How to Get the Most Out of a Photo Walk: 7 Commandments

Photo walks need not be too complicated or too gear heavy. You can do a lot with just one lens and a little bit of intuition. Micael Widell presents seven commandments for photo walk that will absolutely transform your imagery:

1. You shall snap the first photo immediately

Just as upon entering a shop you immediately see a lot of really cheap but irresistible buys that set you on a shopping spree, the same goes for photography. The first photo should be made as soon as you arrive at the location to get the creative juices flowing and the ball rolling.

photo walk commandments

Even if the photo doesn’t seem like something to be proud of, it at least gets you into the groove for better photos.

2. You shall bring no extra lenses

Way too many times we pack more gear than we actually use. On a photo walk all you need is one lens that covers the entire focal length you need. Too much gear can weigh you and your creativity down. A single lens frees you up and allows you to concentrate on your creativity.

3. You shall introduce a constraint to boost your creativity

Sometimes all you need to push your creativity is to set up a challenge or constraint.

7 rules for photo walks

Challenge yourself to shoot in black and white,for example, even if you actually hate doing so. This will force you to think differently. You may actually find yourself enjoying doing what you dreaded and open a new dimension to your photography!

4. You shall follow the good light

This is not just about looking for good light but more about following your gut feeling about where to go when on a photo walk. I

photo walk guide

If you feel that there is a patch of green or an unexplored trail, make time to explore it. You can’t tell for sure that you will find something interesting or if the light will be perfect. But at least you will find creative ways to take photos.

5. You shall honor your gut when it says a photo must be taken

This is more of a street photographer’s motto, but it applies to every type of photography.

how to do a photo walk

Don’t be lazy or give in to the feeling of embarrassment that the timing is inappropriate. You need to heed your gut feeling and take the photo.

6. You shall review sharpness and composition before leaving the scene

Photographers often don’t check for sharpness and composition until they’re back at their computer–a pricey mistake, because there’s no software in the world that can correct a poor composition or sharpen a blurry image.

photo walk tips

The LCD can be misleading. Check your images at 100 percent before you leave the scene, while you still have the chance to retake the image.

7. You shall always walk somewhere new

If you always walk the same path, your creativity will be stifled. Make sure to walk a different path—or at least part of your path—as often as possible.

Would you add any other commandments to this list?

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One response to “How to Get the Most Out of a Photo Walk: 7 Commandments”

  1. michael says:

    Great tips!
    I would add that if you are constrained to the same path(s) walk them at different times of the day and different times of the year.
    If the path is linear (meaning you walk from point A to point B and then must walk the same path back, bring two lens (I prefer a 18-55 and a 55-300). Use one lens on the way to point B and the other lens on the way back to point A to get a different perspective of the same things combined with a possible light change.

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