Have you ever been on a photo walk that left you exhausted, disappointed and with few satisfying photos? Photo walks are often touted as a great way for photography inspiration. While that may be true for some, for many photographers who expect a fulfilling time, the experience can sometimes fall short of expectation. Tweaking some ways photo walks are usually carried out is one way to remedy this disappointment. In this article, we have listed some ideas to improve your photo walks to make them more successful.
Mention the words “photo walk” and the image that comes to mind is a group of photographers armed with equipment and eagerness. While being in a group can give you new perspectives to examine your surroundings, sometimes it is more beneficial to just go solo.
The quietness from being alone can make you less distracted, lending you an opportunity to discover new perspectives towards familiar sights. With fewer people trooping about, you are also better positioned to take discreet photos of strangers without coming off as being intrusive.
Image Credit: @_k4el_
Going in a group could mean getting bombarded with opinions from other photographers. Going solo, however, could help you feel at ease to experiment. No fear of judgements for trying out wacky angles or putting yourself in weird positions just for that perfect shot.
Image Credit: @jazparphotography
Go off the beaten track
When it comes to deciding where to conduct your photo walk, why not retreat into the less frequented areas of Singapore? The newness of the landscape could ignite a sense of wonder and awe, spilling over to the photos you take. If you choose to go to a park, take time to bask in the vastness that the park has to offer. It might even relax you and get your creative juices flowing.
Image Credit: @jushenlee
In these less frequented locations, the absence of crowds directs your attention towards the landscapes, helping you notice the intriguing details of your surroundings. Paying close attention to details could help you better manipulate elements like lines and colours to create a compelling image.
Image Credit: @moodzpix
Limit your gear
If your first thought is “What if I need my other lenses?” there is no need to panic. Bringing only one lens keeps you feeling light and free for your photo walk. Choose a lens that would suit that particular day and that particular photo walk. For instance, if it is a morning with clear skies and you anticipate a beautiful sunrise, bring a wide-angle lens like the Canon EF28mm F/2.8 IS USM. Otherwise, challenge yourself to become more adept with whatever focal length you chose.
Image Credit: @jucifer6.66
Limiting your gear need not limit the quality of your shots. Instead, the more constraints you have, the more creative you might get. You will be surprised at how versatile one lens can be when you exercise your composition skills. Not fixating on changing gears also allows you to take in the view and capture the right moment.
Image Credit: @jimchanfc
It is often said that patience is a virtue. In photography, that is especially true. It can be tempting to move on quickly without taking time to review your shot. However, it pays to be patient and check the composition, exposure and sharpness of your photo before leaving the scene. Otherwise, you might reach home only to be disappointed when reviewing the photo on your computer screen. Pausing to check your shots would help you decide whether to retake the photo while still at the scene.
Image credit: @randomrandomerz
On a photo walk, it is not necessary to spend the entire time actually walking. Take some time to establish a strong composition and wait in that spot for something to happen. This is especially worthwhile for a street setting, where the presence of a person could add life into an otherwise dull and structured urban landscape.
Image credit: @vnsw9
Think of photo walks as an opportunity to develop new skills, explore new sights and examine familiar things in a fresh light. With these few pointers, why not set some time aside, shake off the disappointing experience and give photo walks a second chance?
If you have been inspired to re-embark (or embark) on a photo walk, be sure to share your images with us at #CanonSG.