The 6 Most Important Steps to Becoming a Better Photographer

most_important_steps_to_becoming_a_better_photographerI’ve always found the photography blogs amazing places to learn tricks to make myself a better photographer. Today’s post I’ve rounded up some of my favorites to help develop your basic photography skills.

Just remember – there’s no magic lantern for a good photo, even if there is software spruiking it. No one tip can make you a better photographer, only learning why these rules developed and then using them over and over until the technical parts of photography are just like second nature for you. I’ve always felt that once you learn the “rules” you’ll know better when to artistically break them.

Hope you enjoy!

#1. Lighting is more important than equipment.

Waseem over at Envira Gallery reminds us that knowing how to use your camera is not enough if you don’t understand the photography lighting tips. Light is the life of your portrait.

Everything You Need to Know About Photography Lighting

#2. The golden hours just before sunset and after sunrise are nature’s lighting studio.

The light is warmer, softer, and more dramatic. When traveling, schedule your day so you can spend these hours shooting.

Zorki Photo have a guest post from Film’s Not Dead recommending in summer that a good rule of thumb is to avoid that hard light around midday – if you’re determined to shoot between 11am and 3pm, do it in open shade rather than out in the full light.

Check out the post here:

52 Photo Tips #9: Use morning and evening light

#3. Get close to your subject. Then get closer. Don’t be afraid to fill the frame.

If the context is part of the story, great, but be careful it adds to the story and doesn’t distract. If it’s not part of the story, then get even closer. Don’t be shy or lazy with the zoom, get right in there with your eyeball. This is where a simple point and shoot or smartphone is actually better than a big fat DSLR.

Seqcatchments have a nice guide for up close nature photography.

#4. Be a photographer, not a gadget collector.

Shoot with what you have, even if that is just your smartphone. Don’t buy new equipment without a specific reason. If you don’t have a specific reason, then you don’t need it, so don’t buy it. That stuff will only clutter your bag and be a distraction. Use the money you save for a workshop or to travel to somewhere interesting.

Check out Peta Pixel’s post showing some easy ways to take better photo’s with any camera.

15 Easy Ways to Improve Your Photo Skills Without Buying New Gear

#5. Before buying new equipment, push yourself to find a creative solution to your problem. That’s where new ideas come from.

iPhone’s can take nice photos and video’s when setup properly. Check out these iPhone guides to get the best out of your smartphone.

The 20 Best iPhoneography Resources and Websites

Taking Long Exposures with an iPhone

#6. Regarding post-processing …

You don’t need Photoshop. There are a lot of great photo apps out there, (including Lightroom), but Photoshop isn’t one of them. If you think you need Photoshop, you’re doing it wrong. Seriously. It’s a pixel editor, it should be called Pixelshop. What you want is a photo editor.

I’ve always struggled with post processing black and white images. BW Vision’s guide helped me improve my B&W shots:

http://www.bwvision.com/black-white-photography-post-processing-techniques-digital-age/

Want to making eyes pop and sparkle in your shots? Photographers connection YouTube video has a few tricks to help set your shots apart from the competition.