I try to capture at least one photograph every day. It keeps me in good photographic shape. If you are an athlete or musician you practice daily, so why should it be any different for photographers?
I usually am able to accomplish this daily routine, but sometimes life gets in the way and it’s just not practical. I don’t feel too bad when this happens. Sometimes I might even need a short break. There aren’t any strict rules. I simply understand that it’s good to photograph as much as I can to maintain or even improve my skills.
The Fujifilm X100F helps me with this goal. It’s small and lightweight, which makes it easy to carry around. It creates fantastic pictures in-camera, so I don’t have to worry about my workflow piling up. I’m just able to shoot.
On days that I’m not able to get out with my camera and capture photographs, one thing that I like to do is set up some faux wood ceramic tiles and make some still-life type images of my cameras and film. This is very quick, easy and cheap, and I feel good that I’ve made some exposures.
I found some faux wood ceramic tiles at a local hardware store, and they were only a couple dollars each. I started out with two and now I have six of them. Each one looks a little different than the next. I might lay them all flat and capture from above, or I might stand one up at a 90 degree angle and shoot from a low perspective. I use natural light from a window to illuminate the scene.
When I arrange a scene, I try to think of a story as to why the items are placed they way they are. Photography is storytelling, so things shouldn’t be completely random. Sometimes window light can be soft and sometimes it can be harsh, depending on the exact conditions, so consider how to best use whatever lighting is available (whether soft or harsh) to further tell the story. In other words, use photographic vision.
The Fujifilm X100F, which has a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens, isn’t necessarily the best choice for this type of photography because of the wide angle focal length. I typically prefer telephoto for this. But the camera’s Digital Teleconverter comes in handy, and the 50mm option makes using the X100F more practical for still-life pictures.
If you find yourself stuck at home wanting to photograph something and you’re all out of ideas, try using ceramic tiles and natural window light to create some still-life images. It’s good practice and you might even capture something interesting.