We’re nearing the end of winter, and that means it’s time to shake off the dust and ramp up your photography. The weather is nice, the sunsets are gorgeous, and before you know it, summer will have come and gone. Right around this time of year, I like to get into some habits so I’m constantly taking pictures while the time is right. Try ‘em out, and you’ll be surprised at how much more you’ll get done this summer (or year round).
Go to bed early
Only so you can wake up early too. The morning is the best time for photography. Not only is the light from the sun much more gentle, fewer people are out and about. With less people on the streets, it’s a lot easier to isolate your subject in your photos. In the summertime, I go to bed around 10:00 P.M. and get up at six. That’s usually right around the time the sun rises. It’s perfect.
Take a walk or a bike just after breakfast
If you managed to get up early and you’ve had a little breakfast, it’s time to take a walk. You’d be surprised with what you can photograph in your neighborhood and backyard. Believe me, if you make this a habit, you will eventually get bored and want to venture elsewhere and shoot more diverse locations. I ended up getting a bike because I wanted to see what’s beyond my front door.
Photograph your lunch and make a collage out of it
I know this one sounds weird, but think about it. When you have to photograph your lunch every day, it’s this constant reminder to take pictures. You aren’t just going to snap a photo of your salad and be done. You’ll probably take a lot more pictures on your way to work, play, or whatever it is you’re doing. Plus, when you’re done, you’ll have an awesome work of art worthy of YouTube.
Review and process your images as soon as you get home
Nothing gets me in the photography mood like seeing the final version of my work. Instead of waiting to process those pictures you just took, why not do it as soon as you get back? Open up Photoshop Elements, adjust the color and sharpness, and then share ‘em with your friends daily. When people are always talking about how great your photos are (and they will be), you’ll be motivated to take more.
Stop and observe
You don’t have to do this every hour of the day, but I like to make sure I stop what I’m doing at least once. Time goes by fast. If something catches your interest, don’t keep going. Observe it. You don’t even have to take out your camera. Just watch. If you want to get a photo, great. If not, you’ll probably be inspired to do something with it later on. Also take note of objects around you. Changes are you'll see something that will pique your interest like the symmetry of the wine bottles to the right.
Look at the sky more often
An interesting sky can really set the mood of an image. Wherever I’m going, I’m always on the lookout for unique cloud formations. When I find one, I snap a photo of it because I know I can photoshop it into another image later on. Is that cheating? I don’t think so. It’s okay as long as the final product looks natural. It’s incredibly difficult to get the colors and exposure correct when you incorporate a sky into an image. To do so is an art unto itself.
Carry your portfolio with you, and show it to people you meet
It’s always nice to know there is a demand for the photos I make. You don’t have to be a paid photographer to carry around a portfolio, but if you do, it won’t be too long before you are. People will start asking you to shoot them, and some of them might be willing to pay for your work. When it becomes a part time job, you’ll definitely want to take more photos. The new iPad that just came out is a great tool for showing off what you’ve done.
There’s no reason not to get out there and start taking more photos. If you develop all seven of these habits, you’ll take a ton of photos this summer.
TAGS: motivation, photographing skies, habits and photography, post processing, early morning, sunrise, summer, zen
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