Martynova.Katie | Depositphotos
1. Shoot one small object 10 timesPick up a small object (a bottle of water, a cup of coffee, a fruit - it could be anything) and take at least 10 varying pictures of it. Each shot should be different from one another, get creative, and change the composition radically, look at your subject from different angles and perspectives. Many people habitually take photos from the same height, angle, and position, which, more often than not, leads to similar boring images. This exercise is a must for any beginner photographer as it helps you change the regular way you shoot and find unconventional compositions for your shots.
2. Take a lot of pictures standing at one pointGo for a walk, choose a point, stand there, and shoot several different photos. While you are shooting, you can’t move your legs and go somewhere else for a better composition. As you will have to work under certain limitations, you most likely will face some challenges to overcome. More shots, more challenging this will get. This exercise teaches you to work with restrictions.
graphicphoto | Depositphotos
3. The film photography exerciseWhen you shoot on film, you have a very limited number of shots you can take, usually from 24 to 36 depending on the length of the roll. You also don’t have any preview option and can only see the photos when the film is developed. You don’t necessarily have to purchase a film camera (although it can be quite an intriguing and useful photography experience), but when you shoot with your regular gear, try to imagine you can only take really few shots, just like with film photography. Don’t look at your pictures until your photoshoot is done and see if you nailed it. If you didn’t, you can always try again. This exercise will teach you how to be more precise when you frame your shots and find the right composition.
4. Diversify your subjectsIf you get stuck with ideas on what to shoot each time you head out to take some pictures, you can use an alternative approach. Write 20-30 easy subjects (something like ‘a dog’, ‘flowers’, ‘shadows’, ‘a streetlamp’ etc.) on thin pieces of paper, put them in a bag or a bowl, and pick one out. This subject will be your task for a day or a week. It can also be a way to challenge yourself if you write something more difficult to shoot on the pieces of paper. You can write down moods, genres, or photography techniques.
showpx | Depositphotos
5. Shoot self-portraits (not selfies)Everyone takes an occasional selfie from time to time. As a photographer, however, you should challenge yourself to create self-portraits instead of selfies to find interesting locations, compositions, and framing. All you need is a tripod, set the timer, and shoot yourself in a way you would with another subject. For many photographers, self-portraits are the most thoughtful, meaningful works. For most, it is a great exercise to learn how to overcome restrictions.
6. Stick to black and white for a bitNot every image looks good in monochrome. Without any distraction of colors, other elements such as composition, light, shadows, contrast, lines, and shapes become more important with black and white photography. Set your camera in black and white mode instead of editing your photos after a photoshoot. This will let you see the picture in monochrome straight away, meaning you will have to focus on composition more and won’t get distracted by colors.
Konstanttin | Depositphotos