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5 Ways To Be A Better Photographer Without Even Taking a Photo

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To improve with photography, it’s very important to practice taking photos as often as we can. Realistically though, in our busy lives we often aren’t able to reach for our cameras and practice as regularly as we would like to. There are ways however to improve our photography that don’t need our camera in hand but only in mind. Here are 5 ways to be a better photographer without even taking a photo.

Know Your Camera

 

 1. Know Your Camera

This might come a shock, but reading your camera manual is the key to knowing your camera. It may seem quite a chore to read, however the manual will reveal the secrets of your camera that you may not otherwise know, therefore making you better prepared when you are out taking photos. Get familiar with your camera and where the settings are is very important. Things like how to change auto focus settings, how to bracket a shot, or how to personalise the camera settings to your liking. Does my camera or lens have image stabilisation? When should I use it or when should I turn it off? By having this in depth knowledge of your camera it may mean the difference between getting the shot or not.

 

 

 

 

2. Think Like A Camera

No matter how advance cameras become, they don’t always see the world exactly like we do. For example as mentioned in one of my other posts Why Do My Photos Look Yellow?, the camera doesn’t automatically compensate for different colour casts automatically as our eyes do. When walking around with out your camera, assess the light source in the location you are in and try to work out what colour cast would be coming from the light source and how and why would you counter for this if you were taking a photo.

 

 

Sunrise Over North Narrabeen3. Slow Down And Read The Light

Light changes through out the day and it is interesting as a photographer to understand how this can affect a photo. In the morning or late afternoon, light can be subtle and golden. In the middle of the day it can be hard with plenty of contrast. Depending on the shape of an object, the light can softly wrap around it or can be strong and have deep shadows blocking out detail and giving a hard edge. When travelling to work, washing the clothes or cooking dinner, consider what the light is doing in your location. Looking out the window now, would you say it was harsh light or soft light? How might this influence a photo if you had the opportunity to reach for your camera? Once you start reading the light you may find you start to appreciate it in a way you had never considered before.

 

4. Read BlogsBlog

Thanks to the internet, we are living in a time where information is easily accessible and quite often free. These days there are hundreds of blogs out there that can open the doors for learning skills such as photography and photography techniques. Since there is so much information being shared, the quickest way to improve our photography is to read blogs. One of the best things about photography blogs is that the blogger will usually share with you their experience by telling you what to do and what to stay away from when trying a new technique. This can sometimes save you hours, weeks or months of trial and error.

 

5. Research Photos On Flikr, 500px, Pinterest

Researching photos is much easier these days with fantastic websites like Flikr.com, 500px.com and Pinterest.com. Just type in the style of photography you like and in seconds thousands of inspirational images appear. The great thing about being able to see so many photos at once is it makes the job of researching so much faster. This way you can see what you like and want to focus on and also what you don’t like and therefore avoid in your photos. These websites can also be used for searching for new photo locations or camera angles to take a photo. Try typing in your city name and see what comes up. There might be new locations you had never considered that aren’t far from home.

The secret to being a better photographer is being prepared. Knowing our cameras, understanding our equipment and having as much knowledge as possible can only be an advantage when we eventually do have the time to go out and take photos. It’s amazing how quickly our photos will improve by having more photographic knowledge. With the internet we can easily do this from anywhere. Instead of spending hours on social media, do some research on photography techniques, understand how to read the light and spend time reading the camera manual, it will be worth it!

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