Improve Your Photography Skills Today

In the blogging world, especially, I and so many other people are struggling with photography. I’m not a certified photographer and I basically learned everything on my own and I still learn new stuff everyday. However, I wish that I knew some things in the beginning — some things that are proven to be crucial to photography.

Most of the things I’m going to say are plain simple, but, the effect they have is a drastic one.

 

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Shot during the Golden Hour — Manual Mode

 

# No More Auto Mode

In some cases, this is debatable — Auto Mode is accepted IF you shoot the pictures by yourself using a tripod and a remote. 

Now when you have a friend that helps you take pictures — make sure your camera is in Full Manual Mode or one of the priority modes (aperture priority or shutter speed priority).

Using Manual Mode or even one of the priority modes – can be overwhelming because there’s a lot of numbers and settings you can use. There’s a lot of tutorials on the Internet on how to set your camera to the best settings but the truth is you gotta learn to value the shutter speed, ISO, exposure, white balance and so on. 

Those settings are NOT universal and they shall be changed for every photoshoot or even photo as of if you shoot during the golden hour — the sun goes down really fast so the light changes.

I’m still learning how to use my camera and I’ve been shooting auto mode until February –  during a photoshoot with another blogger, I had a click that I should look at my camera settings – the whole story is on this blog post that might help you as well.

The conclusion is that you can play with the settings, choose what you believe its best for the picture and try to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

# Shoot In Raw 

A JPEG is compressed and everytime you add an edit to it — the image compresses even more so it automatically loses information and quality and you’ll end up with a grainy mess that doesn’t look attractive.

A RAW image keeps all of the information and using Photoshop or every RAW image editor — you get to correct whatever you wish without losing the quality of the image.

Do a little test and take a RAW picture and then a JPEG one and then compare them on your computer, you’ll see the difference!

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# Get A Good Editing Software

I use Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom — they are both equally amazing to me because they taught me a lot of things about photography. 

The thing about better editing software — you can find lots of free ones but personally using those ones from Adobe helps me show EXACTLY what I want through my pictures. The free software is much more limited and you can’t really express your mind the way you actually wanna do it, through photography.

Think that a picture has a message that you wanna send out — this message is created when you shoot the picture but editing the picture can help you highlight that message even more. 

# Shoot Pictures At The Right Time Of The Day 

If you didn’t know by now, it’s a thing and it’s one of the best things I have learned. 

I always try to shoot outdoor pictures during the golden hour which is 1 hour before the sunset or 1 hour after the sunrise. The light during this time is not that harsh and your eyes won’t have that shadow – your whole image will be well balanced in this lighting setting.

 

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Shot during the golden hour – Auto Mode

 

# Show Your Pictures To The World

This might sound funny but I use my personal Facebook profile for uploading every picture I edit and it does help because I get to see the reactions of my friends or family which helps me improve my photography before I upload it to my blog or Instagram.

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# Don’t Settle 

Try to find your style by leaving yourself inspired by other photographers you see on social media. But — don’t settle, always try new settings whether they are shooting settings or editing ones.

Your editing software, if you use Photoshop or Lightroom — has a lot of settings so what you gotta do is just try to incorporate something new everytime you take a picture or edit it. 

PS. Also, try to mix editing techniques or styles, you’ll be surprised.

# Use The Right Lense 

If you’re gonna shoot portraits — I highly recommend you a focal length of 50mm and for full body shots, a 35mm length would be brilliant!

There is a lot of things I can cover in this area and if you want me to, I’ll make a part 2 of this blog post.

Let me know in the comments what is it that you wanna learn more about 🙂

 

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Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links meaning that if you click and buy something I get a commission. My opinions are NOT influenced though and they remain honest and completely based on my own experience. Full Disclosure

27 thoughts on “Improve Your Photography Skills Today

  1. Awesome tips! Not only for taking better photos but for learning the basics too. I also recommend people to learn to shoot in manual mode, the difference is amazing 🙂

  2. Everything you said is very true. I can’t afford a good editing software, so I stick to free ones on my computer or even on my phone. For me, those are good until I get some more money. Overall, great article!

  3. I use nikon 5200 in manual mode and I agree with you. Auto mode does not do justice to the landscape. It takes a while to figure things out but eventually it pays off.

  4. I used to be in love with my 50mm, I would take it everywhere and shoot almost exclusively with it. Unfortunately it broke down and I moved on to a bigger lens, a 24-70mm, which is great but it doesn’t offer the dof of the 50mm

  5. Thanks for sharing some great tips! I love photography, and had a DSLR/professional lens/editing skills etc before I started blogging as I always wanted to open a photo studio. But I’ve always had a passion for photographing people (mostly children) and I’m finding it a bit difficult to make still objects come to life!

  6. These are helpful tips. I agree that photographs need not be rushed and that we should always opt for manual mode whenever possible. In this age of smartphones, it’s easy to take quality photography for granted though. Let’s avoid falling into that trap.

  7. I use Lightroom as well to edit but I had no idea that you took your own photos I am very impressed you take great photos. Shooting in manual mode is something that I would like to learn!

  8. Great article! It’s so addicting once you start with it. I’ve been spending nights waiting for the perfect sunset colors to appear 🙂

  9. How bad is auto mode? I can’t but help shake the feeling it’s a fashion statement to say you shoot without it. My money, though, would be on the camera’s sensors and algorithms picking the best settings for 99 out of 100 normal shots.

    1. It’s not really bad… The featured image of this article – next to the title – has been shot in auto mode.

      This could have been a better pic if I would have used the manual mode, to be honest… Better focus, better settings for this specific setting…

      I learned that the less you edit the pic the better so it’s better to try to do the camera settings when taking the images.

  10. Great advice! I LOVE the golden hour, I have got some of my best shots just before sunset, it’s such a gorgeous light! Great advice about shooting in RAW, I only recently discovered this!

  11. There is so much involved in photography, and like you, I take my own photos (most of the time) for my blog and social media, but I really don’t have much of an idea about light or editing… or anything really! I often have a problem with losing quality when I edit so I’ll have to check out some of the free editors you have mentioned.

  12. Great tips. I’m a food blogger and it’s been quite a journey to improve my skills. I too shoot in RAW and it’s made such a difference.

  13. These are all great tips! I have always wanted to take photography classes, but I have not found enough time to do so. Your photos all look stunning! I need to get Adobe Lightroom!

  14. I have been guilty of using auto mode all the time because the manual mode baffles me. I intend to spend some time understanding the various functions. I also did not know that an image compresses after every edit. You have put together some great tips 🙂

  15. What this really reminds me is that I will need to be getting a camera rather than what I am using right now. What I have now is very limited. And so I hope to get a camera soon to take a wider variety of shots.

  16. I totally agree. I recently switched to RAW format & even though I always thought what was the difference, when I tried it myself I can see that there is a huge difference. I’m a huge fan of Lightroom.

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