Every photographer has been at that stage where they enjoy using point and shoot cameras or camera phones and want to buy a DLSR to stuff into their hipster camera bags and take their lens craft to the next level.
Typically the biggest way to improve is to just keep practising. Take lots of pictures in different conditions using different lenses and equipment.
With that said, if you want to improve your photography, here are some top tips to strengthen the foundation of your knowledge and level up your skills.
Shoot In RAW Format.
Most cameras, especially point and shoot cameras, take photographs in a range of compressed image formats, usually including Bitmap, JPEG and PNG.
However, one small change that makes a big difference is to start shooting in RAW image format.
Digital raw capture is a proprietary image format that captures all of the data into an uncompressed image file.
Once taken, this can be used in a post-processing programme and edited to create the perfect shot.
It is easier to edit issues such as under/overexposure and colour temperature in RAW format than using a compressed image file, so it may be worth adding them to your workflow.
Master The Exposure Triangle
Whilst many different elements affect the exposure of images, three are directly under your control:
- ISO – The camera’s sensitivity to light.
- Aperture – How open your lens is.
- Shutter Speed – How long your camera’s shutter is open when taking a shot.
By checking your settings and adjusting them for particular environments, you can take perfect shots every time.
Learn To Read Histograms
Histograms are the sheet music of photography, and allow you to accurately check exposure at the time you take the shot.
Whilst they can be complicated at first, histograms provide an accurate image of the tones of your photograph, which the left side of the graph showing the level of shadows and dark shades, whilst the right side shows the highlights and light shades.
Ideally, your photograph won’t have extreme skews to the left or right as this is a quick telltale sign of under/overexposure. Understanding histograms will let you know immediately if you need to reshoot without awkward post-processing.