Much like we give ourselves exercises to improve our handwriting or even painting skills, there are a few things we can do to mould our photography and find our own distinctive style.
How to Spot Shapes
The next time you go out for a dedicated shoot, try not to pay too much attention to the information conveyed by a particular subject. Instead, just look at it, defocus your own eyes and ask yourself what shape does it form. Imagine the overall scene as a blank canvas and the shape of the subject as a sketch. If the form and shape of this sketch looks great, you have found your frame.
Visualise the Alphabet
This can be an interesting 26-day exercise. Go out with your camera and try to shoot anything that begins with the letter ‘A’. It could be an aeroplane, an advertisement or even an apple seller. The next day, your assignment is to shoot ‘B’. Keep exploring the alphabet in this way. It is a good thing that ‘Q’ and ‘X’ will be at a time when you have got a good amount of practice. This exercise will give you a focused drive to look for specific subjects on each day, and will also test your language skills along with your photography prowess!
Understand Your Equipment
When you buy a superszoom camera or lens for the first time, do this simple exercise to understand the way it works. Shoot the same frame at the telephoto end of the lens. Then, go closer to the subject and try capturing a similar frame at the wide end. Both pictures will be starkly different, though they show the same subject matter.
Do Not Shoot
One way to keep exercising your eye is to go to a photogenic location without your camera. Since you cannot shoot, just note down the potential photographs. You may realise that you are seeing more frames when you are not carrying a camera!
This article originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of Better Photography.