Tag Archives: better

How To Train Your Photography

Improving Photography title

Shoot with purpose to shoot like a pro! Follow these simple steps to improve your photography skills.

For many people, taking pictures is just a fun way to share family memories and silly things on the street. For others, photography is a full time sport, or even a career. As with many sports or careers, photography requires rigorous training and regular practice to truly master.

Many experts simply tell enthusiasts to “get out there and shoot,” but that is about as helpful as a major league baseball player telling young aspiring athletes to “get out there and play.” In order to truly improve your photography, you must understand what you need to improve.


Photography Skills

One of the most important philosophies for photographers to follow is also one of the simplest:

When you are out for a photo shoot, don’t just take photos. Challenge yourself and think about how you can take better photos!

For this philosophy, when photography is compared to a sport, self-improvement becomes much clearer.

The Photographer Athlete

Photography AthleteIn the ever-intensifying world of photography, the line between photographer and athlete becomes more and more blurred.

By comparing a photographer to a sports athlete, we can analyze what skills we need to work on. This allows photographers to focus on one thing at a time and improve their photography.

Strength

How adept is a photographer at analyzing and understanding an environment? If a photographer steps out of the blistering desert sunlight and into spotted shade beneath a grove of wilted trees, will that photographer be able to understand the highlights, shadows, and handle the camera to take a winning exposure? How good is the photographer at setting up good composition of content in the shot? How about operating in tough environments such as a swaying ship out at sea, or even a chaotic city crowd?

The photographer’s strength comes from experience shooting in difficult or harsh environments. As the photographer’s strength increases, they will be able to handle taking photos in challenging environments, especially where there is minimal light or a dramatic range in lighting and shadows. Having a high level of strength makes shooting in less challenging environments much easier. This allows photographers to shoot a higher percentage of ‘keeper’ photos.

Photography Skills

A weary photographer reclines after a rigorous day of shooting.

Agility

How quickly and proficiently can a photographer handle his or her camera and other equipment? If that photographer is shooting a sunset and suddenly needs to mount that camera to a tripod and adjust settings for shooting in low light, how easily can they do that? What if that photographer needs to change lenses in a harsh environment? What about setting up a series of flashguns and wireless receivers for a semi-controlled environment?

The photographer’s agility improves with experience and painstaking attention to detail. As the photographer’s agility increases, they will be able to operate efficiently and capture split seconds of winning exposures. As agility increases, there will be far less photos lost due to wasted time fiddling with settings or changing a lens.

Ducks

Ducklings moving in and out of spotted shade make for difficult subjects to photograph, but offer great practice! Continue reading

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5 Easy Tips to Improve Shooting a Long Lens

canon500mmA few small techniques can make the difference between a casual snapshot and a true keeper.

Shooting a long lens can seem daunting to those who have yet to try it, and even more so frustrating for photographers who have just started snapping shots from afar. Of course, nothing beats practice and understanding proper technique, but with a few little tricks, mastering the use of a long lens doesn’t have to be so frustrating.

Tip 1: Use proper tools for stability

It may seem common sense to shoot with a tripod, but there situations where the ground may not be so accommodating, or photographers must be on the constant move. In many instances, tripods are just too unwieldy and behemoth to carry around. The use of a sturdy monopod can make all the difference when a tripod just doesn’t fit the situation.  Monopods are small, easy to carry, and can be adjusted much more quickly than a tripod.

stedi-stock_camera_stabilizer

Stedi-Stock camera stabalizer.

In rare cases when both a tripod and monopod are out of reach, and maximum mobility are of utmost importance, try shooting with a “Stedi-Stock”, which allows a photographer to use the upper torso for a convenient boost to stability. The shoulder-stock for the camera uses a standard, universal tripod-mounting system, can be easily stowed away, and is light weight.

Flexible Gorilla Tripod

Flexible Gorilla Tripod

When shooting in awkward positions or low to the ground, the use of a “Gorilla-Tripod” may be precisely what the doctor ordered. These flexible, lightweight tripods are quick and easy to manipulate, taking any shape you require. This tool is invaluable for stabilizing the camera in difficult situations.

Tip 2: Shoot like a Sniper; Breath and Trigger

A sniper shooting a rifle takes the utmost care with each shot, having strict technique when it comes to breathing and pulling the trigger. While photography is a completely different field than firearm shooting, great techniques can still be shared between the two sports.

When a sniper fires a rifle, he minimizes vibration and movement of the firearm using strict breathing technique. This valuable technique can be applied to photography as well. Before ‘pulling the trigger’, slow down your breathing, and take a deep inhale and exhale. Between inhaling and exhaling, there is a moment when body movements are minimal. Relaxation is the key to stabilizing movements. Within the ten second gap of inhaling and exhaling is the best time to take the shot.

Aerial Camera Gun

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