How to Become a Better Photographer INSTANTLY!

May 06, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

This is perhaps the fastest and most logical step to take in order to be viewed by others as a better photographer.  And yet,  it may not be the easiest thing to do.  What is it?  Show only your very best photos to others - perhaps your top 5% of what you consider your best photos.  Really!

 

If you go out one morning to shoot landscapes and come back with 100 photos, only show or post 4 or 5 of those photos.  The other 95 photos will either not be up to the standards of your top 5%, or they will be redundant.  And yet  sometimes this is not the easiest thing for us to do.  It's certainly not for me.  Most of us have some sort of emotional attachment to the photos we take.  After all, we went through an effort to take them, we got up early, packed our equipment, saw how beautiful the scenery was in real life,  but that doesn't necessarily mean we have successfully translated all of this to an image where others may feel the same way.   That's why even though this may be the fastest way to be seen as an improved photographer, it's not always the easiest thing to do - to self-edit.

 

How do you start self-editing?  First, get rid of (or never show) those photos which are unintentionally out of focus or have some serious flaw.  Unless you've captured a photo of Bigfoot in the Northwoods, no one wants to see a blurry photo.  Get rid of all the extremely under or over exposed images.  My friend once posted 20 pictures to Facebook of the beautiful fireworks he saw the night before, and wanted to share this beauty.  What did he post?  Twenty DARK photos with what looked like a single pin light in the distance.  No color to them.  He even said in the post that they didn't come out, but, oh well.  He was really determined to post them.  He REALLY did this.

 

Second, don't show or post redundant photos.  A beautiful landscape is really not that much different from one taken 4 inches to the left or to the right.  The same applies to people photos.  Why show a photo of Uncle Joe holding a beer in his right hand, and another exact shot of him holding a beer in his left hand?    Why have your audience fall asleep or feign death flipping through 20 images that look the same?

 

Third, and this applies mainly to posting photos on social media, even if you have what you consider a lot of great photos, LIMIT the number you post at any given time to a really small number. Maybe 5 or so.  Another friend of mine routinely posts albums of 200-500 photos at a time to FB.  I can almost guarantee that very few people will get through the first 10 photos, if that, no matter how good they are.  If you look at some of the sites of pro photographers and view their portfolios, they RARELY have more than 10 photos to show in any one gallery.    Why not post 5 of your TOP photos that people may actually view and appreciate?     

 

One thing that's interesting is that as you develop as a photographer, you may go back to what you considered your best images from a year ago, and say, "How did I ever think this was so good?  I see so many things wrong."  This is a GOOD thing.  It means you are becoming more self-critical and your standards have been raised for your work!  I sometimes go back into photo albums from when I shot film (with a point and shoot) and I'm horrified.  Since I PAID for every shot printed, I put EVERY shot in the album (Even if was 20 DARK pictures of fireworks!). 

 


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