Five Things That Will Improve Your Photography

Snowy egrets, Audubon Park rookery, New Orleans. April 2009.

Snowy egrets, Audubon Park rookery, New Orleans. April 2009.

  1. Practice, practice, practice (or in other words, Shoot, shoot, shoot!!) One of the truisms of being a photographer is that we use technology (i.e., cameras, computers, etc.) to reveal our artistic vision. No other art form is more dependent upon mechanical technology to express itself. So getting REALLY GOOD with your equipment will allow you to TRANSCEND your equipment. I mean that once you’re really, really good, fast and quick with your gear, you can forget about it, and simply concentrate upon the images that you’re trying to make. fc4h2rmpiw
  2. Learn the limitations of your camera and its CCD (or film type). You must understand where the walls are in the sandbox you’re messing around in. Know what to expect in terms of color response, shadow and highlight detail (what will actually hold), how far you can push something. Do yellows come out yellow, with detail, with your camera? Will you be able to “save” it in Photoshop? Know what the limits are. This comes from PRACTICE (see #1 above).
  3. Carry a camera with you at all times. Don’t EVER expect a good photograph to be there later. As a passionate photographer, you must be prepared to shoot when a wonderful moment presents itself. You won’t get another chance later to make THAT photograph, only other ones.
  4. Take a day and go to art museums and galleries. Take your time and study the art, not just the photography. Get a sense of how photographic art is one player in the continuum of artistic expression and where it fits in as a modern art form.
  5. Use only one lens for a day. See how that one perspective can make you more creative! Figure out how to shoot with just that lens. Look at the images at the end of the day as a group. Anything unusual? Unique for your normal shooting style? Try this again with a very different lens and see what happens.
    Madisonville, Louisiana bayou at sunrise. April 2009. (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

    Madisonville, Louisiana bayou at sunrise. April 2009. (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

    So what are the things that you find to be your biggest challenges as a photographer? Your area of strength? Are you working on any personal projects? Are you reading any photo books, either technical or artistic? How do you rejuvenate yourself photographically when you start to feel stale?  I’m interested in how universal these issues are….–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Inspire

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

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