Like all photographers (should be), I am constantly trying to improve my picture-taking. As expected, however, the introduction of Lucy has made time with the camera more a matter of point-and-shoot at friends and family, rather than an exercise in good image composition.
As light reading material, I bought John Hedgecoe’s The Art of Digital Photography a while back and have decided to try and spend one afternoon or evening a week on a photo project of my own. The main difficulty in starting out taking pictures is “what should I take a picture of?”. I’m going to follow the various sections in the book and keep working on each one until I have at least one image that I’m really proud of, before moving on to the next.
The book is broken down into sections as follows:
- Elements of an Image (shape, form and tone, pattern, texture)
- Colour (impact and power of colour, colour harmony, colour temperature, shooting in black and white)
- Depth (using perspective, aerial perspective, depth of field, scale, high and low viewpoints)
- Organising the Frame (simplifying the scene, leading the eye, exploring angle of view, balance and proportion, framing, choosing backgrounds)
- Direction of Light (direct and indirect light, frontal lighting, sidelighting, backlighting)
- Changing Light (dawn to dusk, the impact of silhouettes, seasonal changes, photographing in low light, dramatic light, using shadows, snow and ice, high and low key)
- People (striking a pose, isolating faces, people in their environment, candid camera, children and babies, group portraits, studio portraits, human form)
- Still Life (simple setups, abstracts all around)
- Architecture (gallery of doors, buildings in their surroundings, night lights in the city, abstracts and patterns, tackling interiors)
- Landscapes (capturing the seasons, skyscapes, panoramas, monochromatic moods, parks and gardens)
- Nature (plants, birds, bugs, pets, animals)
- Sport (freezing the action, prefocusing, burst rates, capturing the spirit)
In total, that’s about 60 different topics to cover and even at a phenomenally-fast learning success rate of one great image every week, that’s well-over a year to cover.
I’ll post both my successes and failures here as a blog entry, which should make for a good history trail, if nothing else.