3 Essential Photography Skills with Lasting Benefit

During the course of your photography journey, you will potentially learn hundreds of skills. But at the end of the day, you will realize that not all of those skills and techniques are equally useful. In fact, some could be holding you back. It is therefore important to identify a certain skill set that has the most effect on your photography. These aren’t even just technical skills; they could even be your own behavioral traits. In today’s video, photographer Nigel Danson talks about three photography skills that have paid off huge dividends for him:

The first skill that Danson emphasizes is the ability to observe. It is common for us to get so excited when reaching a location that we immediately start taking photos. This can cause us to miss the intricacies of our surroundings. Instead of rushing, spend some time studying the environment first, and you’ll find elements you could’ve easily missed out on. In fact, it’s better to begin by leaving your camera in your bag for some time—cameras can be a distraction when observing. Learn to observe and, over the years, you will develop a trained eye. To help you learn how you can develop your observation skills, Danson also shares some techniques you can follow along with different examples.

“Observation, like any type of skill, if you do it enough, you can train yourself to be good at it.”

Another important skill that you need to develop is your understanding of the interaction between light and the scene. Photography is, of course, only possible due to light. So it is vital that you learn to analyze and visualize how the lighting will affect your final images. Light affects not only how a scene appears, but also its textures, contrast and colors. And remember, sometimes even the absence of light can give you better results.

And lastly, Danson beautifully demonstrates and emphasizes the importance of improving your editing skills. In digital photography, editing is an important part of the photography process. With strong editing, you can also give a certain style to your images—think of a signature look. And your style need not remain the same. It will evolve as you keep on developing your editing skills.

What other skills do you think are essential throughout the photography journey? Let us know in the comments.

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