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10 Powerful Tips To Become A Better Photographer

10 Powerful Tips To Become A Better Photographer

Andy Warhol once said, “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people and things in it do.” And so we capture those images because we then have a memory forever.

For some of us, with the latest technology, photos taken on our iPhones or tablets are enough, because we simply want to keep images of our friends and family or vacations spots – quality is not a big factor.

If, however, you are one of a growing number who have decided to do more with photography, the first steps involve studying composition and experimenting a bit. Here are 10 simple, yet powerful, tips to get you in the groove of taking better shots!

1. Don’t worry about acquiring expensive gear; focus on the learning first.

You need to read, study great photographs and experiment with various techniques that professional photographers talk about. One of the keys to better composition is to avoid putting the primary focus of your picture in the center.

On most digital and iPhone cameras, you will find 2 parallel horizontal lines and 2 vertical parallel lines. They divide the picture into 9 segments.

When you focus your camera on the primary image, don’t put it in the center – move it into one of the other segments. This simple technique will let you frame more intriguing captures.

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 2. Shoot during the Golden Hour

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    Professional photographers claim that many of their best pictures of scenes, from urban to rural, beaches to deserts, are taken shortly after dawn and just before sunset.

    The lighting is the key in this technique. At these times, streams of light do amazing things to buildings, fields, trees, water-scapes, and mountains. Catch those streams with the amazing hues of the sky in the background to get impressive pictures even with simple composition.

     3. Use ugly things as subjects

    Diane Arbus, whose life was cut tragically short, managed to become a top photography artist. Though much of her income came from photo shoots for magazines, she was always drawn to the “ugly” side of life for her personal photographic gratification.

    Try Diane’s idea and learn to shoot aesthetically unappealing objects like a bunch of dirty plastic cups, litter etc. If you learn how to make even those things look pretty on pictures, you can make anything look beautiful!

     4. Deliberately limit yourself

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      When you restrict your gear, you restrict your ability to add lots of variety. Suppose that you left your camera and all of your lenses at home and used only your iPhone.

      This would force you to be far more careful about your composition and angle. Suppose you limited yourself just to city buildings for a week? Or how about a limitation that you can only shoot children on a playground? How would that change your technique and your composition?

      These kinds of restrictions force you to look for the unique shots, and that is a skill that will transfer over when you are not limited.

       5. Take an art class

      Whether its drawing, watercolors, or oils, you need to learn perspective, shading, contrasts, and actually put yourself into a still life, a landscape, or a city street.

      Through such a class, you will come to understand the importance of composition and that will transfer over to your photography. Your technique can be great, but it’s the composition that makes certain pictures magnetizing!

       6. Use a traditional film camera

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        When you are limited to one film with a set number of shots, you will learn to become far more selective. You’ll take time to study your subjects more carefully and will shoot from distances and angles that make sense to you. Forcing yourself to “budget” your shots will increase your sense of discernment.

        7. Study the work of other photographers

        Don’t limit yourself to one venue of photography, but instead make it a goal to “spend time” with a variety of artists – those who photograph only in black and white, who shoot only urban life or pastoral scenes, those who are war photographers and those who shoot single, simple images.

        You can learn from them all. Study the famous black and white photo of the small Vietnamese child covered with napalm and contrast it with a color photo of a woman holding her newborn for the first time. What are the messages in these two shots? What technique is used? What makes them both so alluring?

         8. Move your own positions as you shoot

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          Don’t photograph everything at eye level. Bend to the side, get on a step stool, and lie down on the ground. These are especially great techniques when capturing people or pets from various angles.

          If you have a dog, and that dog is on your couch, don’t shoot down at it – get below your pet and shoot upwards. A Christmas tree, shot from the floor up, looks way more amazing!

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          9. Experiment with new techniques

          You have probably seen hundreds of photographs that are deliberately blurry or that blur out backgrounds or foregrounds. It’s called bokeh and it is a highly effective style when a photographer wants to focus on a single image.

          If, for example, you are shooting a bride and groom outside by a tree, you want to focus on them and the tree. The rest of the landscape should be blurred. If, on the other hand, you want to shoot the Eiffel Tower from a distance, you will want to blur out the foreground, so that your subject becomes the focal point.

          10. Don’t be quick to delete photos you may not like right now

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            You may have taken pictures while experimenting that you really think were “fails.” Here’s the thing about that. As you grow in your mastery, you may re-think some of those images; you may decide that part of a photograph is absolutely screaming at you; you can use technology to alter the picture and end up with a stunning photo after all.

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            Elena Prokopets

            Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on November 18, 2020

            50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

            50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

            If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

            That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

            Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

            1. Believe It to See It

            Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

            2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

            While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

            3. Keep Looking for Solutions

            Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

            4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

            Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

            5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

            There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

            6. Always Ask Productive Questions

            It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

            7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

            Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

            8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

            Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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            9. Maximize Your Strengths

            Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

            10. Be in It to Win It

            Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

            11. Know That Success Attracts Success

            People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

            12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

            Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

            13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

            You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

            14. Be a One-Off Original

            Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

            15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

            Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

            16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

            Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

            17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

            Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

            18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

            We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

            19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

            Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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            20. Accept Challenge All the Time

            Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

            21. Make Your Own Luck

            In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

            22. Ignite Your Initiative

            While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

            23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

            Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

            24. Champion in Communication

            Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

            25. Plan Your Life Strategically

            Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

            26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

            To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

            27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

            While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

            28. Live by Core Values

            Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

            29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

            Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

            30. Don’t Get Carried Away

            Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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            31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

            Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

            32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

            Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

            33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

            Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

            34. Change Opens New Doors

            People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

            35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

            It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

            36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

            Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

            37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

            When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

            38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

            How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

            39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

            If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

            40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

            Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

            41. Swim Against the Tide

            Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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            42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

            More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

            43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

            Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

            44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

            While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

            45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

            Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

            46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

            Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

            47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

            While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

            48. Follow Through

            Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

            49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

            We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

            50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

            To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

            So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

            Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

            More About Success

            Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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