If you read photography websites these days it’s hard to miss the compilation lists of tips and tricks. This got me thinking – what would my top tip list be like? I’ve been at this for a couple of years now so I’ve come up with a dozen for amateur photographer folks like me. Agree or disagree, be my guest!
1. Ignore the critics. Honestly, why bother with “critiques”? It’s only other peoples opinions. Take photographs for yourself, not other people – you’re not a pro, after all.
2. Exposure Compensation is your best friend. Always seems to be an afterthought in guides and manuals, but tremendously useful.
3. Try to be an artist first and foremost. The best photographers always seem to be artists.
4. Technical perfection is over-rated. Content or subject is what makes a photograph.
5. Don’t bother carrying a camera around everywhere you go, because at some point it’ll just get lost, stolen or damaged. And anyway, don’t you have a smartphone?
6. Allocate yourself “photography time”. An event, a location, or simply a couple of hours set aside. Pro’s have to or they don’t get paid, but the motivation is harder being an amateur.
7. Find out what genre of photography you like and study lots of photographers in that field. It’s surprising how different the same kind of photos can look from one photographer to the next.
8. Go to art exibitions to learn. Artists have had it worked out for hundreds of years before photography came along.
9. Photography is a simple thing but digital cameras are too complex. Don’t let that complexity get in the way of taking photographs.
10. The best learning tool is a digital camera, thanks to things like EXIF data and histograms.
11. The second best learning tool is a film camera. No instant gratification removes the advantages of digital and forces concentration on photographic technique.
12. And finally, be wary of the internet “expert”. Ask yourself why they’re spouting off so much on-line (like, er, making lists!), instead of taking photographs.
And that’s it! Hope you found my wee list interesting.