Ideas To Grow Your Photography Skills

Good morning!  Wipe the droll off your face, shovel the gunk out of the corner of your eyes, and lets read something other than the bad news this morning.  Here are some photography ideas to start your day with.

Start A Photography Project

Photography projects are an awesome way to share your vision with others and improve your skills as a photographer.  You can start from scratch and build a project over a day, a week, a month, or even years.  You could also look through your copious amounts of photos in your archives and look for themes for projects you may have completed without realizing.

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One of the first photography from a failed attempt at the Photo365 project.  It’s a massive time commitment and I’ll retry soon.  The few weeks I completed were great.

Once you finish a photography project I highly recommend that you turn it into a coffee table book for your own collection.  They aren’t super expensive and it’s an easy way to share your passion with friends and family.  The feedback you get from others may encourage you to start another…  Or make you want to burn the family member book…

Cultivate Inspiration

Cultivate means to acquire or develop, I want to encourage you to cultivate inspiration.  This could be as simple as looking at some of your old photographs, photographs from photographers you enjoy, paintings you like, or listening to music that inspires you.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, print your photographs.  Select your favorite photos and have them printed.  Put them somewhere where you can see them or at least flip through them from time to time.  There is something about the permanence of a printed photograph that transcends the digital archive.

Exercise Your Reading Comprehension

Reading this website is a healthy start but pick up a photography book or two and see what others have to say, how they see.  Magazines are an option as well but in recent years the images and content have been less than stellar.

Go Someplace New

Someplace new does not have to mean someplace far away.  I moved into a new house a couple of years ago and have only taken my camera around my neighborhood once, so my back yard would qualify as “someplace new”.

Try Something Different

Have you ever shot a time-lapse?  Panoramas?  Landscapes?  You could have talents that you didn’t even know you had unless you explore a little.  I have often seen wedding photographers who have no interest in shooting landscapes turn into amazing landscape photographers and vice versa.

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This is a massive panoramic image I created in Zion National Park.  This would have never happened had I not gotten out of my comfort zone to spend time learning the art of creating panoramic images (one of the more difficult genres of photography when done right).

Take Your Camera Everywhere

Someone once said that the best camera is the one you have with you, and although I hate that saying I have to admit that there is a grain of truth to it.

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One of my favorite street photography photographs I took last year was taken on my honeymoon.  I take my camera everywhere, even on dates.  My wife is incredibly understanding.

Change Your Perspective

I suppose this could be under “try something different” if you wanted to nitpick…  Nobody likes Nitpickers…  Changing your perspective is as simple as changing your lens (GASP!).  Yeah, I know there are some of you who have not changed your lenses in over a year because you love that focal length or you have a crippling fear of getting a speck of dust on your sensor.  Look, changing your lens to another focal length of significant difference could be all it takes to improve your photography greatly.  At the very least, it will get you out of your comfort zone and help you to see the world a little differently.

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The shot above, one of my new favorites, would have never happened had I not switched up my focal length greatly.  I have shot with 35mm and 50mm for the better part of two years and recently started shooting with a 70-200mm f/2.8 for a change of pace.  The shot above was at 165mm, a far cry from the 35-50mm I am so familiar with.

 

 

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