Have you been photographing but feel like stepping up your game?
Or, have you bought a DSLR and are figuring out how to get better at photography?
These gadgets don’t cost peanuts, and underutilizing them or not maximizing their potential is not far from losing your money.
Photography is a type of art and not a thing to learn in a fortnight.
You might be learning under a mentor, taking photography classes on Udemy or Skillshare, or trying your luck at YouTube University.
Well, that’s the practical aspect of getting a hand on your equipment, but here are 13 simple tips to help you get better at photography and snap the pictures of your dreams.
1. Concentrate on Photo Technology, Not Costly Camera Equipment
To some extent, a more expensive piece of equipment produces better pictures, but if you can’t use it, how will you get pictures to look how you want them?
An excellent photographer takes beautiful pictures, even without costly equipment.
Focus more on photo techniques to become better at photography.
2. Understand the Light
Lighting and photography are inseparable.
It is impossible to take good pictures without a form of light.
Most of you think that mastering your DSLR settings is the first thing to learn to be a better photographer.
That is vital to taking you some distance, but looking at the light and seeing how it alters exposure and creates different feelings will ensure you get the photos you want.
Looking at the light is another art in photography – and a section you’ll learn for months before being good at it.
See the different relationships light gives and how to work with it effectively when shooting.
3. Improve your Shutter Speed and Aperture Knowledge
Shutter speed and aperture are primary tools to learn to better your photography skills.
I didn’t mean those other camera settings aren’t vital – learn them too, but the two are some of the most valuable ones a photographer needs to know in the first days of using their camera.
Additionally, it is crucial to know how the two work together.
The earlier you learn shutter speed and aperture, the more time you save and the better your image results.
4. Combine Various Composition Techniques
Composition is the separating factor between an everyday photographer and a professional at their craft.
Altering an image’s composition can convert it into a gorgeous piece, making it one of the best tips to get better at photography.
Several proven techniques can enhance images instantly if used correctly.
Here are some you can research more on and try with your next shots:
Cropping an image can create a fun composition.
Cropping does away with some sections of the image, especially on the sides, and gives your subject more attention.
Framing the subject is one of the most straightforward yet underrated techniques, yet it creates more beautiful photos.
There are thousands of natural frames, and you only need to choose what is relevant to your subject.
Symmetry and Pattern
You can improve an image’s composition by adding similar symmetrical lines, shapes, or patterns.
These add more harmony to the image and make it exciting to look view.
The Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds in photography means dividing a picture into 9 equal squares- most cameras can do this automatically.
Next is placing the subject where these lines meet.
Ancient painters in Greece used this technology, and it has proven to work to date.
5. Target the Golden Hour
As earlier said, light is a huge determinant in how your photos turn out, and the golden hour is the best time to shoot the best images.
The golden hour occurs twice on most days (winters can be terrible with little to no sunshine) – in the morning before sunrise and towards the evening as the sun sets.
There is uniqueness in how images turn out when shot in the golden hour – no light splashes and sharp shadows that are common at midday.
6. Alter Positions
Constantly changing your positions is among the crucial things to do if you want to know how to get better at photography.
Taking photos from the same position and angle becomes boring.
Objects and subjects differ, and you can’t shoot everything the same way.
Alter your position towards subjects – bend slightly, move sideways, lie down, squat, etc.
It is your imagination that can limit positions to shoot from.
A perfect example is when shooting photos of children or animals.
The perfect position, in this case, is going down to shoot pictures at the level of the child or animal to create a more compelling and vivid photo.
7. Use Others as Inspiration
Don’t shy from asking fellow photographers questions and testing their techniques.
Check out their work and imagine how they did it and why someone chose one subject over the other.
Scheme through magazines, join photography forums online, and follow photographers who inspire you on social media.
There are tons to learn from others as you are currently reading powerful tips.
8. Experiment and Practice
Whoever said practice makes perfect didn’t lie.
Practice breeds improvement.
You can burn the midnight oil learning about photography, but all will be useless without practice.
Photography is a practical skill, not theoretical – the theory part is for you to get the basics, but the real work is in the hand work.
Practice leads to experimenting – put in the work from what you have learned in books or on the internet and experiment with what you feel could work.
Trying different settings and techniques places results in front of you to connect various contexts easily and learn proper ways of integrating them.
Each time you practice and experiment pushes you closer to identifying your unique photography style.
9. Photograph Fun Things
Buying a camera comes with a bucketful of anxiety, and so is identifying things you love to photograph.
Some people might enjoy shooting products more than landscapes and locations, while others derive the most joy from photographing wildlife.
Follow your passion for the best shots – this works for the outside and within a photographer’s world.
If you live for food photography and not building, high chances are that your food photos will outshine your architectural ones, and that is how to get better at photography when it comes to choosing your niche.
10. Explore the Manual Mode
Automatic modes have changed how things work a big deal.
Most people love them because they aren’t tech-savvy, but manual modes for cameras can change how you take photos.
The auto mode isn’t wrong – it is perfect for novices to take simple, nice pictures when they don’t need the manual mode.
But one who wants to perfect their craft will find more joy in the manual option.
Overall, the more the camera does the most of the job for you, the less you learn about it.
You haven’t spent thousands of bucks on a camera and lenses for you to let them decide the outcome of your photos.
As a photographer, you get perfect results in the manual mode.
11. Make the Camera your Companion
Carry this buddy everywhere, as that is how you learn to love and use it more.
I know we are in our smartphone era with fully functional cameras, but these are limiting.
Hence, bringing your camera will allow you to enjoy its versatility and play with light, composition, and other settings.
12. Challenge Yourself and Stay Positive
Positivity drives your passion and all aspects of life.
More positivity means better results, and challenging yourself to do new things goes a long way in noticing a difference in your photography skills.
If you have never shot your favorite things at night, try that and see how it turns out.
Maybe get a photography studio experience to see what backdrops and white walls look like photographed.
See if you are more of an outdoorsy buddy who loves photographing in uncontrolled environments or enjoys the control and flexibility of photography studios.
13. Learn Different Photo Editing Software
Photo editing isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, as some photographers don’t make edits on theirs.
Others swear by apps like Photoshop, and there isn’t a right or wrong on this topic.
Photo editing is a personal preference, but it is essential to be knowledgeable about apps like Lightroom and Photoshop.
Some photos you take might benefit more from some time in editing software, while others might only need slight tweaks.
Whatever you decide to do, take time to learn and understand photo manipulation basics.
These are beneficial skills, as it might be surprising where your passion for photography takes you.
I love the versatility of photography and the numerous techniques you can use to polish your skills.
You can be a fast learner at understanding cameras, but how to get better at photography will take time.
Learn the basics first, practice them and experiment with what you know.
From there, advance to looking at work from photographers who inspire you, interact with them, and try their tips and techniques.