Improve Your Photography with a Daily Walk

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Photographers often complain about not having enough time to dedicate to their photography. I am no different. Though I am self-employed, I often face the challenge of finding time to practice photography.

Thankfully, my dogs provide me an excuse to walk for 30 to 60 minutes each day and to make some photographs. Though, I may not make hundreds of images, I still get to practice my ability to see. With that in mind, I offer some suggestions that might help you to take greater advantage of your morning constitutional.

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Get Up Early

Though we all love sleeping late, you will find that getting up early provides you much better light. Early morning light can make even the most ordinary and familiar things in your neighborhood appear new and interesting.

Carry a Small Camera

Whether it’s an iPhone or a mirrorless camera like the Samsung NX Mini or Fujifilm X100s, it’s important to keep things small and simple. A camera that is too heavy and bulky can too easily be left behind especially with a dog in tow. It’s best to keep it simple.

Give Yourself Exercises

Things in our neighborhood are so familiar, it can be hard to see them as photo-worthy subjects. By giving yourself a particular focus, you may see those same subject with new eyes. Look for subjects of a certain color, repeating patterns or even at your dog’s eye level. This can help you to discover photographs that you might otherwise miss.

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Document Evidence of the Past

There are often things in your neighborhood that may be years or decades old. These markers of times past can be great photographic subjects and an important visual document.

Use Program Mode

Even though you may prefer Aperture Priority or Manual Exposure mode, use Program instead. This will allow you to focus more on observing the quality of light and your composition and less on the camera.

Be Playful

When you find something of interest make quick photographs without the burden of producing a “great” photograph. Make images with unusual angles and perspectives, which you might not normally consider. The results may surprise you.

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Take Different Routes

Familiarity can really impede your ability to see with fresh eyes. Taking a different path on occasion can help you to discover new subjects and keep your walks interesting.

Revisit Locations

You may find that there are certain subjects that are worth returning to. Photograph these subject in different ways including different times of the day to discover the best conditions to photograph under.

Search Instagram and Flickr

Your community likely has other photographers that have photographed your city, town or neighborhood. It can help you discover hidden secrets and how others see things in your vicinity.

Share Your Images

Post your images on Instagram, Facebook and Flickr with hashtags identifying the location of the images. You will be pleasantly surprised by the comments and feedback from your neighbors. It may also lead you to connect with neighbors who share your passion for photography.