Have you ever hit a plateau in your photography? When every picture you make feels the same? Maybe you look around and think you need to travel to some place different or exotic to make better photographs? It is easy to fall into the trap of believing where you live has become boring and there’s nothing left to be photographed there.
Photography is, in large part, about seeing but most people stop at looking and never really notice what is all around them. We love to take part in the great picture hunt, joining photo walks, roaming the streets to collect trophies of “the decisive moment”. What if we were to stand still for a moment and just be present? What would you notice? What would you actually see? What would you photograph?
Try this exercise and I am sure you will be surprised. The next time you are out with your camera, find a place to stand still for an hour. Yes one whole hour. During this time, you can use any lens on your camera but you cannot move from your chosen spot. Spin around 360 degrees, stand on your tiptoes or crouch down. Just don’t move from your self-assigned spot.
If you need a starting point, use the list of visual elements to help you find something to photograph (light, tone, line, shape, texture and perspective). Don’t worry if you feel uncomfortable or if nothing comes to you when you start this exercise. Standing still is counter-intuitive to how many of us have been taught to make photographs and we are unlearning habits to learn something new.
When you are done, leave a comment below. If you have a place where you post photographs online, let us know. We’d love to see how you fared with this exercise.