15 Practical Tips for Photography
15 Practical Tips for Photography
- Don’t get lost in technology
You need a camera to take pictures. That’s it! The old masters didn’t have any more. Don’t get lost in thoughts about filters, accessories and bells and whistles. Take your camera, no matter how old, and take pictures.
- Learn the rules
Learn the rules of exposure and composition . Learn them really well. Find out when a photo is underexposed or overexposed. Know what trisection and the golden ratio are. Know the complementary colors.
- Break the rules
Break the rules. But only after you know and have used them! In no case the other way around. A photo with deliberately broken rules is exciting. A photo with rules ignored will expose you as a beginner.
- If you want to design wrong, design wrong
Expose hundreds of photos correctly. Learn how to do it. And then expose as you like it. You can develop your own style. A bunch of our photos are incorrectly exposed. Intentionally. So that they work.
- Show a few of your photos
You don’t want to shoot for the hard drive, so don’t even start. Show your photos. But always only a small selection. Don’t bore people. Show only the best 5 photos of a trip. These are your top 1%. Show little, show good.
- Identify your best photos
You have to know the best 1% of your photos. That is perhaps the hardest of all. Consistently identify only 1% of your photos as the “Top 1%”. Make your extra folder for it. Edit them and display them proudly. Only this.
- Don’t be sad about crap photos
75% of all photos that you will take might have nothing special. And only 5 or 10% are good enough to show them off. If you take 100 photos, and one or two of them are good, be satisfied. That’s a good yield. 1% good is enough.
- Analyze the crap photos
Never skip this step. Look at your bad photos and find out why they’re bad. The very bad ones. And the almost but not quite good ones. Find your weaknesses and work on them consciously.
- Take your time for each photo
The biggest mistake in photography is doing it on the fly. Consciously take your time for each photo. Design consciously and deliberately, apply what you have learned, wait. Think about the mistakes in your crap photos, and remember not to take them again.
- Don’t be rushed
Openly discuss with your partner or companion that you want to get better in photography and that you need some time to do so. It is better to take 10 minutes for one photo than 10 one. Appreciate the patience of your companion. Show yourself appreciative.
- Find a photo buddy
Our photography can only flourish after we took photos together. If you’re not the lone wolf type, find someone to take photos with. Preferably someone who takes photos better than you. Get inspired!
- Take photos in the edge of the day
If it’s not cloudy, only take photos in the morning or evening when the sun is low. Photos at other times most likely have no chance of your top 1% anyway. Realize how much the evening and midday sun are different.
- Become a master of the light
Light is the core element of great photos and the hardest to control. Get to know the light. No matter what you do, in the office, outside or at home: Pay careful attention to the light several times a day: where does it come from, is it warm or cold, diffuse or direct? What mood does it create?
- Recognize the light when taking photos
Follow what works for you every day. Then also see the light in every photo you take. Where is the sun? Are the shadows hard? Do clouds create soft light? Does the low sun look warm? You don’t have to masterfully use the light first. But learn to see it from the start.
- Identify your problems
Get in the habit of specifically naming the weaknesses of your crap photos. “My photos are getting too dark,” is quite ok. “My photos get too dark when I shoot against the light,” is much better. You can look up this problem. Ask for or google “Correct exposure with backlight” and eliminate the error.