Everyone has to start somewhere. Do you ever look on Instagram and think ‘How on earth can I get photos this good?!’ I hope that these tips can begin your development to reach a stage you are happy with.
One of the most basic parts of photography is understanding the exposure triangle. Despite this being fairly basic, understanding this process provides so much freedom in your creative mindset. The foundation of the exposure triangle is this:
the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO (light sensitivity).
If you maintain a constant ISO, as you raise the f-stop (constrict the aperture), the shutter speed must increase. Similarly, if you lower the f-stop (widen the aperture) the shutter speed will increase. Changing your ISO allows you to change your aperture while maintaining a shutter speed or vice versa. I would recommend searching Youtube to get a good grasp on this. There are great videos that explain it efficiently. Art Of Visuals has a free online academy that will fully explain everything that we are talking about in this post. I highly recommend that you check it out!
One of the best ways to develop is to learn from other photos. When you see other photos that you like, try to pick out the elements that strike you and pique your interest. For example, it might be the subject framing, the lighting, or a certain post processing style. Take these into account and try to implement them into your work. Similarly, if you see a photo from your area that you love, do not be afraid to copy it. This is one of my main tips. You learn from taking good photos. There is no harm in copying a spot and framing, and creating your own photo from that spot. As you continue to do this, try to take less influence from the photo before and change perspective, whether it is the level you shoot from of the lighting. Take the idea and build upon it, to create something unique.
I have written about the importance of RAW before. To truly develop your photos you need to understand that post processing in the digital age is fully necessary. You can get a free RAW editor or pay for one, all that matters is that you are developing your photo in post to your liking. Make sure to watch Youtube videos to help you learn the software and learn some new editing styles. Learning new styles will end up progressing your editing skills as you incorporate them into your final vision for a certain photo.
Another great way to learn to edit is by getting some Lightroom presets and tweaking them to your liking. Take a look at what fields have been changed and what effect they have. If you want some excellent presets, check out our Art of Visuals presets!
Another very important tip for beginners is:
Do not get caught up buying gear. This is known as Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). Essentially, you do not want to keep buying new pieces of gear as you are still learning. Take the camera you have and improve your photography skills, rather than depending on new pieces of gear to help you improve.
A kit lens is amazingly capable, you just need to be able to utilize it. Similarly, you create amazing content using your phone camera, a very accessible camera in this modern age. I would like to show you one of my favorite phone shots, taken by @Itchban. Please check him out!
This just shows how you can take amazing photos with anything! He also shot a video from the same spot on his phone, which was taken in slow motion mode @120fps and then further slowed down by 20%, just to further show the phone capability! You can see the video here.
Now that you aren’t jumping up to buy more and more gear, you need to focus on what is going to improve your photos using the gear you have. Learning about how lighting affects your photo will make a huge difference, and shooting at golden hour can often be a great way to improve naturally lit photos.
If you think that you see a photo spot you want to visit, or you just visualize a good one, make sure to write it down. Create a plan for your next outing, and coincide it with a day that will have great lighting. Take different perspectives at your spots, and don’t be afraid to improvise! You may just come up with the new most popular spot in your area. Follow your creative mind.
So, overall it comes down to practice.
Continue to observe photography trends, and photos you like. You will begin to develop as a photographer and incorporate aspects into your work. Just keep taking pictures and progress your style. Don’t be afraid to attend photography meet ups (Or make your own!) to learn unique tips from local photographers. As you keep practicing you will gradually improve, whether you notice it or not.
Thanks for reading, and keep shooting!
As usual, head over to my Instagram and say hi!