So, you’re committed to becoming a better photographer. Kudos, you’re already on the right track. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a novice picking up a DSLR for the first time, there is always room for growth. Here are a few best practices to improve your photography skills at any level.
- Practice Quality Over Quantity – Anders Ericsson is a professor of psychology at Florida State University studying what he has coined, “deliberate practice.” Challenging the Gladwellian belief that it simply takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a true expert at a skill, Ericsson argues that perfect practice entails very deliberate focus on breaking up a large skill into sub-skills and learning those smaller tasks inside and out. This school of thought translates to photography in that you shouldn’t just shoot away all day every day without taking a step back to hone specific elements such as composition, space and texture.
- Create A Study List – Whenever you’re browsing Flickr, DeviantArt, or any site related to photography, save images that catch your eye–whether for the right or wrong reasons–in a folder on your desktop or phone and make it a habit to study one image each day. Note the composition, lighting, supporting elements, focal points, etc. Notice what works and what doesn’t, and apply your insight to your own work.
- Get Ongoing Feedback – Consult a teacher, boss, or friend who has a reasonably trained eye for photography, and ask them for feedback frequently. Ask what you did well and where you can improve. If you want to see how the public reacts to your images, post one photo every day to your social media and note what garnishes attention. YourArtGallery.com is a new website that’s great for gauging whether people want to buy your photos.
- Practice Visual Exercise– Photographer Sean Tucker is all about “visual exercise” and says that a trained eye is more important than your gear or Photoshopping abilities. In one of his videos, Tucker explains the value in learning how to “see” like a photographer and practicing “light and life awareness.”
- Remember Physical Exercise – According to a study by Lorenza S. Colzato, an Italian cognitive psychologist, “exercise enhances both divergent and convergent thinking,” meaning your ability to solve multiple problems at a time will improve and your art will reap the benefits. Exercise can also lower stress levels, improve sleep quality, and enhance memory, all essential for capturing your best imagery.
Practice your craft daily, and when you’re ready to display your treasured images, let Duggal bring your work to life with top-quality photographic printing services.