One of the best ways to improve your photography is to take photographs as often as you can, ideally daily or at least several times a week. This isn’t as hard as it seems as most of us carry smartphones everywhere and can practise our craft with those too. Setting a photography project is a really great idea as it gives a structure and purpose to what you’re doing. Take a look at this earlier blog post 5 reasons why you should do a photography project. If you are stuck for ideas there’s a great book called Photocrafty with 75 different projects! Lots of chances to get creative with your camera!
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you photograph the same old things in the usual surroundings all the time. Nothing wakens up creativity like a new and interesting subject or venue. One of my students went to a fascinating victorian swimming baths and posted a photo in the Love Your Lens Facebook group. We were all clamouring to find out where she’d been, as the subject matter and light were fantastic. This weekend I went there with another student and my daughter and it exceeded our expectations! We found ourselves working really hard to apply everything we knew to get great shots and really thought about what we were doing, rather than just firing the shutter and hoping for the best.
Here are some of the results. The venue is the Victoria Baths in Manchester. Check their website for opening days and times. They stage some great events and you can even get married there!
Make sure you scroll down to the bottom for a word on editing.
The photograph of Abi sitting alone on a row of old seats is one of my favourite in a long long time, so I’ve spent some time editing it. People are often surprised to find that I use Photoshop Elements rather than Photoshop. I think it does everything I need to for the moment and it’s the one I recommend for the majority of my students. Once I’ve done all the basic edits and tidying up of small blemishes I use Photoshop Actions to finish off. These shorten my editing time considerably but still allow me full flexibility in applying any effects. I’ve given the photo of Abi several different colour and black and white treatments using a set of actions from a company called Florabella.
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