I’ve been on a mission to improve my photography over the last decade. I’ve tried all sorts of things to help me along.
1. Be Prepared!
How often do you use your camera? Is it something you bring out for holidays and special occasions and hope that the results will be fabulous?
One of the things you quickly learn when you take up a musical instrument is the need to practice.
So what happens when you use your camera every day?
Why not challenge yourself to shoot more regularly?
3. Don’t Dismiss The Familiar
Do you feel most inspired when visiting new places? I guess that’s natural. I love traveling and finding new things to photograph too. However, don’t dismiss places that are familiar to you.
There’s always something interesting to photograph, even in places you know inside out.
Go for a walk around your home town with your camera, and shoot five scenes you’ve never photographed before. Spend time finding a new angle on something very familiar.
4. Seek Inspiration From Others
Learning about photography doesn’t just happen by taking pictures–practice can take other forms too. I spend a lot of time on the road, or traveling on trains, and use that otherwise dead time to learn about photography.
Another great way to inspire yourself is to look at the work of other photographers. However, don’t just look aimlessly at photos for a few seconds then move on.
I often find myself watching TV programmes and films in a different way now. As well as following the storyline, I’ll notice how the director of photography has framed a shot or the way they’ve perhaps used a shallow depth of field to lead my eye to the main character in the scene.
5. Try Something New
If you shoot regularly it’s easy to get into a rut, shooting the same old subjects in the same old way. While this may feel comfortable it won’t necessarily improve your photography.
I like to practice my street photography skills, using a short lens to force me to get closer to my subject. I have even done a little portrait photography from time to time and sometimes surprise myself when the results come out well!
There are also lots of creative things you can do, such as finding techniques you’ve not used before. This could be shooting a long exposure of water, photographing in monochrome (most cameras have a black and white mode these days), trying some action photography at the local sports ground or creating an unusual still life image from everyday objects you find around the house.