The number of images taken each day is in the billions. BILLIONS. Today, I was in a town with a population of 377. By simply observing, I watched as passersby—from kids getting out of school to folks in their golden years—as they took out their phones and captured images.
While I watched what was going on, I thought,”I wonder why they’re making photos.” That’s a rabbit hole of thought my friends, because who knows why they were making images. The important thing though, is that it doesn’t matter. Any time someone clicks a shutter on a visual recording device, it’s because they want to capture an image.
That’s one of my favorite aspects of photography:
Almost anyone can make pictures and be creative.
So, as we capture photographs on whatever we have, I’d like to share some simple tips on how to improve skills.
1) Gear Isn’t Important
It’s easy to become addicted to the latest camera or editing technique. Keep in mind though, the most important element of photography is the photograph, and the moment when the photograph is made.
If you look at prize-winning photographs, there’s usually degree of decent technical competentness. However, the list of prize-winning photographs are often made with different cameras. This proves that it’s not a specific camera that makes, or breaks, photography success.
Ansel Adams said it best when he said:
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!”Ansel Adams
Some of the most important components of good photographs are light, composition, moment and sharpness, to name a few.
The reason this is an important tip is that once you’re able to overcome any thought that your gear is holding you back, you’ll be able to focus on your photographs. And, that’s what it’s all about.
2) The More Time You Have, The Better The Pictures (Usually)
Of course, some people can make eye-catching frames with no time at all. I mean, it only takes fractions of a second to capture a photo, right? Right.
But, if you spend some time, it will often be the case that a better photograph could result.
I was working for a daily newspaper in mid Michigan one summer. The newspaper was noted among photojournalists for the high-quality images that photographers would make.
Throughout the summer, I was following a family who was preparing to move into an older small house, into a larger house though Habitat for Humanity.
I’d made some images I was happy with and talked with my photo editor while still on assignment. He asked if I thought I’d had some good pictures and I replied with, “Yes.”
The photo editor responded by asking me how I knew this unless I’d spent even more time.
He was right.
After spending more time with my photo subjects, I was able to capture more intimate and high-quality photos.
Now, obviously not everyone is photographing for a newspaper or spending months on an assignment like some photographers do while working for National Geographic.
The principle is the same though: More time spent photographing tends to result in better photographs.
3) The Better Your Light, The Better Your Images
Early in the morning and later in the evening are situations that offer phenomenal lighting scenarios, usually. Another wonderful time to photograph is with a cloudy canopy above that results in a diffused, and saturated color, lighting situation.
Some photographers have mastered the ability to create decent images in light from the middle of day with a sun that’s unencumbered by clouds. If that’s the style that works and that’s the lighting quality the photographer is intending to capture, then perfect.
Oftentimes though, the lighting mentioned formerly will offer sublime colors and a more pleasing palette.
There are many variables that go into making photographs, these are only a few. The absolutely most important tip is to simply make pictures. The more you do it, the better you’ll become and the closer you’ll arrive to finding a photographic style.