About five years ago, I decided to make a serious attempt to learn all that I could about photography. I would wake up early in the morning and go to the park where I would capture the sunrise or the heron that seemed to love to go fishing right around dawn. Still, my pictures came up a bit short. Something was missing.
The road from ignorance to knowledge took a lot of patience, practice, and time. Here are the six major ways I learned to be a photographer:
I joined a photography club. This is the best way to find out about how to properly use a camera and take great pictures. There are so many talented photographers you can learn from. In a club, you will learn about ISO, perspective, exposure, settings, lighting, and editing.
I practiced. The old saying “practice makes perfect” really is true when it comes to taking pictures. You will discover what works and what does not work. You will discover that taking a picture of a flower in the early morning hours will yield a much different result than taking the exact same picture during the middle of the day.
I learned to crop and edit my photos. As wonderful as the original photo may be, a little cropping and editing can make a huge difference in the final result.
I learned to have a photographer’s eye. Everywhere I go, everything I see has the possibility of a wonderful photo. I look at things from various eyes levels and different angles. I try taking a shot in different lighting. Even the most mundane object can be a work of art if the photo is taken correctly.
I take a camera with me everywhere I go. When I don’t want to carry a big camera with me, I always have my camera phone in my pocket. Some of my award-nominated photos have been taken with my camera phone.
I listen to critiques from other photographers. Critiques are not always easy to listen to. I can honestly say, however, that the critiques have made me a much better photographer. You may have to suck in your pride a bit, but don’t run from critiques. They are a valuable learning opportunity.
Today, many of my pictures have been nominated for awards. I am a far better photographer now than I was in the beginning, all because of the above six steps that I took.