A ten point plan to “think photography” all day

• Unlock your potential - think photography all day •

• Unlock your potential – think photography all day •
Almost everything has texture, pattern, depth, contrast and interest for the eye. It is a question of lighting, composition and bringing out its potential. Find ways to think photography all day to help you develop the right techniques and skills.
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Improving and learning takes thinking and practice.

Each day we should focus on doing plenty of thinking to help improve our photography skills. It does not take long and it’s fun. You can fit it into things you are doing through the day. The idea is to keep you focussed. Here is what you do to help you “think photography” during your day.

1. Think photography :: Change your thinking

Try to think photography in a positive way. Photographers need to be positive. Always look at the light side. Don’t let your mind drag you down. Ignore the negatives and obstacles. Look at the good things, the easy ways and fruitful outcomes. Practice taking time to be positive about a situation where a negative thought popped into mind. When negativity looms, think of your favourite photographic situation and picture yourself there.

2. Think photography :: Problem solving

Photography is a problem solving skill. Pick up your camera. Now find some object to photograph. Find a way for the light to come at it from a low angle and from the side. It is this basic skill that gives you the shadows and contrasts you need to give an object texture. Do this daily. Do it even if you do not have your camera. Think photography by visualising what you would do if you could photograph it.

3. Think photography :: Appreciate a good thing

Make sure that every day you find a way to spend a few minutes appreciating the aesthetics in something. Lots of things have simple texture and pattern too. Look for them and find a way to bring them out. Do this even if you don’t have a camera to hand. Just thinking about it helps you get in the right frame of mind. The picture of a lock and bolt on a garden shed above is an example. Creative lighting and exploiting texture and shadow made a picture suitable for this article!

4. Think photography :: Watch television

Watch television. Yes, that’s right. Watch TV. I am sure you will find it illuminating – literally. Some of the best lighting and photographic tricks are on TV every day. Look for them – side lighting, top lighting, rim lighting, mood lighting, pattern lighting, catchlights. There is lots more to look for. You can use your leisure moments to improve your photography. (See also: A little known idea that will help your photography every day).

5. Think photography :: Do some reading

Each day, devote some time to reading a page or two of a photography book or an article online. Gradually things will begin to come together. It will help you keep thinking about improvement and new techniques. At the time of writing there are over a thousand articles and definitions on Photokonnexion. Try one of those!

6. Think photography :: Look at photographs

See if you can look at 50 photographs each day. Ask yourself questions about each one. Why you like or dislike it? What is the photographer trying to say? What is the theme? Why is this photo published? What composition tricks have they used to draw your eye into the shot? Which forms of perspective, shadow and light have they used to create depth? There are lots of other questions. Find as many ways as you can to analyse the shots. Really try to get into the photographers mind. You will really learn a lot about you, and how you “think photography”. (See also: 50 ways to improve your photography – every day! and also: 15 great links for you to see 50 photos a day).

7. Think photography :: Go back in time

Reprise one of your old photos. Why was it good, bad or indifferent? What could be done better? What were you thinking? Is there really something in the this picture worth shooting? Ask yourself the same questions as in 6 above. Really give it a harsh review. You will learn a lot about your own style and improvement.

8. Think photography :: Give yourself a treat

Make a photographic treat for yourself every day. Think of something you can make for your still life photography. Check out an article about a new camera. Look up an old friend. Among other things tell them about your photography. Buy a treat for your evening meal. Then think about how you could cook it and present it ready to be photographed. Find lots of ways to reward yourself in the context of photography. It will help your enthusiasm.

9. Think photography :: Keep a shot-list – add to it daily

Make a list. Every day try to add a shot you want to do. Try to imagine a simple plan for how to do that photo when you get a moment with your camera. Get ideas from Google images, magazines, television, books – everywhere.

10. Think photography :: Go to sleep

Photography is a great pursuit. It is also relaxing. Before you go to sleep at night close your eyes. Then think about how it felt to make your best image. Plan how you can have another success like that. You will sleep well and have some great ideas!

Keep your day relaxed and on focus – think photography

This post is really about finding ways to spend your day doing lots of things. But in the background keeping your passion fired up. Most of these things you can do while no one else knows you are doing it. But at the same time you are learning and having new insights. Its fun to spend time doing your hobby while your boss is sounding off or while you sit at your desk. Wow! Now that is the way to think photography!

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Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

2 responses to “A ten point plan to “think photography” all day

  1. Great article Damon! Of course, you know from my shots that I am always looking at the things around my home and turning them into a photograph! But like any good athlete who practices the basics over and over, “thinking photography” is the same thing for us. Improving the basics, improves us!

    • You are quite right. Thinking about something on a full time basis improves ones analytical skills and observational skills. In this case observation, especially of light, is something you can do while doing other things – like work. So it makes it all the more enjoyable.

      Thanks for your comment. Have a great Easter weekend!