Photography News 79 WEB

Camera technique

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PROJECT POWER The long days and the short nights of summer are perfect for photography. With life gradually returning to normal, here we have some ideas to get you thinking and, more importantly, to get your creative juices flowing

Shoot the alphabet

Here’s a fun and challenging test for your seeing eye. Look for letters in scenes and try to spell out words and names. You’ll find some letters (I, L, O, V, X, for example) are easy to find, but some (B, G, R) will be more of a challenge and need a little imagination. So, if you fancy a challenge, try shooting the alphabet or spell out the name of a loved one or your footie team. And no taking shortcuts! Letters should be found or created within the scene, not actual letters.

SOME PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE easily inspired, others find the process more challenging. Regardless of which camp you fall into, after the period of lockdown we’ve experienced, we all need a little help to get us moving again, so we have some ideas here to help you get fired up. The easiest way to get your photographic eye working again is to set yourself a project or two to get you thinking. The word ‘project’ does sounds rather worthy and as though the end result should mean something, but a photo project can be a simple thing to make you think and help you to see pictures. Next time you’re at the park, beach or in town, you could, for example, just say you’re going to take ten pictures in ten minutes in a ten-by-ten metre area. Or on your next walk, you're going to shoot a collage of different colours, doorways or flowers. There is no rule that says these simple project images need to be world-beaters, it’s just a way to get you seeing pictures again. Of course, you may think that a little more in- depth project is what you need to get yourself going. Maybe one of our ideas here might tempt you. Looking for interesting shadows or photographing street art and graffiti are quite accessible to most people. Or how about trying to shoot the alphabet? (Which is not as easy as you might think.) Once your projects start gaining momentum, other ideas might come up, and there’s no reason at all why you can't have several projects on the boil at the same time. Indeed, a good plan is to have a couple of simple projects and one or two more in-depth projects going at any one time. Some projects will have a natural end, while others might

ABOVE Try taking up a picture project or challenge to get yourself back into a photography groove

come to an end simply as you get bored and want to move on. Whatever the case, once a project has ended, then is the time to think about what to do with your shots. You might decide to make prints to put into a simple plastic sleeve album for quick reference, or have a few larger prints made to adorn your

home office – or you even might take the grander approach of creating a portfolio of the best shots. The key is to recognise your work in some way. Treat it like giving yourself a big pat on the back, and there are plenty of techniques and services out there to help. So, it’s time to get your thinking cap on and come up with a few projects to shoot this summer.

ABOVE These diagonal pillars create the appearance of a ‘V’

Street art

Street art and graffiti are common urban sights and can make for interesting pictures and a good social record, too, plus no special camera techniques are really needed. It’s just a matter of your vision and how to you want to interpret what is someone else’s skill. A standard or telephoto lens will let to pick out details within the scene and give a better perspective, while a wide-angle lets you add more environmental context. A much-favoured technique to wait across from some street art and wait for someone to walk in front of it to add a sense of scale and context. It is a good idea that works really well, but don't assume that the first person who passes by will do. If you can, wait for someone to come along who better suits the scene or, if it’s a busy area, wait for a quieter composition. Let’s not forget lighting, too. Side lighting can work really well, especially if you have people walking in front, giving a fascinating mix of colour, shape and shadows.

LEFT Here, waiting for passers-by has added a sense of scale to the street art on the wall. Plus, their outfits complement the bright pink colours used for the graffiti

10 Photography News | Issue 79

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