The majority of people tend to do most of their photography when on a workshop, meetup, tour, or on vacation. The problem with this is that between those times, there is almost no shooting. The camera is put away until the next adventure; this leaves you at a disadvantage dealing with composition and creativity. To improve your eye, it is important to photograph consistently and in order to do this, it is necessary to shoot near home or even in your home.
And it is important to know your camera well; this can come in very handy at night or when your flashlight fails. If you are struggling with your camera settings, how can you be creative? If you have custom functions, learn to use them. I am primarily a landscape photographer and have three custom functions set up for this genre. If I am under pressure to shoot as the light is changing rapidly, these are my fall back settings: they can be manipulated if necessary.
A lot of you are saying, “It is boring where I live; there is nothing to shoot.”. This is when you have to be creative and dig deep into your brain for ideas. The images I have attached were all taken in or near my house. Sometimes you have to work hard to see things, but we’re not going for competition images: we are trying to improve our eye for composition.
This first image is a light bulb in a corner of my cellar; it is nothing spectacular, but I liked the webs on it. The image was flipped vertically for a different viewpoint:
The second image is a clump of leaves on a thistle bush. I was walking my dog and liked the shapes; it was converted to black and white.
The next one is a grove of trees…nothing special about it, so I used a slow shutter speed and moved the camera vertically to get something interesting.
The last one is a simple coil of rope at a boatyard…I liked the color, so I took the coil and moved it into a more pleasing vortex shape.
So there are your examples…get outside (or stay inside) looking at things around you. Light tents are cheap and fun…put silverware or glasses in them and experiment with lighting. Buy a small fish tank and throw fruit into it, then invert the image. Try macros of kiwis and other exotic fruit…there is no end to experimenting if you remember to channel your inner child. Edward Weston created some amazing images with peppers. https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/39.208
And not having time is no excuse; if you want your photography to improve you must work at it.