How to Improve Your Photography

To improve your photography means to profit from your photography; to gain personal benefits from photography.

What does “improve” mean? 

Contax IIIa x New Henri Neck Strap Mark III (Mahogany Brown) 

The word “improve” is a modern one. 

When we think of the motion of “improve”, we generally mean to say “to get better at”. 

But this notion is a bit problematic, because we must ask ourselves the question:

Why “improve”? 

Do you need to get ‘better’ at photography? And by whose standard are you judging your progress?

Profiting from your photography 

The etymology for the word “improve” comes from the old French/Latin “to profit, to gain advantage from“.

I prefer this motion of “improvement”. Why? Because we must remind ourselves:

What personal profit or advantages do I derive from photography? 

How I profit from photography 

We must also not just think of the word “profit” as pertaining to money. We must think of “profit” as ‘deriving a personal advantage from‘.

For myself, this is how I gain advantages from photography:

  1. Increased joy in life: Life is more fun, exciting and interesting with photography! I embark on more interesting adventures via photography. When I got started in photography, it gave me the spur to travel and see the world! 
  2. Increased perception of the everyday beauty all around myself: With the camera, your reality is augmented. You see more, perceive more, and appreciate more of the natural beauty all around yourself! Even if you go out and shoot photos and don’t make any good photos, it almost doesn’t matter. Why? The biggest benefit of photography is that it affords you to live a more interesting life!
  3. Artistic empowerment: Photography is my main artistic outlet for my creative powers. If you’re not given the opportunity to express your creative power, you’re going to start dying. 

Don’t worry about improving your photography; just keep shooting.

One simple idea:

Too much preoccupation with bettering your photography is often a distraction. If you keep shooting daily, you’re going to naturally improve. 

To shoot everyday, very simple:

  1. Just shoot with your phone (iPhone, Google Pixel 3,Huawei P20 Pro) 
  2. Just shoot with a small point and shoot camera (Ricoh GR II). 
  3. Always wear your camera around your neck (Henri Neck Strap Mark III), and use the smallest lenses possible for your camera. 

Enjoy every part of the photographic process 

There are so many parts of the photographic process:

  1. Shooting 
  2. Editing (image culling) 
  3. Post processing 
  4. Sharing, publishing, printing photos 
  5. Curating your portfolio 

You must enjoy all aspects and parts of the photographic process! Or else you will lose the passion for photography.


How to make stronger photographs

Improving your photography (in terms of bettering your photography) is:

  1. Simplify your compositions 
  2. Be a more ruthless self editor and critic of your photos (only show photos you care about) 
  3. Study great compositions from past master photographers, and strive to make even more ambitious and epic compositions! 

And when in doubt, remember our streettogs motto:

JUST SHOOT IT! 

ERIC

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