Photography Exercise No. 2 and 3

Photography Exercise #2

It’s terribly easy to fall into habits with our photography. We begin to develop our own styles very quickly as photographers. This is not necessarily a bad thing, except that we may become blind to other possibilities. One very simple exercise I have found useful is this: Spend an hour or two walking around with your camera and find a scene you would normally photograph. Frame your shot until you feel like the composition is yours, but then don’t take the shot (this may take some serious will power). Turn around and photograph what’s behind you. This forces you to step out of your photographic comfort zone in a very easy way. It’s not an exercise that will force you to put yourself in any sort of awkward social situation or face any sort of fears, per se, but just to help show that there is always something to photograph, even if sometimes you have to work harder to make it yours. Often without even realizing it, we develop limitations for ourselves that can be creatively stifling and our work can become stagnant and repetitive. This exercise helps us to become aware of these self-imposed limitations and reminds us that we should constantly open ourselves up to new possibilities and directions in our work.

Photography Exercise #3

Photograph five scenes that you find extremely ordinary, but nonetheless visually attractive for whatever reason. It could be a painted brick wall or a busy street corner. Photograph it however you like, but keep it simple and loose. Remember that what we are always initially visually attracted to is light reflecting off surfaces – nothing more. Don’t over think it. Once you’ve photographed the five different “ordinary” scenes, print the images out and study them. Why are they not ordinary? Is it because of some aspect of your framing? Is it an aspect of the scene that you didn’t recognize as interesting at the time? Do you notice that what caught your eye may have a larger personal significance than you recognized at the time you released the shutter? What do these images say about your personal vision and awareness of your surroundings? You don’t need to attach meaning to any of the images. Just let them exist. They may tell you way more about yourself than the scene you photographed.