Late last year I had written an article about revising photographs you’ve taken from season to season to see what mistakes you made and if you had improved since then. This weekend is the perfect time to check out last summers shots, whether they are the portraits of your kids blowing bubbles in the yard or your dog dragging your son out of the kiddie pool by his cowboy boots (thanks for letting that happen mom – he said sarcastically).
Evaluating your past photography is as important as reading about improving your present photography. You should spend an hour or two this weekend before the official start of summer and review last summers photos to see what you’d like to focus on improving this year. Improving your photography doesn’t have to be limited to just improving the technical detail of your actual photos either. You can improve your overall photography by learning some new types of photography.
Learning to do things like long exposure photography, light painting, street photography, portraiture, etc. will improve your photography by giving you a better understanding of how your camera works as well as external factors such as lighting, composition, and other fundamentals.
Reviewing your photography from last year can remind you of things you enjoy doing but have gotten away from. For instance, while reviewing my photography I came across some shots I had taken of flowers and berries and remembered how much I enjoyed working with a reflector and using natural light to take photos of flowers. I’ll most likely spend a little time this weekend, weather permitting, photographing some flowers and experimenting with some techniques I have learned recently (adding to the base of knowledge I had last summer).
Review your old photos to see if you have a recurring photograph of something you are drawn to, like the old oak tree in the middle of your field. If you’ve got similar photographs of the subject from seasons passed then that can be the start of your next photo project, documenting your subject through the seasons (or consecutive summers). This also gives you some insight on the type of photographer you are and what draws your interest.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend here in the states and don’t forget to reflect on those who serve and have served to ensure our freedom.