I have a goal, one that involves you. You see, I really hate terrible photos. And I hate them with a passion. But the problem is that terrible photos are everywhere. In online photo sharing sites. In the media, whether in print or on the web. In your friend’s photos from their last trip to someplace cool. And there are also terrible photos that you’ve taken.
That’s because nobody only takes great shots all of the time. Every photographer, whether a pro or amateur or hobbyist; an adult or teen or senior; and every other person will take bad shots. That’s no surprise.
Maybe they are. There are many people who take consistently horrible shots. If that’s you, I have something to tell you. It’s not your fault.
At least, not completely. While you are the person pressing the button and getting the terrible photo, that’s happening for one reason. You were never taught how to take a good shot.
But that’s normal. Photography isn’t taught to everyone growing up. When I got into it, most of my photos were terrible. But it’s a different story now. Only some of my photos suck now(ha ha!). But I do have a lot of good ones.
There are several routes that you can take to get good at photography. Let me tell you what the best ones are.
While I’ve become quite accomplished with DSLRs, point and shoots, as well as smartphones for various types of photography, I’ve dedicated this site to one of my favourite type of photography – macro and closeup on a smartphone.
The main reason I’ve done this is that there are many, many books on general photography. But I couldn’t find any good resources on just macro and closeup when I was learning, and certainly not one dedicated to smartphones.
Can you picture yourself taking stunning macro and closeup photos in the next few days, or even HOURS? Keep reading and I’m going to show you how easy it is to start taking great shots on your smartphone. And you don’t need to have the best smartphone or the greatest gear.
You may be thinking to yourself "Don’t I just take photos and get better over time"? Well, while I would encourage you taking lots and lots of photos, my short answer is no. That strategy will not work well for you.
Remember though, while these strategies may be obvious, I’ve cover the benefits and drawbacks of each that may be less that apparent. Specifically as it relates to closeup and macro shots on your smartphone.
The most common approach you could take to improve your photography skills is to use good ol’ Trial and Error.
On the surface, you might think this is just what I mentioned earlier. Just take lots of photos and you’ll magically get better. Sounds good to me!
Sadly, it doesn’t usually work that way. The act of just taking more photos doesn’t necessarily make you a better photographer.
In fact, if you’re reading this now, I’ll bet you’ve taken lots of photos but your skill isn’t where you want it at.
And that’s common for most, if not all people. The problem is that order to improve, a few things really need to happen. You will need to:
Actually, I do. And so do a lot of accomplished photographers. But it is hard work. You will need to commit to a lot of effort and getting bad shots until you find the "ah ha" moment and start getting good shots.
There are a couple key benefits to this method. First, it’s free! Yes, that’s right. You can start being methodical about your photography right now and not have to spend a dime.
Second, I think you’ll learn the lesson very well. In my experience, spending time and effort to figure something out usually goes a long way to ensuring you really understand it and never forgetting the lesson.
First, it is VERY TIME CONSUMING. And I mean VERY. Expect to spend many, many hours over the course of weeks and months really get to a decent level. I know this as I’ve gone through it (and still do).
And the second issue is, you are limited to your biases. And I don’t mean you’re biased to people or anything mean. What I’m saying is that you are more likely to overlook areas for development or techniques because you don’t know what you don’t, and you have your own unique way of looking at things.
There are huge advantages to learning from other sources as people look at things differently that you may have never considered.
To help you, I’m going to show you how to get better much faster, and expose you to techniques you probably wouldn’t have considered.
The next best method to getting better is to read instructional photography books. Sounds pretty simple, and frankly I read lots of them. I’ve learned a significant amount from an assortment of books and magazines, and will continue to read.
But the important point with this approach is you just can’t read the book and you’re magically better.
What you need to do is put what you’re ready into practice. And you’ll want to do that soon after you’ve learned a technique that will be helpful.
There are two reasons to put the technique to the test right away. Firstly, some techniques are not simple. You may need to spend time practicing it to get it right, otherwise you could screw it up when you really need it.
The second reason is that human memory isn’t perfect. Even if the technique you read is easy, you’ll likely forget about it when you need. However, if you practice it several times first, you’re more like to remember to use it later on.
From my point of view, one of the biggest benefits from reading photography books is that you get another photographer’s perspective and can learn from their ideas. Different people will have…