For someone who does not photograph full time, there is the danger of allowing your skills to become rusty: your technique, your eye for design and your dedication may falter in direct proportion to the time between photo-outings. Often my camera lays idle because I feel I do not have enough time to devote to a photo session. But how much time do we really need?
The best photos can emerge from the amount of effort we devote to a single subject. Thoroughly exploring a simple subject, close to or in the home is what makes the successful photo-quickie possible. A likely prospect is a single flower purchased while still in bud, but it could equally be a shapely fruit or vegetable or even a leaf. Set up a scoop or a background of some sort in natural window light, in an area where you can leave the set-up undisturbed for a few days or weeks. Set your subject with it’s best face forward and then let the shooting begin. Using only one macro lens and a reflector, begin to ‘work’ your subject. Explore the nuances of light as seen from different angles, the subtleties of form and line and texture. Explore with different depths of field, use the camera hand-held or stabilized on a tripod. Try some of the many features that can be found on your camera such as multiple exposure or by changing the white-balance settings. Use the self timer and vary exposures lengths, try deliberate vibrations during exposure. The possibilities are endless.
The benefit of the semi-permanent set-up is that you can approach the same subject several times a day, the next day or every few days. Flower buds will open, fruit will ripen and all will eventually move to decay or dessication. Each stage will present a new wealth of opportunities. You need only spend the time you have – it may be only a single exposure or perhaps a half hour of shooting -the subject is there and waiting.
The joy of digital photography is the freedom to experiment: you lose nothing by being venturesome and at the same time you keep your hand and eye fully in the photographic realm. With persistance you may even produce a series of unforgettable photographic gems.
NB This is a re-post (with a new image) from my first photography blog, Voyages Around My Camera: