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You chose digital photography, whether casual or serious, as your hobby or creative pursuit, so why aren’t you shooting right now? Oh, work, family, responsibilities and other tasks that can’t wait. It’s the same for all of us, but still, millions of photographers find time to grab their camera and escape all of that, even only for a few minutes a day or a few hours a week. It’s very likely you also have a few gaps in your busy schedule to spend more time with your camera; and this two-part PhotographyTalk.com article will help you find them. Read Part 1for the first group of tips, and then read the remainder tips below.
Make Your Camera Your Constant Companion
Schedules and priority lists are not absolute. Suddenly, you have time to shoot when you didn’t expect it…and you left your camera at home! Thinking that your DSLR is too bulky and heavy to carry to work everyday is just another excuse. Who knows what events and scenes will occur that you can capture because your camera is with you, and ready? Even the few minutes you might have to shoot a few images is better than nothing. Another benefit of always carrying your camera is scouting shots. You might be able to record a scene or object quickly, and then return at another time to shoot it more correctly and completely.
You’ve found the time to read this PhotographyTalk.com article. OK, pretend it takes 10 or 15 minutes more to read it. Use those 10 to 15 minutes to rise from your chair, grab your camera and go shoot something, even if it is in the same room where you are reading this article. This tip is less about capturing a “keeper” than motivating you to start now, which, if you continue, will become a habit. There are hundreds of PhotographyTalk.com articles to read. Schedule one a day or three a week, and then add 15 more minutes to your reading time to do some picture taking. Eventually, your camera will be sitting next to you, as you read an article, so you can grab and go.
Less Is More
You won’t need as much editing time at the computer (which you can’t find in your schedule either) and you’ll take better digital photos when you are more deliberate about those you do take. One ironic fault of digital photography is that it makes it too easy for too many photographers to record too many images. The secret is to spend more time observing and moving around a scene or object than just pointing and shooting at everything in sight. Look for the unique angle or cast of light. It may actually be better to shoot that scene or object during a different time of day. Bring home a few excellent images instead of hundreds and what little photography time you have will be more productive; and you won’t have to find more hours to devote to organizing and editing on the computer.
JPEGs Are Time Savers
Shooting RAW files is preferred by many (if not most) photographers, simply because a RAW file includes all the data of an image. This is especially beneficial when editing that image. It may seem crazy, but you may find more time for photography if you shoot JPEG instead of RAW files. You will gain the time you would have spent converting and exporting RAW files. Just as there must be some give and take in your daily schedule, you may have to trade editing limitations for time to shoot.
Learn and Use Time Management Principles
The time you want for photography may actually be in your schedule. You may not know it, however, because you don’t manage any of your time very well. The Internet and the bookstores are filled with information and practical tips about time management. This is not just a concept for busy executives; it applies to everyone. Investing some time in educating yourself and applying some time-management techniques is likely to make your entire life less hectic and reveal the time available for photography and other activities and tasks.