To an outsider, photography doesn’t seem like it’s all that difficult. It’s just a matter of taking pictures, right? However, once you give it a serious try, you’ll realize that it takes time and a lot of practice to develop the skills that are necessary to take great photographs. These are some of the most important strategies you can use to improve your photography skills and create those wonderful images.
Decide On Your Photographic Direction
Once you develop a style that is truly your own, your photos will definitely improve. You need to figure out that style, though, such as what you enjoy taking pictures of and what you’re good at photographing. Of course, if you don’t know your style, you’ll have to figure that out, but there are many ways to do that.
Try reading some photography books, and study photos to find what you like and try to recreate those photos. When you find photographers whose work you admire, follow them online through social media. They often share information about themselves and how they developed their skills and styles. If you have no idea what you like, experiment with different kinds of settings and styles, until you figure out what you’re comfortable with.
Read The Manual
This seems like an obvious statement, but many people only look through the camera manual when they’re looking for something specific. Reading your camera’s manual is one of the best ways to understand how to use your camera properly, and using the camera properly will result in better pictures.
You need an understanding of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to understand the role that light plays in photography, and to allow you to choose the right exposure and focus settings on your camera, and you’ll find a wealth of information about how the three aspects work together to allow light into photographs. Don’t be afraid to let go of the automatic mode and experiment with your camera settings.
Set Up Your Photos Carefully
Planning can definitely improve your photos. Be aware of the weather during outdoor shoots, and plan accordingly. The wrong weather can ruin your photos, but using the weather to your advantage will create stunning images. Look for light and shade. Either or both can be used to set up great photos.
Pay attention to the background, to avoid accidentally photographing something you don’t want in the image. If you choose to use symmetry in your photos, make sure it’s accurate. Get close to your subject, to capture as much detail as possible. If you’re having trouble getting that perfect picture, try changing your perspective on the subject. Remember, you don’t have to perfectly stage your photographs. Sometimes, you just need to go with the flow of things for the best pictures.
Use A Tripod and Different Lenses
Although many people don’t like using tripods, they can have some unexpected benefits. Not only will you get steadier pictures, but using a tripod forces you to slow down and think more about your shot before you take it. The steadiness of a tripod also allows you to experiment with long exposures and HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. Don’t worry about spending a lot of money on a quality tripod until you’re sure you’ll continue using it, but you can often find a used tripod for a very reasonable price.
Experiment with different lenses, to figure out which style you like best. Wide angle lenses will give great panoramic images, whereas zoom lenses will enable you to capture details. You can use a circular polarizer filter on the lens to create very vivid photographs. Always check the lens diameter for a proper fit, and take care to protect your lenses. If you want to branch out slightly from digital cameras, you might try binoculars with camera technology. Most camera shops have several models to choose from.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Your photography skills will not improve noticeably without practice. And by that, we mean on a daily basis. You should always have a camera nearby because you never know when inspiration will strike. Practice good techniques, and practice holding the camera correctly. The more you practice, the more intuitive it will become, and eventually, the camera will feel like just another part of you.
One particular area to practice with is photographing moving objects. It’s easy to photograph a still object or person, but quite a different story to photograph something that’s in motion. If you can capture, for example, a bird in flight, you can apply those same skills to still life photos.
It’s certainly not easy to become a great photographer. It takes a lot of time and effort, and you must have a love for what you’re doing in order to stick with it. These strategies will definitely get you moving in the right direction to elevate your photography skills, and in no time at all, you will see the progress with your photographs.