A few days ago I posted an article about the importance of writing about your work in order to improve it and to be able to more easily talk about your work to others.

Another suggestion: look deeper. Closer. Harder. More intensely. And then back off again. Control it, plan it, then let it flow. Create a rapport with your environment.

Try these writing exerciseswhen you’re out in the field making photographs:

1. Get a pen and paper ready. Find a comfortable spot. For 5 minutes sit with your eyes closed. Listen. Feel. Smell. Hear. Do everything but see. Then, open your eyes. Pay attention to your reactions. After a minute or so, jot down a few impressions of the experience.

Then, for 5 minutes, make photographs that reflect your impressions of what you saw when you opened your eyes.

2. No pen and paper necessary for this one. Select a spot (different from #1) that you find photographically intriguing.

For 5 minutes, take as many pictures as you can. Different compositions, different exposures, depth of field, etc. Don’t review anything, just shoot.

In the next 5 minutes, make only one picture. Find a subject and look closer. Then from another angle. From farther away. Consider artistic/creative intentions. Plan your photograph. When you’re ready, make the exposure.

Always keep a pen and paper to jot down ideas, thoughts, notes, impressions. Review your notes periodically and apply what you’ve learned to your photography.

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