Some practical photo tips off the dome (originally sent to my newsletter):Currently writing these words in Washington DC (just flew out of Mexico City the other day).
After spending time out of the states, and being back, here are some practical tips to motivate your photography:
- Don’t optimize your photography for ‘street photography’: In every “genre” of photography, we are getting suckered. The more you try to focus on a certain genre of photography, you trap yourself. Every city is different, and every situation in your life is different. You might not have the luxury of living in a super-populated downtown city, which means your chance for capturing ‘decisive moment’ style street photography is difficult. So instead, focus on photographing colorful textures, nice shades of light, or just document your own personal life!
- The simplest, smallest, and lightest camera is the best: I think the formula is pretty simple: the smaller, simpler, and lighter your camera, the more you will carry it with you, and the more photos you will shoot! I am pretty convinced that the RICOH GR II is the ‘perfect’ camera. It fits in your front pocket, it has an integrated flash and macro functionality (also great for food photography), with superior image quality (image quality looks at least 10x better than phone photos). Just focus on shooting everyday (all day) of anything, and the more photos you shoot, the more photos you process, and the more photos you upload, the more motivated you will become!
- Make photos to satisfy your own eyes! I think we all have a hunger for new visual images. Many of us satisfy our desire for visual novelty by watching movies, TV, social media, etc. But what if we could create our own new images to satisfy our own visual insatiability? This means make photos you like looking at! With post-processing your photos, keep adjusting the contrast of your images until you like looking at your photos. Create your own photo-galleries for yourself, to bring yourself more delight and joy!
- Think of yourself as a painter, not as a photographer: If you liked to draw or paint as a child, perhaps it is best to think of yourself as a painter, not as a photographer. When we use our camera and photograph colors and textures, we are painting! Paint more with your camera by photographing more colors, textures, and tones which interest you!
- All photography is good: Don’t pigeon-hole yourself in your photography. Sometimes we shoot photos as personal documentation, sometimes we shoot photos to augment our memory, and sometimes we photograph for artistic purposes. It seems to me that all photography is good, because the more you click, and the more accustomed you are to constantly making new photos, you will hesitate less in your photography, and thus become more creatively productive!