There’s loads of cool photography apps available for your Nokia Lumia, but what if you want to challenge your creativity even more? Happily, putting the spring back in your photographic step is a lot easier than you think.
Take in a show
We’ve recently blogged about the great photography shows around the world in 2013, but there’s a hundred more photography exhibitions in a town near you! Some will be amazing and some will be, well, not so amazing. But at the end of the day there is no bad exhibition experience. Even the worst exhibitions in the world can teach you things about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to photography. And very often a really bad exhibition will teach you more than a good one.
Not only that, but everyone likes to have their shows reach an audience. So get out there and support your fellow snappers! You might even forget your own creative intentions and start along the path of collecting!
On the other hand, one of the most liberating things about digital photography and the internet is how you can view photographs from a million different makers, all without leaving the comfort of your own home! This availability has opened up all sorts of forums, clubs and competitions. There are thousands of specifically themed competitions out there and some are generously sponsored and offer serious prizes!
Check out photography everywhere
We’re surrounded by photography all the time. Every newspaper, website, magazine, bus and powerpoint presentation is plastered with pictures. But how often do we really look at them?
Given nearly all of the images that surround us are the work of professional photographers with years of experience, how about spending a little longer to really interrogate those pictures. How are they lit? Where are they lit from? How many light sources are there? How many highlights are in the eyes? What’s the depth of field? What is the image trying to get us to think?
Adverts and editorial photography can teach us all sorts of things about photography – you just need to spend a little longer looking at them.
Master a new skill
When you look at photos, which are the ones that you wish you’d taken? Settle on a skill you need to improve and set about improving it! With the range and volume of assistance that exists for us all these days, there’s no excuse not too. You can buy master class books, find online tutorial videos, get chatting on forums or join groups (with real living people) and learn from hands on experience! Any new skill – however small or large – will add to your repertoire of pictures. Don’t fuss about everything at once: pick one thing and master it.
So when was the last time you printed something? We’ve all become slaves to the computer screen and rarely do we actually make hard copies of the images we labour over.
But there’s nothing that will make your image come alive more than seeing it “in the flesh”. Whether you like glossy, Diabond mounted works of art or polished aluminium supports, or the deep lustre blacks of photo rag papers – getting your work printed will entirely change your relationship with it.
And once you’ve got something printed, you’ve got something to show! As well as galleries, all sorts of businesses will show art works. Cafes, hairdressers, restaurants, town halls…
It may take some courage (and a lot of work) to organise a show, but it also provides you with some structure, a deadline, a finished product and maybe even some infamy! And seeing your work framed on a wall will give you some much needed critical space to really assess your pictures.
Having a theme, a deadline or just being ‘forced’ to photograph something you normally wouldn’t look at twice may push your work along and open up new interesting avenues.