Get off your seat and try new things

Photographers... listen.

I know life is busy. I know everyone has a camera. Heck, I have one in my pocket as I write this.

And the new iPhone 7 Plus has a fantastic camera. Combined with its smart software to enhance every photo.

But you should be challenging yourself to learn new things. You should be getting off your seat, and experimenting with new technology. Or trying a new technique you've always wanted to do.

I do this all the time with something I call a 3 Mile Photowalk. It's when I grab a camera, one lens, and go on a short photowalk around my neighborhood.

There are so many reasons why you could or should get off your seat and try new things.

  • You are in a creative rut
  • You need more spark in your photo business
  • You want to learn something new
  • You don't feel challenged
  • You're scared of change

I could go on.

But I'll stop, and move on. Now for some advice. Here we go!

Choose one lens

You might use a telephoto lens on a regular basis. Maybe an 18-55mm or a 24-70mm. Try using a lens that is different than your norm. Maybe a wide prime like a 14mm, or a long prime like a 300mm.

Once you decide on the lens you're using for this challenge, spend a week or more with it. Only use that lens. Try a portrait with a wide else (strange, right?) or a street photograph with a long lens.

Filtering different

Neutral density filters are for long exposure photography or getting shallow depth of field in portraits. If you're used to using your ND filter for water, try using it for something else, like a portrait.

Or go into a busy city and make some buses and taxis disappear.

If you have a star filter, try it in a headshot (awkward, right?) or in a street photograph.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Hey Scott

    Let me tell you one thing, i NEVER grab my camera and go Photowalk – never. Thats its simply not the way to learn. Well maybe for beginners, not for Pro’s

    I see images all over, and some of these are inspiration and become a project that i work on. I plan my photography, i prepare the event, i want to be on top of it, know the location, the light etc. I might not just shoot one time, but many times – allways looking for just that little Xtra that makes the picture perfect.

    I allways know, what iam gonna shoot, how I shoot, with what,and when … and as a pro, I can always tell, why i do, what I do 😉

    1. No one is perfect, so I’d suggest trying some new things you normally avoid or just don’t try. You will learn something new.

    2. IMO being too sure of yourself can be limiting your growth as a photographer. Some of my best images came from taking my camera on outings when I didn’t want too or shooting when I wasn’t in the mood. I make a living as a photographer and am constantly doing things to continue learning. I embrace the fact I will never know it all.

  2. Negativity aside….

    Great point Scott. I had a similar train of thought when I felt my work life draining my creativity. My photo walks were meh because I was never in the moment.

    I have now taken my broken A7 and set it to black and white and made it my poor man’s Leica M Monochrome. It’s helped spark my creativity. While I still plan all my work photography out, it is nice to have the ability to be spontaneous in my daily photography life.

    This was the right message to send at the beginning of the year.

  3. Trying different ways to see different views, and the different photos. Have the different views before you go out to take any photos. If you shoot horizontal photos, go out and always verticals. The foreground and the top of the photo changes how the image will be viewed. Shoot horizontals and verticals on anything that you see. Sometimes you will get the view that you missed when you get home long after you did the photography. Don’t always take the photo that you thought of and photographed. Your brain will let you know much later that you missed another good image.

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