5 things to do now that you have some extra time.

The days are much longer and that paired with the fact that many of you will be enjoying summer holidays means that you now have the gift of time. So, with that in mind, we wanted to share with you 5 ideas of what you could do with that extra time in order to explore new ways of learning photography, practicing and becoming even better photographers!

time for photography
1. Switch to analogue

I’m not proposing you change all your work system to analogue, but to try it for a bit. Whether you’re a veteran or a beginner that’s never held a film in your hand, shooting a couple of rolls will make you “see” differently; it will force you slow down your pace and make you concentrate on light, measurement, composition, etc. It is also challenging not to be able to see the results at once and the wait to see the results, something that has been lost lately, is very exciting.

Oh, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even try developing the film yourself, it’s rather easy to do for black and white and besides, it’s all about taking the time to experiment, right?

2. Snuggle up and watch some documentaries

Learning from the masters is always a good idea and there are many documentaries where you can see how the great photographers work. These are often also great sources of inspiration.

Apart from the classics like “Finding Vivian Mayer”, “Salt of the Earth” or the Oscar award-winning “War Photographer”, there is a Youtube channel based out of south Korea (yeah you read right, South Korea) in which they have published a series of videos featuring different Magnum photographers that were invited to the country. The channel is called Arirang Culture and in it you’ll see how great photographers like Alex Webb and David Alan Harvey, amongst many others, work on the streets of South Korea.

3. Sign-up to a workshop

It may sound a little self-interested coming from me, but the truth is that workshops are a fantastic way to learn and improve different aspects of your photography, from how to lose your fear of street photography to learning how to critique your own work and become a better editor for it. With the workshops you will not only have the opportunity to practice the theoretical aspects on the spot, but you will also meet other people the same interests as you and be able to and you will share ideas and good “feedbacks” that will help you grow as a photographer. Plus it’s really fun!

If you’re in Barcelona in July, Lomography Embassy Barcelona is hosting a couple of great analogue photography workshops (two birds with one stone!). Note, it’s not me giving the workshops, I just thing that what they are doing is great!

4. Get with the zine/photo book fashion.

Actually, I hope that it’s not just a fashion because seeing your work printed is such a wonderful experience.  One option is to choose a photo or a series of photos, go to a lab and get a few copies printed on some beautiful paper, frame them and hang them on the wall. Another option that is equally or perhaps more interesting is to make your own zine/photo book. There are many ways to do it and hundreds of companies offering this service, however, one of the easiest options and coolest options by far, is to do it with the ‘Out of the Phone’ platform. Founded by French printer Pierre Le Govic, his platform allows you to create tailor-made photo books from your computer, Tablet or even your Smartphone. Furthermore, you don’t even need to download any plugins to use it!

Oh, and you can also buy other people’s photo books from the platform, enabling photographers to share their work with other photographers which I personally find great. It’s also very fitting with regards this next and last suggestion.

Time for photography

Out of the Phone Street Notebook by Ivan Margot

time for photography

Out of the Phone Photo Notebook by Orietta Spinola

5. Join the #Photoswap movement

Fine, so maybe it doesn’t qualify as a ‘movement’ per se since Christelle created the hashgtag just yesterday when she did a photoswap with @ztarek, but the point is it should be!

We are all on Instagram and/or other social networks and when they are used ‘right’ they allow us to meet other people, exchange ideas, get tips etc. but why not take it one step further and use these networks to exchange photographs?  Contact one of the photographers you follow and propose a #photoswap (Christelle really insists I use this term): exchange a printed copy, signed and numbered. Seeing your printed work is great, but what is also great is being able to share your work with other people who admire your work and to be able to collect works from those you admire. Thus, in addition to using social networks to give “likes and make connections, between us all we will be able to elevate the tradition that is photography.

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