If you love photography, there’s no doubt that you want to know the best ways to improve your photography. There are countless blogs and articles on this subject alone; what I’m going to do is drop five ideas that might help you become better at photography.
Trying something new is also how you find your style and become the photographer you want to be. So, try these five ideas with your photography in 2022 to see if they help you grow as an artist.
Sharpen Your Composition
Shoot with one lens. There are times when we think more is better: more food, more friends, more clothes. This also applies to photography gear — more lenses mean we can shoot anything. However, sometimes, having fewer options can actually make us better photographers. When we only have one lens on our camera (or one option for composition), we're forced to think harder about how to frame our shot so that it looks interesting. This exercise can hone your composition skills and get you excited about shooting with just one lens. Shooting with one lens may sound limiting, but it actually helps you sharpen your composition skills. Rather than being tempted to move around and change the angle, you stay put and refine your framing technique. You'll quickly notice a multitude of different compositions available from the same vantage point, so choose carefully when composing your image. It will also force you to slow down and think about what you are doing, making sure that what you want is within the frame or deciding if moving farther back or forwards would make the image better before pressing the shutter release button. Most importantly, it will get you out of a rut and make you feel like a beginner again, which is when we all learn the most!
Keep It Simple With Monochrome
Try monochrome. Black and white photography isn't just for film cameras anymore. Most modern cameras have built-in black and white settings. Shooting in black and white instantly removes all the distractions of color and makes everything simple and easy to look at. Photographs don't always have to be colorful; in fact, black and white images can be some of the most dramatic photographs you'll ever create. The lack of color can draw more attention to important elements in an image.
Of course, when you shoot in raw, it will capture all available hues in the scene, so just set your preview to monochrome. However, if you always shoot in raw for the extensive editing possibilities, be even braver and shoot in JPEG monochrome only, as this will really push your choice of subject matter and composition, as the editing scope is somewhat narrowed.
Change Your Perspective
Try shooting a new subject in a vastly different orientation. Don't just shoot it straight on or at an angle. Shoot your subject from an above angle or below angle, or even try shooting into the shadows. If you mainly shoot in landscape orientation, try limiting yourself to only shooting in portrait orientation. Doing this will allow you to focus on what is important in your scene and how the elements within your scene interact with each other to make your composition.
Shoot quickly and spontaneously. Get over the idea that every image needs to be perfect or carefully composed so it can live on forever on your Facebook page or Instagram wall. Sometimes, spontaneity leads to that perfect photo. Don't overthink it! The best photos are often captured without any forethought or planning. Sure, you may end up with some odd angles or poor lighting conditions, but nothing will beat that raw emotion that pours out of you when you're just in the moment with no second thoughts involved. Sometimes, the best photos you can take are the ones that happen spontaneously. You don't have to spend forever finding that perfect shot. You just have to be there when it happens. And that's not so hard if you're ready to shoot quickly and spontaneously.
Take Time Off
Take some time off from shooting and then come back to notice how your view of the world has changed. Take a class, read a book, go on a vacation, do something that makes you feel differently about the world around you. Everyone can improve their photography skills by trying something new every once in a while. Try for at least a week without picking up your camera. You'll be surprised how much you can learn about the world around you without trying to capture it on camera. And when you come back to shooting, you'll have fresh eyes to see things in a new light.
You may be wondering why you should try new concepts and ideas for your photography. In the end, it can only serve to better you as a photographer. These ideas have been around for years, even decades. In trying these ideas, you are not only developing your own craft, but you are also opening yourself up to a new way of thinking. And if nothing else, this new approach might elevate the quality of your photography from merely just pictures to ones that convey greater meaning.
You may discover a new love for shooting in monochrome or letting yourself loose with your camera to allow spontaneity into your images. You should push yourself to try new things. That doesn’t mean you have to stop shooting in black and white or only shoot wide to capture the whole scene. It means that you should keep your mind open to new ideas and possibilities for photography.
The most important thing to remember here is not to judge yourself or others too harshly. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and we’re all trying to get better at what we do. Also, remember that this is simply a starting point for you, not the definitive guide on great photography. Do your own research, shoot your own photos, try different techniques, and enjoy. This is a creative field we’re talking about, after all; there should always be room for creativity and growth.