Like many creative pursuits photography is something absolutely anybody can do, but only a select few will ever excel at. To truly amaze and astound people with your photographs you need to possess the right equipment (or ingenious hacks), the right mindset, the right subjects (including children and pets), and an innate ability to know what works and what doesn’t.
You also need to utilize the knowledge of those already well-versed in photography. As with everything in life, taking the advice of those who have already been there and done that can help you shortcut the usual learning curve. With that in mind we sought to mine the collective experience of the MakeUseOf readership when it comes to photography.
We asked you, What Are Your Favorite Photography Tips? Unfortunately, few people took part in the discussion, with only a handful of comments having been submitted at the time of writing. Thankfully, those who did submit their favorite photography tips provided some really useful advice that should help anyone reading this article in the future to become better photographers.
With so few comments to draw conclusions from the best we can do is choose a few of the tips mentioned to discuss in more detail…
Find a unique or interesting perspective: At this point in time every subject matter in the world has probably been covered by someone, somewhere. Which means you’ll have to work harder to make your photos stand out from the crowd. One reader suggests always taking a moment or two to think about the photo, and try to engineer a unique or interesting perspective.
Put yourself in the right place at the right time: The emergence of smartphone photography and citizen journalism has highlighted the importance of being in the right place at the right time. But you can, to a certain degree, help yourself on this score. One reader suggests heading out early — between 7:30am and 9.00am — to capture the essence of local life.
Practice makes perfect: This tip extends to most creative pursuits, and photography is no exception. It’s only by liberally using your camera that you’ll figure out what works for you. You can even do this when you don’t have a camera to hand; one reader suggests practising your composition as you walk around, thinking about the photos you would be taking at such times.
Comment Of The Week
We had great input from the likes of Scott M, ralphvelasco, and annonymousjon, to name just a few. Comment Of The Week goes to Eugene, who, as well as the respect of myself and hopefully everybody reading this, receives 150 points to use for MakeUseOf Rewards.
1. Practice your composition in your mind everywhere you go.
2. Look for natural frames.
3. Know the rules just to bend it.
4. Use a film camera once in a while.
5. Let your shot tell the story.
We particularly liked this comment because it includes five brilliant tips, all spelled out in very simple and easy-to-understand terms. Tip 2 is especially important for turning average photos into ones that look and feel professional. Tip 5 is an absolute tentpole for those who want to take their photography to the next level.
We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.
Image Credit: Mark Probst