Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tips for improving your Photography skills

Hello friends. In this post, I will write about something really interesting and meaningful. In fact, this is something that all of us are going to find useful, very useful to be honest. As you know, I generally spend most of my online time in searching for useful videos in You-tube and different websites for tips and tricks relating to photography. Today I found a gem of an interview of Mr Bob Holmes in You-tube. Bob Holmes is a renowned travel photographer who has won the coveted Travel Photographer of the Year award three times.  No mean feat. And in this particular interview, he talks about how to improve your photography. I am giving the link at the end of the post for your viewing pleasure (Do watch the whole video, its extremely useful)

The first and foremost thing that drew my attention to this video is the title "Natural Lighting Tips". Now natural lighting is something that is very difficult to master. With strobes, you have got the liberty to tweak them as per your need but its not the same with natural light. You have to adapt yourself to the available light.  In reality, you will find many photographers who say in their portfolio that they are natural light photographer, but in reality, you will find very few that have actually mastered it. And I think Bob Holmes is one of them. You don't have to believe my words, just take a look at his works and frame your opinion.

As I watched the whole video, I realized that it is a goldmine of useful information for beginners like us who often struggle with the camera and in the process ignore the composition part completely. Each and every word is worth noting down. I am just outlining some of his advice here, but as I have already said, do watch the video. (And I liked the way he answers, completely no nonsense style)

1. Don't restrict yourself in any particular genre- This was the first question to him. The interviewer asked what kind of a photographer you are or What kind of photography you like to do and the answer was "I love to do photography". Can't be any simpler. He is labeled as a travel photographer but he does everything. Landscapes, portraits everything. Thats my point also. Don't restrict yourself. Try everything. Of course you will have your own interest or area of strength. But that doesn't mean you should be doing macro photography only on a Street Photowalk.

2. Learn to look at light- Second question was to give some lighting tips and the answer was"Look at the light". Again pretty simple. But by looking, he doesn't mean glancing. Look at the light as a camera would do. Check the light source, intensity, color temperature, distance everything. You can only be a master of lighting when you learn to look at it. And for that you need practice, lots and lots of practice. You need to look at the light like your camera.

3. Don't think about the camera while shooting- I really liked this one. Replying how to get good photos, he replied "don't be aware of the camera." Thats very true. The moment you start being conscious about the camera, your mind stops working at the composition. Look through the viewfinder, frame the shot at your mind and when you are satisfied, just press the shutter. At the same time, you should also be aware at your settings. Specially the Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO. A beautiful photo of shot at bright daylight can be ruined if its shot at ISO 1600. Keep a look at the exposure as well. Now I know what most of us would be thinking. Thats easier said than done. Balancing both the camera settings and composition is a very difficult task. The perfect solution for this is MORE PRACTICE, no shortcuts.

4. Do your research- Before going on any photo walk or photo shoot, do your research. Going randomly to various places without doing research can easily ruin your experience.

5. What is the most important aspect of photography-  In one word ,seeing. Not just looking. Its the framing that makes or breaks a shot, not the equipment or lenses. Compose your shots after giving them thorough thought. Random clicking may produce a rare good photograph, but you can never have that consistency. Learn to see, learn to compose. Thats the secret of good photography.

6. Tips for improving composition-  This one is an absolute gem of an advice. Scan the edges of your frame. You don't want any unwanted things in your frame. Don't just concentrate at the center. Sometimes that stray object at a distant corner of your photo can completely ruin it, and cropping is not always a solution.

Now I won't waste further time. Take a look at the video and learn. Happy shooting.


  1. That was interesting. Also check out another video of the same channel in which the same set of questions were asked to Chase Jarvis. The whole series is very interesting.

  2. Hey thanks for liking man. I watched the other video as well. You are right. Its a very interesting series indeed.


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