It’s common for photographers to hit a creative rut from time to time, or they just want to try something else rather than take the same photos. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced photographer, the following ideas will help you enjoy photography to the fullest and learn photography techniques.
1. Explore different genres:
Try an entirely brand-new genre of photography if you want some excitement. Landscape photographers should consider shooting portraits. Find some architectural scenes to photograph if you’re a wedding photographer. Consider experimenting with one of the more challenging genres of photography, such as astrophotography, microscope photography, or underwater photography. You might be inspired by this list of major photography genres.
You can also try a different genre than your current favorite. Consider photographing animals you don’t typically photograph if you are a wildlife photographer. Photograph strangers rather than your clients or people you know if you’re a portrait photographer. Every time you step out of your comfort zone, your skills will improve.
2. Make a photo a day:
A weekly or daily photo project is often the first thing people think of when brainstorming photography ideas. This kind of project is quite common online, and for good reason – it keeps you thinking about photography throughout the year.
A photo-a-day project (365 Projects) or a photo-per-week project (52 Projects) can have a dedicated theme. Shadows may be the subject of the first week, then red and blue, then texture, etc. In other cases, you might need to set a personal goal, like taking at least one high-quality photo every day.
Taking photos regularly throughout the year, without major gaps, is still a smart idea, even if you don’t do a strict photography project. It’s imperative not to lose creativity muscle memory when using your camera.
3. Try a different lens:
In some cases, the latest equipment is all that is necessary to inspire a photographer to explore and take spontaneous photos.
There’s no need to buy something crazy (or crazy expensive) like a 400mm f/2.8 super telephoto. Rentals of 85mm f/1.8 primes or macro lenses are sufficient to release hidden creative and energetic energies. Even better is borrowing equipment from a friend or swapping equipment with them for a few days. I usually shoot Nikon cameras, but I have borrowed Canon cameras in the past to test them, and that has always given me an excuse to take more pictures.
4. Change the way you post-process:
Photographic experiments not limited to the field. Post-processing work is no different – in fact, even more so, with the abundance of tutorials available to experiment with wildly different types of photography.
Post-processing techniques for double exposure can be useful. You can transform your images into conceptual pieces by blending together multiple photos. Text can also added to an image so that it resembles a poster or magazine spread. Despite the fact that you’ll definitely improve your editing skills along the way, you do not need to be a Photoshop master to create something interesting and creative.
5. Take some macro photographs:
Many people are unaware of the ease with which macro photography can accomplished. The equipment you already have, plus an extension tube, will suffice if you don’t have an expensive macro lens. You can get great close-up images even with a 50mm prime lens and an extension tube, although learning the right close-up techniques takes some time.
You can find older, third-party, or manual-focus macro lenses for an affordable price if you want more capabilities than an extension tube. No matter what you choose, you won’t regret having macro capabilities in the end. In almost any location and at any time of day, it’s an amazing way to take photo in the middle of an ordinary afternoon, I often take my favorite close-up photos in my backyard.
6. Make creative use of flash gels and lighting:
Shooting with a flash usually involves bouncing it off walls or ceilings, diffusing it to avoid harsh shadows, and balancing it with ambient light. That may seem reasonable, but it only scratches the surface of the flash’s creative potential.
If you want to create interesting and unusual light for your subject, try using flash gels. Make your photo look like a silhouette by lighting it so half of it is a harsh shadow. There are no guarantees that any of this will work for real events, but chances are good that you’ll find a technique you like and can use elsewhere.
7. Make a photo book:
I’ve heard from many photographers that they wish they printed their photos more often. They can’t keep a printed photo on their wall all the time or because there isn’t enough space. There are times when it’s just a matter of price; a high-quality print, especially with a frame, can be prohibitively expensive.
Instead of a single large print, I recommend creating a photo book. It gives you inspiration and boosts your morale to see several of your images at once in physical form. In spite of the fact that high-quality photo books aren’t cheap, they’re still better than printing several dozen images and presenting them individually.
8. Try the “wrong” settings:
Handheld images taken at f/2.8 aren’t a wise idea, nor macro photos taken at f/2.8 with no depth of field. When it’s appropriate, of course.
It turns out that there are a lot of “wrong” camera settings that don’t produce typical images. The standard way of presenting your subjects is fine as long as you’re trying to get a perfectly sharp picture. In some cases, however, you will get better results by experimenting with unusual camera settings.
9. Make a photo series:
Creating a photo series – usually with a single underlying theme – can still be rewarding, even if you don’t want to do a photo-per-day project. You were challenged to shoot 25 different street photos that all feature green. Alternatively, capture the same subject in a variety of weather conditions and times of day.
Photograph a series that tells a story – a sequence of images documenting the demolition of a building and its replacement, or the change in a tree throughout the year. It is impossible to fit all of the stories out there into a single picture.
10. Take abstract photography:
There are many benefits to abstract photography, including the fact that you don’t need to go anywhere fancy to practise it. The same applies to abstract photography – you just need to view the world differently to take effective conceptual pictures. There is nothing “of” in these photos other than light, shapes, and colours. They are so flexible because of that.
Earlier this morning, I photographed dew droplets reflecting in lamplight on the hood of a car. Many of us pass by cars and lamps every day, but photos like this hidden from view. My backyard plants or snow textures have also been the subject of abstract photos. Abstract photos can found almost anywhere if you look hard enough.