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How to Quickly Improve Your Photography

Updated on December 13, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy my hubs! | Source
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CCO Public Domain | Source

OK, now that you got yourself a brand new DSLR and are eager to start using it and taking great shots. So are you really ready? First you need to learn somethings if you want to make your picture taking experience a pleasant one.

First tip: Learn everything about your new camera. What it does and how it is done. Learn what every single button, what every single feature is used for and how do professionals use these features to make their photos stand out.

At first you may just want to know how to set the auto mode and how to snap the shutter, maybe even how to focus the lens manually but there are literally dozens of applications and settings that can not only give you more creative control over your images but can also let you take pictures in situations where you may think that it is hopeless.

Learning what does what is one of the best things that anyone can do to improve their photography literary overnight.

Also very important if you are just starting out is to look at sample images from the more established and recognized photographers that specialize in a topic that might be appealing to you or maybe even in general photography.

You really need to know how to operate and set your camera without even thinking about it. There are a lot of photo ops that require you to act fast, like nature or wildlife photography, and fumbling around with your gear doesn't help. Know to to do it before you are faced with a situation that requires you to do it.

public domain (CC0
public domain (CC0 | Source | Source

Learn the basic rules: The rule of thirds is a good starting point and so is depth of field like how to isolate a subject when faced with a cluttered background which may make the subject "disappear" into the background.

This is especially true when doing field work. Just as important is your camera's ISO settings and limitations. Knowing how to work this can help you gate a shot when the light is not ideal.

If your subject is a fast moving one or the light is not ideal then you probably need a combination of fast shutter speed, a large f-stop and a high ISO. The fast shutter to freeze the subject and prevent blur, the large aperture to allow more light coming into the sensor and the high ISO to make the sensor more sensitive to light. | Source | Source

Learn how to compose your shots: Look at and read about composition. Do not settle for taking photos the same way that everyone else does.

Learn about how changing your angle and or changing your perspective may make you images that much more interesting.

Learn when to take a picture: Knowing when the light is right is often a key that is often overlooked by most amateur photographers. The best times are usually during the early hours of the morning or at dusk which are commonly called the golden hours in photographic lingo.

During these times of day the light is softer and this keeps the chances of harsh lighting which can produce hard shadows from being present in your images.

Another great time is when the skies are overcast. This is also a premium time because the light is diffused due to the clouds and moisture in the atmosphere.

Knowing when these conditions are present is often the key that leads to great photographs instead of everyday ones.

Many amateur photographers often start their day close to the middle of the day when the light is strong and this can create harsh shadows and tends to eliminate or rather hide texture from the surface of your subjects

CCO public Domain
CCO public Domain | Source

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Never stop observing the work of others: Sites like Flikr offer you the opportunity of not only sharing your images but it also allows you to view the works of other photographers and a bonus is that on Flikr photos often display the camera settings so if you come upon any particular image that appeals to you then you know exactly how it was done.

The main thing is to just keep taking photos and like practicing anything the more you do it, the better you become at it.

Read books and publications that offer new tips and give insights into new techniques. Attend shows and galley presentations if you can and generally explore anything that is photo related.

Belonging to clubs that focus on photography can also be a good idea since you can get to discuss photography with others in various stages of development as well as receiving critiques of your work | Source | Source

Never stop exploring and looking for ways to expand your photography. Go out into your neighborhood and capture images of everyday objects. Look at things from a photographer's viewpoint.

Take plenty of pictures because with today's memory cards capabilities you can literally take hundreds of shots per card so just take photos and carefully examine them at home.

Learn from your results and think of ways of improving every single shot even if it appears to be good the first time.

Many professional photographers often discard perfectly good shots if they do not meet their very exacting expectations and you should do the same.

Because professionals make a living from their efforts they never keep a shot that it's not 100% perfect. Try to do the same and you can only get better with time and practice. | Source

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 2 years ago from Miami, Florida

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hello Luis, the URL for the first link does not connect. But, I did read the hub for the second link and it was very helpful. Thank you so much. You are now my "go-to" person for photography techniques. You explain things in a way that I can truly grasp and understand.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Thank you for your help, Luis. I will be reading these tonight.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 2 years ago from Miami, Florida

      MarleneB: This may prove to be helpful: and this one may also be helpful too:

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      This is fascinating. When I first got my camera, all I wanted to do was take pictures. So, like you mentioned, all I did was learn the minimum instructions. Now that I want to use my own photos with the content that I write, I want to learn more. By chance, do you have a hub that talks about lighting? I need to get a better handle on that subject too. Thanks so much.