Whether you are a novice or a seasoned photographer, there is a definite need to brush up on your photography skills. As a novice or someone who just enjoys photography as a hobby, you’ll take better images of your work, and if you are a professional photographer, clients will appreciate your work more. Where do you begin the journey of honing your photography skills?
This guide will impress upon you the basic mindset and shooting skills everything photographer needs. Here are 7 hacks to becoming a photography expert:
1. Be ready to learn
Someone aptly said that the day you stop learning is the day you stop growing. Yet, there are numerous photographers who feel that they are on top of their game and can’t learn any more from their peers. The fact is that there is always something new to learn and it is actually wise to always think of yourself as a novice. Keep an open mindset and be ready to learn new things from different people. The day you become puffed up and think of yourself as the best in your circle, is the day you stop growing in photography, and accordingly, the moment you stagnate, you begin to regress. An unteachable attitude is a death knell to your photography.
2. Take your camera everywhere with you
Chris Orwig, the author of Visual Poetry, counsels that a photographer should carry a camera with them everywhere they go. He says, “Even without taking photos, carrying a camera enhances life.”
Many seasoned photographers agree that carrying a camera is a sure-fire way of keeping your senses on high alert. Think about it, if a camera is always pressed to your eye, you have a different way of looking at the world, giving you a reason to slow down, observe your surroundings, and get a unique perspective of everything around you. Carrying a camera with you wherever and whenever will ultimately amp up your photography skills.
3. Get out of auto
One of the most cherished photography skills is the ability to control the camera. Controlling your camera means making conscious and deliberate decisions about how you are going to take shots. That means giving auto a wide berth, because allowing your camera to do everything isn’t exactly a prudent way of becoming a photography expert. Though you might get an occasional good image, you really didn’t use your creativity to get the image. Therefore, start shooting in full manual mode, or in either shutter speed priority or aperture priority.
To quit auto, you must understand the exposure triangle – that is, the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. With that, you can now make deliberate decisions on the photo you want to take rather than letting the camera make every decision.
4. Know how to use Adobe Lightroom
Every serious photographer needs to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom. It is a great image editor while also allowing you to create a catalog of all your images. It isn’t rocket science. All you need to do is spend an entire weekend reading up on it and you’ll be up to speed. It is worth your time.
5. Use a tripod
A recent study shows that most seasoned photographers use a tripod, and for a good reason. There is something amazing that happens when you attach a camera to a tripod. Everything will suddenly slow down. When you rely on a tripod, you take your time to compose the image because you can’t move the camera around freely.
Incredible, right? To prove how true this is, just get out and take a couple of images handheld, and then take another set of images on a tripod. See the difference?
6. Join a photography club
One of the best means to improve your photography is to network with other photographers. Seek out renowned photographers in your city or town. See if they have a club and join it. If there isn’t a club, you can bring photographers together. In the club, you can share nuggets of wisdom on how best to shoot images.
7. Take photography courses
Investing in photography courses is the surest way to improve your photography skills. There is no doubt that you’ll go in an amateur and emerge as a pro. What you should do is look out for respectable photography courses where it’s possible to sharpen your skills more. Enrolling here is a great step to turn you into a pro.