These 9 Beginner Photography Tips Will Up Your Game in no time ( Part 2 )

Posted by Photography Talk on August 18th, 2017

5 : Stop avoiding flash

Young woman in heavy snow with umbrella

Far too little is being said on beginner photography sites and forums about lighting. There’s been a major change in how we light our subjects in recent years, and it mainly consists of using ambient and natural light as opposed to crafting the light with one or more flashes. I would guess it’s mostly because of how good camera sensors have gotten in low light conditions. While I fully support the choice of natural light for a wide variety of subjects and situations, I cannot help but feel disappointed that so many photographers, including internationally acclaimed professionals have stopped using creative lighting and are now using soft, natural light. Again, I am not saying this is a bad thing. I just think having a very good understanding of how light works (and I am not just talking about shooting in soft light and avoiding shadows here) and shaping it in the way you want can take you a very long way.

6: Find your favorite focal length

Having a focal length that you feel comfortable with will help you take a lot of great shots in the future. Of course it all depends on what kind of photos you like to take. If you’re into portraits, it can be anything from 50mm to 200mm or more. My personal favorite length is 35mm because of its versatility. Once you find this sweet spot, make sure not to overuse it. Even if you love taking portraits with an 85mm lens, you should occasionally alternate with a longer or shorter focal length. Diversity and creativity go very well together.

7: Always be shooting

This single piece of advice is in every beginner photography article and while I don’t like repeating what others have already mentioned, it is very important and that’s why it is on this list. To always be shooting means having your creative senses turned on at all times and your phone handy, ready to capture whatever interesting subject you run into. It’s a no brainer that if you want to get good at something, you have to perform that action a lot.

8: Revisit your work

The way you feel about the photos you took last week will change dramatically a few years from now. A shot you might be proud of today will then seem a naïve attempt at something great. But you can also be in for a few surprises as you might discover great shots that at one time you thought were completely uninteresting. That’s because your perception and visual education will change over time and so will the way you value your own work and the work of others.

9: Have an idol

All artists have influences and it should be no different for the beginner photographer. Find a photographer whose work you love and feel inspired by. Just make sure you set a clear boundary between inspiration and imitation. Over the years you also might find that you will change preferences when it comes to photographers you admire. Just so you know this is a totally normal sign of a healthy creative evolution.

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Photography Talk
Joined: March 22nd, 2017
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