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Are you looking to level up your photography skills? Perhaps you’re a casual photographer, a semi-professional or you’d simply like to improve your Instagram game! Either way, these tips can help photographers at any level, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro.
It can take years of practice to hone and refine your photography skills. The good news? There are some tactics you can keep in mind which can instantly boost your skills. Then, by taking a holistic approach to your photography you can learn how to grow your photography skills over time.
How to Level up Your Photography Skills, Stat
Want an instant boost for your photography skills? Look no further. You’ve got to start somewhere, and what better way to begin than by practicing these tips?
1. Know Your Equipment
First and most importantly, make sure you have the right equipment and understand how to use it! Read your camera manual thoroughly and make sure you understand how best to use your camera for different purposes or in different conditions, for instance, a variety of light conditions.
Make sure you understand the different automatic modes and features your camera has, and their strengths and weaknesses.
If you want to grow your photography skills, it’s crucial that you understand the right camera modes for different situations. Luckily, cameras these days are incredibly intuitive, containing clever shooting modes to suit different scenarios. And, while shooting manual can sometimes give you greater creative freedom, it’s helpful to understand your automatic shooting modes, especially for when you need to whip out your camera and take a shot.
Shooting in automatic or semi-automatic modes doesn’t mean you have to give up creative control. It just means you won’t spend time twiddling knobs and dials when you could be shooting!
2. Change Your Perspective
It’s easy to get into the habit of shooting straight-on and at eye level, but this doesn’t always make for the most creative approach.
Switching up your perspective is such a simple trick that can have a huge impact on how impactful your images are. By shooting from down low, up high or even from above using an overhead frame or drone, you can create an entirely unique perspective.
3. Use a tripod
It sounds so simple, but not all photographers (even professionals) use tripods most of the time. Using a tripod not only stabilises your image, but it also forces you to slow down and think about the composition for your image; the best settings to use, the best positioning of the camera, and the ideal angle to use to create the perfect shot.
4. Soak up Inspiration
The best photographers constantly seek inspiration from others, collecting, adapting, and refining ideas as they go. Scour platforms like Pinterest and Instagram by topic to find inspiration from the best photographers. Follow your favourite photographers for a flow of constant inspiration.
Or, search through image platforms like Unsplash or Pexels to find unique shots. You don’t have to copy other people’s images exactly (in fact, we’d discourage this!) but looking at other people’s images might spark a new idea in your mind for a shoot.
5. Shoot in RAW
Shooting in RAW, or, if that’s not possible, use the highest resolution your camera will permit. This will give you the best quality images. This means that if you snap an epic shot while just messing around or shooting casually, you’ll be able to create stunning prints later on.
To shoot in RAW, you’ll need a memory card large enough to hold the files, which are going to be significantly larger than your regular photos. It pays to have a couple of back-up memory cards if you’re going to be snapping away all day!
6. Get Close to Your Subject
The invention of zoom lenses, even in iPhones, has made us lazy photographers. Sure, zooming in can be far less intrusive than actually pointing a camera in someone’s face! But they don’t always serve you well.
Getting close to your subject can push your photography skills further, as it can show you a vastly different perspective and help you create photo magic. See what your subjects look up-close. And we mean really close! Fill the frame with your subject and see what fabulous shots you can create.
7. Embrace Shadows
The manipulation of light is something that every photographer has to learn if they ultimately want to boost their photography skills. If you haven’t already, start paying attention to light in each frame. Think about where the light is coming from in each shot and how it changes the frame.
But that doesn’t mean you need to avoid shadow! Shadow can actually be just as helpful as light in creating epic shots. It provides depth and integrity to the objects in your shots and can be used to enhance your images. Instead of avoiding it, use oi to your advantage wherever possible!
8. Find Beauty in Unusual Places
To really grow your photography skills, push yourself outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to photograph the most unusual subject you can and try to find the beauty in the strangest subjects.
The best photographers have a unique perspective. They try to capture the world in new ways, and, if you want your photos to stand out, you need to do the same.
9. Pay Attention to the Background
When composing a photograph, make sure you analyse the entire scene, instead of just focusing on one aspect, like your subject. While your subject is important, sometimes it’s the context of your subject that can make an image stand out, so use the background to your advantage,
Alternatively, you might want to isolate your subject from the foreground by adjusting your depth of field and moving the camera.
Above all, when it comes to refining and perfecting your photography skills, practice really does makes perfect! While these quick tricks can help in isolation, to get the best photos you need to practice so that all these elements become second nature.
You won’t turn into an award-winning photographer overnight. Improving your craft takes time, but with enough practice, you’ll be setting up, composing, adjusting your camera settings and snapping away quicker than ever!
Once you have your favourite images, don’t leave a bunch of prints sitting in a dusty drawer. Take the time to edit them and turn them into epic pieces of wall art! Or, if you’d prefer browsing someone else’s images, start searching for wall art right away here!
For more inspiration to level up your photography skills, check out more of our photography blogs here.