To be truly effective when taking photographs you need a mix of skill, knowledge and above all, patience. Frustration through a lack of ability to get the shot you want will, more often than not, drastically reduces your chances of succeeding. Don’t let your emotions get in the way, keep a level head and apply these five habits of highly effective Photographers.
01 Don’t expect your camera to do all the work
This means saying goodbye to ‘Auto’ and bravely using other modes such as Aperture Priority or Manual.
- Read the camera manual, several times, to get familiar with your gear.
- Gradually work through various functions and features on your camera.
- Take control of the camera, and the lighting conditions you are faced with.
02 Understand that pressing the shutter is only half of making a good photograph
- Modern cameras are still no match for the human eye, and have lots of limitations, especially in low light situations.
- Post-processing has been done since the invention of photography (either in a traditional darkroom or on the computer). This is where you polish your final images, and make adjustments to compensate for the constraints of the camera.
- Select and present only the very best images from a photo shoot.
- Store a backup copy of your images onto an external hard drive.
03 Publish photographs
So your photographs aren’t destined to die on a dusty hard drive, unseen by the world, take these steps to keep them alive.
- Share your work to get constructive feedback from your peers, such avenues can include; online galleries such as 500px, Flickr, Google +, Instagram, or a Facebook group.
- Present your images as a means of self-expression; these are your contribution to recording the world, from your point of view. Get them framed, make greeting cards, calendars, show them in art galleries, photo-books, or even as prints inside a photo album.
04 Get inspiration from other photographers you admire
- Read eBooks, magazines, blog posts, look at Facebook posts, or view YouTube videos.
- Visit galleries, take workshops or go on a photography tour to learn from a more experienced shooter.
05 Travel in search of fresh subject matter
Effective Photographers are always in search or fresh subject matter. This could be a range of things that can bring about inspiration, and could be anything from interesting locations to photogenic people.
- On a micro level, you need to use your feet to find fresh angles and perspectives – you need to ‘work the scene’, and don’t just settle on the first composition you see.
- On a macro level, you need to consider visiting exotic or remote locations away from home and opening your eyes to new possibilities.
- Avoid shooting clichés, looking for a new ‘take’ on well-photographed subjects.