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Improve Your Photography Right Now

Updated on August 8, 2013

Improve Your Photography Through Framing

Improve Your Photography
Improve Your Photography | Source

Bring Your Photography to a New Level

You’ve been at photography for a while and you may be feeling in a rut. You go out on a nice day and shoot the same woods, the same river, and the same sunsets from the same old locations. Your photographs aren’t getting any better and you are wondering if you still want to keep at photography as a hobby or turn your camera into cash and try antiquing or stamp collecting. Before you go to a pawn shop and give it all away have a read here and be inspired to go out and give it another try.

Why do you think you are not getting ahead in your photographic art? I’ll venture a guess. You are not finding it interesting anymore because you have reached a plateau and cannot advance. The photographs from you that your friends and family raved about a few years ago are now what they expect of you and they don’t pour accolades over you as they used to. Your work is competent but not inspiring. You could sell your DSLR and get a better quality point and shoot and still accomplish pretty much the same thing as you’re getting now.

Now I’m writing this with a new year starting and it has me thinking of goals but a new year shouldn’t make any difference. The goal always is to improve. The goal is to be excited about your art and get to the point that even other photographers truly admire your work. If you go to my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JanMaklakPhotography) you will see that I regularly post the work of others that I admire. I want your work there too. I don’t want you to quit or just as bad settle for the mundane.

Overcoming the Plateau

Shoot more. Shoot way more. Are you ticking up 1000 shots per year? Make it 10,000 or better yet 20,000. A few years ago I won Rookie Photographer of the Year in my Camera Club. A person saw me walking out with a trophy and asked me what I won. I told her and she said that I must take good photographs. I replied “Yes but I had to take 20,000 shots to get a few good ones.” I can remember having this discussion in the film days as well and talk about being lucky to get a truly good shot out of a roll of 36. I remember that I was going through film at an alarming rate and went out and bought my own cassette loader and a spool of 50 feet of professional slide film. Digital is way better. An SDHC memory card is ultra-cheap in comparison. No advice will make you successful as a photographer if you don’t practice.

Start Improving Your Photography Here

Shoot daily or at least 2-3 times per week. I often get out early on a Saturday for 3-4 hours and then get to the household chores after that. I would also recommend that you take one night a week and do some still life photography indoors or when the weather is poor. Try to plan your shoot and you’ll get way more accomplished.

Do a search of shows and events that are happening in your area. These are often good events to shoot and people are less shy of a camera. I went to a busker’s festival last year and took loads of shots. I wasn’t real happy with them but I did some analysis and figured out what I will do the next time. There are butterfly and bird displays popping up all over the place these days and the insects and birds don’t mind at all if you take their picture. Go to an arboretum and get shots of flowers and exotic plants. There are lots of things to do where you can take your camera and get some practice in.

Source

Do some research. Flickr, 500pix, Google photos are all great places to start. There is a mix of “snappers” all the way up to very accomplished photographers who post on these sites. In your spare time look at the styles of different photographers and see what you like. Figure out why you like it. Is it striking? Colourful? Textured? What makes it good in your opinion? Try to articulate the answer with specifics. This will help you build a personal style.

And finally, be a master at something. Master lighting, or master still life, or posing, or flowers, or black and white. Just work at being the best photographer on earth in one genre and even though you may never be the very best in the world you will become admired because your work will stand out. You will be an expert because you have taken the number of shots, did the research and applied what you have learned.

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    • shampa sadhya profile image

      Shampa Sadhya 4 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Voted up and useful!

      Well, I am not into photography but still, I liked this article. It is indeed a useful hub for those who want to make his/her work look special. Sharing!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I had always heard stories of a cousin of my grandfather. After he retired he really got into photography! He and his wife would spend hours in one spot taking numerous photos during a sunrise or a sunset and obviously other times of the day as well. He eventually sold photos to National Geographic. So your advice regarding the taking of LOTS of photos is good. Obviously that is how professional photographers work even after they become experts in their craft. With digital cameras it has now become so easy to do just that. Up, useful, interesting votes and will share.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Great information. I favorite is to take pictures of butterflies and bugs. I love walking around taking pictures. I is relaxing. Voted up.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Your information and advice is excellent. I have always loved taking pictures, my favorites are wildlife. Practice, practice, practice is so important. With digital cameras, you can take all the pictures you want and discard the ones you don't want. Wonderful hub! Voted up and more! Merry Christmas! :)

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

      This was an encouraging and informative hub. I love to 'take pictures' though can't consider myself a photographer. 'Lots of pictures on that shoot and point' could be my mantra. So could 'push that delete button'! :-) But I do enjoy my camera...and getting that lucky shot too!

      Am going soon to find you on Facebook too.

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 4 years ago from United States

      I gained a stirring to try harder, to create more, to produce more photos than ever. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 4 years ago from India

      I am interested in photography and recently went through a lot of videos and articles on how to use natural light instead of artificial to get the best pictures. I am always willing to learn new things and learned something from this hub as well. Have to practice taking more shots because I generally get tired way too soon! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Pool Of Thoughts profile image

      David Steffy 4 years ago from Southern Ohio

      Very inspiring! You make me want to paint. I get those same feelings about my art work. No matter what subject I'm painting ie, portraits, landscape, seascape....I begin to feel like its "mundane" sometimes. Great article.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      I'm inspired, thank you for sharing methods you use to get great photos. Love "blossoms in the snow"!

    • Lateral3 profile image

      Lateral3 4 years ago

      I agree digital is better for most aspects. What I miss is the ease of the manual setting. I find it irksome having to read the settings of an LCD screen. I used to enjoy developing the transparencies; but that said, the instant processing, camera to screen takes some beating. The editing is much easier too; and you really can afford to take 20,000 images. If anything has enabled creativity, it has to be the digital camera.

      Thanks for the hub. Looks like you've inspired all your readers.

    • JanMaklak profile image
      Author

      JanMaklak 4 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Lateral3. I don't find setting the camera all that irksome but if I had a time critical shot I know I'd miss it. And yes the darkroom aspect of film was nice. Nothing like the smell of glacial acetic acid in the morning. It smells......like victory!

    • passionate77 profile image

      passionate77 3 years ago

      again one of the very inspiring article of yours janmaklak, full of advice and inspiration, very motivating as well. great job dear!

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