How To Improve Your Photography
Photography is beautiful pastime, hobby, and craft. It is something that can be appreciated by those just using a disposable camera, and someone who has multiple lenses and a DSLR worth thousands of dollars. Apps like Instagram have brought a particular kind of photography to the masses, and modern smartphones all possess respectable cameras that can take beautiful shots.
But photography as a craft is much more complex than you might appreciate, and consequently, much more fun. No matter if you just want to take better pictures for your social media account, you hope to become freelance or even professional, it’s important for you to practice and continue to improve your skills. And there is skill involved here, not just luck and expense as you might have thought.
A photographer must not only be on the look out for opportunity, but also lighting, framing, color, the edit, challenging themselves, knowing the technical specifications of their photographs and the equipment they take said photographs with, and also building a solid portfolio of their work.
Skillful photography is half method, half intuition. At first glance, a statement like that might seem dismissive of the expert craftsmanship that goes into expert-level photographs. To some extent, that wouldn’t be a completely outlandish observation. However, it would take as a fundamental basis the fact that intuition is somehow unskilled, or something that anyone can perform without training. It certainly isn’t.
This is why practicing your shots is so important, as is trying to get out of your comfort zone. For example, it might be that you’ve finally managed to take candid photographs of landscapes. Perhaps you’re happy with framing, with waiting for the perfect light level, with waiting in the forest for hours before a deer comes across your path. However, it might be that portrait photography (something that might seem simple on the surface,) completely evades your understanding. All we can suggest is that you practice more, and make practicing in this way part of your prideful training.
Take photographs of subjects you’re not too familiar with. Consider how you might lay that out in a photojournal. Perhaps take a camera on your next trip abroad, or invest in a motion-sensitive camera for your next scuba diving or skiing adventure. A little practice can often go a long long way, and no matter what level of skill you are, you’ll always need to do this to keep your skill sharp. Consider photography as a martial art, or as playing an instrument. You can learn all about the theory and become skillful in your handling, but if you aren’t practicing often to keep your eye sharp, you’re going to start becoming stagnant.
It might seem like you need the most advanced DSLR in order to take pictures worth seeing. You don’t. In fact, even modern smartphones can help you get started. But it is worth investing in some of the implements to help you begin. For example, investing in a key light and some fill lights can help you take expert photographs of items or people should you need to, without worrying about the background. This way you can experiment with lighting, how the aperture of your camera responds to it, and with the right photo booth backdrops, you’ll understand more and more about this process.
Like most hobbies or practices, if you want to begin getting more out of your understanding, you will need to invest a little. It might mean the cost of a train ticket to somewhere beautiful you wish to photograph. Sometimes, it might mean purchasing a high-end camera so you can begin to play with the settings by yourself. Other times, it means saving for a certain lens to help you become a more refined professional. Don’t be afraid to invest a little. It can go a long way in photography.
Learning how to edit is one of the most important things you can do when refining your professional skill set, and it’s fun to partake in as a hobbyist. A subscription to the standard of Photoshop is around $12 a month, and it’s exceedingly worth it for the standard in photo editing. Learning how to edit, how to color grade, how to play with light, how to use your imagery to enhance or diffuse certain elements of your subject can be a fantastic power to you as a photographer. You’d be surprised how a little post-processing can help even the most standard of photographs shine. It is not masking. It is enhancing.
On top of that, we might mention that these photo editing programs are often incredibly fun to use. Seeing your goal come to fruition through careful image editing is a delight to behold, and it can also become a skill you may use in many other fields. On top of that, it can help you learn more about the jargon of photography, and the more you edit the more you will pay attention to the form of your photographs.
Photography is an incredibly solitary activity, even if photographing thousands of subjects, you’ll be the one behind the camera. For this reason, it can be quite lonely after picking up a camera and start to learn. For this reason, we would recommend taking a photography class. Not only can it help you get in touch with those who are interested in learning the same as you, but your teacher will often have many tips and tricks under their belt, and will know how to push you in certain directions depending on your interests. On top of that, they may even give you access to a photography student’s dream – application to competitions to potentially have your work featured somewhere important. If nothing else, this attendance will be plenty of fun.