Learning How to see in Photography and Getting those Creative Juices Flowing Part 2

January 15, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I woke up early this morning and looked out of the window to see that Dartmoor was covered in snow. I quickly got my things together and went for a walk on the moor with my dog. It was a real change to be out on the moor with blue sky, white and pink/orange clouds due to the sunrise and snow on the ground rather than grey skies and rain. I stood on top of Cox tor admiring the view of the moor and Tavistock and the best of it was that I was the only one there to appreciate it. I didn't take my camera as I find walking the dog and trying to take photos at the same time does not work for me. If it's wildlife photos I'm after, a quick "Fido come here and sit", "Fido stop chasing that fox and come here" or "Fido leave that rabbit alone" and the wildlife is gone before I can photograph it. (Before I get any messages, my dog is not called Fido) If its landscapes I'm after then the dog gets fed up and starts wandering off before I have finished setting up to take the photograph. Therefore after the walk I went home and collected my photography gear. Whilst loading my car, him upstairs had other ideas of what I was going to do today, the sky went grey and the heavens opened up with sleet and hail. Never mind it's Friday and I had to do my Blog anyway.

After learning how to see in photography you then want your photos to get noticed and to develop your own style of images. If you simply copy other people's photos then people will get bored looking at them as they have seen that image before. A great way of being different, getting your images noticed and developing your own style is to learn to be creative with the images you take. There are several ways of how to train your mind to be creative in photography and below are eight of them. To complete the exercises you will have to take a lot of images, this is because at the start with you will take the obvious images but then when these dry up you will have to really think about other images you need to take to complete the exercise and this is when you will slow down and start being creative.


First Exercise.

You have to pick 3 numbers. First Pick a number from 1 to 12. Then pick a second number, your age, and double it. Finally add the two numbers together and double them which will give you the third number.


Now go to a favourite location, with your camera, that is close to your home address. When you get there stand in a prominent location. Look down on the ground and imagine you are standing on a clock face facing 12 o’clock. Be aware that If you only have a digital clock this will not work! Now turn to face the first number you thought of. You then start walking in this direction taking only the amount of steps of your second number. Once you have reached this spot you can start taking photos. You have got to take the amount of photos that you is equal to your third number. You are allowed to rotate 360 degrees and go higher or lower by bending your knees but you are not allowed to take any more steps in any direction. For example your numbers, first number is 2 so face 2 o’clock, the second number is your age, say 25, so double it which makes 50 and take 50 steps and the third number is 2 + 50 = 52 so double it and take 104 different photos.


Second Exercise.

Attach any prime lens to your camera. If you only have a zoom lens, then set the zoom to one focal length and keep it on that throughout this exercise. Now go out to a favourite location near your home address and spend a few hours, a whole morning or afternoon, taking photos in that area using only the prime lens or the set focal length on your zoom. You need to take at least 100 different photos. You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by only using one aperture throughout the shoot, either f2.8 or f22 if your lens does not have these apertures then use the nearest ones to them.


Third Exercise.

Take your camera and one lens and go into one of your rooms in your house. Now take at least 100 different photos within this room. The smaller the room then the harder it will be. If you pick your bathroom please make sure nobody is using it whilst you are taking photos!!!


Fourth Exercise.

Switch on your computer and reprocess some of your very old images. You'll be amazed how different they will turn out. The reason why is that since you processed those images you have learnt different techniques or you now post process your images in a different, but better, way.


Fifth Exercise.

Get your camera and zoom lens. Step outside your front door and go for a walk for an hour or two but, take a different photo after every 10 steps. If you want to make this exercise harder then do the same as exercise 2 and use a prime lens or a set focal length throughout the exercise on your zoom.


Sixth Exercise.

As most people take their photos from a standing position, get your camera and go to a favourite location close to your home address. Now spend a morning or an afternoon taking photos from a kneeling position height. Once you have done this then do the same but this time from the prone position. You can do this at home either in your house or in your garden if you prefer.


Seventh Exercise.

Pick five objects and take at least 30 unique photographs of each of them. The smaller the object is, then the harder it is.


Eighth Exercise.

Choose a photographic restriction to be set on your photography and then go out and take at least 50 images using this restriction. These restrictions could be:- using only manual mode, the day before set 1 hour of the day and only take photos in this hour, pick only one colour to photograph, shoot only in black & white by setting this mode on your camera, pick two colours and only shoot photos of these two colours, no people in your image (no cloning), over half of your image has negative space, only photograph whilst sitting outside you home, only photograph whilst sitting in a park, shoot only high key images etc. I'm sure you can think of others.


Please try out these exercises and see what they do for your photography. Then, if you wish, please post your images on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/robin.stanbridge.1


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