I’m using the term visual intelligence to refer to an ability to produce an aesthetically pleasing photograph, document or web page. Much like any other skill, experience is king. You have to learn by doing. The inspiration to do is sometimes a key problem. Here’s a couple of photography exercises that will help your visual intelligence.
1. The 365/10 project. On Flickr, take a photograph everyday and post it with the 365/10 tag. I’d go one further to geo-tag it and give it descriptive tags to help people find it.
2. The Dailyshoot is along the same idea, shoot something every day/week, but this time grouped around a theme. It goes one further to post a link via Twitter. Sometimes having someone give you constraints is a good way to focus on technique rather than finding something interesting to shoot.
3. Digital Photography Challenge is another photograph on a theme challenge, but it’s also a contest where you can vote on best shots.
4. Running From Camera is something Alec Couros posted on Twitter moments ago, but a cool task for a different shot. Of course, looking through the entries, some of them are composed very similarly. I wonder if you could work within the constraints of “running away” but shooting on a diagonal? Would the picture still work?
5. In addition to shooting more, critique more. Be very critical and selective about shooting and framing. Be reflective in your practice, think about what you could do to improve your shot selection. If you can’t come up with what you can do to improve your shots, review the basic theories that govern design, and choose one to work with exclusively.