Quick tip #2: Working your eye… with a teddy!

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One of the questions I get often is how I can shoot quickly and still get the shot that I want.  The answer is pretty simple… I exercise my eye.

Your eye is a muscle and it needs a workout.  When I see something interesting, I don’t always just walk up and take one photo.  I take my time and I explore a bunch of angles.  Close up, wide shots, from low down, up above, working the subject in it’s environment.  When I first started out doing urban shots, I forced myself to take 10 photos of anything I wanted to capture.  I got the idea from a graphic design class a friend took where she was told to draw an apple 20 different ways.

The more I did this, the more I started to zero in on what I liked (and what I didn’t) when doing urban photography.  I then started seeing more and shooting less.  And then I started applying the same logic to doing portraits, shows, street and pretty much every type of photography.  I was training my eye to see.  Similar to going to the gym and working out your biceps.  You don’t just grab a dumbbell and lift once.  You lift many times.  And then you change up the exercise and work the same muscle differently… a barbell, a different position.

A few weeks ago, I was in an abandoned factory and spotted a decrepit teddy up on a small ledge.  While I already knew what type of photo I wanted, I decided to apply the same process and shoot a few shots.  You gotta keep training that eye!  The header image is my preferred one, but there are a few others that are kinda cool too!

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And you can also apply the same idea to the post processing you are doing.  Try the image in black and white, or higher contrast… you never know what you’ll end up with.  I don’t actually like the black and white processing, just putting it up there as an example.  I know, I know.  I’m only supposed to show the world my best shots.  Screw that. 🙂

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So when you head out shooting, take a few extra moments to shoot something fun in a different way.  After a while of doing this, you’ll start to see a difference in how you shoot.

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