Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ways to Improve the Way You Do Photography

There are many resources out there to learn and improve the way you do photography.  Websites, books, courses, guidelines, rules, tips, tutorials, your name it, there out there and they are a good source of information.  All this information is useless if you do not apply it and know what to do with it.  In this article I want to share with you what has helped me improve and become a better photographer.

First of all get to know your camera.  Your camera is your most important photography tool and if you do not know how and where to find the different settings that all those resources talk about then you will not learn how to use it.  Learn where everything is, how to change the settings, and what the numbers in your camera mean, what to press and when to press it.  The camera will not do the job for you if you do not manage it.  So make the camera work for you, become its best friend, treat it right and take care of it.  When you know your camera you will be on your way to improving the way you do photography.

You cannot take shot after shot in auto mode and expect great results.  Learn new things.  Try new things.  Experiment with new settings and new guidelines that you read about in all the resources mentioned above.  As you progress and try new things you will be learning and improving the way you do photography.  In photography there is always something new to learn, when you do – try it out.  Trying new things will take you to the next step and will also make you curious about learning more photography techniques.

One other step in your learning process is to shoot, shoot and shoot more.  The more you shoot the more proficient you get at it.  The more you shoot the more you learn about your camera, its settings and different techniques.  Reading a book will make you learn something new, but if you do not practice it and experiment with it, soon you will forget it.  Spend time capturing images of the same object over and over again from different angles and with different settings.  After every photo shoot, go over your photos, see what you like, what causes an impression on you or others.  Review what you did to get to those results and then practice even more with those same settings.

In any activity you do in life, before getting better at it your need to work hard on it.  Why would photography be different?  Figure out what you need to improve at, do some research and work on it.  It is very good if you write a list of things that you do not feel confident about.  When you have your list, concentrate on one item at a time.  Spend time practicing, go over your results, doing research and learning from it so that you can improve your photography.  When you think you have reach the results you wanted, scratch it out and go to the next item on your list.  Practice makes perfect.

In the digital age of photography it is very easy to take many pictures of the same subject, review them and delete the ones you do not like.  Hold on and do not do that immediately.  Take a good look at the images that you do not like, analyze them and figure out what it is that you do not like about them.  If you find things that repeat themselves over and over again then it is time to add them to your list.

Another great way to improve your photography is to give yourself homework.  Challenge yourself, set deadlines and go out and make sure you practice more and work only on the topic that you assigned yourself.  Define what you need to work on, set a topic and work only on it.

Another important point is to learn to receive feedback and positive criticism of your work.  Let other photographers tell you what they think about your art.  Either find photographers that are willing to tell you what they like or dislike about your images or simply post your images on the Internet and let people tell you what they think.  There are some specialized websites that will criticize your photography and will give you tips to improve the work you are showcasing.  Photographers are also doing the same thing as you so do not get feedback only from them, ask around, friends, family, co-workers, and others, ask what they think you will be surprise about their answers, but it will certainly help you improve.

Photography takes time and dedication.  If you really want to improve, and not necessarily to become a professional photographer, do not give up, practice and learn.  You will improve the way to capture images.

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