My personal experience and learnings over the years…
How my passion for photography kept increasing and my final images kept getting better...
1. First thing is to start shooting, the more you shoot the better you understand what images are working through the many mistakes you will make. Best thing about digital photography is that you can literally shoot as many photos as you like.
2. Getting to know your camera is extremely important, you will have more freedom to express what you want with your pictures, I personally didn’t know about some important features for the first couple of years with my camera.
3. The key to digital photography lies in understanding and mastering three things – Shutter speed, ISO settings, Depth of Field Aperture. Finding the balance with these three under various light conditions is what it takes to get the perfect exposure.
4. Look at other photographers work and get inspiration. Become a part of a photographer community like 500px, digital photography review, photo.net etc, Share your images on social network and photography sites.. You will get a good idea of the images that work with the feedback and comments.
5. Get a decent tripod and start using it as often as you can specially if you are shooting landscapes. It really helps specially during sunset or low light conditions. It removes camera shake and helps in getting sharp images.
6. Try and use different filters like Polarising filters, Neutral density filters. I have been using these specially for outdoor shoots. They can enhance your pictures right when you shoot by avoiding glares from the Sun and also making the colour appear better.
7. If you can go and rent out or borrow a different lens from somewhere and shoot with them. Your understanding and choice of different lenses plays an important role in capturing great images.
8. Always try and find a unique way to shoot.. Try not to be lazy and just stand at one place to take photos. Try and find a higher vantage point or go low to the ground and shoot from there. Shoot through objects.
9. While shooting outdoor or in nature be aware of the light at all times, figure out the time when there is soft light which will make your images more beautiful. If you like a location and the light is not good make sure you go back during sunrise or sunset..
10. Remember that you can capture anything with your camera. If you are not getting a particular shot the way you want it then just find solutions online or ask someone who might know.. I have learnt so many different techniques online.. there are techniques for everything.
11. When you think you have got the shot don’t stop shooting till you can.. you never know when you might get a shot that is much better than the one you thought was your best.
12.Always keep your equipment covered and dust free. Make sure you manually clean the camera and lens specially after shooting outdoors. Dust particles in your sensor or lens may increase your time on the image in post just to clean it up.
13. Experiment with different techniques and camera settings. Find your own favourite and then master it. You will thank yourself when that skill comes in handy.
Long Exposure Shot
14. Don’t keep investing in more equipment unless you are really sure about it. As new updated models and technology will continue to appear in the market. Just make sure you really need what you are buying. You will enjoy your purchase more when you have really waited for it, done your research and made a well informed decision.
15. It is always better to keep extra charged batteries and memory cards when you are shooting outdoors. Cameras tend to suck more charge in colder climates and it really hurts when you are out of charge or memory when at a beautiful location.
16. Don’t waste too much time looking at the picture on the view finder while you are shooting. You will be surprised how different they come out when you start to edit them on the computer. Some pictures will disappoint you and some might surpass your expectation. Only check for focus as that is crucial.
Night View(Blue Hour)
17. Know about how to do some post production work.. knowing how to use softwares like Lightroom or Photoshop can really enhance how and what you shoot. I keep finding tutorials online for various skills. It opens up another world.
18. Another important aspect is to curate images from your shoot. As you are the artist behind the picture, it is your choice which image you want to select as your final image but it also helps showing your raw images to others for their unbiased opinion.
19. Make sure you are always ready with your camera and you are having fun while you shoot, listen to music, plan your shoot and travel according to the sunrise and sunset but in the end just follow your heart and shoot what you love.
20. Keep in mind that you would like to tell a story through the picture you have captured so be on a look out for these stories at all times. They can appear anytime specially when we don’t expect them.
Every picture has a story to tell…
Written by Namit Khanna.
Date: 12 June 2020.