This photography tip will help create better photographs.
Wanting to improve as a photographer should be a constant. There shouldn’t be a comfort zone where we stop pushing ourselves to improve. After a brief break from making images, I recently picked up my camera and began making photos again. As the creative flame began to burn, I thought about a technique that would push me to make better pictures. It’s a simple technique, and it has nothing to do with how I use the camera.
A Simple Photography Tip
Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you wait until the end of the article to tell you this helpful photography tip. Because what I’m about to share will require some explaining. “Okay, Dan, enough of the hype, tell us what we need to do!” Fine, I get you.
My photography tip is simple: go out and shoot with your camera’s battery charged at no more than 50%. “What, Dan? Are you mad? Nobody in their right mind would do that.” Hear me out.
Fully Charged Batteries Led Me to This Photography Tip
Look, I get it. I know how good it feels to wake up in the morning, your camera bag packed, and your batteries fully charged. It’s the sign of a good day of shooting ahead. But the reality is, the luxury of fully charged batteries often leads us to being senseless. We stop thinking about what we’re really looking at and just hit the shutter button. It’s like being a photography zombie: not really thinking, just doing.
Of course, going out with your battery at 50% isn’t a good idea for a paid gig. But for your personal work, be it travel, street, or documentary photography, having to worry about power is a great idea.
When I went out recently with my camera, the first thing I did when I arrived at my location was turn on my camera. The next thing I did was turn it back off. The idea of having less power gave me anxiety, which was great. Because instead of shooting for the sake of shooting, I became more analytical about what I felt made a good photo.
When I became attracted to a scene, I took my hands and used my index fingers and thumbs to replicate my sensor. Looking at the frame, I asked myself whether I would care if I never saw this image again. If the answer was no, my camera stayed turned off. If the answer was yes, I took the shot.
With today’s beautiful LCD screens, reviewing our images is a pure power drainer. Knowing I had to be conservative with the use of my camera, I committed to zero chimping.
Not only did it save juice, but it also ensured I spent more time being present with my surroundings. Unnecassary chimping is a curse, and we should avoid it at all costs!
Less Time Editing
The more selective you are over the images you make, the fewer files you have on your memory card. If we’re honest, we’ve all sat at our desktop going through too many images. It could be because we’ve taken too many shots of the same scene, hoping one of them will be good.
It could also be because we make photos of scenes that attract us in real life, but are make for a boring photograph. Something I’ve learned over the years, and certainly since implementing this photography tip, is that not everything we like to look at makes a good photo. For example, you may see a beautiful, vibrant house nestled amongst some hills on the horizon. To the eye, it looks amazing. But as a photo, the house looks tiny, and you can’t replicate the same feeling.
Being more selective over your shots will make you notice the difference between a good scene in real life and a good photo. That’s important because it will save you time when editing and battery power when shooting!
Try It for Yourself
A photography tip doesn’t always need to be complicated. Sometimes doing something as simple as going out with a half powered battery can be all you need to get better images. Plus, in my opinion, it’s seldom how we use the camera that makes for better images. Instead, it’s how we use our minds and eyes that help us get the most out of a scene. Not constantly hitting the shutters encourages us to focus more, and we return home with a few images we love rather than a lot of images we don’t.