Expert Tips for Every Aspiring Photographers

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, June 14, 2024

Expert Tips for Every Aspiring Photographers

Many people are looking to pick up some new hobbies, especially now that quarantine left us all with more free time on our hands. One of the most common hobbies people pick up is photography. It’s so accessible and can create stunning results. Not to mention it’s something that most of us already do, even if we don’t consider ourselves photographers. So, whether you’re an amateur or you’ve got some skills, whether you want to shoot for money or just document family memories, if you’re looking to get more into photography, here are some tips from the experts that will really make a difference in your craft.

Shoot a Lot
As the saying goes, your first 10,000 photographs will be your worst. The more you shoot, the sooner you’ll get those 10,000 out of your system and you’ll be able to really start getting into the artistic side of photography. People often think that the first picture they take which has some thought put into it is pure gold - but in reality, you’ll need to do a lot of work to get your photos to a high level of artistic value. There’s so much more to photography than the depth of field and the right settings on a camera.

Know What You Want the Shot to Be
Many novice photographers tend to just shoot things they see and like, without actually giving much thought to what that photo will look like in the end, after post-processing, printing, and framing. But all of these things are important, and you should think about them in advance. If you know in advance that you’ll be finishing your photographs in black and white - you will look for light a lot differently in your frames. If you know you want to pull focus to detail, you will zoom in more closely, rather than cropping it later on.

Learn to Post-Process
People who think that “real photography” is only the images that come straight out of the camera know absolutely nothing about photography. All images are developed and processed at some point, and you’d be silly to think that photoshopping your images is “cheating”. The folks at Parker Photographic will tell you that Photoshop is the way to achieve your creative vision because photographs never come out exactly as you see them. The type of camera you use, the program you use to view your RAW files and a million other things will make a difference in the final product, so don’t be afraid to go in there and correct it so it suits your vision.

Do Visual Exercises
On your daily walk, when you’re in traffic or when you’re just looking out a window, try doing some visual exercises. This means trying to see what would make a good photograph. Perhaps it’s a detail of some light hitting a floor, or a person with interesting facial features, or a detail that posed together just right with its environment. The thing is that you don’t have to take the actual shots to do the exercise, just look for them and memorize them in your mind, think about what time of day would be best to take that shot or what angle you should go for. This will help you greatly when you actually do go on a shoot and have to take images quickly.

Share Your Work
If you hoard all of your photos on your hard drive and don’t let anyone see them, you’ll never be able to improve. Sharing your work online within photography communities will allow you to get feedback, concrete tips, and encouragement from fellow colleagues. Waiting to get some arbitrary “perfect shot” in order to post it and share it will only slow you down, so relax and put your work out there - the potential hurt of negative critique will be worth it.

Try Everything, Focus on One Thing
You won’t know what you most enjoy shooting until you actually get out there and get some shots of a variety of places and subjects. So don’t be afraid to branch out and try lots of different styles until you find something you really click with - and then focus on that. Find experts that focus on that style and learn from them, then go out and master the craft. Remember, you can always change to another niche if you get bored of the one you’re in.

Location, Location, Location
Shooting a beautiful subject is great - but if the backdrop of that photo is lacking, it will ruin the whole shot. It’s so important that you pick locations with a good eye. Don’t just think about what will not be distracting, but purposefully pick out things that will add to the image. The architecture of different styles will yield a different setting and mood for each image, and you can add so much story by playing with the details in the foreground and the background. Many photographers have go-to locations that they come back to again and again because the pictures they take there always turn up stunning.

Know Your Equipment
Your camera is your tool, it is an extension of your eye and you need to know it inside and out. Let’s talk facts: not everyone can afford an amazing professional camera from the very start - nor should they. There’s no need to invest big money until you’re certain this is something you’ll want to do for a long time. Your phone camera is probably quite enough for you to get started with photography, and as you perfect your craft, your gear will follow suit. A good camera and a varying set of lenses will simply not make your photography better. Get good with basic gear first, and then dive into what might be the right upgrade for your specific situation.

Photography is an amazing art, and even if you never want to take it to a professional level, learning the basics of framing, angles and lighting will help you capture the moments in your life in beautiful detail and you’ll fondly look back on them. So grab your camera, point it, and just start shooting away!

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