10 tips for been the best Perth photographer
I wanted to put together a quick blog explaining some steps that you can take to become a better photographer to ultimately do the best perth photography that you can be. Now, these steps are gathered from my own experience of the past 10 years of doing perth photography and then pursuing it, learning all that I could to become the best photographer in perth that I could. I’m going to be on that journey for a long time.
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perth photography – your journey
I thought it would be helpful to actually have some concrete steps that you can follow in your own journey of becoming a photographer, so I boiled it down to 10 steps. I’m going to start right now with step #1 which is to admit that you love photography. Come on, admit it. If you don’t love perth photography, then why are you reading this blog? Admit that you love photography. Photography is something that once it grabs hold of you, it really never lets go and it is a labour of love for those of us that do it and if we get paid to do it, we probably can’t believe sometimes that we’re getting paid to do something we love to do much. Admit that you love photography is step #1.
Know your equipment
Step #2 is to learn all that you can about your camera and your lens or lenses. Whether you have digital point-and-shoot camera, a really expensive DSLR camera, have one lens, five lenses, 10 lenses, it’s important that you know your equipment inside and out. You know what it can do and what its limitations are. You need to know your lenses. Are they fast lenses or are they not so fast lenses? Are they wide-angled, mid-range, telephoto lens and what should those mean and what kind of application. When do you use those different types of lenses? Know your equipment so that you don’t have to be worrying about it when you actually go out to take your photos.
aperture, shutter speed and ISO
Number three is to understand completely the three components of exposure. Those components are aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I did another video where I went much more into depth on those things and I would recommend that you look at that if you aren’t fully comfortable with aperture, shutter speed and ISO and how those three aspects interrelate. You want to learn those and then learn to shoot in manual mode. Once you understand those, you can actually dictate to your camera what shutter speed, what aperture, what ISO to use and take control of your shoot rather than letting your camera make all the decisions for you. It’s going to result in more control of your photography and better images for you in the end. Learn those three variables and learn to use manual mode is #3.
study study and more study
Number four is to study and know your subject. Now, I got a great piece of advice several years ago. When I first got into photography, I was very excited and I was taking pictures of everything I could see and I was shooting pictures of cars, and people, and cats, and buildings and everything. This person told me to really find out what you love to photograph, what you’re naturally good at, what you have an eye for and then to really focus on those things, that one or two things and to really narrow down your focus and then learn all you can about that subject.
If you know you’re going to love to do wedding photography, then learn what a bride and groom are going to expect from a wedding photographer. Learn maybe some poses to tell a bride and groom, how to pose a wedding party, how to interact with people, what to expect in different times of the day in terms of lighting. Maybe you love football or soccer, learn about that sport. Learn where the action is going to be. Learn where the light is going to be at different times of the day so that you can position yourself in the right place but really, understand and know your subject inside and out so that you can anticipate and be prepared for when you go out to do that type of photography and to focus it onto one or two areas. That’s #4.
invest in a DSLR camera which is a camera.
Number five is to invest in a DSLR camera which is a camera that has interchangeable lenses and the best lens or lenses that you can afford. Now, I don’t want you to go into debt. I just want you whatever you can afford, get the best camera and lenses that you can because this will pay off. Higher quality lenses, higher quality cameras really do make a difference in the long run when you get into the higher end of photography.
This is something that I learned by thinking I could cheap my way out of it and then I saw the results from a cheaper lens versus a higher end lens and I was sold. I basically saved my money until I could get the lens that I wanted to. Really get the best equipment that you can afford but do not go into debt. As you maybe save or make more money, then you can trade up and get some more expensive equipment.
Study other photographers
Number six is to find and study other photographers whose work you enjoy and/or admire. Find photographers who are in the same area that you like to shoot. Maybe you are into wedding photography. Find some wedding photographers that take pictures that just blow your mind and find out about that photographer. Find out maybe what equipment they use. Find out their learning process, anything you can read about them. Maybe they have tutorial videos. Learn about their process of photography and then try to emulate it or at least learn from it. Don’t just stop at one, get several. The more input that you can get is really the better that you’re going to be ultimately. It’s just gaining knowledge and understanding as you go through the process. That’s #6.
Become a student of light.
Number seven is to become a student of light. Photography actually is the study of light or I guess, it’s painting with light is the real term or the definition of it. You need to understand and become a student of light. You need to understand the colour of light. There are different colours of light. If you’re out in the sun, it’s a different colour of light than if you’re indoors under, let’s say, fluorescent light or tungsten lighting. You need to understand how that’s going to affect your subject and the colour around you. You need to understand the quality of light. Is it a hard light? Is it a soft light? What does that mean?
Really become a student of light.
Then, to understand directionality of light and how that may affect your photos. If the sun is directly overhead, that’s going to make a different result than if the sun is directly behind the subject or behind you, the photographer. You need to become a student of light. I find myself driving down the road or in different situations and I’m basically asking myself, “Okay, if I were to take a picture now, where’s the best light? What time of the day is the best time of the day for the kind of photo I want to take?” Really become a student of light.
Shoot in RAW mode
Number eight is to shoot in RAW mode. Most point-and-shoot cameras may not offer this but most DSLRs will offer you the ability to shoot in RAW mode and then to get a decent post-production software, something like Adobe Photoshop Elements or Lightroom or on a less expensive side, Corel PaintShop Pro is a good programme. On the higher end, of course, there’s Photoshop. You need to be able to learn to shoot in RAW mode, get some decent software and learn to make the very basic adjustments to your photos after you take the photos, import them into your computer.
Learn white balance, exposure and contrast.
You need to learn how to adjust white balance, exposure and contrast. Those would be the three most basic things you need to learn how to do and then, of course, there’s an unlimited number of things you can learn how to do. I’m still learning and I will be learning for probably decades to come on how to use some of the more advanced features in Photoshop and some of the more advanced software.
never stop learning.
Number nine, only two more to go. Number nine is to never stop learning. Never stop learning, you never know enough. There’s never enough information that you can gather. Obviously, don’t let it stop you from pursuing photography but there’s always more information coming out and there’s a tonne of different ways especially today on the internet and within the digital age. There’s ways to get DVDs, to go online in YouTube.
The power of youtube
Search for photographers, aspects of photography, the tutorial videos that just take a few minutes to watch and all that knowledge will just really help you expand your knowledge and your understanding of photography. Never stop learning and you could take seminars. I’ve been into a couple of seminars. I’d actually love to go to more, but like I mentioned, DVDs, tutorial videos, those can all be valuable sources of information.
Practise your craft. Practise shooting.
Now, #10 is the most important one of all and that is practise. Practise your craft. Practise shooting. Trial and error is probably the best teacher that you could ever have in photography and learn from your mistakes. If a photo looks bad, just find out why it looks bad, what you could have done to correct that. If a photo looks great, was it a happy accident or did you actually create this great photograph because you understood how and why?
A lot of times especially in the beginning, there will be some happy accidents and there will be some not so happy accidents but find out why the photos you took that you love turn out so well so that you can create that the next time you are presented with a similar situation. On the other side, if it’s not so happy accident, find out what was done wrong. Maybe you didn’t understand where the light was coming from or you didn’t have your camera in manual mode and you weren’t controlling the exposure.
There’s all kinds of different things to learn from just doing it yourself in practise. There’s never really an end to practising . Just like anybody that wants to become a master at their craft in any craft is going to put in the hours, put in the days, the weeks, the months of practise. It really will pay off.
Those are the 10 steps. I hope that they’ve been helpful to you. I’m constantly pursuing pretty much most of those steps and I hope that you will too. Thank you for watching and get excited about it because this is a fun journey.