Create for the light you have.
“Some photographers have this idea that the only good time to shoot is golden hour, where it’s that soft light earlier in the morning or later in the day,” says McMonigal. “But I have a tendency to shoot midday. Those harsh shadows can make for really great patterns that aren’t necessarily there other times of day.”
Even shooting on a gray, gloomy day has its benefits. “It can be a great way to utilize negative space, like using the white sky as negative space,” she says. A cloudy day can be perfect for black-and-white photos that put the visual weight on lines and shapes rather than on color. “I don’t think that there’s any bad time to shoot, I just think you have to decide what you’re going to focus on depending on the weather conditions.”
Constraint breeds creativity.
It can be easy to get distracted by multiple camera lenses, complex equipment, or too many ideas. Limit your options and your goals in order to set your creativity free. “There’s a quote by Orson Welles: ‘The enemy of art is the absence of limitations,’” says McMonigal.
“Choose one location. Choose one compositional idea. Choose one camera and one lens. And you’ll start to see things that you never noticed before.” If you focus on capturing one element of unity — the color red, for example — you’ll likely surprise yourself with what you find.