When you’re out and about with your camera and you’d like to practice up a bit, there is an exercise that photographers of all skill levels utilize. Pick a color or two and focus on them for the day, week, or month. Does not matter what color it is, red, blue, yellow, brown, your choice. The trick is to isolate the colors so that the viewer knows what color you’ve photographed. If you take a photograph of a rainbow and tell me you were photographing the color blue that day I’d be hard pressed to tell that by just looking at the photograph. Remember, let your photographs tell the story for you. The photograph above was taken with the 50mm f1.8D and is perfect for an exercise like this, with the low f-number I’m able to open the aperture wide and really blur the background. If you can’t get really close to something (if you’re not using a macro lens) then increasing your aperture (lower f-number) can isolate the image and give you a nice bokeh (the blurry background) behind the image.
If you have been following this site for a while or spent the last 24hrs reading back through all the photography tips then your probably up to your ears in photography exercises. The tough part now is finding time to complete all the photographing you’d like to do while remembering what exercises you’d like to try. Something I talked about in another article (Photographing the Ordinary) will help you to be more organized and a better photographer, the note card. If you don’t remember or didnt have a chance to read it then I suggest you hit the light blue link in brackets above. You can add, photograph the color red to your list. Your card might look something like this:
- Start my day with the prime lens today
- Experiment with neutral density filter and long exposure photography
- Take a couple black and white photographs
- Photograph the color red
- Stand in one spot and take 25 photographs within 25ft of that spot
- Practice shooting in Aperture Priority mode and adjusting exposure up and down with the +/- exposure button I never use
As always, give it a try and see what you come up with. I think you’ll find that once you start implementing exercises like this one and the note card approach you will have more satisfying days out photographing your fingers off. Enjoy!