Let's face it, we all want to be a better photographer. If you are like most people, you bought an expensive camera, lenses and gear and you want to take some cool photos. But, how much do you really know about your camera without setting your camera to auto and firing away? Today's cameras can look pretty complicated and they can make a beginner become very lazy because a lot of today's cameras can do most of the work for you. There are many lenses to choose from. There are all types of fancy filters to try. There is lighting equipment that can get pretty confusing too. But, what are some ways to become a better photographer without wasting your time and money?
To become a better photographer is pretty simple but does require some effort. A great place to start is to get out your camera that you probably paid several hundred dollars for and really look at it. Find your camera manual. Study it. The company gave you a camera manual for a reason so it might be a good idea to do a little reading and become a pro with your camera. Use YouTube and find an expert that knows how to use your camera and watch all the videos you can. I personally love videos because I am a visual learner and Iearn much more easily watching a video.
Get on YouTube and research videos and tutorials on photography. There are so many photography related videos available to you. Look up photographers that shoot the shots you enjoy and want to take photos of and study how they do what they do. I call those photographers "remote mentors". Find a mentor and become a fan.
Select some type of photography software program for your photo post processing. There are many types of software to use. The most popular are Photoshop and Lightroom. I prefer Lightroom but is really depends on what you want to shoot and what types of images you want to produce. Whatever software you choose take the time to really study the software. In most cases, using the right photo editing software will make or break an image. There are many videos on how to use photo editing software too. Find some great software tutorials and study them. Most of tuturials on the Internet are free (I love free). One of other thing, don't listen to people tell you their great photo was not edited at all and the image is straight out of their camera. Their lying. They used some type of software.
Other great resources include attending a photography class, find some great photography books and if you are lucky, find a talented photographer in your area that is holding a live photography seminar. You can rub lens with other photographers and maybe you can pick up some great tips from a pro. Speaking of pros, volunteer to be an assistant for a professional photographer when they go on photo shoots. You might just be helping set up for a photo shoot or hauling equipment but watching and listening to a professional do his or her thing can provide priceless information for you and make you a better photographer.
One other great learning resource are photography podcasts There are a lot out there and they can be very helpful whether you are a beginner or a crusty old veteran. There are podcast for all levels of photographers. Swallow your pride and learn from other photographers. You will be surprised how much you can learn from a great photography podcast.
There are so many ways to improve your photography knowledge and skills. It takes a desire to learn, study and a willingness to get off the soft and take all the shots you can. Don't worry too much about getting a shot wrong. You can always take another one. That is one of the cool parts about the photography. You can trash your crappy shots and keep shooting. Remember all shots are not keepers. Most are not. Focus on learning from your mistakes and getting better. I hope these tips help.
Until next time, keep shooting away.
- Roger Younce