Get Out There
There’s really only one way to become a better photographer, and that’s by taking photos (and being realistic about your results). Watching Youtube videos, reading books, talking to friends all are valuable activities, but they count for nothing if you’re not pushing that shutter, folks. And there’s really no excuse these days. When I first started using a camera, taking photos was an expensive and time-consuming activity. 24 or 36 frames were all you had and a you had a two week turnaround to see the results of your handiwork. By the time you had received your processed slides or photos you had completely forgotten the settings you used (no metadata on a 35mm slide). Taking a photo and getting instant feedback is absolutely priceless. Overexposure blinkies and exposure graphs tell you instantly if you have a problem, and seeing the photo eliminates the disappointment of waiting for your photo only to find you had your finger over the lens or someone blinked at just the wrong time
So why not this Summer set yourself a goal for one month of taking a photo per day. I don’t mean grabbing your camera and randomly shooting the the first thing you think of for thirty days, I mean taking an image you would be happy showing to family and friends every day for thirty days. You will find you’re taking a lot more than one photo to get that nice image, and while you’re doing this you’re improving your skills. Set yourself a focus for the month- it might be having a subject focus for your images, it might be following the rule of thirds or the magic spiral, it might be shooting specific colours, or changing perspectives on normal objects. Whatever it is, doing it for a month will inevitably force you to do some serious thinking after a few days when you run out of initial ideas, but that’s when the creativity really starts to kick in.
So get out there and start snapping.