Photography is growing in popularity. In 2018, almost 17% of survey respondents between ages eighteen and twenty nine practiced photography. But no one becomes a great photographer overnight. Improving your photography skills requires dedication and hard work. Serious photographers are committed to their craft and honed in on the ways they can improve their shots. Continual learning is essential for developing your eye and increasing the quality of your photography. It also helps to take inspiration from other photographers by studying what you like or don’t like about their work. Enjoy the learning process and your hard work will soon pay off.
To make real art, you must be present and focused. Before going out to shoot, clear your mind and focus on taking the best possible picture you can. Carefully think through the composition. Consider the best angle to shoot your subject from — whether it’s eye level, ground level, from high above, from the side, or up close. Viewpoint greatly impacts the composition of a photo and its message. Switching up viewpoints can also make for more interesting final prints, as explained by CanvasPop. Shooting off-center subjects or wide landscape shots, for example, creates beautiful triptych prints which show off your photography skills. Triptychs further enhance the story told by your image — the three parts representing a beginning, middle, and end.
Photography is such an addictive craft because there’s always more to learn. While it’s easy to stick with what you know, you should always be willing to improve yourself and learn new skills. Taking a photography course is the perfect way to do so. Having a teacher or mentor can be invaluable for developing your eye and vision. You’ll also take assignments which ensures you get out there and practice. No matter how much theory you learn about the value of certain rules, innovative camera angles, or fancy lenses, it doesn’t mean much unless you put these ideas into practice.
Looking at the work of other photographers is a great way to gain inspiration. However, make sure you study the images critically. Is there a shot you absolutely love or absolutely hate? Always ask yourself why an image sparks these reactions. Perhaps the composition is particularly interesting. Maybe you like its use of the rule of thirds and the pleasing balance it brings. Other times, however, photography may break conventional rules resulting in a truly unique shot. Always try to articulate why or why not an image works for you.
As a photographer, you should learn to be your own toughest critic. Always detach yourself from your shots and analyse them objectively. Keep notable shots and delete the bad ones. If you ever think your work’s becoming stale, make changes. You might want to get a new lens, shoot new subject matter, or even change your own perspective. Remember to have fun as well and you’ll improve your photography skills in no time.