Photography is something that anyone could be good at. With patience, determination, and a lot of passion, anyone could be better. There are a lot of ways on how to improve as a photographer. Being a photographer doesn’t end in owning a camera. Taking lots of photos of course is a good way to harness and develop the artist in you. Here are some pieces of advice that I believe could help in the journey on becoming the best photographer you could possibly be.
1. Master your tools.
Going into war without knowing how to use your weapon will always result to a losing bid (though no one will ever win a war). It is also important (a must actually) in photography that the photographer know everything about his/her equipment. Every camera and or accessories have functions that will result to a better photo. The only way to use them is by mastering (learning) each and every functions. There is a common saying used by Filipino Photographers, “Wala yan sa pana, nasa Indian yan”. Pana is bow and arrow and Indian is the one who uses it. It means that the resulting photo does not depend on the bow and arrow (equipment no matter how high tech it is) but on the Indian (photographer) who uses it.
2. Be inspired.
Being inspired all the time in the field of photography is not an easy task. When you take a photo and it is not the photo in your mind or it is not as good as with that of others, you could easily get frustrated. In the long run of frustration, you might lose that interest in photography. You could look for great images in the internet. Try to replicate how these images are framed. In addition, try looking for the settings for a certain condition.
3. Take photos and compare.
Take a lot of shots. Go outdoor, stay indoors, and take photos. Every time photos were taken examine them and compare every photos. The details, exposure, angle, the background, from which direction does the light came from, etc. This comparison will sharpen your eyes in any differences in every shots. When the actual time you need better photos arrived, you probably did figure out what settings (exposure, shutter speed, ISO, framing) you are going to use best.
4. Follow rules and break them.
There are many rules to follow in photography. The rule of thirds is one of them. Following these rules is very important to achieve better photos. It is safe and easy because you follow a certain guideline. However, don’t mind breaking them. Sometimes, to make something stand out is to make it unconventional.
5. Talk to other photographers.
Talking with other photographers could give you some ideas and tips on how to improve your photos and vice versa. Taking their inputs and criticism (constructive or not) will improve the way you take photos and how you see your subject. Moreover, you gain knowledge. This knowledge will benefit you in the long run. Ask for their bread and butter. Likewise, ask for any mistakes they have done in the past.
Look for magazines, blogs, forums, books, and any other forms of reading materials. Read them and try to apply the learning it may give you.
7. Look for something to achieve.
Some hotels, restaurants, commercials, and tv ads make use of a good photograph (images). These images are made by professionals. Trying to achieve that kind of quality photographs will gradually mold you in becoming a better photographer (if not the best). Study the photo. In addition, make a research. How did they retouched the image? It is a question you have to answer.
It says it all. Nothing is hard and impossible when you are enjoying the things that you do. (It also applies in our lives. Enjoy and live.)