My friend Jason Anderson wrote a wonderful post called Five Ways to Improve Your Photographs that I think you should read when you get a chance. But today I want to offer you five different ways to improve your photography, little things you can do to improve your photography in general.
- Take one step closer to your subject. This is not an original thought but an idea one of my personal heroes, Ernst Haas (19210-1986,) made. If you’re not familiar with his work, pick up his books at the library or, better yet, buy a copy of his seminal work, The Creation, from Amazon where used paperback prices start at $1.99 (plus shipping.
- Your camera has interchangeable lenses; change them. So many people who buy DSLRs or mirrorless cameras never take off the kit lens that came with it. Lenses of different focal lengths provide a different perspective and can change the look of an image and it doesn’t matter if it’s a long or short focal length lens. It doesn’t have to break the bank either. Used lenses are a great option—you’re going to use them anyway, and KEH has a class of used gear called “Bargain” that may not have great cosmetics but work just fine.
- Change your point-of-view. Stand on a hill a ladder or a chair (be careful.) Kneel down or lay on the ground—wear your grungies—it all adds up to a new, different way to see a subject.
- Shoot More Verticals. For reasons unknown to science, smartphone users shoot everything, including video, as verticals. DSLR and mirrorless camera shooters shoot everything a horizontally because that’s the shape of the camera. Try some verticals, especially for portraits. You will be surprised what happens and it won’t hurt your wrist.
- Avoid Bull-eye Syndrome. Don’t place the subject in the center of the frame. Shooting a horizontal image at eye level with the subject smack in the middle of the frame can work sometime (if you’re lucky) but not if you really what to improve your photography.
For another approach to creative inspirtaion, pick up a copy my friend Rick Sammon’s book Creative Visualization for Photographers, which is available from Amazon and all of the usual suspects.