I’m a big believer in always learning. Especially about topics that you are passionate about! And I always love covering topics to help improve your photography.
For a while I always imagined that being good at photography meant having loads and loads of gear. But even a few months in I realized not only is that not financially stable, it’s not even close to being true. In fact the best ways I’ve grown from are not only free, but easy enough to start today.
Ever find yourself constantly checking the back of your camera to see if your photo is in fact “instagram worthy?” Or to see if it’s exactly what you wanted? I know I do.
To combat always checking the back of my camera, I started using my dad’s old film camera. Not only is there not a LCD screen to check, film has forced me to become a much more aware photographer. While I’ll forever swear by my Sony a6500, truthfully I can get a bit lazy with it. And I have caught myself cruising in autopilot way too many times to count.
Film has forced me to step back and actively think about what I’m shooting.
Try out prime lenses.
For awhile there I was dreaming of having a camera bag f i l l e d with different lenses I was convinced that would make me a better photographer.
Fast forward – I’ve found it’s actually the lack of options that have made me the better photographer.
I have two lenses – one Sigma 35 mm and one Zeiss 24 mm. Both primes! (I shoot on a 2/3 sensor so my lenses actually shoot like a 50mm and a 35 mm, respectively.) My Zeiss lens hardly ever leaves my camera as I’ve come to love the slightly less than perfect view the 35 mm gives. But I’ve slowly noticed that the fixed focal length forces me (the photographer) to move and actively figure out what works vs doesn’t work for my photos.
While I certainly see the advantage and situations zoom lenses are preferable, it’s prime lenses that has helped improve my photography ten fold.
Create challenges for yourself.
Did you ever hear how Michael Phelps was trained for the Olympics? His coach was constantly messing with him. Breaking his googles, hiding his swim cap, his trainer never let him get too comfortable. So do the same for yourself!
Create only black and white photos.
Bring your film camera, not your fail safe DSLR.
Use your least favorite lens.
Try taking photos from only your stomach/knees for a day.
The options are endless! We learn so much more when we push outside of our comfort zones. And find ourselves often picking up new skills when we do so.
Ignore the rules and just create. If you have gotten this far in the blog post I’m guessing that you might love photography as much as me (or you are my parents) and love the feeling of being behind the camera. So forget the rules, forget the followers and take photos that you dream about. Doesn’t matter if they don’t turn out the way you dreamed of the point of creating is to create.
Ok photography addicts – what are ways you have found to help improve your photography??