There are many things to learn, improve, and change if we want to become better at something. There are many mistakes to make and learn from them as well. In this video, Nigel Danson suggests seven things that you can change and improve if you want to become a better photographer.
Even though Nigel is a landscape photographer, most of these tips could be applied to any other genre as well. So, let’s see what improvements you can make if you want to grow.
1. Know your camera
This may go without saying, but you need to really understand your camera and know how to use it in different circumstances. In many photography genres, you need to be ready for the perfect moments, so you’ll need to change your settings really quickly. And if you know your camera, you’ll spend less time fiddling with the settings, and more making the composition and capturing the right moment.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and repeat the same things. This is why trying new things all the time is important. You can experiment with different angles, compositions, lenses… pretty much anything!
There are two main reasons why experimenting is good. First, it’s fun and it keeps you engaged with the art of photography. And second, it gives you a bigger arsenal in your creativity. In other words, it will help you create something a little different and unique every time.
3. Keep it simple
It’s good to keep the composition as simple as possible. In other words, keep the distracting elements out of your frame. In landscape photography, you can use a longer lens, crop in a little tighter, use simple foregrounds, and don’t include too many distracting elements in the shot. If I may add – always check the edges of the frame and make sure nothing is there to make the composition complicated.
4. Time of day
Go out at different times of day – don’t just chase the sunrise or sunset, but go out at all different times of the day and in different weather: sunny, foggy, overcast. There are plenty of great landscape shots you can take in all times of day and night.
5. Improve your editing
Great editing skills are an important part of creating a fantastic landscape image. Your camera takes a flat, RAW image, and you give it your own style by editing it. You can do so many different and creative things when you edit photos, so make sure to improve and use this skill.
6. Shoot more often
Get out and shoot as often as you can. It doesn’t have to be a road trip with full gear, it can be in your garden or while walking your dog around the neighborhood. This way, you’ll hone your composition skills and “train your eye,” so to speak. Don’t be afraid to go out even when the weather’s bad. Many of us don’t like snow or rain, but you can take some marvelous shots even in these conditions.
7. Get feedback
I personally like walking around and shooting alone, but it’s also really good to shoot with friends. Alternatively, you can shoot alone and then share photos with them and get feedback. You can join a camera club, or even start one. Or you can just gather around with people you trust and help each other by giving feedback and constructive criticism. This is something that will help you understand your own photos better and why something may or may not work, and you’ll improve over time, but you’ll also help others to improve.
Are there any improvement tips you’d like to share? And are you going to change any (or maybe all) of these seven things? I think I should start asking for feedback more often… And honing my editing skills is not a bad idea, either.
[7 TIPS that will MAKE YOU a BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER | Nigel Danson]