The guide and instruction manual is vital when you buy any camera, whether film or digital, and whilst they are a must read there are 5 things you won’t find in the manual (and I mean in any camera manual) you should be aware of. I can guarantee that these 5 things will improve your photography, and they comprise:-
1, One step at a time
I have a real thirst for knowledge and when I first started out in photography I wanted to try everything all at once. When I first started out I was having a go at landscape photography, portrait photography, macro photography…….. you name it and I was having a go. Over that time I was buying loads of different specialized equipment (fortunately nothing too expensive) in order to try and get the best photos. I was all over the place, trying to do too much and achieving nothing at all, which is soul destroying.
As soon as I slowed down and started focusing on one particular aspect of photography I found my learning accelerated ten-fold. If I could go back and do it all again I would have picked one type of photography, spent some time on that one aspect honing my skills and improving my photos before moving on to another genre and repeating.
“One step at a time” or “baby steps” as many people like to call it is some great advice if you want to develop your photography skills quicker, more efficient and without wasting money on photography gadgets and gizmos that are of little use.
2. There is no such thing as the perfect exposure
Read any photography book, photography blog, photography magazine or journal and you will see the words “perfect exposure”, “correct exposure”, “the right exposure” or some similar phrase time and time again. Many photographers spend a lifetime trying to get the perfect exposure, and all of them fail. These photographers don’t fail because they don’t know what they are doing or can’t take a decent photo, oh no.
These photographers, many of which capture superb photos fail in nailing the “perfect exposure” because it doesn’t exist. That’s right, there is no such thing as the perfect exposure so, if you are still searching for it you need to stop right now.
I am guilty of trying to capture the perfect exposure, and in my early days I spent hours and hours perfecting my exposure and what a waste of time it was because there was always a fellow photographer (at the camera club I was a member of) and sometimes more than one fellow photographer who criticized the exposure of the photo and said it was under exposed, over exposed or not evenly exposed.
Exposure is subjective and what you consider the best exposure another photographer will consider poor exposure. Getting the perfect exposure is a battle you’ll never win, so why bother trying? As long as your photos are exposed the way you want them, and the way you intended that’s all that matters.
3. There are people better than you and people worse than you
I can guarantee that you that there are photographers out there better than you and photographers out there worse than you. No matter how good, or how bad you think you are you are not the best or the worst, and you never will be.
Many people strive to be the “best” however they never will be. This may seem like a harsh statement, and I guess it is but the truth is harsh and the truth hurts. Get over it. Rather than trying to be the best you should strive to be the best you can and be happy with that.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.
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