Improving Your Photography One Picture At A Time

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Photography is an excellent creative hobby to have and a great skill that can lend itself to a great many job roles and industries. With the rise of social media bringing photography back to the main focus of people’s lives, knowing how to improve your skills and take your pictures to the next level can be helpful in many different situations. 

Good photography can be the difference between capturing priceless memories on your vacations or life experiences and being completely disappointed you didn’t get the right shot. 

It can help you forge a new career or teach you skills you can use to enhance your current job. Whatever the reasons for learning new photography skills, brushing up on your know-how can help you get the most from your camera, be it your smartphone, an entry-level digital camera, or a more professional setup.

To get started, these skills can help improve your knowledge to help you take better photographs.

Take A Course

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There is so much information, both free and paid for online, to help you learn more about photography as a whole and your camera. You can find free resources and guides online like this one to help you get started and give you some pointers in the right direction, or you can invest in a course.

A photography course will teach the ins and outs of taking a good shot, how to use the different settings on your camera or phone, and what each one means. You will learn about all aspects of taking a good image, from the lighting to the right angles and so much more. If you’re serious about this hobby, you will benefit massively from taking a course in the subject and putting this into practice in the real world.

Check Out Others Work

Taking beautiful pictures is more than simply pointing your camera at a subject and clicking away. It involves so much more, and a good image is made from different factors such as composition, lighting, concept, and perspective, to name a few. 

Taking in others’ works to get an idea of the different styles they use when taking a picture and how it comes together can be an excellent way to develop your own skills and give you some ideas and inspiration to get started with your own portfolio to watch how you develop over time.

Understand Your Camera

You need to know the equipment you’re using, and while most cameras are set up for standard point-and-shoot modes, that isn’t all they’re capable of. Knowing how to use it and what it is capable of can help you get more from your imagery and produce beautiful pictures. You need to know if your camera has autofocus; how far is the zoom, and is it mirrorless? How do you change the settings? The more you know about the equipment you use, the easier it will be to ensure you use it correctly when you take an image.

All cameras have a manual, so get to know it inside and out. This manual will teach you everything you need to know and will help you to get the best from your device.

Practice Everyday

A simple but effective tip is to get your camera out daily and use it. It doesn’t matter what you take pictures of; just take some. Like with anything, practice makes perfect, and even if you don’t fully know what you are doing yet, the more time you spend using and becoming familiar with your camera, the more likely you are to find the sweet spot and make improvements.

Use A Tripod

This is a simple but effective tip. Using a tripod will force you to slow down and really take your time with a shot. It gives you more stability than holding by hand and allows you to keep your camera steady while finding the correct settings, angle, and composition for your shot. A tripod is essential if you want to really take your time and focus on what you are doing.

For the best results, make sure your camera is positioned and level with the horizon; some tripods come with a spirit level to help you ensure you are level and your pictures don’t come out wonky.

Practice Moving Shots

While practicing their technique, many people just focus on still shots or targets to get their skills up, but moving targets can be just as beneficial.

Taking pictures of something moving can require extra skill and concentration, but it’s more complex, not impossible. Try working with your pets or taking photos of cars in motion to see what the outcome is. If your camera has an autofocus function, this will help you to capture the shot, or you can half hold down the shutter to get the same effect. The more you practice, the easier it will become to take pictures of things in motion, not just still life.

Find Your Style

Some people like to take pictures of the coastline; others prefer wildlife to be the subject of their art. Whatever it is you enjoy capturing, pin it down and experiment. While it’s good to take pictures of anything and everything, finding a subject you are passionate about can help you get more practice and expertise than simply snapping away at things that don’t interest you. Find what it is that you love, and then use this to build from.

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Find A Fresh Perspective

When taking your image, try to find a new angle or perspective of an image or landscape. Really think about how you can capture it differently and what it can look like. Whether this is something as simple as taking a picture of a flower from underneath, close-ups, or rain droplets on a leaf or something else, try to get a unique perspective to see what you are capable of and what is possible with your camera. The more you experiment, the more creative you will be able to get and the better quality images you will be able to produce.

Use Equipment

Beyond a tripod, there are so many camera tools and accessories that you can use to help you improve your photography, From filters to reflectors, timers, and monopods to DJI Drones, editing equipment, lens balls, and so much more. Use these tools to help you bring different elements and aspects to your photography to give you new ideas and additional support.

Nail The Focus

Take some time practicing to focus your shots and find your target. There is nothing worse than spending all day photographing something only to find you missed the focus of your images, and it isn’t quite right. The focus needs to be the standout part of your photo and is what helps people become invested in what you do; if you aren’t getting the focus perfect each time, you need to sit and look at what you are doing wrong, then take the time to practice getting the right.

These days, most cameras have functions that allow you to focus on stationary objects to get the right shot (autofocus) or change it to one that focuses on moving targets (servo focus). Get to grips with these settings and watch your images improve drastically.

Learn to Create Depth In a Photo

The depth of an image is what draws people in, and if you want them to be wowed by your photography, then you need to work on creating depth in your pictures. 

  • A wider aperture means a shallower depth of field. The lower the f-stop number, the more depth your image will have.
  • Zooming in can give you the same depth of field that wider aperture can get. If you don’t have a zoom, move closer.
  • Add foreground to your images by moving away and giving your shot another layer around the intended focus.
  • Use different elements to help you add depth or another angle and aspect to your shot; this can help you emphasize the subject in the final composition.

Play Around with Lighting

There won’t always be perfect lighting conditions at all times. To combat this and learn how your shots translate in different lights, you need to be out there practicing at different times of the day and in different indoor lighting styles and environments.

The lighting can make or break a picture, so you need to be aware of how it will impact your shot. The wrong lighting can leave shadows if the light isn’t playing ball, cause your picture to be underexposed, or if shooting in direct sunlight, cause colors to disappear and completely change the shot. Knowing what to expect in different types of lighting can help you ensure you know where and when to shoot for the best results and help you learn how to accommodate different lighting and settings that still get the results you need.

Photography is an excellent skill and can serve you well in many different situations, regardless of whether you want to take pictures at an amateur level or look at making it your career. These tips can help you to get started and improve what you do. Remember, practice makes perfect.

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