5 Photography Exercises To Do at Home

It’s cold outside and while outdoor photography can be fun, sometimes it’s more fun to stay inside where it’s warm. Here at Pixel Connection, we’ve gathered a list of 5 types of photography you can do from home, without fancy setups or an outdoor location!


Macro Photography

Small subjects are all around us - jewelry, flowers, food, insects, and many more! Make your everyday household items into macro photography subjects! 

Having the right gear can be an integral part of Macro photography. We recommend these three pieces of equipment! 

There are many lenses specifically designed for this type of photography such as 100mm, 90mm, and 105mm lenses. These types of lenses allow you to get up close and personal with your subject so you can highlight the details you may normally miss.

Macro lenses are great to have but you may be able to skip it if your camera has a macro mode! This can help you capture close-up shots without a lens designed specifically for macro photography. 

Macro Rails and extension tubes can also be awesome tools for capturing macro images. We recommend the Promaster Macro Rail and Promaster Macro Extension Tubes

The Promaster Macro Rail helps you keep your camera steady and focused with an X/Y design that allows you to smoothly move your camera forward and backward or side to side! This tool can really help you focus in and make small positional adjustments without losing details! 

The Promaster Macro Extension Tubes help you turn your normal lenses into macro lenses. Get increased magnification by attaching one of these tubes between your lens and your camera!


Still Life Photography

Grab your favorite vase, pottery, or household decoration and try out some still life photography! This exercise is great for practicing creativity and control over photographic elements such as composition, lighting, depth of field and more! 

Still Life Photography can be a pretty basic set up, especially if you’re using natural lighting or backgrounds you may find around your house like linens and walls. However, if you want to take your still life photos to the next level, check out the gear we recommend! 

Tripods are a photographer's best friend, especially when it comes to a stationary subject. Using a tripod while photographing still lifes allows you to set your camera up and frame your shot while keeping your hands free to make adjustments to your scene and the objects you're photographing. 

Constant Lighting is another great thing to have when photographing your subjects. It allows you to see the lighting at all times and make adjustments before you take your image. Unlike flash photography, constant lighting consistently illuminates your subject showing you exactly what the quality, direction, and intensity of the light will look like before you capture the image. Constant lighting is also great for creating a light source in dark rooms, filling in shadows created by natural light, or highlighting texture, details, and other visual elements of your subject. 

Backdrops can go a long way in elevating your still life scenes. Westcott X-Drop Backdrop Kits are a great option! These backdrop kits are perfect for simplifying the background so your subject can really pop with a solid backdrop or adding some depth with something patterned!

Still Life Photography is a great opportunity to get creative in a controlled environment where you have the ability to control every element in the photo!


Low-Light Photography

Low-light environments are the perfect opportunity to play with light and shadow. Try your hand at photographing subjects in the evening or in dimly lit environments and discover how this technique can make your photos moody and atmospheric. 

Our Favorites for Low-Light Photography

Tripods are really important for low-light photography. They will keep your camera steady and your images crisp as exposure times increase. Tripods can also help you keep your hands free while maintaining the framing of your scene while you adjust your subject, lighting, camera settings, etc. 

Shutter Releases are another great tool for keeping your shot crisp and sharp. Many times, when photographing in low-light situations you decrease your shutter speed. This creates an opportunity for visible shake in your images when you’re holding the camera or pressing the shutter button. Shutter releases allow you to take an image without touching your camera and creating an opportunity for blur or visible shake in your images. 

Constant Lighting gives you full and constant control over the light in your image. With constant lighting you can control the direction and intensity of light helping to create shadows and depth that can be useful for story telling or creating a mood within your image. Constant lighting also gives you a consistent lighting source instead of relying on harsh overhead lighting or waning daylight. 


Portrait Photography with Available Light

Natural lighting can be a wonderful tool for creating stunning portraits and a fun challenge for photographers. Windows, sky lights, and glass doors are common sources of natural lighting within your home. Have your subject pose near the light sources and play around with how to use the natural light to your advantage! 

These tools are great additions to your natural light set up whether you’re looking to create a specific look or  supplement your lighting! 

Natural lighting can be soft and diffused or bright and harsh depending on the time of day and direction of the sun. Harsh shadows and too little light are challenges you may come across while using natural light. Experiment with poses and expressions that leverage these challenges for natural and atmospheric portraits. 

All great photos start with a great lens! Portrait Lenses can help you achieve a gorgeous photo by allowing you to control depth of field. 85mm and 50mm lenses are really popular for this type of photography! You can use these lenses to create soft backgrounds and beautiful bokeh that perfectly frames your subject. 

Reflectors are quick and easy tools you can use to gain some control over natural lighting sources. You can use reflectors to add light by bouncing light from the source in the direction you want it to go or take away light by using it to absorb light around your subject. Reflectors are great for filling in shadows and softening harsh natural light sources, plus they’re super easy to use! 

Atmosphere Aerosol is a fun addition you can add to your natural light portrait photography! These aerosol cans provide you with a quick and easy way to add fog or a hazy look to any photo! It’s safe to spray in doors and is a super inexpensive way to add a moody vibe to your portrait.  


Long Exposure Photography

Slow things down and try your hand at long exposure photography. This method can create visually stunning images with very simple, everyday subjects.

Slow down your shutter speed and the capture motion of traffic outside your window or the movement of liquid. Long exposure photography can also create some pretty cool visual elements such as light trails. 

Top Gear for Long Exposures

Similarly to low-light photography, Shutter Releases are super beneficial for long exposure images. Shutter releases allow you to remotely trigger your camera to capture an image without risking shaking the camera and causing blurriness, keeping your photos sharp! 

Along the same lines as shutter releases, Tripods keep your camera positioned and steady throughout the entire exposure. Mounting your camera on a tripod for a long exposure gets rid of any blurriness that may occur from hand-holding your camera and is essential to getting beautiful long exposure images. 

Long exposures can drain your camera battery pretty quickly, it’s important to have Extra Batteries on hand so you never miss a shot! 

Images by Andrew Konya
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