Improve Your Photography Right Now
Improve Your Photography Through Framing
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.
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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