tips to improve your photography forever
You are on a group trip. Of course, you’ll have your camera with you to take some photography. At a vantage point you get out, the grape moves to the best spot.
A little off at another spot you see a guy standing.
In front of him are a camera on a tripod and a thermos. He looks like he’s been here for many hours. Probably experienced the sunrise over this madness scene while you were at breakfast. You see him being a photographer.
When you disappear back on the bus, the photographer is still standing there. Seems to be one with nature. You know his photos are going to be incredible. Because he has time. Experience. Because he’s a photographer.
You kind of envy the photographer type. That is his job. Standing out here, in nature, the sun on his face. While your vacation is over next week and you’re back in the office at 8am, he’ll discover another spectacular place.
He knows where to find the most beautiful sunrise in the whole country. Where he sees most animals. When the light over this place is most beautiful.
He works in the midst of the beauty of nature and captures it. Because that’s his job.
The profession of photographer always ends up in the top 10 dream professions. According to a survey , photographer is a dream job even for 80% of respondents.
Why do so few do it anyway?
Because it’s an incredibly tough job.
The vast majority of photographers work in photo studios in the city. Only 2% are landscape photographers in the wilderness, surrounded by breathtaking nature.
But there are people who have made it anyway.
We are happy to be one of them. And we have tips for you. A huge load of tips for your photography. With each tip you will come a big step closer to your dream of stunning photos.
And maybe your goal is not to give up your profession and become a landscape photographer. Maybe your goal is to get off the bus and take a really great photo that you can hang in the living room to always think about this trip.
Even then, these tips are just right for you.
Extra tip in advance: Only reading is of no use. You have to implement. One tip at a time. The professional photographer doesn’t take such great photos because he’s a photographer. He’s a photographer because he takes such great photos.
Make a tea, take your time and off you go.
You don’t learn to take pictures by reading. Youtube. Compare tests. Buy equipment. You only learn to take pictures by taking pictures. Go out and take photos. As often and as much as you can. Never let “I have no time” apply.
We took many thousands of photos before there was a stunning one.
2 Photography on your doorstep
Don’t just take pictures when you’re traveling. Don’t be one of those who buy expensive photo equipment for a trip, which then dusts at home. Don’t wait for your next trip. Always take pictures, take pictures at home. Be constantly on the lookout for motives.
3 Photography everywhere
Get used to taking the camera with you everywhere. Don’t miss an opportunity. Also photograph things that are not your focus. Discover new areas. Look beyond the box.
4 Try new things
Just don’t stick to what you can do. Try new techniques. Working with artificial light. Macro photography. Party photography. Try also what doesn’t irritate you. Make something good out of it. Every thoughtful photo takes you further.
5 Stop thinking about your equipment
From now on, forget thoughts like “would I only have this camera/lens/filter…”. It doesn’t matter what equipment you have. You don’t need a Lamborghini to learn to drive. Just drive!
6 Take care of your photos
Stop taking pictures for the hard drive today. Photograph for a target. Hang up your photos. Give portraits to loved ones. Send landscape photos as postcards. Photograph animal portraits for the shelter. Use your photos!
7 Sort your photos
Arrange your photos. Delete the bad ones. You don’t want 100 folders with nasty photos from your early days. Keep the best 5 or 10%. Maximum. Be consistent with it. Sort out after each photo session.
8 Take yourself seriously
Banish the thought that you can’t take pictures. Tell you to take pictures. Be known as “the photographer” or “the photographer”. If you don’t believe in yourself, who else is to do it? Your photos are bad? Continue at Tip 1.
9 Check out other photos
This is one of the most important tips. From now on, look at other photos consciously. Whenever you see one. Analyze it. Do you like it? Is it a good photo? Why? Why not? What did the photographer do well or badly? How are things better?
10 Have idols
Find your favorite photographer. Whether in an art gallery or on Instagram. See which photos appeal to you and inspire you. Buy picture books or go to exhibitions. Never forget Tip 9. What’s so good about these photos?
Yes, read correctly. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Copy great photos. Recreate great ideas. coppers. Get tips and implement them. You will develop your own style on your own anyway.
12 Watch out with Photo Communities/Facebook Groups
Some groups are poison. Watch out for it. The tips are not always meaningful. In many Facebook groups and other communities, if you want to advance your photography seriously, there is no good climate for you. Avoid them in case of doubt.
13 Just don’t be discouraged
You will be told that your photo is shit. Wonderful. Find out why this is so and do a better one. Just don’t stop. Always reflect, but don’t doubt yourself. Accept criticism and move on.
14 Listen to the others
Your worst critics are the people who are close to you. You will always say that your photos are great. Ask other people. Question successful photographers. But be prepared: they relentlessly tell you the truth. Implement their tips. By the way, you can also ask us!
15 Do not listen to the others
Note Tip 14. But don’t get into the rotation. Don’t assume that each of your critics is a good photographer or teacher. Never try to make it right for everyone or to photograph it for others.
16 Know your camera by heart
There’s no way around knowing your camera and settings. Take your time. Read the manual. Learn the interplay of exposure time, aperture and ISO. There is no other option.
17 Invest not in equipment, but in knowledge
Do not buy any more equipment, but book a coaching or workshop, buy a book or even take a photo tour. It suggests you’re taking better photos with more equipment. That is not the case. Expand your photo knowledge instead.
18 Photography in crap weather even more so
Have you already internalized that you always take pictures? Don’t let bad weather stop you. You can discover completely new aspects of photography here. Master the crap weather!
19 Realize your dreams
Make a list of things, places or situations you’d like to photograph at some point. Take one of them in the short term and realize it. It’s going to feel incredible!
20 Watch the world
Forget your phone. When you’re outside, look at the world. There is a motive in every detail around you. Find it. Learn to rediscover the beauty of the world like a child. Be curious and attentive.
21 Don’t get lost in technology
You need a camera to take pictures. That’s it. The old masters had no more than that. Don’t get lost in your thoughts about filters, accessories and frills. Take your camera, no matter how old it is, and take pictures.
22 Learn the rules
Learn the rules of exposure and image design. Learn them really well. Read when a photo is underexposed or overexposed. Know what three-division and golden cut is. Know the complementary colors.
23 Break the rules
Break the rules. But only after you know them and have applied them! Definitely not the other way around! A photo with deliberately broken rules is exciting. A photo with ignored rules will expose you as a beginner.
24 If you want to misjudge, make wrong
Expose hundreds of photos correctly. Learn how to do it. And then expose as you like. You can develop your own style. A bunch of our photos are incorrectly exposed. Intentionally. So that they work.
25 Show a few of your photos
You don’t want to take pictures for the hard drive, so don’t start with it. Show your photos. But only a small selection at a time. Don’t bore people. Show only the best 5 photos from a trip. These are your top 1%. Show little, show good.
26 Identify your best photos
For Tip 25, you need to know the best 1% of your photos. This is perhaps the most serious thing. Consistently identify only 1% of your photos as the “Top 1%”. Make your extra folder for it. Work them and show them proudly. Just this one.
27 Don’t be sad about crap photos
75% of all the photos That Jan and I still take today are nothing special. And only 5 or 10% is so good that we show them. If you take 100 photos and one or two of them are good, be satisfied. That’s a good yield. Think tip 26. 1 % Good is enough.
28 Analyze the crap photos
Never skip this step. Look at your bad photos and find out why they’re bad. The very bad ones. And the almost-but-not-whole-good. Find your weaknesses and consciously work on them.
29 Take time for each photo
The biggest mistake in photography is to make it in passing. Consciously take time for each photo. Create consciously and thoughtfully, apply what you have learned, wait. Think about the mistakes of your crap photos, and not to make them again.
30 Don’t let yourself rush
Openly talk to your partner or companion that you want to get better in photography and need some time for it. Rather take 1x 10 minutes for a photo than 10x one. Appreciate the patience of your companion. Show yourself recognizable.
31 Find a photo buddy
Our photography only flourished after we took pictures together. If you’re not the “Lone Wolf” type, look for someone to photograph with. It’s best to have someone who shoots better than you. Inspire you!
32 Photograph ins in the marginal hours of the day
If it is not cloudy, only take pictures in the morning or evening when the sun is low. Photos at other times probably won’t have a chance at your top 1% anyway. Be aware of how different the evening and midday sun is.
33 Become a Master of Light
Light is the core element of great photos and the hardest to master. Get to know the light. No matter what you do, in the office, outside or at home: Pay attention to the light several times a day: Where does it come from, is it warm or cold, diffuse or direct? What mood does it create?
34 Recognize the light while taking pictures
Follow Tip 33 every day. Then also recognize the light with every photo you take. Where is the sun? Are the shadows hard? Do clouds provide soft light? Does the low-lying sun look warm? You don’t have to use the light masterfully at first. But learn to see it from the beginning.
35 Identify your problems
Get used to specifying the weaknesses of your crap photos. “My photos are getting too dark,” is quite ok. “My photos get too dark when I shoot against the light,” is much better. You can look up this problem. Ask for or google “Correct exposure in backlight” and merze the error.
36 Photography in RAW mode from today
No matter if you can do something with it: From today, at least additionally in RAW mode. If you’re a master of image editing later, you’ll thank you for having your old Top 1% photos in RAW mode. Was with me with the hot air balloon picture from above so.
37 Learn image editing with system
Don’t push yourself in front of the huge chapter of image editing. Learn it with System. You’ll probably love it if you can. Your images will improve again around worlds. Our system we show you super easy to understand here.
38 Forget the free editing tools
You can choose whether you’re going to spend years doing free editing programs and then switching to a paid program in frustration, or whether you’re investing right away. We wish it were different, but the good programs cost money. We have Lightroom. Luminar is cheaper and also good.
39 Deal with image editing
Your first results will not motivate you. But stay tuned. Image editing is a marathon, not a sprint. If you deal with it seriously and over and over again, you will master it and your pictures gigantic.
40 Praise yourself
Look at the photos you took years ago. Be proud of your development and what you have achieved. Never be ashamed of your old photos. They set you on the road. Without your crap photos you wouldn’t be ready now.
41 If you want to publish, publish
If you want to show your top 1% to people, do it. Take part in competitions or small exhibitions, send the photos to local newspapers, submit them to magazines as reader photos. Be up-to-date on actions and be there.
42 Photograph what touches you
What moves you in your heart? What are you burning for? Dare to photograph this theme. Search for it. Stop photographing only flowers and also dare to take on more serious topics.
43 Photography differently
At a famous landmark, imagine taking a different photo than all the other people here today in front of you. Photograph creatively and new. Create deliberately unusual. Be exciting.
44 Motivate others
Don’t be arrogant with your photos, but also motivate others to take photographs. Maybe you will find your photo buddy (Tip 31). Swap, be a source of inspiration.
45 Always have enough batteries and memory cards
Always have a battery and a memory card more with you than you need to be. There’s nothing worse than running up a mountain for 4 hours in the morning and noticing that your battery has given up the ghost because of the cold.
46 Take the horizon from the middle and make sure it is straight
The horizon of reality is just running. Make sure he does it in your photos. If it drops to a page, straighten it in post-processing (2 clicks in Lightroom!). Also, do not place it in the center of the image. That’s boring.
47 Don’t be boring
Surprise with your photos. Venture into extraordinary cuts. A skyscraper panorama or square is immediately an eye-catcher. Dare you something. As a photographer, you are an artist. You may deviate and try.
48 Learn tricks for more depth in the photo
Beware of flat landscape photos with no depth effect. They always seem yawningly boring. Learn how to get depth into your photos with foreground, lines and light. We show you here: Never again boring landscape photos.
49 There is sharpness in the Indian
Make sure your photos are sharp at first glance and then take care of more important things. A good photo is not characterized by maximum sharpness, but by the fact that it triggers emotions in the viewer. Ignore sharpness fetishists.
50 Let your motive work on you
Consciously, take time to find out what touches you on your subject. What makes it beautiful for you, interesting, especially? Capture these aspects with your photography.
Almost all entry-level photos would look better if there was less on it. Reduce your photos. If possible, reduce it to only one element (or, much harder, to a story). Hide everything else, hide it, cut it off.
52 Also reduce the background
Make sure there’s nothing in your photo – nothing at all! – disturbs in the background. Achieve this through perspective, by waiting, or by letting the background disappear into blurring. Retouching should be the last resort.
53 Delete merciless
If you think for more than 2 seconds whether an image is good, it probably isn’t. Delete the photos that don’t convince you immediately. With this you give the good guys more space and attention.
54 Take more photos
Photograph the same subject several times. If you have found a good motif, photograph it 20 times very similar. Slightly change perspective, structure, cut, etc. each time. Which photo is the best? Why? You get better photos and learn about them.
55 Keep your lens clean
Brush your front lens from time to time ( with the Hama Lens Pen). Especially when taking pictures in the backlight, you usually have ugly effects or streaks on your photos. Care and clean your camera as well. Keep them free of dust, sand and moisture.
56 Go closer
This tip does not apply to landscapes and predatory cats. But otherwise: Experiment with perspective by getting closer to your subject. Photos of people or pets seem more intense, photos of objects, plants or buildings more exciting.
57 Tow less with
Reduce your gear. Instead of carrying 7 lenses and 8 filters, consciously opt for a lens. Maybe even for a fixed focal length. Spend less time changing and optimizing technology and more with photography.
58 Photography at eye level
Photographers are always lying around on Earth, right? From now on also. Photograph animals (also small ones!), other people and also children at their eye level. These photos seem intense, real, close and personal. Don’t make yourself comfortable. Take great photos.
59 Photograph a reportage
Start photographing stories. Photograph a reportage of the event at the next celebration. Note all the tips. Go close. Be in the middle of the action. Find motives and capture emotions. Knips not! Photograph exciting. Photograph creatively. As a side effect, you have cool photos of your family.
60 Master the wide-angle problem
The wide-angle problem makes grandiose landscapes look boring and flat in photos. Know the reasons for this and approach the problem consciously. The linked article will help you.
61 Crop your photos
Dare to crop your photos in post-production. A lot of photos look better around worlds if you cut a piece down or up. This is an incredibly simple but incredibly effective trick that hardly any beginner uses.
62 Scoute the perfect location – and change it
Take the time to find the perfect location for your photo (it’s often not the most obvious!). But don’t stay here for all eternity, but be mobile, change the location sometimes. Try around. Don’t always take the same photo.
63 Tell stories
Really good photos tell stories. Discover your inner author and compose stories that touch the viewer with your photos. In a portrait, this can be a special facial expression, in a landscape photo a house on a cliff in nowhere. But also dare to report.
64 Put stink-boring motifs in the spotlight
There is no more stupid excuse than “there was nothing to photograph”. A good photographer turns absolutely every subject into a photo that encloses the viewer. Train this. Look for a stinky-boring motif (I just catch the eye of our kettle here) and take a picture of it excitingly. Work with perspective, planes, light, shadow. Make the motif the King.
65 Finish your photos
Make sure your favorite photos become an exposed piece of paper that you hold in your hand. Just a photo that makes it “out into the world”, i.e. out of the screen, is a finished photo. Don’t just let your photos be a digital storage unit, but give them life. Holding your finished photo in your hand is becoming an increasingly special, rarer moment in times of digital mass production.
66 Have your photos exposed in a reasonable laboratory
Don’t drag your photos to the drugstore for instant printing, but let them be exposed in a good lab. This is not expensive. We use the specialist prints from Saal-Digital. The quality is different around worlds and you don’t get pixelated prints, but real exposures on great photo paper.
67 Deal with Fine Art Prints
Turn your favorite photos into works of art. Have some photos printed on high-quality FineArt paper (e.B. by Hahnemühle). Enjoy their impact and be proud of what you have created.
68 Meet like-minded people
Your partner and friends don’t fancy photography but are you tired of going out on your own? Look for other people! Search for photo walks in your city, for photo clubs and associations. Take a course or workshop. Connect!
69 Never kill creativity
Get your creativity, it’s your most important resource. Don’t get lost in technical talk or in print. Be free, be inspired. Be funny. Take nonsense photos. Photograph intentionally really bad. Go to the museum. Into nature. Read books. Surround yourself with creativity.
70 Have joy
If in doubt, put a dirt on what others think about your photos. Keep thinking about why you started photography: because you enjoyed it. Photograph for you. Let your camera be your friend. Go with her through adventures at the end of the world, but also through funny, unpretentious sessions at home. Do what you want. Which gives you pleasure. Photograph what touches your heart. Photograph what will make your eyes glow in 30 years’ time. This won’t be the technically perfect, stylish photo with the many likes. But the photo that touches your heart.
What happens next?
Go out and take pictures.
And if you need more photo tips, come back. Click on “Lights” at the top of the menu and read through.
If you have a question that we don’t answer on our blog, ask us in the comments. We always answer – guaranteed!
Our question to you: what are YOU doing to improve your photography? What is your ultimate tip? Write a comment and let’s share it!