100 Things I Learned About Photography
As part of an assignment for a photography course, I had to complete a list of 100 things I learned about photography. Here's my list.
Written By: Carolyn Mickulas, Published By: Twenty20 - Spring 2014
1- It takes time to be a good photographer.
2- Do - Look for inspiration from other Photographers.
3- Don’t - Copy other Photographer’s style, be original.
4- Believe in yourself.
5- You will discover a lot about yourself through your photographs.
6- Always think outside the box.
7- This is a big one… PAY ATTENTION TO LIGHT!!
8- Criticize and critique honestly and respectfully.
9- It’s always better to underexpose than overexpose.
10- Learn the rules of photography, then learn how to break them.
11- Enjoy beautiful moments when you don’t have a camera with you. This one is especially hard for me.
12- Always check your background before hitting the shutter release.
13- Natural light is the best light.
14- My camera is a part of my wardrobe. Leaving home without it is like not wearing any shoes.
15- Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.
16- Utilize your flash. Adding just a little bit of light makes it possible to fill in shadows, resulting in a more natural-looking photo.
17- ISO: The camera’s sensitivity to light.
18- Invest in business cards. Future clients do not want to see your name and number scratched on the back of a grocery receipt.
19- The softer light you get on an overcast day is perfect for shooting plants, flowers and foliage.
20- Be prepared. Okay… this strategy isn't rocket science.
21- Histograms ARE rocket science.
22- Centering can be boring. Practice the Rule of Thirds.
23- The wider the aperture, the more light is let in – brightening your shots.
24- The narrower the aperture, the less light is let in – darkening your shots.
25- Blown out: Bright areas in a photo that are overexposed.
26- Hide your initials somewhere on your photos to prove they’re yours.
27- Shoot with whatever kind of camera you are comfortable with.
28- The concept of “less is more” lends itself effectively to just about everything, photography is no exception.
29- There is always more to learn!
30- Familiarize yourself with Photography lingo.
31- If you’re seeing what appears to be ghost doubles on your images, you can be sure your problem is camera shake.
32- Slow down and take the time to frame your shot.
33- DSLR: Digital single lens reflex.
34- Post your photos online to get exposure.
35- The most fundamental element any photographer should understand is aperture.
36- If you only buy one filter, make it a circular polarizer.
37- Golden Hour: The hour or so before sunset, and after sunrise.
38- Don’t get into the Nikon vs. Canon debate.
39- Enter photo contests and challenges.
40- Frame your best photos and give them as gifts.
41- Shooting in black & white can help develop your photographer’s eye by letting you concentrate on the relationship between light and shadow without the distraction of color.
42- Balance: Arrangement of shapes, colors and areas that complement each other.
43- Performing some very BASIC editing on a photo can help improve its quality drastically.
44- Read your camera’s instruction manual… trust me… read it!!
45- The heart of a photograph is the position of different elements in a frame, a.k.a. Composition.
46- Memory cards wear out, replace them every couple of years.
47- In the process of learning and using your camera, you will develop a better eye from a creative perspective.
48- Join a photography Club.
49- Placing an object or person in the foreground of your photo helps give a sense of scale and emphasizes how far away the distance is.
50- Okay, I admit it… I've taken a few selfies!!
51- Histograms are helpful in sunlight when it's hard to see an LCD screen.
52- Invest in a tripod.
53- Backlighting: Lighting that comes from behind the subject, causing the light meter to be underexposed.
54- You have to ‘work’ for a good shot. Holding up your camera and snapping what’s in front of you is not photography.
55- Be subtle when using HDR, it’s really easy to overdo this effect.
56- Silhouettes are an excellent way to add drama to a photo.
57- An expensive camera won’t make you a professional photographer no matter what that guy at the camera store tells you.
58- Manual mode- Where you can specify everything.
59- Automatic mode- Where the camera will make a best guess.
60- Programmed mode- Where certain characteristics are pre-determined.
61- If you get one great shot out of 100, it’s a successful day.
62- Try using a black background to make a subject stand out. Black velvet material works great because it absorbs any light hitting it. As a result, no shadows or reflections appear in the picture.
63- Get that last shot… Don’t worry; your friends won’t really leave without you.
64- The more equipment you bring, the more you have to carry.
65- When shooting flowers, carry a small spray bottle filled with water to add the extra effect of rain drops.
66- Take several photos of the same scene at different exposures, angles, or apertures.
67- F-Stop: Number used to indicate the relative size of the aperture.
68- Don’t be afraid of getting dirty.
69- Reformat your memory card when using it in a different camera.
70- Don’t be so quick to delete the images you don’t like. Look at them again in a month, you may see them differently.
71- When shooting wildlife, bring a compass, we wouldn't want you to get lost in the woods.
72- Learn from your mistakes. That’s how you will become a better photographer.
73- The camera phone is the most widely used camera in the world.
74- Anticipate shutter lag. Get used to your camera’s timing so you’ll have a good feel for the point when you need to press the shutter release.
75- Try tilting your camera, transforming the scene from the expected to something surprising.
76- Get in the habit of using a lens hood, not only to reduce lens flare; it also helps protect the lens from damage.
77- It may not be a good idea to yell STOP to a person who’s driving 55mph down the road so you can get a shot.
78- Step outside your comfort zone.
79- If you notice spots appearing in your photos, try using a dust blower.
80- Take charge of your photo shoots.
81- Learn how to accept criticism.
82- Straighten out your photos by using the basic editing tool found right on your camera.
83- These days, shaking a Polaroid picture can actually damage the image.
84- A picture is worth a thousand words.
85- Photograph the effects of the rain. Look for puddles and reflections.
86- Photoshop – it’s so powerful it’s actually become a verb.
87- Play around with the brightness, contrast, and temperature of a photo to really make colors pop off the screen.
88- Get inspired by studying the work of Photographers you love.
89- When photographing your pets, get down to their level.
90- Make new friends, join FAA and Instagram.
91- Dust off your old 35mm camera and take it out for a spin.
92- Not everyone is going to like your style, and that’s okay.
93- It’s not about what you see, but how you see it.
94- Explore the wonderful world of Macro.
95- The best photo opportunities are right in your own backyard.
96- Try new techniques.
97- Photography is an art and an adventure.
98- Take on a “Photo of the Day" project.
99- Shoot your family... with your camera... of course!
100- Have a sense of humor and write your own list :)