3 Easy Ways to Get Better Photos without Buying More Gear
There are tons of ways for improving your photography. Unfortunately, a lot of them require better or more photography gear.
That’s why I wanted to share a few ideas for how to improve your photography without diving into your gear budget and buying a new camera, lens or another accessory. These methods are simple and straightforward but can have a significant impact on the quality of the photos you create.
Let’s get started!
Find Ways to Change the Composition
Do you always photograph your landscapes from your eye level? Are they always taken in horizontal format?
Are your portraits predictable with the same posing in every shot?
Do you never venture away from what’s been successful for your macro photography, street photography, or travel photography?
The reason for all these questions is that sticking with the same old thing every single time will eventually do two things. First, you’ll get into a creative rut, and second, all your photos will look the same, and that’s boring!
If you want to learn how to improve your photography skills, challenging yourself to find new and interesting ways to compose a photo is just the ticket.
Find new perspectives from which to shoot – from above the subject or from a low perspective shooting up towards it.
Try challenging yourself to ditch the rule of thirds for awhile and frame your subjects smack in the middle of the shot.
Explore things like visual balance and weight, color theory, the rule of odds, and other compositional tricks that can help you find unique ways to highlight your subject.
The more you explore and practice your compositional skills, the better your images will be!
Don’t Have a Plan
Yep, you read that correctly…don’t have a plan.
That, in turn, means that you could be missing out on all kinds of opportunities to create gorgeous photos of a completely different type of subject.
In my case, I love shooting landscapes and am often on the hunt for a landscape that I can turn into a beautiful photo.
But by having those blinders on, I’ve undoubtedly missed hundreds – if not thousands – of potentially awesome architecture photos, street scenes, portraits, and so on, over the years.
So, the next time you head out with your camera, do so without a plan.
Just bring your gear and photograph whatever catches your eye as you wander around.
It can be an intimidating process at first, but I think you’ll find (as I did) that after awhile, it becomes a whole lot of fun.
It’s also a great challenge for you from a skills point of view – rather than sticking with what you know, you will find yourself putting your skills to the test to create all sorts of new and interesting images.
Challenge Yourself to Create Wall-Worthy Shots
I’ll be the first to admit that I often head out to shoot photos with putting them online as my endgame. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, viewing photos online is a totally different animal than viewing them hanging on a wall.
By that, I mean that when people look at photos online, they aren’t spending a lot of time inspecting each image. That means that any minor imperfections in the shot aren’t going to raise much alarm.
However, when you print a photo – especially in a large format – and then hang it on your wall, it’s out there for everyone that sees it to inspect it with a critical eye.
That being the case, by changing your endgame and challenging yourself to create wall-worthy photos, you’ll develop a keener eye for things like color, framing, lighting, and so forth, because it’s difficult (if not impossible) to mask any imperfections in those areas when they’re hanging on a wall.
It might not sound like much of a shift in thinking when you’re taking a photo, but believe me when I say that it is a complete paradigm shift.
Rather than rushing through a shot so I can quickly post it to Instagram, when I’m working on a shot that I want to turn into a nice big print, I take a lot more time to perfect everything from the focus to the camera settings and everything in between.
And that’s just one example…
Working towards creating a fine art print also means you have to hone your composition skills so that the shot is ideally suited for the type of print you want to create.
There’s also the need to develop your post-processing skills, too. And that’s not just learning how to crop for impact so that the image looks perfect in the print – you’ve got to learn how to utilize all of the tools and tricks that Photoshop, Lightroom, and other post-processing programs offer you to create something awesome.
Speaking of awesome, you have to choose the right printer to create your final product as well.