Discover more from Church & Street
The Easiest Way to Develop Your Eye
Plus a new Capture One Pro contest!
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A lot of what inspires these posts are the conversations I have with other photographers. I recently had this back-and-forth about listing the easy things you can do to get better at photography. There was the usual suspects: study photo books, watch YouTube tutorials, attend workshops, and many more.
It suddenly became this pursuit to find a single, universal act that could have the biggest impact and I couldn’t help but come to just one philosophy…
This image was shot with my Leica M6 and Summilux 35mm lens. It was shot on Kodak Portra 400 film, with the camera set to ISO 200 to overexpose the film. There was a bit of cloud cover coming through at the time so I set my aperture to F5.6, dropped my shutter speed to 1/250, and metered for the shadow side of the face.
Just a random moment as a group of us were lining up for brunch. I wanted to share this to underscore the importance of always carrying a camera and capturing everything you can. If you wanna get develop your eye and get better at photography, you have to make a habit of capturing everything that catches your attention. Especially when you’re early in your journey.
Photography needs to become a practice and to do that, we have to remove the inhibitions of carrying a camera everywhere and documenting things that catch our attention. Look, this isn’t some portfolio-worthy shot. It’s just a moment with a friend I found interesting. It caught my eye. The orange tones, the collision of lines and shapes; it’s just something that caught my eye. And when this happens—and please read this in the voice of Khabib Nurmagomedov—I take picture.
Our eyes are constantly darting around, locking onto these moments and life has this strange way of conditioning us to ignore these sparks of attention. As photographers, we have to work against this conditioning. At the risk of sounding like an LA Fitness Yoga Instructor, you gotta soften your gaze. See where your eye goes. Try to tune into that moment—where something catches your eye—and lift your camera to preserve it.
Over the long run, there’s this osmosis that starts to happen where moments feel like they’re coming to you. So yea, it might sound wildly simple but if you want an easy way to get develop your eye, carry your camera everywhere and shoot everything.
September Contest Winner…
Congratulations to the winner of the MTW Backpack from Moment.
You’ll be receiving your prize directly from the fantastic team at Moment in the coming weeks. Enjoy!
Each month, I run a contest for the Church & Street community and try to feature something that I think people will appreciate.
For October, I’ll be giving away a one-year subscription to Capture One Pro. Yes, an entire year of Capture One Pro on me. This is the image editor that I’ve relied on for years and the one I recommend for regular photographers.
How am I picking the winner? All you have to do is be a member of this community and leave a comment on this post. As with every contest, I’ll be randomly picking one person, confirming they meet the requirements and then contacting them directly before announcing the winner publicly.
Once again, this contest is void where prohibited by law. Good luck!
Reader Question: Where’s the one place you haven’t been but would love to photograph?
Lagos. Haven’t gotten a chance to visit Nigeria yet but I know it’s only a matter of time. But if I could just finesse the question a bit, Jaffna is the next one up. I’ve been to the homeland several times but never as a photographer. I’m looking forward to heading back at some point in the next few years.
Sometimes I’ll have these ideas for posts and go back-and-forth on whether it’s a little too simple to share. This was one of those posts.
“Shoot everything? Wow, that’s some earth-shattering advice, Gajan.”
The editor in me always has some criticism ready to go. But one of the things that’s guiding this community is sharing the actual thoughts and concepts that. have shaped my journey, especially early on.
Maybe you want to develop your photography and turn it into a fulfilling hobby. Maybe you’re the creative in the group and want to document your friends uniquely. Or maybe you’re a parent and just want to get better at capturing your kids.
Cool, I wanna share stories with you that could make that journey even better. Not everything has to come back to career-defining work.
Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. And if you have any specific requests for a future topic, let me know in the comments. See ya next time!
Thanks for reading Church & Street. Be sure to leave any thoughts or questions in the comments and if you really enjoyed this post, share it with your circle ✊🏾