When you start learning photography, you want to photograph everything all the time.
That’s when the virus of passion for photography starts to devour you little by little. But then, you are quickly overwhelmed with questions in your head to solve this or that problem.
Often, people give up because they think the cause is their camera equipment.
It’s too easy
Let’s see together the tips to remember to start and improve in photography.
They will help you avoid wasting time.
The most important thing is not to spoil the pleasure of photography.
Learn the basics of photography To learn photography quickly and efficiently, there is no secret.
You need to learn the basics, it’s like everything else.
The first is exposure. Knowing how to expose an image is essential in photography.
Aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity are essential parameters to know when you start learning photography.
Mastering depth of field is also a basic notion to know.
Knowing how to focus is another.
Understanding what you’re doing when you make any kind of adjustment on your camera is critical to the success of your images.
The basics of photography are essential.
However, it is not necessary to learn tedious and complex notions at the beginning in order to progress. Just learn the basics and let time do the rest.
With practice, it will become a reﬂex and you will be able to take beautiful pictures.
Remember that the equipment does not make the photographer.
Owning a camera is one thing, but knowing how to use it properly is another.
Indeed, too many people think that if the camera is expensive and big with lots of buttons, it will make better pictures than theirs.
I’m going to disappoint you, but that’s the worst thought to get in your head.
I say it again and again, the basics of photography are the same for everyone, no matter what type of camera is used and how complex it is.
I therefore advise you not to learn photography with a high-end camera because you will quickly get lost in the complexity of the options it offers.
If you already have a camera, keep it and spend time with it to learn the basics of photography.
It’s the best way to make progress in photography.
Once you have mastered the basics and the limitations of your camera are felt in the face of your demands, then you can consider moving on to more advanced and higher quality equipment for your photos.
If you wish to learn photography in a self-taught way, I advise you to always keep a camera with you. It is by practicing that you progress.
Make a list of images you would like to make
To quickly progress in photography, even when you don’t have your camera with you, you always have the possibility of think about the photos you would like to take.
You certainly have other passions than photography that can help you take pictures more easily.
Going anywhere to take a picture of anything is not the ideal solution to improve yourself.
Think well to what you want to photograph and where you could do it.
A simple way to progress in photography but which turns out to be efficient, is to take notes, this allows you to better photograph in the field.
So I suggest you write a list of subjects to photograph.
You can have fun drawing simple sketches to better define what you want by taking care of think about the composition of your images.
Think about useful accessories to take with you, like a ﬂash or a tripod for example.
When you have chosen a theme, plan your photo output and don’t forget your notes.
Doing so will allow you to focus on one subject at a time.
The photos you take will be mature réﬂéchies and therefore easier to take.
Try to find inspiration If you are short of ideas, you can find images from stunning images on online sharing sites such as Flickr or 500px for example.
Many talented photographers are there to share their images with you.
It’s a very good way to find a variety of subjects on which you can draw inspiration.
The interest is not to copy the work of the photographer, but to know how he built his image, how he knew how to manage light.
It takes time and knowledge to know how to analyze an image, but it is a trick that you should not omit once you have spotted the type of photo that looks like you.
Accept criticism and question yourself if necessary.
I realize that it is not always easy for everyone, but in photography, it is a great way to improve and understand your mistakes.
To find out if your pictures are good or bad, don’t hesitate to share them with as many people as possible, on forums and social networks.
Informed opinions from experienced photographers will help you to improve your weak points.
However, avoid sharing blurry photos or photos that are of little interest, but reveal your best images.
If you want to show your images to real people, don’t hesitate to join a photo club near you to meet beginners who love photography.
It’s a way efficient learn photography in the company of passionate amateurs.
Photography is a passion that requires time and personal investment to achieve images that look like you.
Take the time you need to fully master the basics. Lastly, I really encourage you to persevere in learning photography while enjoying yourself.
Best Sites to Learn Photography
Train your Photographer Eye and Learn from Masters
Instinctively, your attention is focused on scenes and details that resonate within you, provoking emotion, astonishment; in the midst of a multitude of things, your gaze will be where others will see nothing special.
It is the famous “eye of the photographer”, which would make some beings apart, able to see what no one else sees.
Whatever your personal predispositions, you must be aware that the eye is exercised, worked and conditioned. Yes, looking can be learned, especially in the photographic field.
The first step is simply to feed on the images of others; photographers of course, but also painters, illustrators.
Visit museums, art galleries, immerse yourself in magazines, books, travel catalogs.
The more you are confronted with beautiful things, with the talent of different artists, the more your subconscious will retain compositions, structures that you yourself will tend to “reproduce” later on.
Wonder is a very powerful learning factor.
It is not a question of plagiarizing the work of others, just of forging and sharpening your artistic culture, your aesthetic referents.
As you know, painting obeys rules and techniques that are often very elaborate and fine arts require years of learning and hard work.
From Pieter Bruegel to Paul Sérusier through William Turner and Paul Cézanne, the painted landscapes are examples of balance, harmony and composition; an extraordinary artistic look served by an irreproachable technical rigor.
To look is to know how to isolate and recompose: it is a patient and meticulous construction.
A photographer cannot be satisfied with seeing things in their entirety because you can’t fit everything into an image of a few square centimeters.
It is a question of finding worlds within a world; of perceiving every piece of land as potentially autonomous.
It’s not a question of scale: a mere clump of soft moss gorged with rain is already a landscape in itself.
The basis of everything is this famous little photographic rectangle that you must constantly keep in mind: what could possibly fit inside it, lend itself to its particular geometry?
Seeing life in a rectangle is not a natural and spontaneous act.
How to improve as Photographer ?
- Read a lot: it is an effective progression factor. You assimilate at your own pace, benefit from the experience of others, and you can select the themes that interest you most. Leaf through all the technical books you can find, number of them have at least one merit.
- Read all this website which is of course the best 😉 You will gain 10 years of learning in a few weeks.
- Watch Youtube Videos: they are often more specific than books: they give small tips from the trade and that are particularly useful.
- Practice, Practice Practice ! Go out, shoot, try different framing, dare even random things, vary the settings, plan your shoots.
- Learn from your errors : Don’t just erase a failed image without knowing why. Analyze your pictures. All these failed photos, not enough like this or too much like that, are in fact real little treasures. They will show you the path to follow.
- Print your pictures : Any exposure error will be immediately visible. You will acquire a maximum of rigor and precision,
- Be patient : you can make huge progress in one year. It may seem long, but it’s nothing compared to learning music or sports.
- Train your photographer’s eye : Whatever your personal predispositions, you must be aware that the gaze is exercised, worked on and conditioned. Try to always frame with your eyes. Yes, looking can be learned, and particularly in the photographic field.
- Learn from Masters : don’t spend your time on social networks aimlessly. Contemplate the photos of the greatest photographers and analyze them. You will sharpen your critical sense and define your own tastes and style. But not only social medias : Great painters, museums,
- Submit your work to other people’s eyes: facebook groups, forums, social medias, but above all to quality people. Don’t look for compliments from people who are won over to your cause, it won’t help you.
- Participate to photography workshops : Again, you will gain 10 years of learning in a few weeks, while sharing your passion with other fellow photographers.
Mastering your gear
We all had a device that we didn’t know all the ins and outs; a few mysterious buttons with risky consequences, an esoteric display with enigmatic symbols, or simply an “I knew, but I don’t know anymore!
No way to keep like this : take a deep breath and exhume your wrinkled instructions at once.
Your gear should no longer hold any secrets for you.
At the price it costs, it’s the least you can do.
Some functions are rarely used, but you should be able to use them occasionally.
Often, it is the lack of understanding of the desired effect that is an obstacle, hence the importance of a good technical culture.
The body is a tool.
As such, it is there to serve your cause, to assist you in all circumstances.
Just as a soldier must be able to reassemble his rifle with his eyes closed, you must be able to make all your adjustments in the dark (no kidding).
The other great mystery of cameras equipped with a cell (all current cameras) remains their capacity of analysis:
Multi-zone programs, Central weighted measurement, Spot measurement, sometimes give unexpected results.
Modern cameras are almost impossible to trap, but it is better to test the cell carefully.
Backlighting, strong contrasts, white or black subjects, darkness, slow exposures, everything must be considered.
There is nothing worse than a camera whose reactions are not known and to which you don’t trust.
In short, you will have to read your manual and manipulate your camera to acquire certain automatisms; no site or book will do it for you… I
t may seem boring, like doing scales in music, but it is unavoidable and it must be done through practice.
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More tips to Improve
- In order to help you to read the unfriendly manual and to practice the different menus, make a list of the manipulations you consider essential to master, for example changing the ISO sensitivity, selecting the autofocus point, enlarging the photo on the LCD screen, changing the aperture, etc.
- In the same logic, write down in a small notebook every time you feel like doing something without knowing how to do it. And for all the cases listed, look at your manual or consult a book dedicated to your camera; there are many of them, often more digestible and educational than the manufacturer’s information.
- The best thing to do is to spend time with a more experienced person who has the same device as you. You will progress much faster. But that won’t exempt you from taking notes or repeating the manipulations several times in order to retain them.
- Generally speaking, you have to take pictures very often, otherwise you’ll quickly forget
Now Your Turn
Now I would like to know, do you have any question ?
Or maybe do you have some information to add ?
Either way, let me know in the comments below