elcome to another instalment about capturing memories and of the ways and means of expanding your camera skills in a blog I’m going to entitle ‘Inspiration and Improvisation’.
This might sound posh but as for inspiration it’s all about looking at other people’s photographs and allowing ideas to slowly settle inside ready to spring when the opportunity arises. By looking I don’t mean staring at the works of professionals with their super-duper state of the art DSLR’s, but rather those on a more common budget with their phones (albeit some of these easily cost more than a good camera), tablets and cheap compacts. This takes us back to Instagram which I have mentioned in previous postings, given that it is what I would consider to be the most prevalent of the Social Media offerings geared towards photography. Simply use the search feature to discover areas of interest.
You don’t always have to travel far to capture interesting photos (although a sun-drenched beach and a nubile model on hand must surely be great fun!). Even the most mundane of subjects can provide themselves as a feature (e.g. a rusting garden ornament), and this thus takes us on to the subject of improvisation.
If you are not able to leave the house, then have a wander about your abode whilst staring at your everyday things. As an example, I’m going to move on to the joys of working in a dusty old factory that is creaking at the seams, and stacked with antiquated machinery that date back into the times when Freddy Flintstone was a young man. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little but some of these machines are attached to computers that still run DOS (that was the very first computer language for those of you who have never owned a fat TV). I’ve included a shot (taken with a humble Moto G5 phone which has a cracking camera and only costs £12.50 a month on the cheapest rate). I have modified the results with Lightroom CC (available for free on your Android / iPhone). This hopefully demonstrates how something that you would normally pass by without a second glance, can suddenly gain a modicum of interest.
Stepping forwards, how about trying to shoot (or modifying afterwards) in black and white (also referred to as monochrome). This is an extremely popular mechanism for creating interest in a scene, more so when applying a level of finesse to the light shading to better accentuate the features of your shot.
Mixing black and white with elements of colour is a further step forwards (as seen with my machine photo above) which was achieved with a post-process called ‘layering’. I don’t want to dwell on this given that YouTube or Pinterest could do a far better job, but is well worth checking out. A little bit of retained colour can add a special kind of magic and can really make things leap out.
Finally, for now, how about considering changing the angle of your photographs. Dropping to the floor and aiming upwards is just one of the many ways to portray the world in a different way. Alternatively try raising up on high (using one of those dreadful ‘Selfie’ sticks if you don’t have long arms), or simply try moving your device around until you find the magic spot.
As always, good luck with your endeavours and happy snapping. Don’t forget, for more inspiration you can always check out my Instagram account