Inexpensive Ways To Improve Your Photography Without Spending a Lot of Money on New Equipment

Starbucks-105Let’s take a look at some Inexpensive Ways To Improve Your Photography Without Spending a Lot of Money on New Equipment

Many people believe that upgrading their camera or investing in expensive new photographic equipment is the best way to improve their pictures. This often leads to disappointment and frustration. It’s often the case that upgrading to a digital SLR or mirrorless camera (micro four thirds) can turn an interest in taking pictures to someone becoming a serious photographer, but the art of photography isn’t just about cameras and equipment.

Buying new lenses and equipment can open up new creative possibilities for the photographer, but technique and an eye for a great picture are generally more important. A good photographer can produce stunning images using a smartphone or basic digital camera.

If you have spare money and would like to invest in your passion for photography, consider the following ideas before buying an expensive new camera.

1) Take a photography course.
Signing up for a course is great way to develop your skills. There are courses aimed at all levels of experience and ability, and some specialize in specific types of photography. An online course is a good way to test your techniques and get feedback, but attending workshops is often a better way to learn. Meeting other photographers to talk about your art can give you new ideas and help you to develop your own style. Watching instructional video on YouTube is an alternative. This is especially good if you have specific questions.

2) Buy a tripod.
You may associate tripods with the days of film cameras, but they still have a place in the digital world. Mounting your camera on a tripod means you can avoid the risk of camera shake and ensure your images are pin sharp. The fact that using a tripod slows down the act of taking a photograph means you will pay more attention to framing and composition. Many photographers switch from automatic mode to manual when shooting with a tripod, and this can also help to improve your technical skills.  Beware of the inexpensive. light-weight tripods sold in stores like Walmart and Best Buy.  While you don’t want to carry more weight than necessary (and you don’t want a tripod that is so heavy that you never take it with you), you do want a tripod that is sturdy enough to do the job. Aluminium is used to make the least expensive tripods, but can be to flimsy to be of value.  Some good quality tripods are also made of aluminium.  The strongest, lightest, and most expensive tripods are made of carbon fiber.  Did I mention that they are the most expensive. 🙂

3) Buy some photo editing software.
Some people argue that photographers shouldn’t rely on photo editing software to produce good pictures, but you’re missing out on the full potential of your art if you don’t at least experiment. Photoshop isn’t the only option for the digital darkroom, and there are cheaper alternatives capable of producing similar results. As well as allowing you to correct mistakes in exposure and composition, photo editing software can be used to create sophisticated special effects.  My favorite is Lightroom, but there are also many apps for your smartphone (Snapseed), as well as some free editing software that you can download for you computer.

4) Take a trip abroad.
A visit to a different country is a fantastic way to find new inspiration for your photography. Seeing new places with fresh eyes can lead to some very satisfying and rewarding pictures. Try to avoid the common tourist spots and look for different ways to capture the essence of a country. Local markets and sporting events are ideal for shooting pictures of people in their natural environment. Local wildlife can also be a great subject.

Now that I’ve told you to take a trip abroad, in the same article that says “…without spending a lot of money …”, consider shorter, more local trips.  There are always backroads, farmer’s markets, county fairs, and Halloween Parades that provide interesting photo opportunities.  Even a walk around the block, when flowers are in bloom, or leaves are turning colors, can give you lots of new subjects and practice.

5) Buy some photographic filters.
Most of the effects traditionally created by filter can now be produced in the digital darkroom, but there’s still a place for them. Neutral density filters can be used to shoot long exposures to capture motion in a photograph (get that silky smooth look and waves or waterfalls). Polarising filters can remove reflections from water and create deep blue skies in landscape pictures.

The most import advice is to simply get off the couch and shoot.

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