Mixing up camera habits can also help redirect the course of your photography. If nothing else, it will help open your awareness and get you thinking in a fresh direction. Are you miserably locked to your habits, panicked at the prospect of change? Or, do you look forward to adventure? Either way, here are 7 ways to alter the destiny of your photography, simply by ‘putting on the other sock first.’
- Fade It — If you always shoot with the intention of using color, think black and white instead. Color can sometimes mask certain technical shortcomings in an image. Shadows, highlights, and mid-tones are all that exists in a black and white (monotone or ‘mono’) image. Without capturing the full range of tonality, from pure black to pure white, the image will be ‘muddy’ and fall flat with a lack of full depth. Envision the end result while framing up in your viewfinder, then practice processing those striking and dramatic mono images.
- Swap It — Change out your favorite walking-around lens for something different. Pop on a macro and get close to your subject, or try wide angle to draw it all in.
- Elevate It — If you always shoot at eye level, force yourself to get higher, or lower. Stand on a sturdy elevated surface to shoot above, or crouch and crawl for a lower elevation. If the ol’ knees or back can’t risk the change, put your tripod to work. Most are adjustable enough to reach a higher or lower vantage point without risking bodily strain.
- Cast It — Rethink your subject matter and try on a new subject, especially one that you’ve been avoiding. Sometimes one’s reluctancy to shoot a subject can help create a beautifully creative tension in the resulting image. If people aren’t your ‘thing’, shoot them—with a camera! Or, hit the bricks and try your hand at street photography. Shooting outside your comfort zone will help broaden your skills more than shooting the same subject repeatedly. And who knows, you might unearth a surprise talent and passion for new subject matter.
- Mount It — If shooting handheld is your chosen method of attack, try mounting your camera on a tripod. Yes, it slows down the overall shots you may take compared to the “aim and shoot” style of handheld and it will restrict your movements. However, using a tripod will not only help steady your camera and result in crisper images, the process of changing the tripod height and angle forces you to think through the framing process with even more intent. Every adjustment of the camera’s position changes the subject’s framing. Tripod adjustments take longer and are trickier than making a simple shift in your body position when handholding. Each move has to be considered carefully. This requires more thought for each adjustment and calls for more intent to every click of the shutter.
- Move It — Getting a crisp image has been beaten into your brain since you first picked up a camera. But, what if you added intentional motion for fun? Moving either the camera body or lens after clicking the shutter can create a sense of motion right inside the box. First, frame up your subject, get it focused, then set the mode to manual. Click the shutter and gently move the camera up-and-down or side-to-side while the image is exposing for an impressionistic effect. Or, carefully turn of the lens to create a zooming effect toward, or way from, the subject.
- Stop It — Try a different F-stop and change your entire world! Each lens can easily affect the amount of focus (depth of field or DoF) on the subject and its surroundings. Get out of that F8 comfort zone and open your camera’s eye to a completely different universe that’s filled with magic.
What photo habits would you’d like to change? Click here to share what they are and how you plan on changing them.