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1. Start working on a long term project. I think that every photographer must be engaged in a long term personal project. When you work on a long term project the subject stays the same and you can slowly start noticing how your style changes around it.
2. Choose a subject that is close to your heart. Concentrate on something that you like and is accessible. If you are not a volcanologist don’t start a project about volcanoes. Your family can be a great subject to start with. Decide what you want to say and start shooting regularly, at least once week. Keep your mind open to see how the project develops beyond your initial ideas. A personal project could be a three-month-long project that will result in a series of 8-12 images, or a much longer one that might even become a book.
3. Study the work of other artists. Watch movies about the masters of photography and how they work. Study the history of photography and the techniques that were used before the digital age. Study Ansel Adam’s zone system. Start going to book stores and sit with books to get inspiration.
4. Try shooting with both eyes open. this will give you the ability to see beyond your frame and be prepared for changes. This might prove a bit strange at first but you will get used to it very fast.
5. Shoot from the hip / shoot without looking. Break the way you see the frame and let yourself be surprised by what you shoot. This will also enable you to shoot people form up close without making them look into the lens. Don’t be afraid to get bad results. If you don’t take risks you will never get great images.
6. Pattern plus. Look for patterns and break them. This is a simple exercise but will help you open your eyes to patters around you. A mountain of green apples and one is red is a simple example. Try to find others.
7. A+B=C. is a technique of using an ironic juxtaposition of two elements in the composition (A+B) and the relations between them to tell a story and lead the viewer to understand the subtle statement (C).
8. Frame inside a frame. Create frames inside your composition and position your subject inside it. Open a window into another world that lies beyond the two dimension of the photograph and emphasize your statement.
9. Change the settings in your camera menu to use two separate buttons for the AF and shutter release so that you focus with your thumb and release the shutter with your shooting finger. This is a simple trick that will help you frame better and prevent your focus from changing when you shoot.
10. Use rear-curtain flash sync
11. Smile and have fun. A smile will get you out of almost any tight spot, especially while shooting in foreign countries where you do not speak the local language.
"When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily."
So begins The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold's astonishing, brilliant, and daring new novel. A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this unforgettable work by the author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky.
For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and now grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined.
Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced novel explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers; the meaning of devotion; and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold can bring to the page.