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7 Tips for Adding More Interest to Your Photography

Bridge in Mullaghmore

From time to time we may all feel that we have lost interest in going out with our camera or become ‘stuck in a rut’ with our photography. This can happen at certain times of year – perhaps in winter when weather conditions seem to be unrelentingly dull – or it can be caused by an over familiarity with our location or choice of subject.

Regardless of the reason for our temporary lack of enthusiasm for photography there are some things we can do to get our mojo back and reinvigorate our photography process.

Here are 7 tips for adding more interest to your photography that might just fuel your enthusiasm and get you out of that rut.

1.    Go somewhere completely different.

Most of us probably photograph in the same locations on a regular basis. These are places with which we are familiar, where we feel there is good potential to capture the type of photographs we like. We may frequent woodlands, hike on nearby mountains or travel to local coastal areas for photography. But what if these locations no longer excite us? What if they no longer offer the photography opportunities we are looking for?

A trip to another country may give us some temporary inspiration, but it will not solve the underlying issue. How do we break out of a real creative rut and get back to enjoying our photography again?

One solution is to go somewhere completely different, somewhere you have never been before for photography, somewhere that you might not even consider as a place for potential photographs, and see what you find there. It doesn't even need to be far from your home, just somewhere that hasn't previously been a photography location for you.

Avondale tower

Alternatively, go to a familiar location and shoot something you wouldn't normally shoot, or capture a subject from an unusual perspective.

2.    Have a monochrome shoot.

This is something I always try when I am feeling less that enthusiastic about my regular photography shoots. I put my camera into monochrome mode and look at the world stripped of colour, which forces me to focus on contrast, tone and how light affects different subjects. This is always an interesting process which can result in some pleasing images.

Reflection in a puddle

I think this image of a reflection in a puddle looks better in monochrome as the lack of colour emphasises shape texture and contrast.

3.    Try something creative.

This might involve doing some abstract photography, experimenting with long exposures or shallow depth of field. It might involve doing some ICM or impressionist photography or giving your images a dreamy, painterly effect. It might be working with reflections or finding some interesting macro subjects. Each of these approaches are worth trying as they give you a new outlook on your photography and can also provide some new insights which you might even want to carry forward.

I recently spent some time experimenting with long exposure in water, both with my camera and my phone. I got some interesting images and I really enjoyed the experience.

ICM water

Water landscape

Icy water

4.    Be bold with your images.

Move out of your comfort zone, take some risks, try something you haven’t tried before. You might fail at first, but who cares? You will learn something and after all, your photography is for you, no-one else.

ICM leaves

Autumn leaves

I used intentional camera movement and a pile of leaves to create this abstract image.

The swan

The Swan

In this image I played around with the background in Lightroom. As well as being creative with your camera, experimenting with post processing of your images, whether on a computer or using a mobile app such as Snapseed, can add a bit of variety and interest to your photography.

5.    Take a new perspective.

Too often we take most of our photographs from the viewpoint of a standing adult. Why not look up and take some pictures? Why not get close to the ground and see the world from a different perspective? Why not shoot through a window or through a slit? Why not photograph part of a subject instead of the whole subject? It will look completely different.

Taking a new perspective is like looking at the world in a totally new way and is guaranteed to give your photography a new lease of life.

Through the window

Tree in the window

Through the bookshop window

I enjoy discovering what I can see reflected in a window.

6.    Throw out the rule book – at least once!

Sometimes we can feel bound by expectations and want to produce work that we think will be approved of by others. This is never a good idea.

Firstly, we don’t always know what others will like.

Secondly, if we make images that please ourselves they will be more authentic and they will probably be better images.

Thirdly, why care about what others think?

Throw out the rule book, discard expectations and just enjoy your own photography.

Do it at least once.

You’ll have such a good time you’ll want to make it a habit!

Spooky woods

Spooky woods

I spent some enjoyable time making images using ICM with my camera set to monochrome. The results were varied but I like this image. I think it captures the effect I was trying to create.

Painted swan

I added grain for effect in this image, rather than try to avoid it, and had some fun with colour.

7.    Look for fun subjects.

Photography shouldn’t be just enjoyable. Let your photography be fun too.

Enjoyable is when we have a good time out with our camera and come home with a feeling of satisfaction, even if we don’t have any great images to show for our time.

Having fun with your photography is about looking for humorous things to photograph - funny moments on the street, quirky subjects, amusing signs, strange juxtapositions or unusual perspectives - and sometimes capturing the odd things that we humans do.

When we bring humour into our photography, we renew our interest in what we do and open ourselves to life’s little surprises.

Walk in the park

This picture always makes me smile. I saw the two pigeons walking alongside the woman so I aimed my camera at her feet to include the birds in the image. It appears as though they are walking with her.

Do you have any tips for adding more interest to your photography?


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