Usually you’ll want to develop a strategy to make the most of your photography time. But occasionally, heading out with no specific photo goals in mind is another effective tactic for “uncluttering” your mind and unleashing your artistic vision. Without a schedule, you’ll be more receptive to photo opportunities that can pop up unexpectedly.
This unstructured approach can be used anywhere. It can be a short escape close to home, or it can be a longer trip. For example, you might follow an uncharted (but safe) road or trail, and see what it passes and where it goes. The idea is to let your photographic eye be your guide. You never know what you’ll find, and that’s the attraction of a no-plan tactic. So even if you don’t uncover any unanticipated gems, you’ll enjoy the hunt.
Notes about the accompanying photos...Recently, I drove to nearby Lodi, California, to see what I could find in the beautiful sunlight of late day. The clock tower at the small train station caught my eye (see the overall "Before" photo). Of particular interest were the tower's overhangs - their great design qualities (a pattern of lines, angles and shadows) and color contrast (warm tones set against a cool blue sky).
I then spent time pointing the camera upward - with a tripod, of course, in order to ensure top image quality. I shot a number of images by varying the compositions: i.e., via camera angle, format (horizontals and verticals), and lens focal length.
Learn more...Like these ideas? Then take a look at these how-to books co-authored Jim Miotke and Kerry Drager:
About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Kerry Drager