‘Photos are the only way to hold onto what you knew – because the moments they show never change, while the people in them do.’ Pictures are our window into the past. They are a chance to capture a moment forever and to remember and cherish these moments when life changes, which inevitably will. Whether you want to become a professional photographer or just take better travel or family photos, here are some tips to improve your photography skills.
Upgrade Your Camera
These days, smartphones and point and shoot cameras can be very good and take fantastic photos. However, if you want full control over your shots and be able to take the best photos possible, you need a good DSLR camera. With these cameras you can adjust the focus, get far better up close (macro) shots and long distance shots depending on the lens you use than with any other kind of camera. You can completely change how the same shot looks just based on the techniques and settings you use. This is key to a better photo overall.
Learn How To Use Editing Software
If you use the right settings and frame your pictures right, they shouldn’t need masses of post-production work. However, some will always be needed and so it’s useful to know how to make these edits. You could go with a complex program like Photoshop which will allow you to make all kinds of adjustments, or you could keep it simple and play around with things like brightness, contrast, and saturation. There are lots of free editing programs out there on the web to get started. I like Fotor and the Nik Collection.
Look at The Work of Others
As a creative, you’ll know that directly copying others and plagiarising is wrong – however, there’s a lot to be learned from looking at the artistic work of others. This is a great way to improve your photography skills. Study their style, their techniques, look at how they frame pictures, the way they pose models or the message that their pictures portray. This is a huge way to get inspiration. It will help you get ideas for your own work and ignite a further passion for the subject.
You can also walk through museums and see the masterpieces in person from the world’s most famous photographers. And you can attend auctions and galleries, or browse online on sites like https://www.samuelburns.co. There are lots of groups and forums you can join for constructive criticism of your own work and provide feedback to others. These can all be useful in helping you perfect your style.
Additionally, there are lots of groups and forums you can join for constructive criticism of your own work and provide feedback to others. These can all be useful in helping you perfect your style.
Take a Photography Course
Some people have a natural gift and an eye for photography. Others have to work a little harder at it, but if it doesn’t come completely naturally to you, don’t give up. Book a course and have a professional teach you the basics. With a good foundation knowledge of photography, you have your starting point on which to build and improve.
I took a 6-month analog photography course when I was younger. You know, the kind where you use a camera with film and develop it in a dark room. Not only was it great fun to go back in time, but it definitely taught me a great deal about photography.
You could take a simple day course to teach you the best ways to work the camera and some photography techniques, or if you want to go on to be a photographer you could do something more intense. A full college or university course would get you the qualifications you need to get started professionally.
Look into auditing a college course where you can take a class without being a full-time student and take advantage of the knowledge without having to be graded. Sometimes even for free! I was able to do this at Duke University for a different subject – Ballet. Look for the words “Continuing Studies”.
Take More Photos
Finally, as with anything – the more you do something the better at it you become. Photography skills are not the exception. Take pictures, lots and lots of them. Take pictures to your heart’s content; these days you don’t have to worry about wasting film if you don’t like a photo you can simply delete it.
Try out different techniques, angles, and settings on the camera. Play around with different editing techniques. By doing this you will refine your style, work out what does and doesn’t work and generally improve. You will get a good understanding of the camera and know how to use it to achieve the exact look for the photo you want. You will also find your own unique personal style.
Studying and learning the basics is important, but there’s nothing quite like getting out there with the camera and having hands-on experience. Perhaps you’ll even see your own city in a new light.
In years to come, you’ll be so glad you have beautiful photos to look back on and cherish those fond memories. From family vacations to pictures of your travel adventures, kids, pets, partner, and family. You won’t be squinting at grainy, low lit smartphone pictures and will have albums (digital or printed) of beautiful photos to enjoy.
So, do what you can to improve your photography skills. Whether it’s to earn money or just take photos for yourself, it’s something that’s well worth doing and you’ll thank yourself for years to come.
Are you interested in photography? Have you upgraded any of your equipment or been on a course to learn how to take better pictures?