As photography has grown throughout the digital age, tools like photoshop and various editing apps have seemed to overlook the key aspect to the art of taking photos, the camera itself. Without the full understanding of your camera, it can be difficult to expand your skill set beyond the reliance of post editing processes. With the camera and the knowledge of more basic and classic photography, here are five tips to help improve your photography skills:
1. Take Advantage of your Camera’s skills
Whether you have a higher end DSLR or, a digital camera, or just your iPhone, it’s important to become familiar with your camera’s manual. Finding new ways to take photos can be found in your user manual, so studying up and retaining the various buttons and settings will open up alternate ways to snap your photos. If you’re used to only shooting on auto, try using manual and setting your ISO and frames to the more adequate settings. Honing these skills will also help to create a familiar rhythm in your photography method for taking photos more efficiently, leaving room for trying out more creative and out-of-the-box methods for more unique results.
2. Upgrade your Lens
It’s easy to become comfortable with one or a few types of lenses throughout your time as a photographer. However, taking pictures is all about capturing various different perspectives, and while having a certain style is significant, upgrading your equipment can brighten up your end product and your overall technique. Research different lens options to find the perfect improvement for your camera base such as reading reviews and finding a good balance between quality and a fair price. This way you can have different options for various photo options. For example, if you have a DLSR like the Nikon D3200 and typically shoot on zoom lenses, branch out and look into purchasing a prime lens.
3. Guide your Framing Through your Surroundings
Capturing a well framed photo can take some practice, and one helpful tip is to use your natural surroundings to help frame your picture. For example, if your subject is someone standing amongst a forest, try using two symmetrical trees to frame your subject. This will help balance the moment and focus on your subject more clearly. If you’re shooting inside, use inside surroundings such as bookcases, doors, windows, mirrors, or the borders and edges of any other available structures for framing.
4. Study a Variety of Photography
For inspiration, learning about different photographers and their most significant pieces will encourage you to analyze their importance and what you like or dislike about it specifically. Matt Elliott Photography is a great photographer to check out for tips on shooting wedding photography. Keep a folder of photos that inspire your photography style and further encourage you to try out their way of shooting. Try keeping physical copies of the photos instead of digitally so you can physically see and interact with them. Black and white photography, for example, is a significant aesthetic and the oldest style of photography that can help you focus more on the subject of the photos. Photography and prints available for your collection can be found online for a reasonable price with good quality. Once you have the photos you admire most, studying up on their distinctive value and history will add to your own photography skills in the long run.
5. Don’t Fear Criticism
Judgement and critique is a part of the process, so welcome that and realize it’s important for improving and realizing your own worth. Putting your work out there comes with honest feedback, and it’s in your best interest to listen and take that for your own growth. However, not everyone will like your work, so listen to your gut and take suggestions that make sense for the growth of your photography.
The art of photography takes constant learning and growing in order to create pieces you’re proud of. These tips will help you take your skills to the next level, from understanding your camera, to properly framing, to surrounding yourself with significant pieces that inspire you, improving your photography can be much simpler than you realize.