20-minute photography exercises for a creative everyday life

Bad weather, no opportunity, no motifs: there are many excuses not to take photos. As of today, they no longer apply.

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You don’t have to go far to capture powerful images. And you don’t have to plan a lot of time for it either. There is often and always a buffer for everyone to integrate their hobby into everyday life – whether with a smartphone or digital camera. 20 minutes are enough to open up a wide variety of facets in photography. And the welcome side effect: You train your own vision every day. You will get to know your camera more intensively, find new motifs and develop new techniques for yourself. And if a long vacation is coming up again, you are ready to devote yourself to your favorite hobby without a long training period.

c’t photography 4/22

Exciting motifs: play of photogenic opposites * full format cameras up to 1500 euros * carefree photography on the water * desert photography * macro specialists from Laowa in the test * vintage lenses with special bokeh * photographing people and their animals * practical test: hip belt systems * photographing slides and negatives * Develop your own image styles with color grading + workshops on color and contrast development * Work faster with the graphics tablet

With this article and the topic “photography in between” I would like to fill gaps – in my head and on the camera. I want to give suggestions, inspiration and food for thought and thus open new doors of creativity. It is important that you recognize the potential of different, even ordinary locations and actually implement images there. The technology itself doesn’t necessarily matter. It often happens that I don’t have my normal camera with me, for example during the lunch break. I then pull out my smartphone. This provides good quality in various situations so that photos can also be printed out larger.

20 minutes doesn’t really burden your time budget and you can find exciting motifs everywhere. Whether at your place of residence or work, in a nearby forest, at a lake, pond or pond. The urban environment with its railway stations, port facilities or airports is also a treasure trove of motifs. Is there an old cemetery near you? Or a farm? Simply take a different exit on your way to work or home and get to know places so close by that you would not have even thought of before. Discover motifs on bridges, in supermarket parking lots or in the canteen. Do you have monuments or sculptures near where you live or work? Just try to see them in a new light. You can use different weather conditions or lighting situations in a targeted manner. Get involved, especially if the way isn’t far.

It’s worth looking for exciting scenes, even on well-trodden paths. They exist. Lets go!

The secret of fascinating photos It doesn’t matter which camera I use, it’s all about the subject! The technique is secondary. However, dealing with the scenery is not secondary at all.

Your main subject should always be clearly visible in the picture, if not, something went wrong. You have to get close to your subject, cover it as much as possible and direct the viewer’s focus to the main subject. There are a number of ways to do this: be it with light, sharpness and/or blurring, selected perspective, action (storytelling) or in part with possible post-processing of the image.

Photographic limitations that you can impose on yourself are helpful for “learning to see new things”. With the twenty-minute target you already have a start. It can make sense to limit yourself to a single fixed focal length or to a fixed aperture. Furthermore, on these short tours I try to only take photos from as low a perspective as possible. Self-imposed topics such as “Perspectives”, “Give the photo a frame” or “Everything in black and white” offer an enormous learning effect. The focus is on trying out things that are bizarre at first glance, but which show effects in the picture that captivate the viewer.

With these exercises you will start to see differently and you will reach a new level in photography.

The good thing about locations in your area or locations on the way to work is that you can visit them often to take photos in different weather situations or with the above-mentioned. to photograph your own limitations or topics.

Regardless of whether you have a smartphone or a camera, you can discover exciting motifs everywhere.

The picture is selected at home on the PC or directly on the smartphone display. Based on my gut feeling, I choose a few of my successful photos in order to make a “better” picture out of them, provided the recording technology has not yet given it.

It often only takes a few steps from a good picture to a great picture. And by that I don’t mean complex image processing actions. It is usually sufficient to optimize the image section, the colors and the contrasts. Some images also look better converted to black and white than to color.

I often use the so-called radial filter (Lightroom) to be able to better distinguish my actual subject from the background in the picture. I also call this “magic with light”! It’s amazing what you can get out of an image with a few Lightroom clicks to make it shine.

I would like to give you impulses to recognize the potential of many normal locations that everyone finds in their everyday life and this in at least one good picture. You don’t have to snap 10, 5, or 2 good photos in the tight time window. One is enough, and if there is none, you still had fun with photography and learned something new.

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