What makes a photographer good?
This really is the question at the core of the art of photography. If you want to become a better photographer, you should know how to get there.
In today’s Age of Technology, people just go out and buy a digital camera and start taking pictures. There are very few that begin by taking pictures then figuring out what kind of camera they need to purchase to meet their needs. This is actually the process when you go to photography school… learn how to take pictures, figure out what kind of photography suits you best, buy equipment.
The thing that many of us get involved in is trying to get the best equipment before we know what to do with it. Not only that, but we also want to get really good at Photoshop, because we know that is what the pros use. So, the process many of us perceive to be the correct one to become a better photographer… buy a great camera with awesome lenses, get the latest and greatest version of Photoshop, study photo editing, stay current with the newest releases of equipment and software.
What’s wrong with this picture (pun intended)?
The study of image resolution, sensor size vs pixel count, ISO, and how to use mask layers in Photoshop are NOT going to help you to become a better photographer. These pieces of knowledge will help you get smarter, but they will also keep you in the quest for bigger and better rather than improving your photo skills.
Man VS Woman
While this is not a research-backed, scientific study, in general, man wants to conquer the equipment but woman wants to take a good picture. Men, admit it. You know it’s true.
Who will become a better photographer first? The woman, of course, because she is focused on the quality of the photo rather than the quality of the equipment used to take the photo. She will look at the results of several different shots of the same scene and analyze which one is best, then use the same technique in a similar setting. This is how you get better at the craft.
A good photographer can use the simplest of equipment to get good photos. Even a cell phone can be a great camera in the hands of someone who knows that composition is the key to a better photo.
Now that you know how to get started, there is one caveat. A digital SLR will give you better photos of movement and action than a point and shoot camera. But you don’t need the same camera and equipment that a National Geographic photographer uses. Get an inexpensive DSLR and focus on the elements of photography rather than the features and settings of your camera.
The Auto mode button is your friend.
Set your camera on Auto and start shooting. After you shoot, look at your pictures. Examine them for composition and content. Look for ways to add interest. Get input from friends about which pictures spark interest and figure out why. Study the craft of photography rather than the equipment.
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