Since the dawning of the digital age and the ‘low cost’ or ‘no cost’ of digital photos people think that if they shoot enough photos they are bound to come up with a great image. Using that principle you have about as much chance as a room full of monkeys creating a best seller just by banging away on typewriters, given enough time.
The chances of you taking a fantastic image without spending time practising your photographic art are very slim. What practising does is hone your skills while allowing you to improve. Now, it’s great to talk about practising but unless you know how to practise you probably won’t get very far in your learning journey. Let’s take a look at a few keys.
1. Learn to change your viewpoints
Many of us are very single dimensional in our picture taking. We shoot from one angle, usually directly in front of the subject, and expect to get a good image. So how do we practise different viewpoints. Choose a subject in your garden or home and stand about 15 feet away. Take one shot then move three feet to your left and shoot again then three feet to your right. Move in three feet towards the subject and kneel down. Do the exercise again, three feet to the left and three feet to the right. Finally lie down on your stomach and do the same exercise. Once you’ve taken all the shots, review them. What do you think? By practising using this method you’ll find some unique shots that will immediately show an improvement.
2. Shoot a subject a hundred times
This was one of the exercises I did that dramatically improved my photography. Take an ordinary object, like a kitchen fork or ladies purse, and photograph it a hundred different ways. Think it’s impossible? Think again. This type of practise really gets you thinking and squeezes every last ounce of creativity out of you. I used a kitchen fork and eventually after changing my angle, distance, focus, ISO I was able to get all the shots. Believe you me it was difficult but I did it and I was amazed at how some of the shots came out. By practising, you work out what type of angles work and which ones don’t. Learning what works is such an important step along your photographic journey.
3. Plan to shoot regularly
If you don’t plan to shoot on a regular basis your practising will be sporadic and your images will reflect this. It is essential to shoot several times a week if you are to see any improvement in your photography. By doing this you get to know your camera and its settings, which angles and viewpoints work and what you need to do to improve your images. It doesn’t mean that you have to go out on a photo shoot to achieve this. Just shoot wherever you are. Carry your camera with you wherever you go.
Unless you are shooting images on a regular basis the chances that you will show any significant improvement in your photography are minimal. By practising you get to know your weaknesses and strengths and know what areas need more attention. Photography is not hit or miss and you need to work at it on a continual basis refining and adjusting your skills and techniques.
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Article Added on Sunday, May 16, 2010
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