Before I go out and shoot pictures, I need to get into the zone.
1. Think colors
I like to inspire myself before shooting to think about colors.
For example, to increase my ‘visual acuity’ or sensitivity towards colors, I look at lots of colorful images. And when I shoot, I only focus on one color at a time.
Like this picture of all pink/magenta of Cindy:
Or just the color blue:
Or Cindy made into an abstract cubist picture:
To warm up, look at colorful pictures. Look at your own most colorful pictures, study the simple color work of Piet Mondrian, the vibrant pictures of Andy Warhol or Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring.
To learn more, study Color Theory For Photographers.
2. Shoot pictures in your living room
To train your visual eye, just photograph stuff in your living room with your couch, lamp, and make a nice picture. Then even trace it and draw it to see all the shapes and forms.
Anything can be interesting, if you look at it closely enough.
Photograph the ceiling. Photograph towels hanging around. Photograph your partner at home.
Take pictures looking out of your apartment, from your window:
Even when you’re leaving the house or apartment, always wear your camera around your neck, or keep it on hand. You can photograph your loved ones leaving the house, which makes dynamic images:
Even ordinary things, like the food you’re making:
Document your own life, like your workspace and laptop:
There’s a ton of stuff you can photograph at home. So if you’re stuck indoors all day, this is a good way to inspire yourself, and warmup before you go out and shoot.
If you need inspiration at home, buy CREATIVE EVERY DAY.
3. Watch great cinema
I love great compositions in cinema. Whenever I watch a movie I will take screenshots of scenes or compositions or frames I like.
Another personal favorite, the Japanese animated film: Akira:
Some of my other favorite stills from the movie:
4. Sketch pictures
Trace, use your iPad, use your phone, a piece of paper, whatever. Just keep sketching, to think visually:
To learn how to sketch and draw, buy CREATIVE EVERYDAY: Mobile Edition.
5. Think composition
To think like a photographer, think composition.
Here are some composition guides made by ANNETTE KIM (firstname.lastname@example.org) :
Some of my favorite compositions:
Always think pictures, images, and stay inspired.
BE CREATIVE EVERY DAY,
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If you’re new to photography, start here:
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The Masters of Photography
Classics never die:
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- Constantine Manos
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- Dan Winters
- David Alan Harvey
- David Hurn
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Take your street photography to the next level:
- August 27 (Friday): SEATTLE MASTER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NOW LIVE!]
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