Photography: New Eyes

Posted on 17 Jun ’08 by Earl

Do you feel like maybe you photographs or photo routine is getting stale?

Do you have favorite spots to take photos when you’re near home? You know, those places you pop into regularly for an hour or two to snap a few shots? Those place where by now you know every inch of the terrain. Have you exhausted your imagination taking photos there?

Pacific Coast, Oregon
[ Beach Walkers }

I've some of those places near my home and with the price of gas continuing to rise I'll be visiting them more then ever.

So what do you do to keep your skills, photos and interest from becoming stale under these circumstances? Here's a few things you can do to change it up:

  • Change your timing. If you normally visit your place in the morning then visit in the evening or perhaps for a real challenge visit mid-day. The mid-day light will be harsh, but challenge your composition and technical skills to produce a great photo which overcomes or takes advantage of unforgiving light.
  • Redefine your view. Do you most often walk these areas with your favorite lens mounted? Perhaps it's a zoom lens. Try limiting/changing your view by switching to a different lens, perhaps a primary lens or only take photos with your zoom lens at one focal length. This will often get you to look at things differently.
  • Get a grip. In familiar locations many people exhibit their preference of shooting handheld or with a tripod. Force yourself to change up and experience the other side.
  • Experience the down low. For one visit do all you shots at less than 2 feet from the ground... and lower would be even better. You'd be surprised what changing you perspective will do for you and your photos.
  • Break out the gadgets. Most photographers have a number of devices, filters and gadgets in their bag that while neat may not get used regularly. Break them out and see what you can come up with.
  • Try the buddy system. Take a photographer buddy with you and watch what they see and photograph. You're certain to see things differently when you look through their eyes.
  • Take a break. Even with things you love you may need to take a break. Being away can often bring a freshness to it when you return.

All of these are exercises may help you view what has become familiar with new eyes. They can also provide valuable experience so you're ready to capture that great photo when visiting somewhere new.

Pacific Coast, Oregon
[ Jonathan Livingston ... ]

“The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

How do you keep your eyes fresh?

What Others Are Saying

  1. Photo Buffet 21 Jun ’08 at 5:07 pm

    Great advice! Sometimes a change of scenery (or mindset) is all that ‘s needed to jar something productive out of me, or give me those new photographic eyes you talk about. I rarely tire of nature photography, though. My best shots come from my own backyard–literally. It’s a blessing to wander around out there and see what I can come up with.

  2. Earl Moore 21 Jun ’08 at 5:17 pm

    @Photo Buffet – I don’t often tire of nature photography either but I do like to keep my view fresh. Photography is fun and sometimes “playing” helps keep the fun in it.

    From looking at some of your wonderful shots I know you’re having fun as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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