Counting down the New Year? Make better photos your goal for 2018 with these different tricks and exercises to help you improve your photography.
Take pictures every day. The more you photograph, the more you pick up on the small things that make a big difference.
Learn the art of flash photography. Many new photographers are afraid of flash photography — because they never like the results. Learn how to turn that flash down with manual flash mode and a diffuser for a whole new love for flash.
Try intentionally getting the exposure wrong. Once you’ve mastered how to make sure a photo isn’t too dark or too bright, use those same skills to intentionally break the rules. Try shooting dark, moody images or overexposing for a bright and airy feel.
Get bold with your composition. Center. Don’t center. Put the subject on the edges of the frame. Embrace empty space.
Look for color. Compose images based on complementary or opposite colors for a photo that pops.
Identify your weaknesses and pick up a book on the subject or take a class. Pick a topic a critique has mentioned before, or simply a topic you’re struggling with. Tackling weaknesses can make the biggest impact.
Try film. There’s something about having a limited number of shots and being unable to instantly preview the results that improves photography even when you are using digital.
Shoot in all types of light. Sure, a cloudy day makes it easy to get great photos with soft light, but it doesn’t do much for your photo skills. The more types of light you experiment, the more you’ll understand light and how to manipulate it.
Experiment with panning to blur the background of action shots.
Head out after the sun has set with a tripod and try long exposure night photography of cityscapes or even the stars.
Go someplace familiar and boring — shooting here will help you find the beauty anywhere.
Spend a week shooting only in black and white, with your camera set to black and white mode so you see every shot in black and white.
Take a break and try another creative art form, from painting to sketching, to avoid burnout and bring in new ideas from another creative discipline.
Follow the top photographers shooting in your favorite genre on social media to find new inspiration and pick up new tips.
Print your photos — photographers are often better at self critiquing when looking at a large print, rather than a computer screen.
Learn new photo editing skills. Try following a photo editing blog or YouTube channel as an affordable way to learn.
Shoot a dozen different photos of the same everyday object — this exercise forces you to look for lighting and perspectives you wouldn’t have thought of originally.
Set up a shoot for practice only. Take the pressure off and start with practice in mind — and you may be surprised at what you find.