Photography is something that you need to continuously work on to improve. As you may have already discovered, getting a great shot is not as simple as pointing and shooting. There is a lot of concentration and effort into taking a photo from good to great. Below you will find some tips for intermediate photographers to help your photography skills continue to advance.
Find the Focus
The focus of your shot can have a huge impact on the final image you are trying to create. This applies for both the subject of your image and where the image is actually focused. In this case, we are referring to the focus of the image – not the subject. Remember – with landscape photography this often means a mid-range focus approximately one-third of the way into the scene.
Master Your Camera
Mastering your camera is a key point of taking your photography to the next level. By now, you should have a solid understanding of the functions that it can offer. Now it’s time to maximize those functions in a way that gives you the highest “hit rate”. Keep playing around with the ISO, aperture and shutter speed until you get the perfect shot – then keep replicating that until you feel you’ve mastered it.
Need a refresher? Check out our Camera Basics post
Invest in Your Equipment
It is easy to be enthusiastic when it comes to buying gear and get a variety of pieces – that are low quality. In the long run, these will not last or meet the needs that you may have for them. Consider investing in a few, good pieces and making the most of them. Remind yourself to think, quality over quantity.
Many retails offer an option to rent before you buy. If you’re not ready to take the plunge on a pieces of equipment, or want to test it prior to purchasing consider this option. (We’ve even heard that some places will even discount the rental price off the item if you choose to purchase it).
Change Your Perspective
Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and change where you’ve been shooting from – this can come in many forms. If you’re used to shooting at your eye-level try to vary it by shooting at the level of your waist or feet. This can offer refreshing new perspective.
Changing your viewpoint can also be of where you’ve been taking the shots. Instead of getting a level shot of a location or subject, try for something overhead or aerial.
Learn the Lighting
Light plays a huge part in photography. Incorporate light practice as a specific part of your photography practice. Play around with different types of lighting and how they influence your shots.
Key lighting elements to keep in mind with landscape photography are the golden hours, where the sun moves and how it interacts with your frame and how weather can play into these patterns.
Stop Making Excuses
There will always be a reason for you not to go out and practice – the weather isn’t right, it’s not “my day”, I don’t have the proper lighting… The important thing at this stage of your practice is regular practice. Push yourself to get out there, even if the conditions are not what you had hoped for. You never know what might come out of it.
Learn a Process
Up until this point of your practice, you may have just been accumulating your images here and there. Now is the time to start thinking about your process after the photograph has been taken. If you haven’t already, start playing around with after-effects to see what gives your image that extra “something” – it may even lead to ways you can improve the original shot itself.
How you store your photographs is also something to keep in mind. Things like location and date are recommended elements to have as part of your file naming system.
Not sure if you’re at an intermediate level yet? Have a look at our 6 Tips for New Photographers post for a starting point.