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12 Ways to Be a Better Photographer Now

12 Ways to Improve Your Photography

!2 ways to imrpove your photography. "Saugeen Shores"  From the Mouth of the Saugeen River Jan Maklak,  (c) 2012
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!2 ways to imrpove your photography. "Saugeen Shores" From the Mouth of the Saugeen River Jan Maklak, (c) 2012
Source: Jan Maklak

Knowing Your Skills as a Photographer

Photography is a study in continual growth. Sometimes you have to photograph a lot of what you’ll eventually dislike to get to know your style. Professional or amateur, photographers agree that keeping active in photography improves you at your craft.

As an avid amateur photographer I've clicked the shutter thousands of times. In fact I've taken possibly over 100,000 photographs while learning and doing serious photography and I know I'm far from done. One of the things I've learned by doing this is what I don’t like. I've learned that I dislike certain angles, I've learned that I have to try to keep the camera level, what should be in focus and what needs to be out of focus. I've learned about framing and composition as well. Just about all of the things I've read about and sometimes even written about but I find there is no substitute for doing and regretting.

“Why didn't I change my angle and get a better shot. I know it was there.”

“Why did I take that shot there? There was nothing artistic about it.”

“My horizon is so far off the picture is unusable.”

“I was too tight on this shot”

“How could I settle for raccoon eyes with my subject? I should have used a fill light or my reflector”

“How could I not see all of that junk in the picture?”

Improve Your Photography with Photoshop

by Jan Maklak (c) 2012 Minimalist Photography, Minimalism
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by Jan Maklak (c) 2012 Minimalist Photography, Minimalism

Learn Photography Faster

Is there a solution for all of this? I don’t think so. If you have great talent you may be able to get to the point you want sooner than later. You may be a quicker study than I (just about everybody is I often think) and maybe your regular efforts are paying off.

Photography Projects Improve Your Photography

Minimalist, minimalism (c) Jan Maklak 2012
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Minimalist, minimalism (c) Jan Maklak 2012
Source: Jan Maklak

12 Ways to Become Better at Photography

If you want to improve your skills quickly I have a few suggestions for you.

  • Know the rules of composition off by heart. Can you name more than the rule of thirds?
  • Know your camera. There are so many features on modern cameras that they really do take a while to learn. I recently got into a discussion about in camera metering and realized that I still have a ways to go to become an expert here.
  • Keep a shot book. This is a listing of your favourite shots from magazines and other photographers on line. Review it regularly to see what you liked about the shots in your book. It could be the sharp angle one photographer chose to shoot a building, the placement of objects in the frame or the play of light and shadow. The idea is for you to remember those shots and how you might execute them.
  • Try to shoot regularly. How will you ever get better? By not practicing you may have forgotten some of the subtle learning you have gained.
  • Try to shoot at least 15 minutes per day. It takes discipline to do it and that is something needed to become great. If you can take an hour, all the better for you.
  • Set up a table to shoot still life. Many lighting techniques can be learned by shooting something from your table. Shoot anything, fruit, a statue or your old camera.

...continued

Walking in Morning's Light

(c) Jan Maklak 2011
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(c) Jan Maklak 2011
Source: Jan Maklak

Professional Point and Shoot From Sigma

...continued

  • Take on a project. It could be as simple as a tree in a field. Shoot it in the morning, evening, covered with snow, high angle, low angle, up close and from a distance.
  • Read everything you can get your hands on. There are several good e-books for very small amounts of money that are packed with good information. Subscribe to newsletters. There are many free ones with great information to spark your creative abilities.
  • Learn to use your software to improve your post shot processing work. Learning any software that has a lot of features takes a while and has a steep learning curve but you need to spend time with the software to get proficient.
  • Watch other photographers YouTube videos on processing and shooting. There are many good quality tips online.
  • Join a camera club and compete. There is nothing like improvement when you are sitting in an auditorium watching a judge give opinions on the photographs that evening including yours.
  • Take a class. Sometimes seeing how others do something or the teacher-coach can change the way you see things and make a dramatic improvement in a flash.

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Photography at Amazon

Conclusion

In conclusion never give up on your chosen hobby. The key is getting over the sense of frustration when your photographs don't turn out like you want and keep shooting. Your efforts will be rewarded in time. Just keep trying to be the best you can be.

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 Last updated on January 18, 2014

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Comments 9 comments

thechronicler profile image

thechronicler 16 months ago from Las Vegas, NV USA

These are some excellent tips, several of which I had not thought of before or at least considered doing but had not gotten around to it. You have some fantastic images included as well; thank you for sharing them!

I especially like the idea of setting up a still life table to practice shooting; I'm going to have to try this. Voted up.

 
Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 16 months ago from USA

Wow, all those photos are gorgeous, and this is great advice. I love taking photos, but don't often take the time to analyze what I did right and what I did wrong. Voted up.

punacoast profile image

punacoast 16 months ago from Big Island, Hawaii

Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos and great tips! You're right, it's amazing that there are so many YouTube videos on how to shoot and process photos. I can feel your passion for photography from reading this insightful hub. Voted up.

Kejanny profile image

Kejanny 16 months ago from Papua New Guinea

What beautiful photos you have. Thank you for sharing these great and useful tips.

raydevlin profile image

raydevlin 15 months ago from Houston, Texas

Another great article Jan. I think if a person is serious about photography, then they eventually begin to think like a photographer - and by that I mean you start to compose shots of everything you see in your mind. Even just walking down the street, you may start to think how you would compose a shot of what you see in front of you.....

Diana Grant profile image

Diana Grant 14 months ago from London Level 1 Commenter

Thank you for a helpful article, with lots of tips. I take lots of photographs to use on my various web pages, but, although I am improving, I still have a long way to go, especially with learning my camera, in my Samsung Galaxy Phone, which is pretty good. One tip someone told me, and which I now use as often as possible, is to take several shots of a single item and just use the best one, like professional photographers do

JanMaklak profile image

JanMaklak 14 months ago from Canada Hub Author

Yes! I have the SIII as well and you can click off shots at the rate of 12 per second. It's too bad the camera controls are not as flexible as my dslr. One think I've noticed is the softness in the focus when shots are blown up to a larger size. I don't think I'll be producing any 11x14s from it!

photo-medic profile image

photo-medic 11 months ago

Excellent advice, well done.

passionate77 profile image

passionate77 4 months ago

great advice dear, they key is always never to give up and keep practicing, practice really makes us perfect and polish the skill.

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