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7 Ideas to Help Spice Up Your Everyday Photography


Sunlight among the trees

As in all pursuits, we can sometimes lack the motivation to go out and take photographs even though we love photography. We tell ourselves:


The weather is too bad…

I'm tired shooting in all the same places…

There's no point, I'm not getting any good shots…


We can come up with lots of excuses and unfortunately some of them work and keep us from getting out there doing what we love.


As well as that, we have commitments and responsibilities that mean we can’t always head off to a new location, yet we feel that our everyday photography in our own locality has become stale, often to the point that we don’t want to take our camera out at all.


It's at these 'lean times' that we need to have some ideas in our photography toolbox that we can use to shake things up a bit and give us the incentive to get out and enjoy photography again.


These are my 7 go-to tools that I use when I experience these photography slumps. They work regardless of your preferred genre of photography.


All the images were taken in my local park, where I go regularly for photography, and where I also regularly feel there’s ‘nothing left to photograph.’


I'm always proved wrong when I use one of these 7 tools.


I took one idea at a time, so I had at least 7 photography sessions lined up.


And of course, they all bear repeating!


So, if you feel the need to spice up your everyday photography, why not try out at least one of these ideas.


1. TURN YOUR CAMERA TO ITS MONOCHROME SETTING


We often talk about using black and white photography to give our photographs a distinctive look, but many times we take the original photo in colour and convert to black and white in an image editing program.


Yet there is something special about changing our camera to its monochrome setting and seeing the image in monochrome as we shoot. This gives a totally different perspective to what we see through the viewfinder, and I think it offers a fresh approach to capturing regular subjects.


I have often found this to be a game changer on those days when I felt there was nothing new to photograph. There may not have been anything new, but there certainly was a new perspective and that has always helped to revive my interest.



B&W trees in Marlay

wilting flower


2. GET CLOSER


If you are a photographer who specialises in close-up or macro photography then this tip won’t apply to you as you’ll be doing this already, but many of us tend to shoot the ‘bigger picture’ and ignore more close-up subjects. Yet it is amazing what we discover when we look closely, see tiny details that are usually overlooked and capture these details with our camera.


The world of close-up and macro photography brings a new perspective to our image making, and there is an amazing tiny world out there to explore as well as many variations of composition and style we can use.


close up daisy

Three flowers


3. GET INVOLVED IN A PROJECT


When we have an ongoing project, or several ongoing projects, we have an incentive to keep finding new images to add to our project.


I am currently engaged in a project entitled Human Influence in the Natural Environment. This gives me scope for making images in many different settings and it also provides a centre of interest for those days when I think there is nothing to shoot. It also provides me with an endless amount of subjects to choose from and an opportunity to really think about my photography.


Hay box

Railway sign

4. TRY A NEW APPROACH


A new approach can be different things for different photographers.


I have been going to my local park for photography for some time and my images tend to focus on nature and woodland images. But there are lots of people in the park, as well as places where people gather such as a courtyard with café and craft shops, and a walled garden. It can be interesting to capture images of people going about their daily routines, which vary from day to day.


Recently I tried a street photography technique of shooting through a shop window to add some layering to my images, while on another occasion I tried natural and human made examples of sub-framing. Looking up, instead of always looking around, has also added some interest to my images.


Natural framing

reflection in a window


5. TRY TRIPTYCH PHOTOGRAPHY


Triptych photography is an approach that involves making three related images which are presented as a set. Each photograph in the set works on its own but also works in harmony with the other two images when viewed as part of the set. I recently wrote a post in which I dived more deeply into this approach.


When we use the triptych approach in our photography it means we photograph more purposefully, carefully choosing images that will work together as a set and which might potentially end up as wall art!



6. GET CREATIVE WITH ICM


Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) is an approach to photography that encourages us to throw aside the rule book and get creative. It encourages experimentation and discovery, and the results can often surprise us.


ICM refers to a technique in which we intentionally move the camera while pressing the shutter to give a blurry, more painterly look to our images. Movements can be up and down, side to side or circular using different shutter speeds to attain different results. Another technique is to turn the focus ring while pressing the shutter to create a burst of colour, as in the top image below.


If you haven’t already tried this technique, it is well worth giving it a try. There are many online tutorials that will help to get you started.

Colour burst

Bars of colour

Clusters of different coloured flowers can help you create an interesting abstract image.



7. TELL A STORY WITH ONE IMAGE


This is another technique which helps you to photograph more intentionally. You are not just focusing on an image of something, you are looking for an image that tells a story -an image about something. This can be difficult but also rewarding when you view the image and know that it depicts something that was important for you to capture.


Couple in the garden

Notes on a line

Does this image tell a story?


In this post I have given 7 ideas to help spice up your everyday photography. I have used each of them at various times and they have all helped motivate me when my motivation has been low. I hope they will work for you too.


Which of these ideas do you think you might try?



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