There are plenty of ways to improve photography and tons of accessories and gear items that can help us do it. But what about something as simple as a notebook? With all the hi-tech gadgets, how can it be beneficial for photographers? In this video, Craig Roberts of e6 Vlogs gives you a list of 10 ways to improve your photography using a simple, modest notebook.
- Location planning
Before your shoot, write down the locations you want to visit, either local or abroad. When you decide where you want to go next, use the notebook for planning the trip and writing down the important info.
When you have a location in mind, write down the viewpoints you want to visit. Then you can start planning your route and write down plans for the shoot.
- Ideas for the shoot
You can also use the notebook to sketch or write down some ideas for the shoot. I have a photography notebook and use it this way: I draw sketches (pretty horribly, though) or write the names of songs I want to illustrate. You can also write down the lenses and the techniques you plan to use for a specific set of images.
- Field notes
Once you are on location, you can use the notebook to write down everything that isn’t in the EXIF, such as the filters and the lights you used. This is also useful if you use a film camera. Notes like this help you reproduce the shots in similar conditions, and they’re especially useful if you’re still learning.
Use the notebook as a reference to make sure you’re doing everything right. Write the notes down in advance so that, when you’re on location, you don’t miss doing anything. I need to start doing this and remind myself to check the freakin’ ISO. I forget it more often than I want to admit. :)
- Make notes for another visit
There will be some things you’ll notice and might not have the time or proper gear. Or, perhaps, you’ll need a different time of day to shoot it. Write the ideas down so you remember them when you revisit the location.
- Notes on the shoot
When you start analyzing the photos when you get home and giving a critique to yourself, you’ll start to figure out what you could have improved. Write it down, so you can improve these things next time.
- Technique notes
Also, you can write down the techniques you haven’t tried that you want to try next time on the same location.
- New project
Based on the shoot you’ve finished you can start planning new projects. So, this basically becomes your pre-shoot list for the next shoot.
- Gear checklist
Finally, use the notebook to write down all the gear and accessories you need to bring so you don’t forget anything. This is especially useful if you keep changing bags (which I do all the time). But don’t forget to bring the notebook, too!
Since I love writing, I always have a notebook and a pen around (otherwise I’d constantly scribble something on paper tissues or train tickets). I also have a dedicated photography book for ideas and sketches, but I’ll start adding some of Craig’s suggestions there, too.
I know, there are apps for everything nowadays, why would you need a notebook. Well, there’s a “vintage feel” of writing by hand and personally, I really love that. I still write some of my stories by hand. But more importantly – a notebook will never have an empty battery like a smartphone will, which is why I always have one on me. And just like Craig, I believe you should have one on you, too.