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How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

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

 

GI-831439628-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of Brooklyn Bridge and Jane’s Carousel with Manhattan skyscrapers in the background, taken during sunset in New York, New York. (Getty Images)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.

 

christina-nyc-new-york-botanical-garden-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a greenhouse located in the New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, New York. (Local Guide Christina-NYC)

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

 

GI-544220494-1200.jpgCaption: A photo of buildings with blue fire escapes in New York City, New York. (Getty Images)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.

 

IMG_4976.jpgCaption: A close-up photo of the architectural lines on the Guggenheim Museum, located in New York, NY. (Local Guides Christina-NYC)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.

 

IMG_5105.JPGCaption: A photo of teapots, a fruity beverage, and pastries on silver tea trays, photographed from above a table, at the Morgan Library Cafe in New York, New York. (Local Guide Christina-NYC)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.

24 comments
Connect Moderator
Connect Moderator

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

Thank you @Christina-NYC

the idea of challanging myself is interesting, I love it, so I think I will do it.

My first test is a night photo: https://goo.gl/maps/a6T2SQ6b5Mz

DSC00369.jpgCaption: a star of lights in front of the City Hall - Local guide @ermest

IshantHP_ig Level 8
Level 8

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

Thanks a lot @Christina-NYC for sharing the important photography tricks, i'll remember all these points while capturing snaps. :)

 

I want to share a picture with you; which i have captured in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), I hope you'll like it.

20170216_142932_Richtone(HDR).jpgCaption: A hall in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India (Photo by Local Guide Ishant Gautam)

 

Let's make World better :)
Keep Helping!
Keep Contributing!
Lets Guide!
PaulMamani Level 7
Level 7

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

Ausome!

Thank you☺

BeatrizAguilar Level 8
Level 8

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

All are wonderful tips, as always you give us @Christina-NYC

I like to capture myself when I makeup. I use the light, pointing to my face to highlight the final work. This trick is useful when I take a food photo. I remember that you wrote in another post that natural light is better than the flash of camera. So, I try to put the food near a window  where the sun enters through it.

Beatriz Aguilar | bandera-de-venezuela-imagen-animada-0001My Contributions | Profile Google+ | Instagram
SaikatPramanik2001 Level 7
Level 7

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

It's the best ideas to take good photographs

Saikat Pramanik
MdAtikuzzamanLimon Level 8
Level 8

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

Hi @Christina-NYC

Greetings from the Bangladesh Local Guides!

Happy New Year 2019!

As always you share a very helpful post with us. 

Thanks for sharing this with us. 

Thanks again. 

#LetsGuide

bangladesh-flag-waving-gif-animation-5.gifBD#LocalGuides | #LetsGuide | #Bangladesh |#BangladeshLocalGuides | #SoundOfBeautifulBangladesh
Irfansalamat Level 10
Level 10

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

Hi, @Christina-NYC

Thanks for sharing this useful and informative post I used to take photos before being local just for memories but now I keep in mind to take photos for good impression light focus angle sight view all these things are important to take shots.IMG_20181209_122904.jpg

 

bassey Level 9
Level 9

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

Hey @Christina-NYC great write-up. I have one too and I will post it when it is ready. Great helpful points yours are.

Love for Food and Landscape photography
Highlighted
ribani Level 2
Level 2

Re: How to step outside your normal routine as a photographer

Amazing 😱😱😱