Samples Basic-4

Photo of the Week – The Secret to Becoming a Better Photorapher

It’s easy really! Just shoot lots of images and correct your mistakes.

Series Name: Hiking

Snow Shots-4

  •  Canon G10
  • 6.1 mm Lens (28 mm equivalent)
  • Shutter at 1/1600
  • F4
  • ISO 80
  • Sunny day
  • Processing in Lightroom 5

The trick is to keep shooting.

I often chat with people who have taken up photography and almost all of them are not shooting enough. You should be out every weekend shooting and if possible during the week as well. The hardest part of this approach isn’t the getting out or finding time to get out. The hardest part is finding stuff to shoot.

Yep it’s the biggest block for almost all photographers including seasoned pros. You have to have a defined goal or you will never get any shots when you go out shooting. The reason for this is that if you don’t have a goal then you can shoot anything and because of that you shoot nothing. Or if you do shoot you don’t shoot enough of the same thing so you can’t learn from your mistakes.

You can’t learn how to shoot a subject unless you shoot that subject a lot. If you want to become a better photographer you need to sit down and decide what you want to be good at shooting. Do you want great shots of your kids? Then take them to the park and photograph them every weekend (if possible). You will soon tire of what you are capturing and you will be forced to experiment and grow as a photographer.

Series Name: Flowers

Samples Basic-4

  • Canon G10
  • 6.1 mm Lens (28 mm equivalent)
  • Shutter at 1/40
  • F2.8
  • ISO 80
  • Overcast day
  • Processing in Lightroom 5

The learning part of photography comes when you have captured all the basic shots and you now need to go beyond the basics. The best way to discover this is to take a hard look at your photos in the comfort of your home and think about a new angle or idea for you series. Eventually one thing will become apparent, you are stuck in a subject rut and you can’t think of anything “new” to move forward in your pursuit of an original way of shooting your chosen subject.

No problem, just run down to the library and grab a book on that subject. Look at what other photographers have done and see if you can mimic their idea. The next time you are out shooting try and capture that technique, pose or situation. Then when you are editing though those shots see if you have come close to capturing a similar image as the other photographers. If you have, do it again and again till you perfect it and then and only then can you start to work on a new technique. If you haven’t then look at the iamges that inspired you and caompare them to your shot. Cna you see what bthey did that you didn’t do? When you find out what it is then go out and try again.

Series Name: Kids

Samples Basic-2

  • Nikon D20
  • 28 mm lens
  • Shutter at 1/320
  • F10
  • ISO 400
  • Overcast day
  • Processing in Lightroom 5

However if after trying several times you still can’t capture that technique drop it and find a simpler technique. Once you have mastered that simpler assignment go back to the harder technique or to a new idea that you feel confident you can copy. Remember learning photography isn’t an overnight thing it’s a lifelong and a passion for perfecting your style. The joy you get from capturing that “special moment in time” is the big reward. So learn to love your mistakes and grow as a photographer every time you edit your shots.

Give yourself assignments that you can get into. If the assignment is to technically hard or you’re not ready to face people or situations to get a particular shot then drop that assignment and find  a new one that is less stressful or challenging. You can always go back to that challenge ones when you have more confidence.

When you do find a subject that you you enjoy shooting and you collect several techniques that helps you capture that subject well then you are well on your way to discovering your own personal style.

Series Name: Travel

Samples Basic-1

  • Canon G10
  • 6.1 mm Lens (28 mm equivalent)
  • Shutter at 1/1600
  • F5
  • ISO 80
  • Sunny day
  • Processing in Lightroom 5

 

Next week: How to shoot kids.