In today’s highly visual world, photos have a special power over our lives. We seem to be always looking for that perfect shot. However, photography is a talent, no matter how many photos you snap every day, it does not mean that your photos are any good. People usually spend years learning how to use the overwhelming number of features and editing tools to their benefit so that they can end up with beautiful pictures every time. If you are passionate about photography but do not have that kind of time on your hands, you can refer to the below 5 tested ways that are guaranteed to improve your photography skills. Let’s get started:
1. Perfect the Basics of Photography
Although there are numerous features and variables that would be good for you to learn, there are a few basic ones that you have to perfect in order to improve your skills. First and foremost, one of the most basic photography elements that you need to master is lighting. Finding the right light will make you more than halfway through capturing the perfect photo. Photography masters at parkerphotographic.com claim that you have to understand both the behaviors and characteristics of light so that you can set the right mood and let your work speak for itself.
Learning about light will also enable you to better understand exposure and aperture which are the main pillars of photography. If you truly want to improve your photography skills, do not just stop at the shallow knowledge about such basics, dig deeper and try out different adjustments until you fully grasp the science behind.
2. Learn Everything About Your Camera
Most people interested in photography rush into investing in top of the line cameras without really having any idea about how to utilize all of its distinctive features. Obviously, the tens of buttons and flashing lights are there for a reason and are aimed at capturing better quality photos. So, if you want to improve your photography skills, you have to understand everything that your camera has to offer.
According to the pros over at ShootProof, the best place to start is your camera’s user manual. Study the manual to find information about different shooting modes and why and when exactly should you use each. Learn the difference between the various focusing and quality modes. Only then will you be able to hone your skills and have a better shot at well, ‘taking a better shot’. As you advance, you will notice how you become more selective when you want to invest in a new camera as you will know what it is that you are looking to upgrade. You will probably be able to save more money this way if you understand that you can only update your lens instead of buying a new camera altogether.
However, this endeavor will require some time and commitment on your side, so make sure you find helpful resources or seek guidance from experienced photographers to make it more fruitful.
3. Try Using a Tripod
Using a tripod needs some getting used to, however, when you do, you will see why it made its way to this list. A correctly placed tripod has the ability to showcase your landscape photos in a new and elevated way. Not only will it save you from missing out on that fleeting sunrise moment thanks to your unsteady hands, but it will also allow you to plan out and design your shot beforehand. Having your camera resting there on top of the tripod, you can take all the time you need to orchestrate how exactly you want your photo to turn out. You can play around with different focus modes and check to see whether you prefer a colored or a black and white image. The tripod just gives you this freedom to experiment and try out different photography styles without getting caught up in frantic random snapping.
4. Develop Your Aesthetics
If you are passionate about photography, then you must be familiar with the saying “someone has a good eye for photography”. This goes beyond technical knowledge; it is more of an innate skill that you can cultivate by developing your aesthetics. Photography is a form of art, so you want your photos to compel any viewer to take a moment and contemplate what kind of story you are intending to tell. In order to do that, you have to look at as many photos as possible.
Study the work of world-renown professional photographers and find out what their photos have in common. When you become able to identify other photographers’ signature touches, you will be inspired to find your own. This perhaps is the most challenging aspect of photography because it can take years of practice before you can find your own unique voice. However, once you do, your photos will speak for themselves and before you know it, people will know that this is indeed your own artwork without having to look for your initials.
5. Practice Everyday
At the risk of sounding cliché, I have to say that practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your photography skills, you have to be willing to take thousands of not so good and even terrible pictures. You have to liberate yourself from the debilitating fear of failing. Instead, embrace it and aim to suck every once in a while. Some days you will be crushing it and perfecting every shot you attempt while on other days, you will completely miss and feel like you know nothing about photography.
This change in rhythm is actually good for you, as long as you maintain the continuous practice, you will eventually see how much you are progressing. Make sure you take your camera everywhere and try capturing different kinds of photos. If portrait photography is your thing, give yourself the chance to experiment with landscape photography on your next family camping trip. When the goal is to practice with zero expectations, you will be more open to new experiences. This will help you a lot in finding your individual photography style.
Give yourself the time to hone your photography skills, use the above to help you on your quest, and give you an idea about how to improve and where to start. Once you commit to this journey, you will see a noticeable difference in how you approach your camera and how you take photos in general. The most important thing is to never lose your passion along the way and always intend to capture the magic with every photo you take.