Tonje Lilleås

Back to photography basics- I’m really rusty

Over the last few weeks I’ve concluded that I need to get back to photography basics. I have seen how important it is to practice your craft, and experienced that I’m really rusty.

It’s not that I haven’t been shooting, I have produced a lot of images over the last few years. However I have shot very differently from how I used to. As I got back to shooting landscapes and outdoor lifestyle when I got my ExoQuad, I also saw that I keep forgetting some of the photography basics. And the results are turning out accordingly.

Basic composition

The run and gun photography I’ve done most of the last couple of years is great for improving how I see images everywhere. But at the same time it’s not helping me tweak my composition. And I can see that I’m sloppy when composing images these days. I don’t follow basic composition rules, I don’t do border control. I simply spend to little time on getting it right.

The result is that a lot of my landscape images is suffering. Most of them don’t have a clear main subject. Even Lightroom tells me so as the auto mask can’t seem to isolate my main subject from the background.

There’s no doubt that my new way of working a location from a wheelchair plays a role in my lack of nailing the compositions, but I think the main issue is that I’m rusty. So back to working on the rule of thirds, leading lines and framing it is!

I keep forgetting my settings

As we did our first proper hike with the ExoQuad, I wanted to get a few landscapes in the mix of lifestyle images. And looking through them today I soon saw that it wasn’t just my composition that needs work. I have totally forgotten the photography basics of choosing the right settings.

This seems to be just another point of laziness. For instance I shot several of my landscapes during this hike with f4. Paired together with poor composition the images with so little depth of field turn out less than average. It would have been so easy to change to f11 for decent sharpness throughout the image. Rusty, I tell you.

Another example is how I shot all day on ISO 1000 this easter, simply because I didn’t check to see if I had changed my settings from the night before. Lazy, rusty, out of focus.

Back to photography basics

The good thing about this is that I notice. And I know what to do about it. So for June my focus is going to be to get back to photography basics. I’m going to focus on working a location, nailing the composition and choosing the right settings. If that means I get back with fewer images, I’m fine. I just want to make sure the images I do come home with from a landscape shoot is better than what I have produced lately.

I hope you’re ready for some bangers, because I’m sure focusing on the basics will help me capture a lot of them! (Now I really wanted to use an emoji for you all to understand how that last sentence was written with a playful wink and a lot of self-irony).

Oh, and if you want to see me picking up the ExoQuad, head over to my YouTube. If you’d like to see short recaps of the adventures I have with it, Instagram is a good place to follow me as well.

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