Restraining yourselves from shooting anything, will create a discipline that will impact on the quality of your work. We are not saying to shoot less, because that will go against the best principle of photography that is constant practice, but with more meaning.
Shooting film is an experience really worth learning, understanding, and practicing it from time to time. Personally I found many incredible benefits when I widen my photographic scope by learning how to shoot and develop film. It all started after watching a movie called "The Bang Bang Club". After that I felt the deep need for shooting with a SLR, not a DSLR (at least for a while). Unfortunately, my country has a very limited offer when it comes to gear (both digital and analog), so it was hard to find the camera, and it was harder to find film, but I managed shoot. After a while shooting with my beloved Pentax Super ME, I felt the need of getting further, and learn to develop film. A friend of mine taught me the process, and I created a little darkroom with developing tank and chemicals.
Shooting film is a great school for easing the crazy finger illness. Since you have only 36 exposures, at $5.65 each roll of decent black and white film plus almost $10.00 in chemicals, your resources really come to a short. Each frame requires a deeper thinking.
There are a lot of magical stages in the workflow of shooting film:
- Due to no screen, you don't chimp.
- You tend to forget a little bit about the whole images taken if you shoot a roll in a long period of time.
- The first look at your negatives coming out of the developing reel after rinse, is just priceless; I can't describe this feeling, you need to try it for yourselves.
- Positive images appearing in the chemical soaked paper under the red light, is also priceless.
I have had the opportunity of printing some negatives, and I hope someday I'll have the complete set of tools required for printing.
By shooting film, you'll eventually develop a certain level of "economy of shooting", which will positively effect on your digital shooting.
Chimping is the slang used to refer to that peculiar action of looking at our camera's LCD screen after every shot made. Learn to anticipate the results by the exposure levels, trust your skills, and learn from the mistakes while looking at your pictures on the computer.
Each stage in the photographic workflow needs the proper respect, and shooting is one specific moment, and deciding the potential of the image is another moment. Each of them require the proper "aura" if you want to see this in a metaphysical form.
You can turn your LCD off, or close it if flips. Or you can take yourselves even further with this bad boy, just kidding.
Don't shoot in machine gun mode
Technology has evolved into a magnificent state, there is no doubt about it. But sometimes the easiness and the comfortableness of the tools, can make us a bit lazy. Avoid using burst mode shooting, unless it is extremely necessary. Just avoid using it when a single, well felt shot, can do the job splendidly. Burst mode can led to make us eye lazy, and instead of pursuing the "decisive moment", when end up capturing the whole moment in 20 frames.
Avoid uploading immediately
Social media has changed our world, and the benefits of immediacy are great when we are seeking "live" information on specific happenings around the globe. But when it comes to fine art photography, immediate uploading of freshly captured pictures may not be the smartest move. You need to let your images breathe into your consciousness. If you establish an uploading bar, criteria, or discipline, and you respect it, you will deliver top quality images to your various audiences.
Try to create almost all the image in camera
A well done picture in terms of exposure, and composition image (focus is something that can be mimicked, but not truly enhanced) you will be achieving fewer images, with better results. Please, don't be lazy and think as post-production as the solution to all your images. Post-production is a separate process that depends on a well taken image. The goal with post-production is to give the image your personal voice, not to correct a ton of mistakes.
Don't embrace the 365 days projects
Many people have embraced 365 projects. And there are three roads to achieve here. The first one is the ideal, to capture 365 magnificent images, which is absolutely hard. The second one, is that you will capture sloppy images in order to keep posting daily. And the last but not least, you'll feel discouraged, and you will leave the project behind.
365 projects push you to take images daily, which is good for practicing, but let's face, it is going to be pretty hard to achieve amazing shots daily. You can practice daily, but the exercise of practicing is to enhance your technique in order to achieve better results in the future, not to present draft works to your the audience.
Use small SD cards
The same as rolls of film, if you have a small capacity for capturing images, you'll be pushing yourself to take better images. Try to stick to fast 8GB SD cards instead of the humongous 128GB SD cards. It will also be a great benefit when considering risks of electronic failure on your memory cards as well.
These are just some tips that I humbly share with you, with the intention to inspire you in getting better quality images that you'll feel proud about, and most important, that will have real deep meaning. The key here is to practice daily, and to think about the message, and feel the moment, before and in the fraction of the second your shutter button pressing lasts.