Photography is my passion. I love getting out with my camera. Sometimes I’m asked, “How do I improve my photography?”
As an amateur it is not an easy question to answer. While I had been involved in photography since I as a youth I didn’t make a serious effort to improve. That changed when I began to delve into digital photography. I really wanted to learn as much as possible about photography.
I determined early on that I should study composition and exposure. It would be time well spent.
Many resources are easily available to help with this process. David Du Chemin’s book Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision I found to be very useful.
A three day composition workshop with Sydney, B.C. professional photographer, Dave Hutchinson helped me apply the academic knowledge I was acquiring to direct practical use. His workshop took place in Tofino, B.C. and in the Pacific Rim National Park. Obviously, a very motivating place to be enjoying photography. Dave offered the same course the following year. I again signed up having enjoyed the previous year’s experience so much.
Understanding the fundamentals of exposure, ISO, shutter speed and aperture, became a priority. Again there are many resources available. I chose the highly acclaimed book by Bryan Peterson, Understanding Exposure. It remains current with the recent publication of a 4th edition. It is an excellent resource.
And then, there is the real key to improvement….practice, practice and more practice. Putting all that has been learned to practical use is the best way to grow and improve photographic skills.
Regular photography outings are important even if for only a short time. To help me concentrate on my composites I’ll often make a ‘one lens’ camera walk. Usually, this would be my 35mm prime lens.
Others will approach their photographic journey differently, however practice and lots of it are likely to be a common element.
The Fascieux Creek Wetland is an urban marsh close to home. It affords me regular opportunities to make photographs and practice my skills. Last winter, I visited there almost every day. Coincidentally, a Great Blue Heron also visited regularly. It had found a perch just above the ice covered water that caught a few rays of sun in the afternoon. It seemed to enjoy whatever heat the sun generated. I enjoyed the gorgeous light. After a few visits it became comfortable with my presence. As long as I didn’t move quickly and was relatively quiet I was allowed to move into its space.