Photography Exercises for Beginners

Dan Eitreim

April 12, 2015

How do you become more creative in your photography is the question many people ask? Is there a formula or does it just happen when you get to a certain level of experience? The answer is quite simple and easy to implement.

I always had this idea that the photographers who created the amazing National Geographic images and the beautiful travel magazine photos were something special. Although there is a certain amount of raw talent involved, the rest is just plain hard work, BUT, using simple techniques that everyone can learn. So how does it work?

The concert pianist who plays the incredible concertos with creative interpretation did not get there without many hours of practising scales. It works the same with photography. The key to creativity is practising exercises and doing assignments that will result in those great images. Now before you stop reading thinking that this is out of your league, stop right there. I have just had a bunch of students in my creative photography class deliver fantastic images after only one week. If they can do it then so can you. I have a series of exercises that will help you get more creative.

1. The 100 shots challenge

To get you working outside the box and move beyond a simple snapshot, you need to stretch your creative thinking. The only way to do this is to push your thought process to the limits and exercise those unused creative muscles. The way this challenge works is that you find a subject or an object that you like or that interests you. Then you start the task of taking one hundred photos of it from different angles. Impossible you might say, not so! I used a simple kitchen fork when I attempted it. By using different settings on your camera like changing the aperture, white balance, shutter speed or focus you will be able to come up with a variety of images. Although this may appear difficult it gets easier as you take one more photo after the next. Even if you only reach 67 photos, you will probably find that you have created 60+ new images that you would never have dreamed of before. Amongst them should be some gems of creativity.

2. Choose a theme

Themes are one of my all time favourite creativity exercises. There just doesn’t seem to be any limitations to this exercise. You have plenty of leeway in you choices so find one that interests or excites you. One of my students took up the challenge of shooting red mailboxes. He took a trip around the city of just shooting different, mainly old, red postboxes. Using different angles and lighting he was able to shoot a series of eight images that were incredible. He had only been shooting creatively for two weeks and achieved an amazing portfolio of images. How broad or narrow the theme is will be up to you. The key word in this exercise is ‘challenge’. The exercise must challenge your creative thinking.

3. The alphabet challenge

This is a little easier and a lot of fun. It can be done alone on a photo walk or with a group of friends. I find that doing this with one friends allows you to feed off each other’s energy and challenge each other’s creativity. The idea behind this is to take the alphabet or at least a series of letters, say A to J and find subjects or objects that either begin with this letter, look like the letter or are the actual letters. How much leeway you give yourself is up to you. The key to this challenge is to find things that stretch your imagination and get you thinking outside the box.

Creativity is not a test and should never become an effort. It is an extension of your technical skills and a step beyond ordinary run of the mill images. You need to take time to be creative so choose a time when you can be uninterrupted and free to be you. I believe that by putting into practise some of these simple challenges anyone can become more creative as you learn digital photography. Happy shooting!

Do you want to learn more about photography in a digital world? I’ve just completed a brand new e-course delivered by e-mail. Download it here for free by clicking here: www.21steps2perfectphotos.com To learn how you can take your photography from ordinary to outstanding click here – www.21steps2perfectphotos.com/21steps.htmWayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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