Easy Ways To Raise Your Photography Game
All things considered, I'm still relatively new to the world of photography.
If you've seen my portfolio, you'll know that I started taking photos in 2013; I was on my year abroad and treated myself to an early Christmas present in the form of my DSLR. I was buy no means a natural, but I fell for the medium and have worked super hard to improve my abilities since then.
Today's post is one that I hope will inspire you. I didn't have formal training, or photography loving family members to set me on the road at a young age... instead, I researched and experimented and above all, stubbornly refused to quit. Here are my tips for how to improve, no matter what your experience level.
CONSIDER YOUR LIGHT
When I first started experimenting with my photography, I thought composition was king. I learnt about the rule of thirds and was obsessed with trying to find cool subjects, but I never considered the single most important part of a great photo: light. Nowadays, I never shoot with an artificial light, and know that golden hour is my favourite for the warm and dreamy look I love. Try playing with lens flares and different lighting conditions; move your subjects towards and away from your light source to see how your photos differ.
USE MANUAL MODE
Though you're by no means beholden to using it full-time, an understanding of what's actually going on in your camera is really important. As a starting point, get to know what exposure is all about, and read your camera's manual. Simply understanding what the terms are that appear on your camera will go a really long way. Once you've understood what exposing a photo correctly involves, play around in manual and get creative; dark shots feel moody and cool; grainy images with high contrast look fab in black and white. Automatic modes are great for convenience and shooting quickly on the go, but I think my images look better when I've ensured they're lit exactly as I want them.
Learn, learn, learn
There are heaps of excellent tutorials online, teaching you not only the technical aspects, but the creative side of photography too. YouTube in particular is my new favourite way to find great tutorials; whether you want to simply step up your game for fun or learn about the ins and outs of commercial photography, there's sure to be something for you!
Not just a convenient way to signpost that you're a hipster... Shooting on film encourages a wholly different mindset, especially in a generation used to limitless snaps on our phones. When each shot has an expense and scarcity attached to it, we're forced to slow down and really consider the frame before we take a photo. It's also a really intoxicating process; the delay between taking a photo and seeing it means you not only experience greater excitement around shooting, but also see your work with fresher eyes. I use the cheapest film I can find and don't have a negatives scanner but I still love the results of shooting on my 35mm camera.
VARY YOUR SOURCES
I love Instagram, but if I'm only consuming imagery from Insta my photos tend to get a little bit formulaic and tired. Magazines are one of my favourite ways to get inspired, and even films can inspire me to pick up my camera and go shoot. Even on Insta, trying to follow a greater variety of photographers helps me from getting stuck in a rut.
SHOOT WITH A FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHER
By far my favourite piece of advice on this list! Taking photos with someone else who loves the medium is a great way of getting inspired and noticing things that you would miss otherwise. Recently I went out and shot with David and much preferred my photos than from any other day out I've been on lately! Photography buds can also teach us little things without meaning to; spending the day with someone who had totally different experience to my own was super enlightening. If nothing else, please give this tip a go!
There we have it... What are your favourite photography tips? Come to the comments and let me know, I would love to hear what helps you out!