A few weeks ago I went on a photo walk at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth hosted by Fort Worth Camera. This one was more challenging than the one at the Stockyards a while back, mainly because it was a smaller area and more photographers in the popular spots. I like a good challenge, though, and had a great time finding interesting ways to get new photos. Here are a few tips I find helpful for having a successful photo walk:
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1.Change your angle. Of course, when it comes to photography it’s always wise to try various angles. Especially when there are a lot of other photographers or people around, it’s helpful to really try to think outside the box when it comes to changing it up. Get high, get low, back up, move closer… you get the picture (no pun intended).
2. Look for the shot no one else is getting. This is helpful because a) there may be fewer people in an area no one else is shooting from and b) it will help your photos stand out from the rest. The latter point may or may not matter to you, but I like to know I’m not always getting the same generic photos as everyone else and if you plan to share your photos or if there’s a contest, yours will stand out and maybe you’ll have a leg up to win it! I don’t think there was a contest at this photo walk, but they did give us a hashtag to use to share our photos on Instagram. It’s always fun to go back and see differnet people’s photos from the event.
3. Try using different photography techniques. Framing, negative space, the golden spiral, leading lines, and so on can give you fresh inspiration when you feel like you’re running out of ideas. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth was a great place to practice some of these techniques because of the modern architecture. At one point I moved way back to get a shot of the museum framed by some tree leaves. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to and I didn’t end up liking it because it was getting too dark and the image was too grainy, but I was still glad I tried. And, by the way, I didn’t see anyone else trying to get that shot.
4. Switch lenses. I like to use at least a couple of different lenses during a photo walk so the images have some variety as far as how much of the scene is in the frame. I switched between my wide angle lens and my 28-75mm and feel like I had a nice variety of shots to work with.
5. Stay a little longer. I felt like I had gotten all the decent shots I could get about halfway through the event and was about to leave, but as I was walking out I decided to step out onto a different outdoor patio area to see if I noticed anything worth capturing. It was off to a different side and it gave me a whole new vantage point. I ended up staying out there for maybe 10 or 15 minutes but some of my very favorite images came from that spot. If I hadn’t still been “in the zone” and looking around as I was starting to leave, I would have missed this opportunity and not gotten some of my favorite shots.
I love these type of events because they give me different subject matter to shoot other than my kids and family events. I always feel refreshed after having this time to myself to be creative and it’s fun to network with other people sometimes, too. I hope you find these tips helpful if you’re ever able to go on a photo walk.
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