3

Context

I've been watching Youtube videos of people talking about photography and topics related to it, reading articles/reviews as well as how-to pages, viewing other peoples' images, and of course practicing it when the opportunity presents itself, or when I can.

Question

In terms of getting better at photography, is there an optimal schedule or cycle or is it more left up to/depends on the photographer? I'm asking this as I've been on a video binge due to bad weather to learn more and reading as well. The weather isn't that great but if events happen or if I feel like it, I will take images instead. Related I presume the best way to learn is combine both theory and the practical in whatever way you want to do it?

Related

How does one develop good photographic vision and style?

2

Every situation is different but a few thoughts come to mind:

  • Challenge yourself with new opportunities and experiences
  • Never stop learning (workshops, books, mentors)
  • Set realistic and obtainable goals
  • Know what "get better at photography" means to you
  • Determine if you want to pursue a career or a hobby in photography
  • Embrace critiques both on and offline
  • Know how to separate technical and artistic skills

The cadence is all up to you and your aspirations. What works for me certainly won't work for the next aspiring photographer. Find a mentor that is already where you want to be in 5 years and ask them how they got to where they are today, that is a good place to start.

  • Regarding critique - do you have suggestions for where to find good critiques online? My experience in the past has been that critiques are either not very informed or they fall into a pattern of the same basic suggestions on everyone's shots. – user1118321 Nov 25 '15 at 6:05
  • Where does one find/get a mentor? – unsignedzero Nov 25 '15 at 7:13
  • I would suggest joining your local camera club and entering club competitions as a good way of getting feedback and critique. They may also have separate non-competitive meeting for getting feedback. As you gain confidence you might want to enter open exhibitions to see how your best images do. – John Nov 25 '15 at 8:00
1

I have no idea about better or optimal, but after 30 years --

You should understand the basic terminology, your equipment (from the manual) and a little of the theory, but becoming proficient at photography is a little like becoming proficient at programing -- you really need to have a real project you want to complete, and then you need to complete it.

One thing that was impressed on me (back in the pre-digital days) was paying attention to what you are doing and taking notes, so you can remember why you decided to do something a certain way. That helps create a feedback loop when you look at the image on the big monitor and see something wrong/right with it. Digital makes this easier (through EXIF), but you still might want to take notes on why you decided to use a certain setting.

The goal with all this is to develop the ability to quickly get a usable image without a lot of fumbling, to understand when you need more light or a different camera placement, and to understand how to produce a desired effect.

  • re: taking notes: that's something I didn't start with when I started using ND grads & polarizers. I regret not knowing what filter & amount I used when going back over the photos. Same thing with tilt & shift settings too. – scottbb Nov 25 '15 at 16:30
  • Should add that notes don't have to pertain to gear itself. I have notes of locations and related. – unsignedzero Nov 26 '15 at 6:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.