The Game – Practicing Your Photography Skills

The Game (an exercise in technical creativity)
Jeff and I tend to travel just a little. Often when we have a few minutes of “down time” we wander the neighborhood and photograph what ever interests us.
On one such excursion, we asked, why are we out taking photos? What can we do to make this a little more rewarding, and also practice some of our photographic skills?
We started adding limitations to how we could photograph: only use a 50 mm focal length, camera must be in Manual exposure mode, use in camera metering, and the real kicker, you can only take ONE photograph of the item/subject.
These constraints make you really work at pre-visualization, understanding how the in-camera meter is interpreting the scene, and also learning that you might see something that you want to photograph, but with the lens limitation, you can’t capture the scene that you envisioned.
On that first day, we were walking around in the French Quarter in New Orleans. We walked for about 1 1/2 hours and came back with about 30 images each. Each image was much better than if we had walked around, just taking pictures of everything and anything.
From these humble beginnings, we started adding more challenges, coming up with a word lists that had to be photographed. Having mechanical “failures” – you can’t look at the screen on the back of your camera, your meter just broke so guess the exposure etc.
The challenge of working in with the limitations we imposed, helps when we are photographing “real” subjects. We work to get the “shot”. It helps cut down on OSA tendencies (Over Shooters Anonymous), and speeds up the overall workflow.
……………..
Here is a photo that I captured while playing “The Game”.
The word for this image was Repitition – not man made

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3 Comments

  1. Heather says: - reply

    Very good idea. I need to implement this technique while out shooting!

  2. Joel Poston says: - reply

    Wet Palm leaf

  3. Marty Mignard says: - reply

    I have done this for years. When I go hiking (my favorite area is The Buffalo River National River area in north west Arkansas, I shoot with an old 4×5 Crown Graphic. I can only carry about 20 sheets of film. So this limits me to about 10 shots for an entire day.

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