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How to Be a Better Photographer

Updated on November 30, 2014

How does an amateur photographer becomes a professional is as simple as practice. But practice alone is not enough.

It takes having a photographic eye along with an artistic instinct. The photographer must also know what to photograph and what to eliminate from each photograph in order to make it interesting well as being able to present a pleasing scene that will make viewers stop and look.

A photographer must also be creative and open to exploration of new ideas, new techniques and just new ways of doing things that get away from the routine and the mundane.

Trying on new techniques and new pieces of equipment can often lead to frustration which will quickly disappear as you get better and learn to fully exploit the capabilities of your gear.

The idea is to come up with your own way of interpreting the scenes that lay in front of you but keeping in mind that this takes time and lots of patience as well as a solid determination to do better each time.

Here are some tips that may help any photographer seriously contemplating becoming a professional or if you just simply want to take great photographs.

It doesn't matter if your intention is to sell your work or you are just doing it for your own pleasure. You must master these techniques if you ever want to be recognized by your photographic skills.

(CC BY 2.0
(CC BY 2.0 | Source

Practice your Technique

Technique is there to help you make your art better. Practice it and understand it in order to take photos that clear and in focus.

Understand how adding flash improves your technique by eliminating dark spots on the subject.

How placing yourself at a different angle affects how your camera sees the scene. How using a slower shutter speed to capture images of moving water makes the scene seem more romantic and adds the element of movement or how using a fast shutter speed freezes parts of a scene that would otherwise not be visible to the naked eye.

Learn when to use the automatic mode or when to use manual. When not to use flash. How back-light works and when it is better to wait to maximize your gear's potential.

How a disappearing Sun in the horizon can be used to make amazing Sunset photos and how not to let your gear be fooled by the light. Learn to use filters appropriately and when it is better not to use them at all.

Learning how to make a better photo is crucial, especially if you want to do commercial photography like modeling shots, portraits and so on.

Public Domain
Public Domain | Source

The Importance of Color

Color is part of life. Everything you see is in one way or another influenced by its color and this affects how we feel towards the subject.

Understanding how certain color combinations work together and the different emotions that each color represents is a way of turning a color scene to your advantage and recording color properly affects how an audience views and feels towards your images.

Also important is to recognize when the absence of color can make for a better photograph.

Public Domain
Public Domain | Source

Mastering Light

Light is by far the most important aspect with any photograph If light is not there then you cannot take a photograph.

Understanding how the light bounces off a subject, how shadows are created, how details are captured as well as how texture can make or break a photograph.

The best way to understand light is to look at as many photographs as possible and explore how changing your angle, your perspective or why being patience and waiting for the best light like an hour before Sunset or an hour after Dawn, can make a particular photograph better.

Public Domain
Public Domain | Source

Learn to see a Photograph in Everything Around You

Do not limit yourself to just pretty scenes. Learn to see a possible photograph in the most mundane of situations and in the most common of locations and things.

When in a location pay attention and you will see other things that many would not even give a second look to.

Macro photography and abstract photography are two techniques that can turn everyday objects and scenes into really cool photographs. Learn to open you mind to the possibilities.

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Design your Photos not just take them

When you come upon a scene, look for any design that will translate into good photographs. Look for lines, angles, perspectives and shapes and colors to make the images stand out.

Eliminate any element that distracts from the main subject and compose your image carefully paying attention to all details.

Cropping with the lens is always better than to crop digitally but it is always a good idea to leave some space in the top, bottom and edges in case you want to enlarge the image later.

Also pay attention to your camera's sensor crop factor. This will affect how an enlarged image will look.

© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Vacation Trip: Thank you

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Great tips all in one hub. I love photography and your hub is very useful to me. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      debbiepinkston: Thank you

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      These are all great tips and I will definitely start using them as I take photos in Colombia! I find that I already see a great photograph in everything around me. My husband doesn't always understand why I'm taking a photo of a drain, a trash pile, a dog, or daily, mundane things, but I see a "story" in everything!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      jpcmc: Thank you

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      "Learn to see a Photograph in Everything Around You" This is a wonderful of training one's self to become better at photography. This is one tip I will keep in mind.