The quick way to improve:
…Is undoubtedly to listen to the mistakes that others made. Here are some easy things you can do to improve your photography in leaps and bounds. Getting lots of practice is the first step. The more you shoot the more you will get to know what works and what does not. However, going further than that takes a little diligence. So here are some things to do for quick improvements…
1. Not reading the manual
Get the manual out. Learn a technique from the manual. Then go out and use that technique.
2. Not reading the manual again in six months
Repeat (1) in six months. Using your camera will become easier and your memory will be refreshed.
3. Not making friends
The most fun you can have in photography is with friends. Join a club, find some other camera owners, join a website that shares comments… whatever you do – get people to look at your photos and help you with tips and tricks.
4. The equipment you own
Read “Seven deadly photographic sins” and realise that you should concentrate on learning everything about the equipment you own. Once you are an excellent photographer with your current equipment then consider new stuff, but not before.
5. File resolution
Shoot with the largest file size and highest resolution. If you do not know how to do that consult the manual. This is important. Using tiny files and low resolution will really frustrate your improvement.
6. Not checking the image
Beginners often click away without checking the image. Shoot-and-hope mostly fails. Check your screen, check and check again. Reduce the number of shots you take. Concentrate on composition – make the images you do take higher quality. Read up on “Chimping” the gentle art of screen checking!
7. Deleting in camera
Do not delete in camera… There are many good reasons for this…
- Constant deleting shortens the life of your memory card – only ever format the card.
- Unless very experienced you are probably not qualified to say if a shot is good or bad.
- You cannot possibly tell if an image is good enough in the low resolution of a camera screen.
- As your ‘eye’ develops you will change your idea of what is a ‘delete’. I have seen an image voted Best-shot-of-the-day but listed as a deleter by the author before the vote.
8. Not looking at the image in full size
There is only one sure test of sharpness, look at the image in full resolution. When you pull the image up on screen it is reduced and sharpened. Expand it to 100% to see it as you took it. Read your software manual to see how.
9. Ignoring the light
Find out all you can about light – all types of light and all sorts of lighting situations. You can find a whole range of resources here… Light and Lighting – Resource pages on Photokonnexion. Your knowledge of light will make you a great photographer if you focus on that alone.
10. Not using a tripod
The best sharpness tool is using a tripod. Never forget your tripod and you will always have sharp images!
For more on this subject and some detail of how to get past these mistakes read: Mistakes beginners make and how to overcome them
Here is a short video with four more great tips for you to take on board…
Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner Photographer
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Find out more…
Photokonnexion Photographic Glossary – Definitions and articles.
Light and Lighting – Resource pages on Photokonnexion
“Seven deadly photographic sins”
Composition resources on Photokonnexion
Mistakes beginners make and how to overcome them