Travel photographer Bob Holmes recently put together this quick-tips video for Advancing Your Photography in which he shares nine useful photography tips; or, as Holmes puts it in the video, nine 'crutches' for when you feel like the muse has deserted you.
They're basic tips, but this is what Holmes looks for when he goes out to shoot—lines, punctuation, and energy—and they're the reason he has managed to continue producing award-winning work year after year after year.
For those of you who prefer reading to watching, here's a quick summary of all nine tips:
Look for leading lines – they can lead your viewer through the composition
Look for diagonals – they give a dynamic feel to your photos
Look for horizontal lines – they will give a calm feel to your photos
Capture gestures – they can really help your photo pop
Try to find 'punctuation' – like a splash of color or a solitary person in a larger landscape
Put energy into your photos – you can do this by capturing movement in the frame
Be receptive – let the picture 'impress itself' upon you
Look at art for inspiration – famous paintings are often examples of fantastic composition and great lighting at work.
Look at photography books for inspiration – there's a reason the Irving Penn's and Henri Cartier-Bresson's of the world are still remembered today.
The tips might seem overly simplistic, but simple isn't always a bad thing when you're trying to get out of a rut. And it's not like Bob Holmes doesn't know what he's talking about: he's the only photographer to ever win the Travel Photographer of the Year Award 5 times, most recently in 2017.
Check out the video above for photo to go with each of the tips, and then let us know if you have your own "get out of a rut" routine in the comments.. dpreview.com