Starting a Project Part 3

Focus on a Skill-Set

Upgrading your skills is a sure-fire way to improve your photography. One way to do this you need to think of a goal, it can relate to how you shoot, or how you process images. Here are a number of project ideas to get you started, although I am sure many of you can think of your own. As you will see later, this relates closely to my KISS philosophy (read on!). Through focusing on just one specific skill at a time, your photography will rapidly improve

Using a flash can open up the night for photography
  • Using a camera flash. For this project you could start with just using your flash in ‘fill’ mode. This will add instant punch to your images, particularly if you are shooting against the sun, or during the middle of the day.
  • Photoshop is often frowned upon for Street and Documentary photography. However, Photoshop is more than a tool for removing distracting objects or people. It can be used for colour grading, exposure settings, dodging/ burning and selectively sharpening images.
  • Changing your exposure settings. I have recently completed a project that looked at over, or under exposing images. It is rare an over-exposed image excites me, but a dark and broody image can certainly light my fire.
This image was underexposed, as I wanted to keep the details of the shrimp. The hand just adds a little human element.

My Current Learning Project

I am still getting to grips with my rather wonderful Sony A7iii (and still saving for some better glass to go with it). At the moment, the focusing method I most often use is to manually select the focus point using the joystick. Things happen quickly on the street, and using this method leads to many missed shots. This has led me towards a path of upgrading my focusing skill-set. Sounds simple, but there are a many different options out there (centre focusing, zone focusing, single shot focusing, continuous focusing, back-button focusing… the list goes on).


Keep It Simple…. Stupid

With so much talk of different skill-sets we can become easily overwhelmed. Cameras are becoming increasingly complex. However, they are also becoming increasingly ‘intelligent’. For me, this means learning how to get the best out of the automatic functions, such as eye autofocus and continuous focus modes. At the end of the day, the better you know your camera, the more you can ‘forget about it’ and concentrate on spotting, and framing great shots.

Feel free to join the conversation and add any other ideas you have to start a skills-based project.

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

If you have not done so already, check out part one and two of this article. Links below!

One Comment on “Starting a Project Part 3

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