How to Upgrade your Photography Skills

Photography is a wonderful form of expression that can take years of practice, incredible patience and a dedication to continual improvement if you truly want to master it. This can seem overwhelming to the new photographer, however there is no reason for alarm. Many of the more technical aspects of photography can be picked up simply by shooting lots of photographs; if you enjoy photography this won’t be a hard goal to meet. In the interest of making things a little easier, here are five ways to make your next photograph the best one yet:

Go Vertical

This is one of the easiest changes to implement in your daily shoots. Most photographers forget about the simple technique to turn your camera vertical (instead of horizontal) and miss the opportunity to better compose their subject. Think about your framing before you shoot and if a horizontal shot doesn’t seem quite right, it’s time to go sideways.

Change Your Perspective

Changing your perspective is another habit you should focus on in your daily shooting. Taking pictures head on (immediately in front of your subjects) is a common approach so look for other ways to take the image. For instance, try shooting a portrait of a friend while you kneel or lie on the ground – this photo will be far more compelling than the normal straight shot.

Don’t Fight the Light

When broken down to its core elements, photography is merely light and the way it interacts with objects. Learning how to use light is an important part of photography so play around with different types of light and see what happens. Always be willing to move around so you can get the best possible light and make sure to know the optimal range of your flash so you can use it properly. Try to think outside of the box when it comes to lighting and try backlighting subjects in different ways so you can see what kind of impact this has on your images.

Crop In-Camera

This one is more difficult to get used to, but it is critical that you frame your images correctly. Try and compose your photographs so that only the parts of the story you want to tell are visible in the frame, and leave the rest out. If you’re having difficulty with finding the perfect setup, try changing your distance to the subject and if all else fails remember that you can always go vertical. Although this is easy to fix using photo editing software, it is always best to try to crop your photo using your camera.

Get an SLR

Sure, upgrading your camera is an obvious solution to taking better photographs. But the reason for upgrading to a SLR (single lens reflex) is to give yourself the ability to manually adjust your aperture, focus and exposure so you can improve the quality of your pictures. And unlike many small digital cameras, with an SLR, what you see through the viewfinder is exactly what you get. Finally, SLR cameras will provide you with tons of flexibility in accessories such as additional lenses and filters. You may not need these things now, but they’ll come in handy when you’re ready to use them.

As with any skill, the best way to improve your photographs is by practicing as much as you can. And don’t forget about taking time to look at other photographer’s work and reading up on different techniques as these will help take your photographs from “okay” to “incredible.” All you have to do is get out there and start shooting!

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