Practice Digital Photography by Going Light     - dummies

Practice Digital Photography by Going Light    

By Doug Sahlin

When you want to learn how to use a specific piece of camera gear, such as a new lens, or master a specific photography technique, try going commando. When you go commando, or travel light, you take just enough gear to master the technique you want to learn or only the lens with which you want to become more familiar.

Having lots of gear is a good thing, but some photographers have so much gear that they might never really master any particular piece of it, like a specific lens. When you limit the amount of equipment you take, you learn how to get the most out of the gear you have on hand.

You also learn to improvise to overcome any shortcoming of the equipment you have with you. For example, if you’ve just purchased a prime lens (a lens with one focal length), you have to learn the art of foot zoom, which means you have to move toward or away from your subject to get the composition you want.

You can combine going commando with an artist’s date, a specific time or times each week when you’ll take pictures. In this instance, your goal is to master a technique or a new piece of gear. Use this technique a couple of times a month, and you’ll master every piece of gear in your camera bag.

Take photographs on your way to work and on your way home from work. At many times of the year, this coincides with the Golden Hour. You may feel uncomfortable leaving an expensive camera in your car while you’re at work (it may not be prudent, either!). If so, travel light; bring your camera and one lens and park it in your desk while you work.

If you have an occupation where you can’t keep your camera secure while you work, consider investing in a point-and-shoot camera. You can take pictures on the way to work and on the way home and keep your camera hidden in your glove box while you work.