Many times when we get a new camera, it is easy to just pick it up and start shooting without taking the time to study photography. Passion and education can be the key to an improved photography skillset. Here are some quick pointers on simple ways to improve your photography without taking too much time out of your schedule.
Read Your Manual
Every camera has a specific manual that fully describes the functions and quirks that are within your camera. Understanding the operating system of your camera will inevitably give you better photographs. The frustrating quirks of your camera can easily be used to your advantage. The knowledge of what setting to use in a given situation will definitely benefit your portfolio.
Visit an Art Museum (Fall in Love With Photography)
Inspiration is the biggest drive for photographers. The easiest way to find passion in photography is to find other artists that enjoy the same subject matter as you. Visit a local gallery or museum that is not too far of a drive. This will create stronger images because the care and passion of the subject have increased.
Understand the Golden Ratio
The Golden Ratio is the most basic concept of composition in photography. When you take an image and split it into nine equal squares, while avoiding the subject to be shot dead center, allows for a stronger composition. It is based on the perfect Fibonacci Sequence. A subject can be swallowed by dead space when put in the middle of the frame.
Don’t be Afraid to Get Up Close
The most iconic photographs could not have been successful if they were not shot up close. For example, the power behind Dorothea Lange’s ‘Migrant Mother’ portrait is so beautiful because she chose to get close to the subject. Certain moments can only be captured by getting up-close and personal to the subject. The choice to get close to your subject can give you the needed details that the image needs.
Shoot Raw or With High-Quality JPEGs.
Many amateur photographers do not shoot with high-quality file types. JPEGs always work for quick shots that are not of the utmost importance. RAW files give you clearer images that are ideal for photo manipulation in post production. Depending on the type of camera you are using, some shoot both RAW and JPEG files simultaneously per image. This goes back to the first tip of reading the manual. Photographers use the JPEGs as a preview while the RAW file is the main image they work with.
Learn Photoshop or Lightroom
Photoshop and Lightroom are the industry standards for photo enhancement and manipulation. Adjusting the levels or increasing the vibrancy of a photo can give the image that WOW-factor it needs. In situations where you may be getting paid for a photoshoot, it is good to have Photoshop or Lightroom in your back pocket.
These are easy ways to be on top of your photographer game! Over time, begin to slowly incorporate these tips into your photography. You will begin to see yourself grow as an artist.