Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tips from the first 53 days

So i've made it over a seventh of the way through my 365 challenge. I haven't kept to the spirit of the thing. I've uploaded a photo to flickr every day (bar day 9 where i missed by an hour) but i havn't taken a photo every day.

This bothers me but is something I aim to rectify in the new year.

However I have been taking photos practically every day and it's begining to teach me some important lessons which I hope to impart to you.

Bring a camera everywhere
Always, always, always carry some sort of camera with you (preferably better than your phone). Keep it in your pocket or your bag. Everyone tells you this but it's the cardinal rule. When you start seeing photographs everywhere you'll curse yourself if you can't capture them.

Never pass up a photo
When I started the challenge I tried to be single minded, if i was going to get pictures of a sunset on a hill I'd rush up the hill to get the shot. In one way this is a good thing, you don't want to lose the light, but in another it's a bad idea. If along the way you see a good photo take the shot immediatly even if you run the risk of missing your intended shot.

Why you might ask? A shot in the camera is worth two in the head. You might reach the hilltop to find the sky isn't interesting tonight but that shot you've taken is with you for good.

Always clear your camera
I've learnt the hard wy that you should take shots off your camera as soon as you get home. If you don't you might spot a shot and not have room and the time it takes to clear unwanted shots off your camera in a crucial moment might mean missing a great shot.

Make sure people see your photos
This is more important then you might think. Taking a shot a day willimprove your photography regardless but if theres an impetus to show off your photography you'll find yourself trying harder in the taking. You don't want people to see poor work and in a 365 challenge you have to upload a photo every day, wether the quality is high or not.

See and rate other people's photos
While you'll improve more from practice seeing and apraising other people's photography will improve yours. THe act of critiquing other's work will make you think more about your own. It's not enough to just look at shots though. Try to ask yourself why you like or dislike a shot and what you'd have done diferently. Then tell the person whose shot it is. At worst they won't pay heed but at best they might get back to you and tell you why they shot the pic that way. That means you'll learn something, even if you thought you could improve the shot.

And that's it for now. I may give another few tips when i hit the 70 or 80 day mark.

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