September 13, 2008

Improve Your Images

Here’s How To Improve Your Photography – Look at lots of pictures!

Writers get better at writing by reading. And photographers get better by studying photographs.

I never knew this until a woman who critiques photographs for a living gave me a mission. This was many years ago, but her advice still rings true for all of us. She said I needed to study 10,000 photographs before I came back to her. I’ve taken that advice. I haven’t ever seen her again and thus, can’t show her my new work, but I am confident it’s better.

I spent money to buy books, and I spent time in libraries, but then the Internet made my task easier. One of the best things about the Internet is that it makes it easier than ever to study photography. You can find thousands of photo sites online. Spend some time looking them over and ask yourself, “Why does that image attract or repulse me?”

You need to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You need to study work that’s been published and see what your work lacks by comparison.

Study the images. Don’t just glance at them. Then try to make your own images that are inspired by the best of what you look at.

Digital photography gives you the chance to get instant feedback on your own images. Compare them to the prize winners, see what you can do to improve and keep at it. If you look at enough pictures and apply what you learn, your images will improve.

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Hi,
    out of interest, are there any particular ‘frameworks” that you use to evaluate a photo? I read a little about graphic design, and one author suggested thinking about how an image conveys motion, balance, emphasis and unity. I find it useful to think of these things when I look at a photo, but I have no idea if they are an accepted way of doing it.

  2. I have been dabbling in photography for a long time. I have been to many seminars, taken composition classes and various other photography and art courses. So, in my 35 plus years of experience, all I can say is every situation or photograph is different. Yes, photographs that convey motion, balance, emphasis and unity using leading lines, the rules of thirds, depth of field etc. will always help, they are tools. You should remember that art is in the eye of the beholder. I have seen beautiful photographs taken with a Kodak 110 Instamatic, and crap taken with a Hasselblad. The important thing is to shoot, and shoot what you like and do it a lot…

    If you are trying to sell your work, find a niche. Look at various works of art, other photographs even sculpture, all of it will open your mind and your creative outlook. Then grab your camera and shoot some more….

  3. thats why flickr’s so cool.

  4. thats why flickr’s so cool.


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