A prime way to improve your photography is to practice. Taking pictures every day, or at least several times per week, will help you to better understand how your camera performs.
You will get used to the best settings for different situations and learn to change your camera settings quickly almost without thinking. This ability to know how your camera will take pictures is key to getting good shots, especially in transient situations that come and go quickly. It will also remove the need for the ‘spray and pray’ approach to photo taking.
As a motivator, in addition to the photo-a-week 52 Weeks group on Flickr, I am also a member of the 115 Pictures in 2015 group. The idea here is that you take a photo that fits each of the 115 themes over the course of the year. You can do them in any order, and take the whole year to complete the challenge – that’s still more than 2 pictures per week on average. When I add this to my 52 Week shots, I’m averaging over 3 decent images per week, and I try not to use the same shot for both challenges.
What this means is that I’m constantly looking out for shots for the 115 Pictures and taking lots of pictures as a result.
This was taken (and processed) with my phone on a train into London one evening.
I keep a track of what I’ve done on a spreadsheet where I start the year by listing the themes and then ranking them as Easy, OK and Hard. Sometimes a picture can fit several themes so I like to make sure I’m covering the ‘Hard’ categories whenever I can, hopefully this will make completing the project a little easier.
I’ve been doing this since 112 in 2012 and always enjoy it. You get a real sense of achievement from completing the set, even though usually I’m left with about a dozen to do in the last week of the year!
This year has been quite busy, especially the first 4 months or so, and at the moment I’m some way behind where I should be, having only taken 53 out of 115, leaving me 62 to take in 16 weeks, which is 4 per week (Gulp!). I will need to give this more focus in the coming weeks otherwise I’m in danger of failing for the first time.
It’s a bit late to sign up for this year’s challenge, but why not pick 50 of the themes and try and finish these by the end of the year? And make sure you sign up for 116 Pictures in 2016 when the group opens – don’t worry, I’ll remind everyone on here.