The availability of cameras with professional features at competitive prices has made the world of digital photography accessible to more and more people. Nowadays, it's easy to have cameras that can always take sharp, brightly colored pictures. But, as you can imagine, this does not mean being a photographer and, even less, being a good photographer: the pictures are not taken by the camera, but by the one who presses the shutter.
The most famous photographers are and certainly have been very talented people. However, we can be sure that not only people with magical and unattainable talent can create beautiful photographs. Growing up, overcoming as a photographer requires active participation and the right approach. It is a personal journey that will take different forms for everyone, but there are some practices, some activities, some attitudes that we can put in place to approach it correctly.
The following list, without presuming to be complete, lists some tips to keep in mind to become the best photographers.
Read books about photography and photographers.
You can find many books on the market that teach photography. There are both generic guides, which try to cover a bit of everything, and more specific books on, for example, composition, exposure, light study, etc. A good way to find good letters in this category has always been to look for them on the Internet. Through forums, opinions of other photographers or reviews in online stores, it is possible to identify the books that suit us best. And if English doesn't scare us, then the best place to find excellent photography books accompanied by numerous reviews is, in my opinion, http://www.amazon.co.uk. When it comes to books about photographers, we can apply the same approach, but depending on your sensibilities, perhaps someone would prefer to have the opportunity to examine the photographs included before making a purchase.
Follow photographers' blogs
Whether it's those who are famous for their magnificent shots and compositions or those who are acknowledged masters in the use and abuse of the photo editor (in spanish: uso y abuso del editor de fotos), or simply those who pique our interest.
Fortunately for us, contemporary photographers are well aware of the need to be present on the Internet. In addition, many of them usually keep a blog related to their work. You can easily find these blogs through Google. Once we have identified some photographers whose work interests us, let's follow and study their work. It would be advisable to have some knowledge of English, as Anglo-Saxon photographers are much more likely to document their activity and have an active presence on the Internet.
Follow blogs and other sites that provide photography tips and lessons, using an online photo editor (editor de fotos online) is recommended to start learning. Numerous resources for a photographer can be found on the Internet. Also in this case, I found that the resources in English were much higher in number, quality, presentation and organization than in Spanish.
Join a photography club or hang out with some photographer friends.
I live in a town that has less than 4000 inhabitants, but in my town there is a photography club. It is easy to find photo clubs all over Italy. Frequent contact and exchange with people who share our passion can help us grow much faster and motivate us.
Experiment with different subjects, for example, not only taking pictures of landscapes but also trying to photograph people, still lifes and everything we have the opportunity to immortalize.
Participate in photography contests, both online and offline.
Competitions allow us to have a more or less objective assessment of our photos compared to those of other people from the most disparate backgrounds. In this link you will find an always updated list of photo contests.
Setting yourself challenges.
An excellent way to feed your motivation, to look for new ideas, is to invent photographic challenges or to participate in those proposed by other people. For example, the 365 challenge mode is very famous, according to which a person commits to produce a new photo (which is obviously not a more or less random shot) every day for a year. It is best that the photos produced, of course, are made public, for example via Flickr, to receive feedback on their progress.
Observe with a critical eye the photos we can see every day in books, magazines, hanging on the walls, trying to imagine how the photographer applied the photographic concepts and techniques we know.
Always carry your camera with you.
This habit will allow us not only not to miss any opportunity to take a nice picture, but also to consider our camera as a true extension of ourselves.
Even when we don't have a camera, observe the places, objects and people as if we were going to photograph them , imagining possible framing and the best settings to use on the camera to get the snapshot we want.
Don't be afraid to show your photos.
Accept constructive criticism without feeling undermined by one's work. An outside observer will probably be able to notice aspects of our photos that are not obvious to us. By reminding us of their observations the next time we take a photo, we can't help but do a better job.
Look at your own photos with a critical eye, comparing them with those of others and re-evaluating them after a while, after you have learned new concepts.
Think before you shoot.
Don't take hundreds of photos by trial and error, but carefully consider what you want to achieve in the photo before pressing the shutter button.
The ones just listed are some of the tips you can find quoted in many other sources that I find very useful and applied as much as possible. All are implementing them in the most appropriate and cost effective way.