If you really want to learn how to take better pictures, the only way to do this it to spend more time with your camera…with any camera.
There are two aspects to photography. Art and science. The art piece is about being able to “see” a great photo opportunity and capture it. It’s about knowing what makes a great photo. The science is more about the technology side of things…have a good camera and knowing how to use it well.
If you have to choose between the two, never sacrifice the art. If you learn to identify a great photo, it doesn’t really matter what kind of camera you use to capture the image in most cases. Even a camera that isn’t great quality will produce a picture of interest if the subject is captured well.
While it seems that some people are born with the gift to know what makes a great photo, most of us are not born with it. It requires practice and education. The best kind of practice is very regular…daily, if possible.
One of the things I love most about photography is how mindful and present I feel when I’m looking through that lens. I see things I wouldn’t otherwise see and I’m looking closer…observing in a different way. This requires me to be fully engaged with my subject. I love this space where everything else in the world seems to just drop away.
But it isn’t just this sense of being that I enjoy. I also want to take really great photos and, as I said at the beginning, that requires a lot of time with my camera. But I’m busy and I forget…you might be busy too…most people are…
So what can we do? Here are a couple of ideas to get you going…
I love this idea. Who can’t spare 10 minutes, right?! While I think all the tips in this article are great, my favorite it to carry your camera with you all the time. Most of us have our cell phones with us which have cameras and, if your like me, it might also be common to find a 35mm lurking in the walls of that big ole’ purse. If you have it, there’s no excuse to not use it.
Another great idea is to take a photo a day. This project features all kinds of people taking photos pretty much every day. I say pretty much because most of us aren’t perfect and sometimes we forget or aren’t in the mood. This project, done as it’s intended, gives you a nice little snapshot of your life over the course of a year. What I also love about it is the non-stressful suggestions they have. If you miss a day, no one will hunt you down and punish you. You can make up those days. You are free to backdate a photo, if you choose. Or you can just skip them. The idea is to do your best and keep that camera in the forefront of your mind.
I hope these ideas are useful and you enjoy the time you spend looking through your lens. It’s an entirely different perspective. You may be surprised at what you see.