A few months back, I attempted a 30-day photography challenge. I had a schedule for each day of the month, and each day had a "theme" as my focus. They were fun and creative ideas such as the sky, mountains, the color purple, etc., but I began to realize there wasn't enough structure to it. I didn't have a defined goal for the end of the month, and I had no clear direction as to how I'd improve.
I want to take another attempt at this, but I want to create a challenge that will boost my skills, rather than keep me at a plateau. To prepare for this, I've been doing research and learning from other photographers about how they enhanced their skills. Photography skills come with time, so instead of gaining knowledge I can't use yet, I'm eliminating the mistakes I currently make. This way I won't have bad habits stunting my growth.
With this new challenge, I'm going to have one focus per week rather than per day, and I'm going to focus on skills that are useful. I'll officially take on this challenge in November, so in the meantime, I'll be preparing.
Here's the plan:
October - Continue practicing with ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. The goal is to get in the habit of being aware of the light in a location, and getting comfortable with taking time to change the settings. In addition to this, I also want to continue working on my editing skills and getting the right balance with colors, lighting, and other effects.
Nov. Week 1 - Angles. I want to work on getting more variety in the angles I choose, and the goal is to get comfortable with moving around more. I want to practice thinking outside the box and putting more creativity into the angles I shoot (not just sticking to what I'm comfortable with).
Nov. Week 2 - Making use of other objects. This week my goal will be to focus on setting up a scene for the shot. That means learning to place additional objects into the frame to tell a story, shooting through other items, and rearranging the setting to support the subject.
Nov. Week 3 - Lighting. During week 3 I'll be focusing on making use of the lighting in a given area. I want to get comfortable with waiting until the natural lighting is suitable, as well as creating appropriate lighting for a shot if necessary. I also want to learn how to recognize what kind of light is best for specific types of photos, and the reasons for it.
Nov. Week 4 - Night photography. While this may be a little advanced, I want to take my best attempt at it. I want a bold end to the challenge, so trying something I've never done before will help me prepare for future challenges. For this week, I want to practice finding suitable locations, making use of reflections, and learn the correct camera settings.
Overall, the goal of this challenge is to turn my bad habits into good ones. By the end of this, I want to be more comfortable with trying new things with photography and begin to boost my skills in the right direction. I'll be writing updates as I progress through the challenge, and I'll also be sharing my photos publicly to showcase my improvements.