Has your work shut down or forced you work remotely (if you are lucky)? If you wanted to pick up photography, or polish up your skills to spruce up that Instagram portfolio of yours, there is no better time to do that than now. There is no need for expensive gear. That phone you are probably reading this on already has a decent one.
Being holed in at your place for weeks on end, with end not only not in sight, but also edging ever so farther away, that cabin fever will eventually knock on your door. Not if. When…
Here are some tips to have real fun with:
- Textures – find rocks, trees, leaves, bark, weathered walls
- Instruments – do you play? Shoot it too! Macro is a fun challenge
- Portraits – take a pic of your loved ones. Or a statue? Pet?
- Nature – go for a walk and shoot landscapes. Be in nature.
- Play with Light – morning sun will cast shadows. Work them!
- Random Objects – Pile of firewood? Anyone?
- Be silly – aim for taking deliberately “bad” crazy pictures
Here is a point where many of us get innocently tripped up: your shots are for you only. Your intention should be to go out, shoot, have fun, forget about Instagram or Snapchat, forget about views or likes and shoot just for yourself. That is your meditation. You are the creator; you are also the audience of one. And if you feel extra bold, look at your pictures when you get back, enjoy flicking through them all and delete them. Every single one. Tomorrow is another day, another photo challenge.
You are the only audience you ever need to please…
If others don’t like your work, well, that’s their problem, not yours.
Even if you don’t think highly of your photos right now and secretly envy all those great photographers while you view their online portfolios. Yes, I’m talking about those guys and gals who get thousands of likes on social media and seem to crank out one stunning piece after another. There is one (stark) difference between them and you, or me. They shoot a lot. A LOT. So, when you take statistics into account and, let’s say: one picture out of a hundred you usually take is a keeper meeting your standards, it should come as no surprise to anyone that you will go out for a photo walk take a couple dozen pictures, don’t like any of them, get salty about it and give up. We’ve all been there, so we shouldn’t lie to ourselves about it. What has really happened on that photo walk was math. You took only two dozen pictures, so if you usually have 1 good one out of a hundred, you had only a 1:4 chance of getting a keeper from that walk!
Next time you walk, take a hundred shots and voila, one of them will stick and please your eye. I actually did a test couple of times (and may do it again). I went for a photo walk during my lunch break and as a challenge, I was determined to not lift the camera from my hip and shot everything blindly, just pressing that pill-shaped trigger on my GR till my thumb was numb, like a maniac. When I got home then came the shock. There were some pictures, which I found amazing, and would have never ever composed them while actually seeing the scene. I had as many keepers shooting blind as I would have had while shooting regularly.
Go out and shoot, walk around your block, walk around your yard, if you have one, go to the park, if you can. Stay away from people and find solitude and peace. Those two are prime breeding grounds for untapped creativity.
And stay safe!
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