5 CREATIVE WAYS TO OBSERVE WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY
By Ian Robert Knight
Once per year, the world focuses its collective attention on photography. Every August 19, World Photography Day happens, and it’s our opportunity to express how much we enjoy photography, through creative means. But given how much variety there is in photography, how can you celebrate this special day in a way that makes it memorable? To give you some ideas, we’ve prepared our list of 5 creative ways to observe World Photography Day 2019.
1) Watch Some Photography Movies or Documentaries
There are a lot of great movies and documentaries with photography as the core subject matter. Documentaries can provide some insight into how famous photographers see the world, and give you some much needed inspiration to pull you out of a photographic slump. Recent documentaries about Vivian Maier, or Bill Cunningham, or Sebastião Salgado are great places to start. Netflix also has a photography series called ‘Tales By Light’ that is a great binge watch.
Dramatic movies with photography plots can be entertaining too. Over the years, there have been many great films about photographers — some real, some fictional — that are worth checking out. Classics like The Killing Fields, City of God, and Rear Window, are good examples.
Check out these lists for some cinematic inspiration: IMDB 55 Top Films about Photography, F Stoppers – Top 10 Movies about Photography and Resource Mag ‘s list of 40 Movies About Photography.
2) Donate Your Old Cameras
If you’re like most photographers, you probably have some old cameras laying around, as you’ve upgraded to new cameras. As technology marches forward and you gain new gear, your older equipment often gathers dust as it becomes unused. But maybe there is still some life left in that old gear that you no longer use? And what better way to help other people enjoy photography as much as you do, than to donate your old gear to someone who may want a camera, but doesn’t have the financial means to buy one?
Another way you can donate your old gear is to connect with local Arts Colleges or Community Colleges that teach photography. Students often don’t have the means to buy camera equipment, along with all the other costs for education. And don’t assume that film cameras have no value — Art Colleges still teach film photography and darkroom processing, so film cameras are very much in need today.
3) Teach Someone Something You Know About Photography
As photographer Kelly Marley pointed out recently, there’s a special joy in mentoring others in photography. If there’s someone in your social circle that has a budding interest in photography, use World Photography Day as an opportunity to upgrade the skills of someone you know. Pay it forward.
This can be something as simple as teaching them how to shoot off of full automatic, or showing them how to use a flash properly. Or maybe you’ve perfected HDR or long exposures using ND filters. There are countless skills that you’ve accumulated over the years, and it’s quite likely that you learned them from someone else too. So now it’s your turn to pass that knowledge down, to someone you know.
4) Learn a New Skill
The flip side of teaching someone else something new, of course, is for you to learn something new. Consider signing up for a Continuing Education class on something that has always interested you, or a skill that you need to upgrade.
Photoshop and Lightroom are great examples of things that are constantly changing, and keeping up with these technologies requires a lot of effort. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to shoot in a studio setting, but never had a chance? Check out your local school board for continuing education opportunities – you can never know too much about photography!
5) Encourage a Child
Photography has changed a lot in the last decade. In the years prior to the new century, to consider yourself a photographer, it took some effort — like shooting film, learning how cameras worked and studying the art behind great images. But with today’s camera ubiquity, everyone considers themselves a photographer.
But are today’s youth really learning how to appreciate how photography works? Do they understand exposure, and light, and composition? Or is everything just a filter away from a viral Instagram post?
As a photographer, it’s incumbent upon us to hand down our passion and knowledge of photography that we have to today’s younger generations. If you know someone in their teens — maybe a relative, or a friend’s kid — who has exhibited some creative aptitude, take them under your wing, and encourage them to seek out photography.
Help them to understand that photography is both an art form and a science. And that good photography requires forethought, planning, knowledge and patience. Help them by reviewing the images they already have, and point out what they are doing well, and where they can improve. Offer to help them learn how a camera works, and maybe even spend time taking photographs together. There is great satisfaction in handing down skills and knowledge to younger generations.
And you can be that someone that is referred to, when years later that person is interviewed about how they got their start in photography!
Bonus Activity – Book a Photography Adventure!
It would be silly not to mention the idea of booking a photography tour with Photo Workshop Adventures, right? And now with the new website freshly launched, it’s even easier to do just that! There is bound to be some place that you’ve always wanted to go, but have been putting off. So why not use World Photography Day as your launch pad to a new Adventure?