I’ve still got a lot to learn about photography, but there are a few certain tips and techniques that I have come to accept as truth in my world. Here are 3 photography mantras that I firmly believe:
It’s not about the camera.
Seriously, it isn’t. Ok, it’s a little bit about the camera – sometimes. It’s nice to have good equipment, but it’s more important to know how to use the camera you have, and to practice!
A great camera can certainly make the job of capturing a photo easier (or harder, depending on your perspective), but it isn’t about the camera. Need proof? Here are a few articles and resources:
- My cameras (I love my point and shoot!)
- You must have a great camera! (The Daily Digi)
- The best camera is the one that’s with you (Chase Jarvis)
- Your camera doesn’t matter (Ken Rockwell)
taken with my Sony cybershot point and shoot camera
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” – Ansel Adams
A little effort makes a big difference.
Sometimes you get a winner if you just aimlessly shoot rapid fire, but most great photos have some thought behind them. Composition, lighting, framing, posing, and creative subject matter are important. You don’t have to know everything, but try to learn something about photography. If you were going to try and sew a dress, you wouldn’t just throw the fabric at the sewing machine!
I try to think about at least one essential component or technique when I take a picture. Here are a few articles and resources:
- Digital Photography School (great articles about photography)
- Online photography classes (most are geared toward DSLR photography, but many of the principles can be applied to any camera)
- Find a photographer that inspires you and follow them. I like Katrina Kennedy, Scott Kelby, Pioneer Woman, and Dan Phelps (Lego a Day guy) – they all inspire me!
signing the guest book at the Bingham Copper Mine
“You don't take a photograph, you make it.” - Ansel Adams
There’s still work to do after you click the shutter.
Just because you snapped the photo doesn’t mean you are done. A good photographer will put thought and care into how the image is edited and presented. There may be some SOOC (straight out of the camera) purists out there, but the truth is that photos need a bit of editing to make the shine – especially if you are posting them on the web. I’m amazed when bloggers post lousy pictures. If you are going to the work to share them online, make them stand out. This seems to especially bother me with food blogs. I can’t feel inspired by dull photos of food. Just my opinion.
Share photos using a clean blog design to maximize their impact. Create portfolios, albums, scrapbooks, etc. that showcase your photography.
Keep learning. Keep improving. Here are a few resources:
- Annual photography highlights review – critique and review your own work to learn more about photography.
- Using Lightroom – my favorite photo editing program. I also like Pioneer Woman’s actions.
- 5 key skills for the modern photographer – Digital Photography School
There’s a world full of photography information and inspiration!
“A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into.” - Ansel Adams
I believe that these 3 mantras offer great guidance to help anyone improve their photography skills. I know that it’s important to review them on a regular basis. There’s nothing like the thrill of capturing a memory in a photograph!