by Qian Wang

EOS 5DS | F/8 | ISO 250 | 1/200s | Photo by Qian Wang


Symmetry. Asymmetry. Where lines and curves balance off the spaces in between. Perfection in nature found in a nautilus shell. Tree rings. Snowflakes. Engineering feats of Man in steel, glass and more. Those who love patterns are hypnotised by their beauty.

EOS-1D Mark IV | F/6.3 | ISO 400 | 1/60s | Photo by Kevin Fan

Still Life

The art of making ordinary objects interesting is still trending. From knolling to zooming in on textures and details to isolating an object to give it a zen-like feel. There are more possibilities waiting for the creative photographer who can imbue life to an inanimate object.

EOS 7D | F/4.0 | ISO 3200 | 1/100s | Photo by Johnny Neo

EOS 1100D | F/3.2 | ISO 6400 | 1/25s | Photo by vinnyp

Boundless World

Surreal and breathtaking places lure us to the edge of the world with our lens like a siren’s call. To explore where no photographer has seen is the call to shoot the hidden vistas and untamed lands where nature still reigns supreme.

EOS 550D | F/10.0 | ISO 200 | 1/30s | Photo by Paul Chan

EOS 5DS | F/22 | ISO 250 | 1s | Photo by Qian Wang

Authentic People

Capturing a slice of culture from the streets. People watching from behind a lens is a creative way of archiving time and change in that moment of history of a land or nation. When American university professor Dr. Bill Podich worked for UNESCO in Afghanistan in 1967, he took candid shots of the locals going about their daily lives. It is through his images that the world today is reminded of how life in Kabul used to be different.

EOS 7D | F/8.0 | ISO 400 | 1/640s | Photo by Larry Loh