Improve Your Photography Skills: 5 Tips

Improving your photography is not something that can be achieved overnight. Like other genres of art, it requires persistence and hard work. Investing a lot in expensive gear and lighting alone will not make you take a leap in photography either. If you pay attention to the simple details, and learn some essential tricks of the trade, you can notice a major jump in your photography. In this video, Adam Lewis with Blue Pacific Media shares 5 best tips to help you take your photography to a whole new level:

1. Get Out of Automatic Mode

Automatic modes are not bad. But, if you refrain from learning to work in manual mode, you will never understand how photography works. Another major drawback of using auto mode is the inconsistency in results. If you want to replicate a shot, you will not be able to do so with automatic mode. But with manual mode, you can get consistent results every time. Surely you may struggle at first, but with time and practice when you fully understand manual mode, that alone will improve your photography so much.

2. Get Yourself a Nifty-Fifty

A 50mm lens has a perspective that closely matches the human eye. The results thus feel very organic, and this is specially true for street photography. Thankfully, all manufacturers have a nifty fifty that is quite affordable. And since it is a prime lens, the image quality is superb. The fixed focal length also forces you to move around to compose your shot.

street photo with a nifty fifty

“It’s gonna get you thinking fast and moving fast, and really thinking about where you are in relation to your subjects.”

Challenge yourself by going out with only the 50mm lens on your camera, and eventually you will notice that you’ll develop a keen eye for composition.

3. Think About Lighting

“Photography is simply painting with light. Understanding how lighting works is going to change the whole dynamic of your photography.”

Lighting is key in photography. Just having your subject lit is not enough. Understand how light is interacting with your subject. Whenever taking an image, see how you can create a seamless blend of the subject, light, and shadows together. Don’t just wait for the golden hour to shoot. Go out and learn to shoot in the mid-day sun. Learn to photograph subjects that are backlit. Only when you experiment with different lighting situations, will you be able to develop the necessary skills to be a better photographer.

portrait with light and shadows

4. Experiment With Angles

We are very much used to seeing things from our eye-level. Therefore, images shot from the eye-level do not appear much flattering. But, a mistake that most beginner photographers make is that they mostly shoot from the eye level. Doing so will only get you photos that have a “generic” look.

“Get low. Get twisted angles. Turn your camera sideways. Try taking shots from above. Experiment with angles within the scene.”

photograph from a different perspective

By photographing things from a different perspective, you can show people what they don’t witness on a daily basis. And this is exactly what will make your work exciting. Be sure to experiment with varying perspectives to get really interesting results of the daily environment.

5. Get a Shooting Buddy

“Go and find somebody who loves photography just as much as you do, and go out to shoot together.”

Having somebody to go out with to take photographs together has lots of advantages. This way you will have someone to talk to and you will enjoy taking photos more. You will also get to share ideas when working together, and that gives you both an opportunity to learn and improve on the go. This will make photography a less of a chore, and more of an experience.

“Surround yourself with great artists, and your art will rise.”

What is your favorite tip to improve one’s photography?

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One response to “Improve Your Photography Skills: 5 Tips”

  1. Howard says:

    A 50mm only approaches the human eye on a full frame camera (actually a 40-43mm is closer). A 35mm would approximate a 50mm on a 1.5 crop sensor and a 28mm would approximate a 42mm. A wider lens allows you to not be on top of your subject, has a larger depth of field for clarity and you can crop later for emphasis.

    On the other cand, a 50mm 1.4 lens makes a wonderful portrait lens and good for low light shots, as well. And they’re small.

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