One question I’m frequently asked is how to improve photography? My answer is always the same. Get to know your subjects first, then read your camera manual and learn all your settings.
I mentored with a portrait photographer who told me the most important thing he does is to spend time building a relationship with his clients before photographing them. Everything you do to learn about your subjects will greatly improve your photography. I believe the most important thing you can do is spend time observing, whether it be animals in the wild, landscapes, or portrait photography. You have to anticipate the moment before you can capture it.
By observing hummingbirds at our feeders I noticed that they feed, jump off the perch, then return to feed some more. I was able to figure out that if I pre-focus my camera on the feeder, I could easily photograph them in mid-air when they jump off the perch.
Landscape photographers scout several areas at different times of day, and study weather patterns to determine what the best days and times to photograph will be.
By learning about the spotted salamander migration, I was able to quickly find and photograph these gigantic salamanders in early spring.
One of the best things I did to improve my photography was to join our local Naturalist’s Club. I met lots of people with extensive knowledge on everything from birds to bees, and wildflowers. I had the opportunity to travel with them on field trips and explore many new places. Because of the knowledge I’ve gained, I’ll have a better understanding of what to look for when I take the camera out.
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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…
Fine Art Photographer