Try This Photography Exercise: Solitude

Alessandra Cave’s book Shooting with Soul has 44 different exercises to help you get the most out of digital photography. Whether you have a Digital SLR camera or just like to grab your smartphone whenever you see something that catches your eye, these exercise’s can help you look at the world with a photographer’s eye.

Cave’s exercise in capturing solitude with a camera, along with some sample photos take with her instructions in mind, will help you take some seriously amazing photos.


“It is only in solitude that we can reflect on our lives and respond to the world around us without distraction from others.

As an avid artist and mother, I am constantly craving alone time to create without noise, influence and interruption. I have found that even in chaotic moments or when I am out with family and friends, I can find momentary relief when I spot a scene that evokes a feeling of oneness and stillness.

It could be a glimpse of someone enjoying a contemplative moment, or it could be an object illuminated in a beautiful way that communicates a poetic state of singularity.

Find your own gateway to solitude by photographing someone or something that reflects your own feelings and your views of remoteness and seclusion.”


1. Capture a moment of stillness, quietude and reflection.

2. Photographing people from the back is an effective way to picture solitude and will prevent you from interrupting a spontaneous, quiet moment.


Depending on your camera:

♦ A zoom lens will allow you to maintain a healthy distance from your subjects

♦ Silhouettes or partial silhouettes portray solitude while simultaneously obscuring your subject’s identity

♦ Metering for the bright sky in the background will naturally make the foreground subject very dark. You can choose to dial your exposure to leave some detail in your subject (for a partial silhouette) or to make it completely black (for a full silhouette). Since you are obscuring details, it is important to arrange your subject in an interesting pose.


♦ Photograph someone reading on the beach
♦ Capture someone gazing at the ocean, at the mountains, or at passersby
♦ Take a picture of someone basking in the sunshine on a park bench


Solitude 2Solitude 4

solitude 3

Shooting with Soul
Shooting with Soul is glorious and beautiful book for anyone who loves to take pictures. Whether you are an aspirational photographer, artist, creative mom, or blogger, you will enjoy expanding your understanding of this medium by exploring 44 weeks of unique and reflective prompts and exercises aimed to demystify seemingly “techie” topics and enhance your creative self-expression. No matter what camera you own, an SLR, point and shoot, or even a camera phone, this book offers tips and methods for any device that snaps a photo.
New technology is making it easier to share photography, and interest in photos is being fueled by the popularity of photo-based apps and social networking sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Hipstamatic, Flickr, and tumblr blogs. Sharing photos with friends and family has become as easy as pushing a button, however, finding the right photos to take and coming up with creative concepts for jaw-dropping photos remains something that needs to be explored and fostered.
Shooting with Soul teaches successful photography methods through an approach that is very much like journaling. By putting deep thought and feeling into the process, and into the exercises, which focus on personal exploration and autobiographical information, you will become able to create images that are infused with soul and that connect you with your viewers more deeply, whether they are friends and family, a professional art audience, or followers of a blog or website.
Originally from Brazil, Alessandra Cave thought all she needed was a camera and a backpack, until her round the world travels revealed a fierce love for texture, light, and design, as old as the stories she once called home. After working for over 10 years as a producer in the film industry, in 2009, Alessandra kissed the cubicle goodbye to pursue her dream of working as a professional photographer.
She currently lives in San Francisco and splits her time between commercial and editorial photography assignments, teaching workshops at creative retreats, and raising her amazing daughter, who is her biggest creative achievement to date.
Alessandra holds a Master in Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design, but she considers herself completely self-taught when it comes to photography. A former contributor to Shutter Sisters, the widely acclaimed photo-blog celebrating women photographers, Alessandra is passionate about inspiring and empowering women to pick up the camera and follow their creative dreams. Her work has been featured extensively around the world-wide-web, as well as in national and international publications, such as: The Beauty of Different, Nine to Five, Artful Blogging, Somerset Studio and Mingle. You can follow her work and journey at