How to Photograph

Practical thoughts on how to photograph:

Photograph what you consider beautiful

When you’re walking out and about, photograph what you consider beautiful or cinematic. For example, birds flying in the air (juxtaposed against pole lines):

The art of observation

What makes a good photographer? Being a keen observer.

For example, seeing this tree that split in half (in order to grow AROUND) the pole lines:

Selfie mode

Something that a lot of photographers haven’t explored enough:

Using the selfie-mode of your camera to shoot more self-portraits of yourself.

We often do this with our iPhone cameras (selfies), but rarely do we use our ‘standalone digital camera‘ to do the same.

For example, these selfies from Lumix G9 while walking up my stairs:

  • selfie

Get close

In praise of macro mode. See details you find interesting, then get very close and shoot in macro mode. This photo on RICOH GR III in macro mode:

Shoot both still photos and videos

Short “snap-chat-esque” videos. For example this short video I shot of a flame:

Just shoot it

This is another lesson:

If you see something interesting, just shoot it.

For example I was inside my apartment looking out of the window, and I saw someone walking by the parking lot. I just shot a photo:

I like this photograph because of the play of perspective– some of the photo is inside my apartment (left of the frame), and some of it outside. I also shot it from a high angle perspective.

Allow yourself to shoot more randomly

Another thought:

Don’t always feel the need to “properly” frame all the photos you shoot.

My recent joy with shooting with RICOH GR III:

Shoot your camera from all angles. Hold your camera super low, super high, to the left, to the right.

Don’t always use the viewfinder. Shoot more randomly– embrace the chaos and randomness!


Look for visual poetry

For me, I often see things which I consider ‘visual poetry’. For example, a simple red-caution tape in the streets flying in the wind:

Don’t be shy

Another big thing:

Don’t be shy in photography.

Better to be assertive and to just shoot it than to be meek and ‘chicken out’ from shooting a scene.

This is where you are noble for being a street photographer — 90% of street photography is courage and risk-taking!

Cuba, 2020

Linger and keep shooting

Another useful life lesson:

If you see something you find interesting, keep lingering and shooting.

For example a bunch of people at the coffee shop (with a suspended bicycle). While chilling at the coffee shop, I kept taking photos of the scene and monitoring it.

providence streettogs coffee shop

Photograph while walking

Shoot photos while walking at night. Use AUTO-ISO and autofocus, and embrace the blur!


Focus on things closest to you.

Like this macro photo of Cindy holding up her necklace in front of her face. I decided her to focus on the necklace, not her face:

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