If you are just entering the world of photography you may be convinced by the many ads pulling you in multiple ways that what you really need is a new camera – their camera. Of course, as technology advances we have increased our ability to snapshot a single moment with great precision, and features like advanced zooms and better light capture will always help us along the way. At the same time however a great camera will only take you so far, in reality an amateur with the world’s best camera will still deliver an inferior image than a professional with a dated piece of kit. In fact many professionals still use ancient (by today’s standards) cameras as their everyday companion, they find what they like and stick with it, similarly you may already have what you need to be a better photographer on the hardware front. What you really need is to master the fundamentals, get these things right and you won’t need to shell out on the latest model, you will be versatile no matter the equipment in your palms.
Light is the basis of photography; the word photo comes from the Greek word for light and thus is the backbone of the entire process. Capturing light is how the image makes its way to the image sensor and you can begin to line up your shot, no light equals no picture. Getting the lighting right is something that separates the newbies from the pros and it should come as no surprise to you that all those glossy magazine photos of models are made in a studio with all manner of lighting rigs already set up. You may not have the same facilities, although there are plenty on DIY lighting tricks you can use, regardless keeping light in mind at all times will allow you to get the best out of your subject. This is where you may need to investigate your camera settings or swap out some lenses for optimum input.
Another important part of the puzzle, focus gives your image depth and allows our eyes to be drawn to the point of interest more easily. We’ve all seen an out of focus shot that is blurry, bad and most of all tough to see the details in. Getting your focus right can bring a new life to your photography. Mastering your bokeh on outdoor shots and getting your macro subjects at the sweet spot makes a huge difference, try playing around with your manual settings to get a taste for the difference in range.
The shots that make up the portfolio of a great photographer are much different than those of a family photo album for several reasons, a big one being the angles. Photographers on the field look for interesting takes on their subjects, getting down on the floor to establish a dramatic horizon or shooting faces from every angle but head on. Contemporary creators will always look for a more interesting perspective to shoot which results in photos that really pique your interest.