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By Jim Heid | Thursday, November 14, 2013

Exploring your photographic themes: The Practicing Photographer

Ben shoots a bike

Whether you call yourself a photo enthusiast or a pro, whether you shoot with a phone or with film, you probably have themes that crop up frequently in your photography. By intent or by accident, certain subjects or themes surface in your photos—whether dogs or rivers or carefully crafted coffee drinks.

Or bicycles. Ben Long likes bikes, and he finds himself photographing them frequently. As he describes in this week’s installment of The Practicing Photographer, he hasn’t yet photographed The Perfect Bicycle shot, but he keeps practicing. And that’s what it’s all about. Maybe one day he’ll find a perfect bike in a perfect setting with perfect light, but in the meantime, he’s refining his eye and building a library of thematic shots—photographic studies of the lines and shapes of bicycles.

That’s your call to action this week: Find that thing that you like to photograph and keep on working it. If you never really thought about photographic themes in your work before, take some time to explore your photo catalog—you may find some themes in your existing photos that you weren’t aware of.

But whatever your thematic leanings, heed Ben’s advice and don’t obsess over trying to get The Perfect Shot. Just get out and shoot.

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