Photography is like most other professions or hobbies in that you will improve and get better with training. But, like other skills, you need to try and set yourself a structure and actively try and improve the areas that you may not be good at. Sure, like anything else, there are those that are naturally skilled at seeing a scene and pre-visualising a shot, but the following photography exercises will help anyone become a better photographer.
#1 – Use a Film Camera
Like most photographers who grew up in the 90s, my first introduction to photography was at college and university using film. I spent hours in the darkroom developing the photos I had taken. Whilst, like most, I love the romantic notion of shooting with film, the reality is that digital photography offers so much more freedom.
However, the one downside of digital photography is that it also allows you to snap away without really having to worry about the number of photos taken. Not like using film where literary every photo taken cost a few cents.
But also, without the ability to review the photo instantly on the back of your camera, it meant that you had to trust your instincts and ability for capturing a great photo. All of this combined to ensure that you really had to think before taking a photo – thus meaning you had to be better at seeing something and capturing it.
If you have been photographing for a while and want to take your skills to the next level, get or rent a film camera and spend a while using it. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised when you go back to your DSLR camera.