I can’t say this enough, the best way to improve your photography skills is to shoot constantly. Shoot, shoot, shoot. Even if you never use or share the images, the act of thinking, composing, and photographing, enhances your skill set.
One of my favorite exercises for this is what I call “The Fifteen Minute Photo Walk”. The basis is simple, go to a location, take in your surroundings, and shoot anything interesting for fifteen minutes. More parameters can be added to spice things up. Here’s a few categories and items I’ve come up with to pick and choose from for fun.
Only shoot: texture, line, geometric shape, with a single lens, laying down, people, with a single prime lens, at a 1:1 ratio, vertically, from eye level, looking up, looking down, etc.
Find or express: Happiness, sadness, a photo essay, motion, stillness, change, that which is hidden, etc
For this Fifteen Minute Photo Walk I found myself at a small farm that houses a few horses and a goat. The limitation for this exercise was that I would only use one single prime lens, the Canon 100m 2.8 Macro. This lens would have not been my first choice for this type of shoot, but I found ways to use it to my advantage to capture non-traditional portraits of the animals. Here’s a few of my favorites!
This is a great exercise that can be used in any location, even when stuck in the house. I hope it inspires you to keep shooting, or to get out and start up again. Once you’ve done your Fifteen Minute Photo Walk, go ahead and share with me what parameters you set, and a few of your shots!