As much as we like to have the latest and greatest gear, its not the equipment that will improve your photography, it’s the way you use it.
If you don’t know how to do the basics then a fancy pants camera with high resolution files isn’t going to help you. Only learning how to use it will.
Once the photography bug bites its hard to stop. But there is just so much to learn and so many different genera’s to peek our interest.
When you are starting out you need to spend your time learning lighting and what the device you are capturing your images on can do. Then you need to learn to edit.
Light is what photography is all about. Understanding how to work with it and how to control it will make the biggest improvements to your photography. You can never learn enough about light and how to capture it.
The camera you use is going to dictate what you can shoot. If you have a digital SLR or a mirrorless then you will be able to do much more complicated shots than with the camera that comes on your phone. Lean how to use it. And this includes if you are just shooting with your phone’s camera. Learn the features, experiment with them and see what they do. Getting to know your equipment is paramount.
Learning how to edit your photographs is essential to taking them to the next level. Even in film days we use to edit our photographs as they were printed. Nothing has changed except we now can do it ourselves instead of having a Lab tech do it for us. Its all about enhancing what we have captured. Terms like dodging and burning, using filters for contrast and the like all come from the darkroom. Lightroom is the digital darkroom and is the most used software by professionals. Photoshop gives you a different level of editing power. At the very least you need to learn how to do the basics in a program like lightroom to enhance your images.
This comparison is an image sent to me by my cousin and friend. They are country people and I was not able to do their newborn shoot for them but she is quite a good shooter herself so she sent me her file to edit like the one I did for her first son. As you can see with a little editing the image looks fantastic. By knowing how to so the little tweaks to the image, suddenly it lifts the image to an entirely different level.
This photograph is well exposed and the light is lovely. It is the perfect shot to build on with editing.
It doesnt matter how good your gear is if you dont spend the time learning how to use it. We have some great online courses that you can do. Also look at your local camera clubs, professional industry bodies, local camera shops and camera makers for opportunites to learn more.