It’s the start of a new year and that means it’s time for new resolutions.
When I looked back on all of the photos I shot in 2018, I realized that I often take more creative photos when I’m a tourist in a new city. However, the photos I take at home in New York City are often much less interesting. I feel uninspired by the buildings I pass by each day, but the truth is that there is always so much to capture in our everyday lives.
My goal for 2019 is to push myself to think more creatively when capturing places in my own neighborhood.
Are you looking for ways to change your perspective as a photographer? Here are some tips to help you step outside your normal routine and improve your photo skills.
1. Shoot during a different time of day
One way to see things differently is to view them in a different light. The natural light that illuminates a building or scene can look completely different at different times of the day. If you walk by a building on the way to work, try taking a photo during the day. Then, when you leave, take another one. The difference in light may provide an interesting contrast. For example, shooting just before sunset can make a subject glow with golden light that’s much more appealing than the harsh light of the mid-day sun.
2. Experiment with angles
Another way to shake up your photography routine is to alter your camera angle. I often photograph buildings straight on, placing my body and my camera parallel to the front of a building. A way I can change my normal routine while adding interest to my photos is to change my photography angle, and use a corner of the subject as my main focus area, as seen in the photo below of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a greenhouse located in the New York Botanical Garden.
Try taking your photo from a different angle than the one you normally use. Sometimes the best one is not the most obvious. Get up close to your subject, move further away, or photograph from either a low position or high position. Get creative! You might be surprised by how great your photos look when you do.
3. Capture color
A great scene can be easily overlooked if you don’t look for the color. Look for vivid or complementary colors to make your image pop. Monochromatic colors in a scene where there are different shades of the same color can also make for a striking image. Be aware of neutral colors, too, because they help to bring out more vibrant shades. In the photo below, the pop of blue of the fire escapes stands out from the brown tones of the buildings and makes the photo more striking to look at.
4. Start a photo challenge
Another way to shake up your photography is to create a photo challenge for yourself. This could be a daily, weekly, or monthly challenge based on any area where you would like to improve your photo skills.
If you love food, try to photograph it in a new way for each challenge you do, such as taking food photos from three different angles every time you shoot. If you love architecture, try to capture a close-up perspective of every building you photograph to highlight their architectural details.
A photo challenge can help inspire you to see the world in a new way and grow your photography skills.
5. Shoot different subject matter
I have a tendency to always capture architecture, so a new goal I have is to photograph more food at restaurants and share those photos on Maps.
This year, experiment with photographing subjects that are different from what you normally shoot. If you tend to shoot food photos and are comfortable photographing subjects close up, try stepping out of your comfort zone and taking wide-view photos of nature. Love to take exterior photos of shops? Try to take photos of the displays inside that are just as striking.
Photographing something different can help you see things from a new perspective!
What has helped you to change your normal photography routine? Share your tips and photos along with your comments below.