Help To Improve Photography

10 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Own Photography

Believe it or not there are a number of simple things you can do straight away that will help improve your photography without having to spend a cent.

Here are 10 Simple Ideas – You probably could have thought of them.

1. Read Your Manual

SURPRISE!

Seriously read your manual from front to back until you understand it fully and you understand exactly what your camera can do.

I have bought cameras and taken a lot for granted by assuming the camera is similar in function to my other cameras.  You really need to ask yourself why you would buy a new camera if it is the same as your old one.

So read your manual and try all of the different settings.

(images of Jasper here)

2. Have Your Camera With You at All Times.

That’s right; play “Tommy Tourist” and have your camera with you at all times.  Sleep with it next to your bed.

Make sure you have a memory card and the battery is fully charged.

I am sure you have often been in a situation and thought, “I wish I brought my camera”?

“Duh!  Call yourself an aspiring photographer?”

Not only will having your camera with you mean you won’t miss out on those good shots it will also hopefully inspire you to implement some of the ideas that follow and get you to take photos that you wouldn’t ordinarily take.

3. Visit Places of Interest.

You live somewhere – right?

Take yourself off to local spots of interest.  This can be anything from the city gardens, the zoo, the local motor show and any other place of interest or even disinterest.

Art museums and art galleries are a great place to learn about composition. Sometime symmetrical photos work other time not so much.  There are no rules except rules that make an image appealing or reveals what the artist is trying to communicate.

Start looking at things through the eyes of a photographer.

You read your manual I hope and have tried all the different settings so the options for unusual photographs are unlimited – or limited only by your imagination and memory card. Get more memory.

4. Act Like A Kid With A New Toy.

Nothing beats enthusiasm so act like a beginner on an exciting learning curve – after all that is exactly what you are.  There is always something new to learn in photography and you will never know it all.  You may one day get quite good at one type of photography but you will never get to know everything.  If you don’t agree it doesn’t really matter because if you are reading this that is a discussion that is a long way off.

Try things – even if they seem silly.  Different angles, different (mundane) subjects, different light.  The list is endless.

5. Carry a Notebook And Pen.

Having them with you means you really should use them.  Write down what you were trying to capture and what settings you used and why.  Boring I know but this is the only way you will know if what you tried to do worked, why it worked why it didn’t and what to do in future in order to repeat or improve.

6. Go Work For A Day or 7!

Offer your service for free to a local (successful) photographer.  Offer to carry equipment, set up lights, make coffee or drive the car in return for picking their brain.

Listen, observe and fill up that notebook.

Buy a new  (bigger) notebook.

7. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone!

Yes pictures of your family, as beautiful as they may be, are great but … test yourself.  Go into the local cemetery and take photos of people long gone.  Imagine those people buried there and the lives they led.  Now take photographs in an effort to tell that story.  Lighting and angles will be an important part of this type of photography.

8. Join A Photography Club.

Did I hear you say there isn’t one in your area?  Have you tried the schools, colleges, associations etc.?

You have and still nothing?

GREAT!   

You can start your own and in so doing make all the rules. It doesn’t matter if there are only 2 of you – that’s a 100% increase and double the ideas.

9. Have Really Tough Days.

The idea is to push yourself to test your skill and imagination.

  1. Set your self a full day to take a maximum of 10 photos with no “deletes” allowed. With digital photography it is so easy to simply delete and shoot again.  This exercise will make you think twice before you press the shutter.
  2. Select one color and one color only and go and take as many photos as you can with that one color as the predominant color.  Not so easy huh?
  3. Choose one inanimate object and take 50 different photos of it.  Example a shoe. Use your own example not a shoe!
  4. Take 37 photos of different types of running water.
  5. If you plan on doing some or all of the above I am really disappointed in you as you are not yet thinking for yourself!
10. Take The Same Photo a Number Of Times.

Select a shot and take it under different lighting conditions.  For example a harbor – I bet you are annoyed I chose that cause you were going to do that hey?

Shoot it at sunrise, mid morning, lunch time, 3 times in the afternoon, then at sundown, twice at night and finally before sunrise the next day.

Sleep in your own time.

Becoming a good photographer is all about:

  • Desire
  • Thinking outside the square
  • Being prepared to learn
  • Being unique, developing your own style
  • And enjoying it!

Of course a good online photography course will be a big help.

 

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