2 min read

15 things i have learned about photography

i am learning new ways of seeing - a self portrait by leonie wise

  1. owning an expensive camera doesn’t make me a good photographer. it makes me an expensive-camera-owner
  2. not everything needs to be photographed
  3. if i can’t get the photograph i want, moving myself instead of the camera usually works
  4. even adults need props – it helps people relax and be less self-conscious (*)
  5. i don’t like the term ‘point and shoot’ because (to me) it sounds like the photographic equivalent of ‘hit and run’ and i really hope that’s not what people are doing. even a compact digital camera, or a phone camera, can produce exquisite images
  6. be inspired by other photographers, but don’t copy them
  7. when going out on a photo-walk, leave the camera on and the lens cap off. it saves battery (switching on/off/on/off uses a lot of power) and means i am always ready
  8. always carry a spare battery, and make sure it’s charged before leaving the house
  9. what i see is different from what anyone else sees; so comparing my photographs to anyone else’s and thinking they are better, or worse, ends me up in a whole world of crazy
  10. the better i know my camera, the easier it is to get the results i want
  11. getting out of bed in the early morning has not only resulted in some good photographs, it’s meant that i’ve had time to sit quietly in the soft morning light
  12. DO NOT have a deferred life plan of being a better photographer (this applies to all of my life)… i need to do something every day that increases what i know
  13. learning doesn’t always mean reading books, sometimes it means playing with the camera until i figure out something new. sometimes it means putting the camera away and just looking
  14. if i share what i have learned, other people are more willing to share what they have learned
  15. there is always more to learn

what have you learned recently (about photography, or anything else) that you’d like to share?

* thanks to di mackey for the photograph of me – taken on a recent trip to antwerp, where i found the antique mirror frame and proceeded to show her how much less self-conscious i was when there was some fun to be had.