Take your photography to the next level
Updated: Feb 28
Are you an amateur photographer looking to take your skills to the next level? Whether you're interested in nature photography or any other genre, there are a few key tips that can help you improve your craft. Here are five tips to help you get started (expend each tip):
Study other photographers
Study how photographers of your liking compose their frames: Take some time to explore their work and try to identify what makes their images compelling. Start with photographers creating images you would like to make yourself. Do they use symmetry, repeating shapes, or lines to draw your eye towards a point of interest? Once you've identified what you like about their work, try to incorporate some of those techniques into your own compositions. Copying is not a bad thing if you are learning. In time you will find your own ways and your own "signature".
Some photographers that have inspired me:
Clean up the frame
When you're out taking photos, make sure you are paying attention to everything that's in the frame. Are there any elements that are distracting or that steal focus from the main subject? If so, try to move around and find a better angle that will allow you to remove those elements from the frame.
Which one is preferable to you? To me it is obviously the one to the right. It allows for the story to be all about the child and her adventure, and no distracting elements other than that is framed. Also notice that the lines meet close to the golden ratio, making the composition more appealing.
Spend time with the scene or item you are capturing: most times it takes more than one snapshot to get the perfect capture. Spend some time exploring the scene you want to compose and experiment with different angles and lighting conditions. Don't be afraid to take multiple shots to capture the scene from different perspectives.
These 2 images were taken from the same spot, on the same day, just from different angles and at different times. Notice how the the warm evening light give a totally different expression from the more cool daylight just an hour earlier.
Bring your gear
Bring your gear: You never know when you'll come across a great photo opportunity, so it's important to have a camera available at all times. Try to challenge yourself by taking photos in new or unexpected locations. Urban areas, for example, can offer unique opportunities for interesting shots. As you develop skills building on the above mentioned tips, you’ll start observing your surroundings with new eyes. Potential “Kodak moments” pops up everywhere, and you might regret not bringing your camera. Today your smartphone will do well, but sometimes your tele, or your "nifty 50" is the only way to capture your vision of the scene. If my gear can come along I bring it, if not I have my phone ready. The image below was captured with my iPhone on a running workout. I sure could have made better with my SLR, bur then again, I would never have brought such bulky gear out running. One uses what is available!
Connect with others
Connect with fellow photographers: Photography is a great way to connect with others who share your interests. Join online photography communities, attend local photography events, or even partner up with a friend to create a photo series. Collaborating with others can help you learn new techniques and find inspiration for your own work.
Improving your photography skills takes practice, patience, and a willingness to learn. By following these tips and continuing to explore the world through your camera lens, you'll be well on your way to capturing beautiful and compelling images. So, get out there and start shooting!