With so many people owning a digital SLR these days, it seems like anyone with a camera can be a great photographer. I believe this is true, with enough drive and passion, a very beginner can quickly become a great photographer.
If you are just starting our or simply want to improve your photography, here are 5 tips to help you on your way.
1. Shoot All The Time
I cannot stress this enough, practice practice practice. The more you use your camera, the more it will become second nature and your mind will be free to think creatively when composing a shot rather than just concentrating on the technical elements of using the camera. I bought my first digital SLR when I was 17 and this was one of the first photographs I took. In full auto. With no real clue what I was doing!
2. Start a Project
I can truthfully say that if I had not decided to start my 365 days self-portrait project on Flickr back in 2008, I would 100% not be doing photography full time, let alone making a living from it! The flickr community was such a welcoming one, where I received constructive criticism as well as compliments of my work which spurred me on to create more. Starting a daily photographic project is a fantastic way of pushing yourself and improve quickly over a short space of time. A 365 day project is a big commitment, however there are other projects out there such as the 52 week or the 100 days project. I highly recommend joining an online community to share your work and see your progress.
3. Tutorials and Videos
There are thousands of resources out there to help you improve your photography. From tutorials online explaining the various settings on your camera to YouTube videos and tutorial websites such as Phlearn showing you post-production techniques.
Don't be afraid to get creative and try different methods and settings on your camera. From long exposures to shooting with low aperture, the more you experiment the more you will find a style you like and over time you will develop your own unique and recognisable style of photography.
5. Ask for Feedback
As mentioned before, Flickr is a fantastic community to share your photography and get some great feedback. There are so many other platforms to present your work such as 500px, Deviant Art and even Facebook! Find a site that works for you and get uploading! As time goes on, it will be a great way to look back and see your progress as well as form relationships with other photographers and creatives.