Best Exercises for Practicing Your Photography


DC Sports Photography Academy may be in our off-season but it doesn’t mean you can’t practice your photography! Last week we talked about taking candid photos. Today, we’re sharing some photography exercise you can use this summer to help you feel more confident with your camera.

  1. Two Dozen

In this exercise, take two dozen unique photos of one location. Don’t move your feet. Just try to take different angles, different viewpoints and get creative with it.

  1. 10 Photos of 1 Subject

This exercise is similar to the one above because it forces you to find new angles. No photo should be the same. Shift angles from close up to far away to looking directly down at the object or straight across from. You will be able to see how small changes can make a big difference in your photos. If you want to make it even more challenging, pick a small object.

  1. Guess the settings

This is a two person exercise. Ask a photographer friend to play it with you. Look at a photo from another photographer and try to guess the settings they used. You will be able to get a really great understanding of each different setting.

  1. Recreate a photo

Also known as the “copycat” exercise, in this exercise, the idea is to take a few of your favorite photos from your favorite photographer. Try to recreate them as closely as you can. Don’t worry, you are not stealing someone else’s work but just helping you learn new techniques and a better understanding for your camera settings and angles.

  1. 100 paces

This exercise can help inspire creativity. Take your camera and walk 100 paces, then take 20 photos of the location you’re in. Then take another 100 paces and do the same thing. The whole idea is to pay attention to your surroundings and keep finding new and unusual photos to take. It can help familiar place, like your neighborhood or backyard feel new and different.

  1. Create your own restrictions

In this exercise, you choose different restrictions for that particular day of shooting. For example, one day you could shoot only in manual mode. In another day, you could only shoot while sitting or kneeling down. Or you can shoot only with a specific white balance or a specific shutter speed. This will help you to see the many different settings in your camera and the many different types of photos.

  1. Take the preview you away from your screen.

In this exercise, turn off the preview on your DSLR screen and don’t look at any photos until you are done shooting for the day. This can be hard for many photographers because we want to look at the photo we just took as soon as we took it. This happens especially often when we are practicing! This fun exercise helps you to focus more on just taking the photos instead of evaluating their merit.

While we always recommend that the best way to improve your photography skills is to get out there and learn in the moment, these exercises will help! You will learn new ways of seeing things, have a better understanding of your camera and increase your confidence in your photography abilities!

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