Whether you’re just starting out on your creative journey or you’re looking to take your skills to the next level, there is so much information out there to help you improve your photography. In fact it can sometimes be overwhelming, and weeding out the helpful tips from the not so helpful can be quite a task.
One of the easiest ways of getting an all-round insight into the craft is to do one of the free online photography courses that are available. If you choose the right course (with an established reputation and with tutorials by well-known photographers) you’ll be able to learn a lot and start applying it to your own creative identity. But even before you enroll in one of the free online photography courses, if you begin implementing the following three tips, you’ll see an immediate improvement in your images.
Always Consider the Light
The quality of light is a hugely important aspect, and getting into the habit of considering that every time you intend to capture an image will stand you in very good stead. The three aspects you need to think about are: the direction the light is coming from, its colour, and its intensity. What we call warm light, which gives an image a kind of golden glow and is generally the most sought after and flattering, is that which appears at the times around sunset and sunrise (hence it’s known as ‘the golden hour’). In terms of its intensity, the more diffuse the light, the softer the effect, and the harsher the light, the stronger the shadows and contrast.
To gain a thorough understanding of light quality, consider doing one of the free online photography courses that goes in-depth on the topic.
Think Carefully About Composition
While there are definitely times when the perfect composition simply presents itself within your viewfinder, if you take the time to consider the positioning and angle of your subject or the landscape before you shoot, your images will undoubtedly improve. The ‘rule of thirds’ is a superb starting point from which to arrange your composition: the premise of this rule is that you mentally divide your frame into thirds, both horizontally and vertically then ‘place’ elements of the scene along those lines, or their intersection (e.g. in a landscape you’d use the bottom two thirds for the landscape itself and the top for the sky). Another good compositional tip is to use converging lines to draw the viewer’s eye right into the scene.
These are just a couple of examples, but there are plenty more that you will learn on one of the free online photography courses.
Look for the Most Interesting Subjects
You might think this would go without saying, but finding the most interesting subjects often requires you to think outside the square and train yourself to see things with a more critical eye. Even the most ordinary of subjects can make for an extraordinary image when its contextual perception is altered. The wonderful thing about photography is that the potential to discover something very special is virtually unlimited if you open your mind to looking at things differently. Look for the images other people miss because they’re usually hidden in plain sight…
Take Your Skills to the Next Level
While you can discover so much by simply getting out and capturing images and using experience as your teacher, if you want to fast-track things, the best idea is to learn from the experts. A great way to do this is to get started with one of the free online photography courses. If that whets your appetite, it may be time to take the next big step on the road to professionalism.