How to become a better photographer

For all of 2008, I took at least one picture every day…also known around the internet as Project 365. This was my official photo for the day exactly two years ago today.

I was thinking how this project improved my photography skills more than if I had taken a class or read a bunch of books. Also, since this blog is about learning to see and understanding how beauty works, I realized that this project was one of my first lessons in learning to see, although I didn’t know it would be when I started. At some point during Ought 8, I realized that I had started to actually look around me much more, observing the world, because I knew I needed to get my photo for the day at some point.

So, off the top of my head, here are a few tips I’d tell someone if they asked where to get started as a brand new photographer.

1. I think Project 365 is the perfect way to start. It will force you to bring your camera with you everywhere so that you’ll never miss out on the opportunity for a great shot. Eventually you may start to see the world around you in a different way. But maybe that was just me.

2. Read up on some basic photography tips. I used the ones I found here. It’s amazing how just knowing the rule of thirds, a bit about framing, and  some other basics of photography can immediately improve your photos.

3. Buy a couple books. I think The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby is awesome and it gets great reviews on Amazon. If you love it and plow through that one,  he has a more advanced version as well.

4. Find a professional photographer or someone else online who has written about your camera and read what they have to say about it. I have a Nikon D40 and Ken Rockwell was part of the reason I bought it. I found his website 1000 times more helpful than my owners manual.

I still have lots and lots to learn myself, but I thought I’d share at least a few of the tidbits that helped me along.

How about you? What helped you improve your photo taking skills? Please share!

Wishing you lots of lovely photos!

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