All of us have made and failed at new year resolutions and it seems like we are doomed to regular failure. How do we get past these resolutions to the point of making a success of our photography plans? I have found that by doing a few simple steps you will keep on track and help get somewhere on your journey to great images. Here they are:
1. Read your manual
This is where everyone fails. The reason you have a camera manual is so that you have a basic understanding of how it works. If you know how to use the creative modes of your camera you will create better images. I am a classic non-manual reader to my own detriment so I speak from experience.
2. Plan your shoots
Take time to think about where and when you are going to take photos. Planning ahead will give you the time and not hurry your shots. As with any activity, if you do it on the spur of the moment you aren’t going to experience much success. Make a date with yourself and put some time aside for your photography.
3. Think before your shoot
I have coined the phrase “the disease of digital” because of this problem, the lack of thought. When we shot on film in the old days, there were 36 exposures on a roll of film and each one cost money and we were forced to think before a shot, or waste money. But, the results were better images. A thoughtful image is often a better image, although not always. Take time to think when composing a shot.
4. Improve your knowledge
Take some time out to read a magazine, a book or articles online. Find out what gaps there are in your photography knowledge and find a way to fill them. It may be a short course or just an article in a magazine. Whatever it is, find a way to fill that knowledge gap. My own philosophy is that the world is my university and every day is a day to learn something new.
5. Practise, practise, practise
When I teach photography my mantra is practise, practise, practise. If you aren’t taking photos you cannot improve no matter how many books you read or courses you do. It’s all about taking photos. There is a view that if you want to become an expert in any field, you need to practise your craft for 10 000 hours. I am not saying practise this much but spend time and you will take better images.
Don’t be scared by the words ‘new year’s resolution’ but take them to heart and determine to take your photo to the next level. Happy shooting!