Deal 6: 365 days of training from the world’s best photographers
by Martin Gommel (translated from his original German version of this article).
Since I found photography two and a half years ago I have learned different things which I would like to share with you today. These lessons have made me richer and I hope that you will find them refreshing and inspiring on your journey with the camera, too.
1. Never do photography to become a rock-star.
2. Enjoy what you are shooting.
3. Prepare well for your shooting, realizing that your battery isn’t charge when you’re setting up for that sunrise shoot is too late!
4. Always take one warm garment more than you actually need with you
5. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions while you are shooting
6. Set goals you can achieve
7. Write tips about photography, because writing is also learning
8. Never go shooting without a tripod
9. Be pleased with the little successes
10. Build relationships with potential photo buddies
11. Watch the place you want to shoot first with your heart… and then with the camera
12. Always stay calm
13. Know that you tend to overestimate yourself
14. Perspective is the killer
15. Dedicate yourself to photography, but never browbeat yourself too much
16. Take part in a photography community
17. Keep your camera clean
18. Never compare yourself to others in a better or worse context
19. Find your own style of photography
20. Try to compose more and to hit the shutter less
21. Seek out and learn to accept critique on your images
22. Do something different to recover creativity
23. Get inspiration from the work of other photographers
24. Criticize honestly but respectfully
25. Get feedback from your lady
26. Don’t copy other photographer’s style
27. Be bold
28. Take care of the golden ratio
29. 10mm rocks!
30. Take self portraits
31. Read books about photography
32. To give a landscape photograph the extra boost, integrate a person (maybe yourself)
33. Every shooting situation is different than you expect
34. Pay attention to s-curves and lines
35. Always shoot in RAW
36. Keep your sensor clean, so you can save some work cleaning your image in post production
37. Discover the things you think are beautiful
38. It takes time to become a good photographer
39. The best equipment is that what you have now
40. You can’t take photographs of everything
41. Break the rules of photography knowingly, but not your camera
42. Pay attention to the different way that light falls on different parts of your scene
43. The eye moves to the point of contrast
44. Clouds increase the atmosphere of a landscape
45. Start a photoblog
46. Accept praise and say “thank you”
47. ‘Nice Shot’ is not a very useful comment to write
48. ‘Amazing!’ isn’t useful either. Try to describe specifically what you like or don’t like about an image.
49. You are not your camera
50. Ask a question at the end of your comment on a photo to get a ping-pong conversation with the photographer
51. Do a review of your archives on a regular basis, the longer you photograph – the more diamonds are hidden there
52. Always clarify what the eyecatcher (focal point) will be in your image
53. No image is better than a bad one
54. Everyone has to start little
55. Your opinion about photography is important!
56. Leave a funny but thoughtful comment
57. Speak about your experiences with your photo buddies
58. Limit your photograph to the substance
59. Participate in Photo contests
60. Post processing = Optimizing your image to the best result
61. Shoot exposure latitudes as often as possible
62. Use photomatix as seldom as possible, HDR’s always have a synthetic flavor
63. Always remember what brought you to photography
64. Never shoot a person who doesn’t want to be photographed – ask permission
65. Always turn arround, sometimes the better image is behind you
66. It’s who’s behind the camera, not the camera
67. Mistakes are allowed! The more mistakes you make, the more you learn!
68. If you have an idea and immediately you think : No, this is not going to work – Do it anyway. When in doubt – always shoot.
69. Understand and look to your histograms while shooting. It delivers very important information about your image
70. Know your camera, because searching the menu button in the night is time you don’t want to waste
71. Shoot as often as possible
72. Believe in yourself
73. Don’t be afraid of getting dirty
74. Pay attention to qualitiy in your image
75. Your photographs are a personal map of your psyche
76. Re-check your ISO-Settings. It’s aweful to detect the wrong settings on your screen.
77. Be thankful for long and thoughtful comments on your images
78. Never trust your LCD. Normally it is brighter and sharper as the original image.
79. Provide for enough disc space, because it’s cheap and you will need it.
80. Learn to enjoy beautful moments when you don’t have a camera with you.
81. Always arrive at least half an hour earlier before sunrise / sundown, composing in a hurry is a bad thing.
82. Try to amplify your mental and physical limits. Takes some extra shots when you think “it’s enough”
83. Pay attention to structures in the sky and wait until they fit into structures in the foreground
84. Visit the same place as often as possible. Light never shows the same mountain.
85. Print your images in big size. You will love it.
86. Calibrate your monitor. Working with a monitor that is not accurate is like being together with someone you can’t trust. It always ends badly.
87. Don’t think about what others may say about your image. If you like it, it’s worth publishing.
88. Never address reproaches to yourself. Learn from your mistakes and look forward, not backward.
89. Fight your laziness! Creativitiy comes after discipline.
90. Ask yourself : What do you want to express in your images ?
91. Always try to think outside the box, collect new ideas about photographs you could do and ask yourself : Why not?
92. Search for a mentor.
93. Photography is never a waste of time.
94. Every community has it’s downsides. Don’t leave it out of an emotional response.
95. There will always be people who will not like what you are doing.
96. Henri Cartier-Bresson was right when he said that “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
97. A better camera doesn’t guarantee better images.
98. Always have printing in mind when you postprocess your images.
99. Photography is fair: You gain publicity with the quality of your images. Unless the images are stolen, there is no way of cheating yourself higher.
100. Write a 100 things list
Do you have learned something that I didn’t mention? I would be glad if you let me know it as a comment, so I can learn from you!
Update: Martin has added 20 More Lessons that He’s Learned About Photography here.
August 29, 2013 02:57 pm
I am in the beginning of the beginner's stage. Learning on my advance point and shoot camera at the moment. My goal is do photo shoot of my wife with this camera and only after she is satisfied with it will go and get a DSLR. This is going to help me so much. I think the most important one in the list is the 100th.
I am in love with this website. I have been spending atleast 4 hours a day on this website right now.
May 30, 2013 10:59 am
Do you have a spam issue on this web site; I also am a blogger, and I was asking yourself your situation; weve developed some great techniques and we are searching to swap options with other folks, be positive to fire me an e-mail if serious.
April 20, 2013 01:01 am
You are amazing mate! Thank you for encouraging beginners like me... Now I'm confident that the best pictures are soon to be taken... ^_^
January 21, 2013 01:04 pm
This is a great list, it really motivates me. I am a beginner and I believe this list could help me moving forward with my works. Thank you so much for sharing....:)
November 3, 2012 09:03 am
I love photography and i love this list. Almost everything on here is a completely useful tip for photographers, and for pretty much anybody who loves the visual arts. I can tell you have a lot of experience so thank you for sharing your knowledge
August 29, 2012 11:14 am
Wonderful list Darren. I've always wondered how a photographer started and how the journey is like to become a "photographer". Your points show that I have a LOT more road to cover.
I've tweeted this article to let more people know how photography is like.
One day I will have my 100 list of things I learned... Starting to write them down now.. :)
August 28, 2012 09:35 pm
Thank you so much....is two months from now got my first dslr and by searching on the web for tutorials and tips is very helpfull for what im wanted to do.i bought my 50mm ais lens and now im learning a full manual shot..
August 15, 2012 05:06 am
What is a photo log? is it like a portfolio? and thank you this is so helpful i love photography and i'm just going to college so it all new and scary but this has put things into perspective.
April 2, 2012 03:54 pm
You page is my HOME PAGE now! :)
February 28, 2012 02:49 pm
Great, Thnx a lot for sharing.
January 27, 2012 08:31 pm
thank you very much for sharing your list to us....as a novice in this venture it will of great help. more power to you !!!!
December 28, 2011 11:08 pm
I was particularly impressed by "Your photographs are a personal map of your psyche". Fits perfectly in what I value the most from photography: using your camera to grasp (and share!) what you see and what it makes you feel.
December 20, 2011 02:49 am
wow! great list! I love #39. Thanks for this :)
December 5, 2011 09:35 pm
Thank you for this article! I got bought my first DSLR yesterday, and although it all seems very daunting just now, I am also so excited to make use of the tips you have shared! I can tell i'm going to be on your site for hours. Thank you :) x
November 10, 2011 04:13 am
I have millions of thanks to you!! i been sitting in here for 4 hrs reading your articles so thanks so so much!
September 30, 2011 04:56 am
i'm only just starting.. picking up a nikon D5100 tonight after loads of fishing for knowledge and video tutorials online. i'm soo excited, and you're list has only heightened it for me! can't wait for my 10,001st photo!!! thank you xxx
September 4, 2011 07:43 am
#53. No image is better than a bad one.
#96. Henri Cartier-Bresson was right when he said that “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
August 30, 2011 01:36 pm
Good stuff. I just bought an entry level DSLR and am loving the site so far - lots of good information. Trying to not be overwhelmed by the equipment and stick to what started me down the path of shooting with my camera phone!
August 20, 2011 09:16 am
Thank you! You've reawakened confidence I thought I had lost. I'm not able to get a digital camera right now, but, I still really enjoy my film work...from straight shooting to Lomography. Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into this post, it is greatly appreciated.
July 31, 2011 01:01 am
great list, this is perfect for a person new to photography to read
Engagement Photography Ideas
July 20, 2011 06:40 pm
I am a beginner. And all I can say, is BRAVO to you. This is such a very excellent and informative site. I've learned instantly and is now a million times more eager to learn from you.
Keep up and cheers!
May 29, 2011 04:25 pm
Here's one I've noticed, You don't need an idea or vision before you go shooting. I often just go out with a wide range arsenal (10-250mm obs) and start walking towards the horizon.
In all honesty, best pictures I've taken have been in situations where one would not expect to fins a "codac moment" so I never leave home without my camera, ever, not even to grocery store wich is about 100m away from my home.
May 13, 2011 06:14 pm
Very though full. I liked this comment the most: "Fight your laziness ! Creativitiy comes after discipline"
Thanks for sharing.
April 29, 2011 10:35 pm
This tutorial is great..Am a beginner and want to learn the principles and theories of photography...Thanks for this info....Anyone looking for whom to tutor..Am available, lets do it onliine...firstname.lastname@example.org
April 26, 2011 06:03 pm
I reposted this in my fb account. I also indicated your site so my friends can see and read..=)
April 18, 2011 10:55 pm
i like this list very very much i'll share it :)
i liked point 87 and 68
March 16, 2011 01:08 am
I love this! It is so hones, straight from the heart and makes you learn so many important lessons. Thank you so much for sharing it :)
February 28, 2011 08:09 pm
Great insights! I particularly love this statement "Fight your laziness! Creativity comes after discipline."
February 18, 2011 01:38 pm
That was very helpful and I hope to make a 100 list myself! :)
February 11, 2011 01:39 pm
You 100 list is very useful, I am a newbie in this profession and the things I've read really helps me a lot . I like your # 39 the one that says that" the best equipment is the one you got". I have a 50d and really love it. From now on I will shoot always with out hesitation. Big thanks.
December 31, 2010 02:21 am
Thanks for the list..it's really open my mind..
December 21, 2010 05:52 am
Thanks for this list!
It really has helped open up my mind to a lot of things I never even thought about before picking up my camera!
I really like all 100 of the things on the list!
December 5, 2010 01:17 pm
I've learned that the harshest critic likely holds near and dear to him a photo which if it belonged to someone else would be "just a snapshot with no regard to composition" (and maybe focus) because it's a photo of someone he loves or it reminds him of a special time.
November 20, 2010 05:35 pm
I'M new here . I must say, that, at the moment that I red this fascinating list, I couldn't resist the energy pumping inside of me telling me to go outside and take some pictures . Thanks for sharing your experiences .
November 8, 2010 04:36 am
I, like most people, have always thought that to praise a piece of work, words like "AMAZING", "AWESOME", "STUPENDOUS", works great. May be, I have never given it a thought as to why I liked or disliked a particular image. Thank you! I will work hard for 10000++ image.. :)
October 26, 2010 01:52 pm
Shoot first with your heart and then with the camera was the best . Thanks for sharing this, Appreciated !
October 13, 2010 08:54 pm
101 watch the weather forecast especially in tropical country
October 5, 2010 02:03 am
I am not a photographer and the only thing I know when I see a photo, is focused or unfocused. But I have noticed I stare longer at some photos.
September 13, 2010 07:43 am
LOVED the list.
Gotta disagree with 64. If you can get away with it.... these make wonderfully intense, dramatic photographs. :)
August 9, 2010 09:57 pm
thx ! this article really uplifted my spirit . i feel down a few days ago about my pics, now i feel much better.
August 6, 2010 09:58 am
luv the list and i always remember u gotta have fun!!!!
July 29, 2010 07:11 am
i was really depressed with my small digi cam but ur list really inspired me to carry on with it i am 16 n i learn as evry time i touch my camera n still learning
the the way the front gets very small after no.35 its very hard to read
July 17, 2010 11:30 pm
Hi, i would say these 100 points has really given me an inspiration to go ahead. :-)
I am really a biginer in DSLR world.....and tried lot of things with my Camera but was disappointed BUT now i am ready again with all new spirits.... :-)
July 13, 2010 02:49 pm
This is a great list. My favourite happens to be #29 - it's definitely a lens that gets left out a lot with the photographers I know personally. I can't get enough of it!
My best advice would be to slow down and look. I see so many people (myself included sometimes) get so excited by pretty things or people that they grab camera, apply burst mode and don't stop shooting until their card runs out of space. You will take some good photographs this way, eventually. But you'll have to sort through some 560 'chaff' shots first! Find the light. Then find the angle. Then imagine the format - portrait, landscape, square, vignette etc. Then check your camera settings. Then take the photograph.
Yes, there are plenty of photographs rushing past you and escaping. Life moves fast. But I'd rather capture one perfect moment than 100 sub-par ones.
July 3, 2010 04:50 pm
well....i feel you could make the observer see exactly what you're trying to show ...including the minute aspects of the picture...you've done a gr8 job
July 3, 2010 12:54 pm
I read this list, pausing as necessary for reflection or a smile. I, as so many others, am just starting out, and appreciate the words of another artist who feels as I do, reassuring my uncertainty and encouraging what others do not always understand. It's a different world, that of photography, and those who do not share our passion cannot appreciate how much it means to encounter others who do. So, thank you, for your inspiration, encouragement, and wisdom....and I especially agree with paying attention to your thoughts and emotions, and am quite fond of watching with my heart before shooting with the camera.
June 22, 2010 06:19 pm
Love it ..can relate to some of the things you said...Thanks for sharing ur learning
June 21, 2010 05:49 am
I really enjoyed the tips, and some things i knew others were new to me. I am definitly a begginner and it will take some time before i actually catch on to all the things Photography can show me, Thanks again
May 26, 2010 11:19 pm
The BEST advice I ever took , long ago, was carry a camera with you ALL the time. I got a pic one morning of deer---one buck and 11 does, after 2 snaps, poof, they all ran off. I would NEVER get that again. It is still amazing to me I got it. You can see 10 doe and the tail of 1. AWESOME!!!!! Have given it as gifts over the years, ppl love it!
May 21, 2010 10:19 am
Thanks for sharing this great list with us. As I've grown as a photographer I have found that #20 has been critical to taking better and better photographs. It also means less time in post!!!
May 14, 2010 10:16 am
LOL, i am still laughing about the 27 point: Be Bold. I love bold guys!!!! Maybe i will give a try on shooting only bold mens, it could turn out to be very interesting....
April 29, 2010 11:10 am
April 24, 2010 03:44 am
I read through the comments as if I was listening to an experienced photographer's wisdom with eyes closed:) Phew......it was great:) I am getting a good feeling after reading the list! Thank You Martin for jotting down your experience in the 100 points and thanks Darren for adding one more gem(this article) to the bunch(of existing articles in DPS) !!! I'll probably start collating for my 'Best 10 list':)
March 17, 2010 02:24 pm
Great insights. -Dave Z
March 6, 2010 04:04 am
The best equipment is that what you have now...
really love that words.. its really works on me :)
February 28, 2010 05:08 am
18. Never compare yourself to others in a better or worse context
39. The best equipment is that what you have now
I think these are the best, especially for beginners! Thank you for this article, it was really inspiring <3
February 10, 2010 06:57 am
Thanks a lot, I'm new here and I'm learning photography by myself
I've found a lot of useful info here
and this list of 100 things has encouraged me even more to keep on shooting
February 4, 2010 12:33 pm
Thanks for sharing! This was a really usefull article. I found funny that I could remember me learning some of the tips, and now I understand I have a long way to go. What I love about photography is that is very fun to learn and, at the same time, it's not really frustrating, it's something relaxed, and it helps me express things I cannot when drawing or writting. As an amateur photographer, anyway, I cannot express much :P Thanks a lot!
January 31, 2010 11:36 pm
This is my first shot at actually reading up on photography. I own an old Kodak Easyshare V603 and that is what I carry with me everywhere. I always liked to take pictures but once I posted some on Facebook, I started getting comments on them. I donot think I would get a better camera in the future. I love taking pictures and I think that is what mattes. I love your article and will bookmark it and read it over and over from now on. Thank you.
January 13, 2010 01:07 am
thanx for the 100 tips for beginner, this also inspired me even more o become a photography myself.
December 26, 2009 01:51 am
I am beginner to photography...I feel lucky to came across your blog. There's lot to learn from it from beginners point of view and also to experts. I appreciate your effort coming up with these pointers.
November 23, 2009 08:22 pm
belos comentarios sao feitos aqui, por pessoas que vivem diariamente lidando com equipamentos de fotografias... e que tem bons conhecimentos da materia. depois de possuir um sony alpha 100 que me deu grandes alegrias,agora estou com uma nikon d 40 ainda em fase de testes conparativos e confesso que os resultados sao promissores, e graças as dicas que tenho recebido aqui, meu desenpenho como fotografo tem sido uma evoluçao bastante interesante nos novos conhecimetos e no dominio da fotografia......agradeço a este site a melhoria de minha experiencia. grato.
November 23, 2009 06:48 pm
Thanks very much for the useful tips. They will help me very much in finding my own style, learn many things from my mistakes and stop trying to coppy better photografers than myself while I will still trying to learn a lot from them.
In my opinion this list should be the first thing to read before anyone starting to learn more about photography.
My english are not so good yet so sory If what im writting above its somewhat difficult to read and understand :)
October 16, 2009 12:08 pm
Thank you so much I have found all your posts so helpful!
October 13, 2009 06:08 pm
I am planning to give photography a serious thought.
..will definitely use these tips to improve upon my skills..
Thanks a lot!
October 6, 2009 07:18 pm
Thank you very much for these. I didn't even realise I was making most of these mistakes until I read them on this list.
October 5, 2009 05:58 pm
The first quote came to mind when I was at a church one Sunday and an older lady came up to me and asked: You take photographs, right? Well, you might think: what's wrong with the question?... well the thing is, in any language, there is a formal way of asking someone something. For example, in Germany, if I greeted my friend, I would say: Hallo meine freunde! If it were a person that I didn't know or older than me, then i'd say: Wer kommen Sie? (sorry for my bad German, I'm two years out of H.S. and trying to remember a good example). Anyways, I was surprised. Another good example to illustrate this quote. My older brother bought a 1994 Toyota Supra. When he came into America's Tire Co. to look for some wheels, all the people there called him "Sir" and "Mister". The same day he came on an older 1988 Honda Accord, they acted as if he wasn't there.
The second quote came after I was taking many candid shots and people started calling me a sniper. So that's how the quotes were born.
I encourage you to make your own quotes, why use someone else's, when you can use yours? =)
October 5, 2009 05:51 pm
That list - is an eye opener for some. A quarter of this list - i already knew myself, because I learned on my own pretty much. I bought my camera from my uncle and he only showed me a few things, the rest i learned on my own. Still learning. I have an older camera, Nikon D1x (http://a.img-dpreview.com/news/0102/nikon/d1x-big.jpg).
I made up two quotes:
1. Having a professional camera, doesn't make you a professional photographer.
2. Being a photographer is like being a sniper: you have to wait for the perfect moment to shoot.
October 2, 2009 03:19 am
Thank you so much. this blog is very useful for me. :)
September 23, 2009 05:36 am
que bom, hoje descobri que é inportante ler sobre fotografia digital, vendo as 100 sugestoes aqui , e ja aprendi muito confesso. eu aprendi tudo de fotos nos bons tempos do preto e branco. mas acopnhando o progresso tecnologico da fotografia, entrtei na era digital com uma camera sony alpha 100... e com certeza vou me aprimorar com as dica e enssinamentos daqui.
September 12, 2009 05:32 am
Thank you so much for the list. I only really started like 2 days ago but i'm in love. The list helped refine the direction i want to take.
September 9, 2009 01:40 am
Any solid object is better than no tripod.
August 25, 2009 08:38 pm
Im a BIGINNER!!!
I have a Nikon D60 Camera, and have recenty purchased a SB600 Speedlight.
Can anyone give me some pointers on using this flash?
I would appreciated any comments.
July 23, 2009 03:35 am
Thank you for sharing your list.
I've found that the pics I've taken without putting much effort into them, are the ones people like the best. Strange, isn't it?
July 2, 2009 02:17 am
Love the list, except you need to update #25, what if you don't have a lady but have a man? How about "partner" ;-)
thanks for the inspiration!
June 30, 2009 11:16 am
After I finished reading this I wanted to go out and take pictures!!
June 28, 2009 04:36 am
Thank you for sharing this,
I have learned a lot from this.
Thank you so much
June 19, 2009 03:28 am
Hi Everyone, Im from South Africa
WOW, such a great site!
Im also new to this game! (Coz its sooooooooo much fun)
Just got my studio up and running (Also from home, luckily I have the space) Also very lucky to find really good condition, second hand studio lights.
Cant wait to get going with this site, joining in the weekly assignments!!
Must just work out now, how to post some of my Pics (The ones I think are good and love)
Also, been fiddling around with photoshop - love doing the layer photography.
Are there any South Africans here on this site.? Would love to hear from you
Will defenatly be scanning this site.... probably all the time now...
Thanks again for a great 1st step to photography!
June 8, 2009 11:23 am
#101: NEVER ASSUME before formatting or deleting memory card. Accident once causes lake of tear. Your tear.
#102: Backup, backup, backup. BACKUP TILL YOU DROP.
You need only ONE bad luck to create Ocean of tear.
June 2, 2009 04:14 am
everything you wrote helped me understand some things . i know one thing 4 sure...I want to become a good photographer ....=D
May 26, 2009 11:28 am
this is a great list... one question though: Why is perspective a Killer? can you explain this one?
RE: 14. Perspective is the killer
May 24, 2009 03:47 pm
I like #97 because I'm only 15 ,so I can't afford a digital SLR, I can't even afford my own digital camera at the moment, but I can still take some really great shots with my mums camera (which is practically mine now, she never uses it so I just take it with me everywhere XD)
AND number #92 is a good one for everyone to take into account. My photography teacher is both a teacher and a mentor to me, he has taught me so many things that I take into account whenever I go out to take some photos.
Overall, I learnt alot from reading this, thanks for sharing it with everyone.
May 5, 2009 12:38 am
Hope you don't mind, I placed a link of this page in my website. I wanted to share it with my other photography buddies. I'll write my own 100 things soon. Really inspiring! :)
April 22, 2009 06:00 am
Great thoughts and lessons in this!
I'd suggest adding
"Always be open to learn"
March 29, 2009 01:41 am
Photography always in manual mode, there is no better way to learn that you are the photographer and not the machine.
March 23, 2009 12:13 pm
Omg thanks so much this really helped
this also inspired me even more o become a photography myself.
Thank you so much!
February 21, 2009 05:45 pm
101- Be Patient
102- Shoot the same view from different angles
103- make sure ur shadow isn't in ur canvas when the sun is in ur back
104- Know the law for photography in public according to ur country/area
105- Never let someone accompany u if u r going for a landscape, Unless he/she is into photography (they gonna get bored)
Thanks a lot for the 100 tip and these are some of my points that i have learned. i'm still a beginner
i hope mine was useful too ..
February 18, 2009 12:59 pm
wow my name is mikayla and im 12 yrs old i like takin photos exspeacily of my friends and family sometimes mii pets as well i like takin photos off land scape as well
February 18, 2009 10:49 am
wow im only 12 and i love photgraphy i hope 2 be a famus photographer
i like takeing pics of natural things like animals, flowers and landscape!!!
February 8, 2009 03:29 am
i would like critque on my photos. especially the rodeo shots. i have a hard time shotting fat enough with the low light fast action of a rodeo.
January 17, 2009 04:42 pm
Valuable post indeed! thanks for translating and posting it!
like me,any newbie photographer would relate to each and every point in the 100 list, some of which me have experinced by now, and many more which am sure of learning it on the journey ahead!
and guess i'd make a big list of my own soon!
#68. If you have an idea and immediately you think : No, this is not going to work - Do it anyway. When in doubt - always shoot.// So ture!!! and this appplies every other decison in life too...when we have an idea, we need to believe in ourselves and take the stride before we start doubting our abilities!
January 8, 2009 11:31 pm
Interesting read! Really interesting! Just hope I can remember it all when it matters most.
December 8, 2008 04:08 am
what a great post. your words were really thoughtfull and inspiring.. i feel more confident and ready to go out and take some shots..
thank you for sharing!
December 5, 2008 03:48 am
Thanks this really helped me out!!! i'm a beginner, n didn't kno where 2 start!!!
November 27, 2008 05:32 pm
As a beginner youâ€™re probably best off getting one or two lenses of a more modest focal length range and that are equipped with image stabilization for low-light shooting.
I personally use most of a time a 18-70 mm lens. At 18 mm I can take a decent landscape shot and zooming in at 70 mm, I can "feel the frame" with my subject ( for portraits and close-ups). It's a light lens and it's easy to carry.
I wouldn't recommend a 17-200 mm , 28-300mm lens etc., event though it covers such a huge focal length range.
The lenses tend to be fairly big and heavy, they are pretty slow, with small maximum apertures.
They also tend to have a lot of distortion at the maximum length and since theyâ€™re optically so slow youâ€™ll probably also find that any telephoto photos you take will be badly blurred unless you use a tripod or flash.
In my opinion, a good starter kit is something like the Nikon D80 KIT with 18-55mm lens and 55-200mm lens.
No matter what anybody tells you now, "that one lens is all you need and you will never need to buy another one", that's not true.
Buy a decent lens for the start and discover what your style is (landscapes, close-ups, portraits, night shots) and then you might want to upgrade and invest in some better lenses, a wide angle, a telephoto one.
Think at your budget and how important photography is in your life (how much you want to invest now and in the future).
November 26, 2008 09:59 pm
i like that u said "be bold" . it s gonna be more fun :) i like this website.but now can someone tell me wt is the best first len in your life and y?
just a kid
November 24, 2008 11:16 pm
I wish I had more time for myself to learn more too.
November 24, 2008 01:46 pm
Thank you very much Antonia.
I've learned a lot from 100 things by Martin, and your reply as well. They're all really helpful.
Have more nice shots.
November 19, 2008 08:18 pm
Another thing that might help:
Use the 10mm lens on landscapes, the horizon will look endless
DON'T use it on portraits (unless you want to have some fun),because it will the futures of the person will be very pronounced
November 19, 2008 08:07 pm
#29 10mm rocks!
a 10 mm lens is a super-wide lens that help you capture "so much in a shot" without the need to go later in Photoshop or other program and stitch 3 or 4 pictures together ("making puzzle"), to get that one picture that you want.
Just think at capturing the whole Colosseum from Italy in just ONE shot and not to loose any detail. (from the same spot you take that picture, with a normal lens, you would probably get just a quarter from the Colosseum and if you go far away from it, from where you can capture it in one shot, you will lose details and quality)
Also, at a really wide angle your picture will start to distort at the ends, but you can also play with that and get very nice effects of sphere.
Hope that helps
October 23, 2008 10:21 pm
Could you explain what #29 (10mm rocks!) mean? Thanks in advance.
October 20, 2008 04:40 pm
I loved the list and that is so true. I bought my Olympus Camedia at ebay and it was a discontinued model. But, it had a lot of nice features and I have learned a lot from that camera. The first pictures, I was so proud of as I thought they were good. Now looking back at those early pictures, I have to ask, why was I so proud of them? I am still proud of them as they were the springboard to what I do today.
I found that if you look around your immediate environment, photo opportunities are all around you. Your house is a treasure trove and so is your garden or downtown. Inspiration can come anywhere,
October 2, 2008 04:32 pm
berk : Try, try & Try ;)
October 2, 2008 10:10 am
thank you for this great sharing.
how did you learned all of these things?
September 18, 2008 07:13 am
This list is excellent, but I'm not sure I get this one. If it means what I think it does, then I don't like it:
53. No image is better than a bad one
I think shooting and making mistakes is better than not shooting and missing something great, so in my opinion even a bad image is better than no image.
September 16, 2008 01:01 pm
I am not supposed to do that but ..
Honestly, I really like your list and can't wait to get my new camera and go out now.
September 14, 2008 02:07 am
Thanks for sharing.:] especially your tutorials. they helped me.. ALOT. im still a beginner and this list made me realize things. haha. anyway, thank you very much.:] you're such a big help!:D
August 28, 2008 10:09 am
Ya I agree that you should not be afraid to look silly. As a photographer you must oevrcome your shyness and you must always be open to perform an overt act in shooting.
The 100 tips is like an outline of a good photography book. Thank you for the essential knowledge.
August 26, 2008 04:05 pm
Thanks for sharing..that's a lot of information n tips that i've learn..feel free to commnent my picture..i need some support to do better in photography..thanks!
August 6, 2008 02:00 pm
i chatted with one of my friends, she was jealous by her friend that has a better camera, and she thought that her friend's photos were better than hers because her friend got a better camera. well after i read this, i think i should give her some advice that, what you were saying about "A better camera doesnâ€™t guarantee better images." and specially "Itâ€™s whoâ€™s behind the camera, not the camera".
and for my self, this 100things really helped me a lot in most of every aspects in photography. thanks for the enlightment :)
July 23, 2008 05:59 pm
It's like a prayer that a photographer should chant every day...Thanks for the tips!
July 21, 2008 05:46 am
Thank you very much. Your list like inspiration. Especially very usefull for me is advise number 89, yeah.
July 12, 2008 07:30 pm
I just started photography 4-5 months ago, and it's rrly amazing. :) I used to compare my photographs w my other friends, and I end up feeling terrible after doing that. Now I know. :) Thanks a lot!
96. Henri Cartier-Bresson was right when he said that â€œYour first 10,000 photographs are your worst.â€
July 9, 2008 12:00 am
Thanks for this great article!
I have learnt something I'd like to share: It's ok to not have a tripod with you, one can use the 1600 or 3200 iso setting on some cameras: you'll get great photos. Photos are not always about the maximum definition.
Have a play with long exposures
and: Tag and describe your photos as soon as you are back home, if you're leaving it for longer, you'll never do it, or you'll forget things
July 8, 2008 04:26 pm
It's curious, but one day (not day, but night :) ) I took the pen and started to write some notes about photography and photo taking. There were some notes like mentioned ones.
It was inconscient. That day my mood was gleeful after long months of frustrating. I've got good photos of trip and family relying only to emotions and basic photography skills that stay with me from school. I was experimenting. Some photos I edited to B&W.
That day was like epoch in my photography practice. I can take great photos without thinking of megapixels and lenses!
The photos were not of highest quality as for the glossy magazines but emotional impact was great! And not for me but for all my relatives.
For me the most important is the following tips:
"Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions while you are shooting" & "It's not the camera, man!"
July 8, 2008 01:18 pm
Great list, thanks for taking the time to write & share it. Maybe you could add "subscribe to a daily photography lesson like DPS"! I don't even know how many articles I've read so far, I think of things I've learned recently more when I'm shooting than before. Thanks again!
July 8, 2008 09:37 am
I'm really glad I stumbled on to this page. I'm currently having a weird moment with photography, and reading this just proves so many things i've always believed in; but i'm just too scared and lazy to do something about it.
" Fight your laziness ! Creativitiy comes after discipline."
That sentence is just made for me.
Thank you for sharing...and i will definitly keep reading.
July 8, 2008 02:39 am
Thank you very much for this list, it is actually kind of a backbone, an inspirational backbone, ;o)
July 7, 2008 03:49 pm
Made me think alot and took some pressure off on myself. Great tips and very useful information. Makes me appreciate the camera and skills I have.
July 7, 2008 10:40 am
Helpful and inspiring tips. Hope that I can give the same advice in the future.
July 7, 2008 01:21 am
The 'no image is better than a bad image' comment can be read two ways.
'it is better to not take an image than to take a bad image'
'there is no picture better than a bad picture'.
June 21, 2008 10:11 pm
WOW That's Really Awsome...
That Make Me Love Photographing More Than AnyTime Before...
Thank You So Much...
May 28, 2008 01:58 am
May 23, 2008 06:16 pm
great tips... am sure other visitors will appreciate it too! keep on posting such tips and lessons...
May 14, 2008 05:03 am
I love this list, but I have a couple comments -
Get feedback from your lady? Sorry, but I AM the lady!
And sometimes I feel like there is conflicting suggestions. On one hand you state "no image is better than a bad image", but on the other hand you state "Shoot as much as possible, shoot as often as possible and if in doubt, shoot anyway." Isn't that a contradiction? Or maybe I am misunderstanding it.
But other than that, GREAT list!!!!!
May 6, 2008 03:05 am
re: point number 64; that's it, the shotgun stays at home from now on!
Love the list, love DPS.
Love and light.
May 4, 2008 03:20 am
'Learn from your mistakes and look forward, not backward.'
April 14, 2008 05:53 am
I'm a poet's wife and we love lists. This is great. It's getting me thinking - always a good thing.
Can you say how one justifies:
"53. No image is better than a bad one"
"67. Mistakes are allowed! The more mistakes you make, the more you learn!"?
I guess I'm just pondering #53. I might modify it to say not to post/share "bad" images. But that might not be it either as sometimes we are our worst critics and what we think is a bad image might be great in actuality.
Just some thoughts.
April 1, 2008 02:07 pm
Thanks very much! I am just tinkering with the idea of taking my love of taking photos more seriously and investing in a DSLR. Your very monivating! If i can add anything its take photos as a stress relief!! I find if i go out with the intention of making myself feel better instead of trying to take a good shot, i take more emotional photos with less effort and less pressure on myself.
February 22, 2008 01:12 am
Learn how to spell
February 21, 2008 07:53 pm
There are so many things I could do to improve myself. Time to get disciplined. :)
February 21, 2008 10:12 am
love the list!!! as i am bloody beginner, i'll use that as mantra, too;) we actualy need things like that to latch onto sth., anything! thank you!
today, i learned something to add:
take your camera everywhere and everytime with you!
February 8, 2008 02:27 pm
i add one: "sleep with NO model."
January 25, 2008 08:51 am
Loved your list. It stokes the fires of the mind. Here's mine:
Let your soul flow through your camera; it will bring you extraordinary photographs.
January 13, 2008 03:40 pm
Hello! i'd really love this post. To be a photographer is ones of the most amazing experiences of my life. Always you learn something new and also you can use it for imagenes. I'd thik im going to writte the number 100.
See ya around!
January 13, 2008 06:57 am
Thanks for sharing your 100 tips with us.
Don't be selfish and lazy about telling and explaining someone things that you know- have learned or heard from somewhere.
The knowledge and information must circulate and go from one to another. That's the way how you have learned something.
December 29, 2007 04:48 am
One thing I think is that perspective and use of different focal lengths is extremely important in photography. Getting a new 55-200 lens recently really reinforced this with me. I've always been more of a wide angle person and going out shooting with just the telephoto really makes you work in a different way and makes you aware of your focal length and how to use it most effectively.
December 20, 2007 12:11 pm
Thank for the great list. Though I'm hopelessly addicted to HDR, your point is well taken (#62). There are so many great points here that I'll need to periodically review them to keep them fresh in my mind. Thanks so much!
December 18, 2007 11:14 am
Thanks for the lovely tips. I will remember #85. I havent been bold enough to yet.
November 25, 2007 08:57 am
Thanks for sharing, very interesting, appreciate it.
November 6, 2007 08:29 pm
It really encourages a beginner who is interested in it..
November 6, 2007 11:59 am
A great list, worthy of revisiting from time to time!
October 17, 2007 12:39 am
That was great- worthy of a link from my blog.
I took up all these photographers the other day into the San Juan Mnts in Colorado, the leader was a fellow name Jim Stienberg from Steamboat colo, I showed him my Cheezy Fuji 3800 finepix, but I told him I have always been happy with the results, he told me that a Camera is nothing but a box, it is who operates the box that creates a fine photo. I thought that was cool, in other words if you can't afford state of the art, don't let that hold you back, take photos anyway.
October 16, 2007 01:07 am
20. Great, will be best form me to learn these in non digital times.
28. "take care of the golden ratio" My english is not enought for understand these. Can any one explain it please?
29. also these one.
I would like to ad something like: think as an old sniper, you don't take photos you hunt photos, think what, when, why.
Is it posible to make a printable version of the list?
October 16, 2007 12:58 am
As a professional photographer I have even learnt a thing or two from your list. Good work.
October 15, 2007 06:44 pm
thanks! going to write my list hope that I'll be able to reach at least 20 things list :)
October 15, 2007 03:13 am
This is a great list. There are so many things on there that I need to remind myself of on a regular basis.
October 14, 2007 09:11 pm
Really great list. Inspried me to get the creative juices flowing and start recordig my own list of key learings.
October 13, 2007 12:09 pm
What a great list - I'm keeping it handy. Thanks so much.
October 13, 2007 05:08 am
A great list! I have learned so much in just reading your 100 list. Thank you for sharing!
October 13, 2007 04:26 am
i was just revising your points and thn suddenly i realized that point no. 96 is changed with time
Henri Cartier-Bresson was right when he said that â€œYour first 10,000 photographs are your worst.â€
but because with digital age photographers don't think that much while taking pictures as film photographers used to think. So i think now it should be like your first 30,000 photographs are your worst.That was said in film age and must be for film age photographers.. ;)
October 12, 2007 09:27 pm
i read all hundread . i like all of them .
it is very helpful to newcomer like me .
October 11, 2007 06:53 pm
Your 100 things mentioned are very useful for the ameture photographers like me. Thank you very much for this great list.
October 11, 2007 03:24 pm
Oh, great idea! Thanks for sharing. And I think that it is a good exercise for each photographer and learner in any other sphere. It is also a kind of sum-up of everything that we know. Before such a sum-up there is a 'mess' in our heads, while our knowledges should be structurised to be used effeciently. Thanks great!
October 11, 2007 02:38 pm
"Photography, I feel, is on of the best learning processes one can make use of throughout our lives provided we always, keep our eyes and mind open to the ever changing environment".
A lot of the tips mentioned above will definetly help us to do so - To identify and grab it at the right time, cause the same opportunity will never come again.
October 11, 2007 02:06 pm
wow! What a good advice dto me !
Thanks for sharing with us.
October 11, 2007 09:58 am
Thank you. Hope it will help me in my journey. Much appreciated.
October 11, 2007 07:50 am
great article. maybe another point is serendipity happens. We were driving up a mountain to get a view. a storm moved in and it had the most wonderful light patterns. pure coincidence but great oppertunity. be aware.
October 11, 2007 06:20 am
I just happened to stumble onto this and it is dead on. Thanks
October 11, 2007 04:13 am
haha sorry - had to say it.
Wonderful list, it really helped. I will visitin it through my photography learn curve :)
October 11, 2007 02:33 am
October 11, 2007 02:29 am
72. Believe in yourself
I think sometimes I question how far I should go with my photography.Sometimes it can be so intimidating when I see the awesome and creative art that others share.
For the insecure folks like myself, feedback is critcal to our growth, but deep down applying #72 is probably more sobering :)Working on that!
October 11, 2007 02:14 am
Well said. These really resonate with me and are things you don't always hear a lot aboutâ€¦ Again, thanks for sharing.
October 11, 2007 01:26 am
What is a good monitor calibrator?
October 11, 2007 12:54 am
thanx a lot for giving such valuable tips......
i think all are really important for a photographer
i really liked it
once again thanx a lot
October 11, 2007 12:45 am
It sounds like common sense, but #76 "Re-check your ISO-Settings. Itâ€™s aweful to detect the wrong settings on your screen" got me good one day. I'm pretty new to SLR photography - I understand the concepts, but having so many settings to think about made it easy to forget that I had been trying different ISO settings the week before. I ended up getting some great nature shots only to realize I had been shooting at ISO 1600 all day! The good thing is that I'll remeber to check it from now on - nothing like learning from experience...too bad I didn't see this list before then. :)
October 11, 2007 12:20 am
I can't believe you left out the most common tip; "Use the rule of thirds, when composing."
October 10, 2007 11:48 pm
Cool list - tx :) My favorite: "80. Learn to enjoy beautiful moments when you donâ€™t have a camera with you" No regrets.
October 10, 2007 11:42 pm
Some of them are some of the thinks realised by my own, some are new for me that I have to pay attention to improve my photography
thanks for share...
October 10, 2007 10:31 pm
Some of the best advices I found here:
October 10, 2007 10:13 pm
this list ROCks it realy hleped me when thinking about taking a picture but about the mentor i'm only 15 and i live in Egypt i don't know any professional photographers or that stuff my only mentor is the DPS please if u have any advice for me ??
October 10, 2007 08:55 pm
@ Jeff Krieger : I understand your problem ! I think this is a lifelong process of learning ..I am doing photography since 2 1/2 years. Finding a mentor ? Check out photographers you admire and just ask them via email. It might cost you something, but it's worth. And if not, great !
@ Os Sutrisno : Hehe, so true ;)
@ Bilka : Thanks much for your long reply. I have lot's of respect of your long experience ! Do you have any photographs online ! I would be glad to see them !
@ Anthea : Rock on !
@ Augustin : Thanks ! I would love to hear your experiences ! Do you have any website or something ?
October 10, 2007 08:30 pm
Some part i already new. And i do fulfil a part of i alredy knew. Though there are a lot of useful stuff.
October 10, 2007 04:03 pm
89. Fight your laziness ! Creativitiy comes after discipline
68. If you have an idea and immediately you think : No, this is not going to work - Do it anyway. When in doubt - always shoot.
These two are really inspiring (also true ). these were the ones I identefy myself more :|
Martin sure has a lot of experience
Can't wait to see what experience has for me
October 10, 2007 03:50 pm
â€œYour first 10,000 photographs are your worst.â€
That means - with my digital camera - I have around 5000 more to go then, this is promising for me!
These tips are excellent, than you for sharing them.
I especially like "Always turn around, sometimes the better image is behind you"
BTW thank you for adding my 'Elephant in a Tree' photo to your Flickr favourites.
October 10, 2007 03:43 pm
October 10, 2007 03:29 pm
I have been involved in some sort of photography for 40 years--Professional for 18 of those 40 years. Your list is inspiring. I wish I had read it when I began my interest in photography. It might have eased some of those difficult battles we all have with our internal creative â€œdevils.â€
Your statement about better equipment not making one a better photographer is spot-on. The best equipment one can have is what is between their ears and in their chestâ€”Their brain and their heart. Some of my favorite images came from exposing film through a pinhole punched in a milk carton painted black. You canâ€™t get any simpler than that. It forces one to think and to craft an image instead of simply taking pictures.
I learn something every day and every time I pick up my camera. Your list opened my eyes and refreshed my creativity. I applaud you for such profound statements after only two and one half years of involvement in the photographic arts. It makes this old shooter proud to see this level of excellence in the next generation of photographers.
October 10, 2007 02:03 pm
My mom is old school. Kodak university in Germany in the 60's. her advise always was, find a camera that feels right in your hands, a scene that feels right your eye, and make people pose in ways that feels wrong to their natural posture.
October 10, 2007 01:46 pm
Getting feedback from the lady is good stuff. Cold heartless feedback... *cry*
October 10, 2007 01:28 pm
I like number 73... it goes well with something I subscribe to... "Don't be afraid to look silly" because at least if you look silly with confidence, people think you know what you're doing.
October 10, 2007 01:26 pm
Ups, Its break rule #48 :)
The list is so helpful, I hope I can write another 100 things list.
October 10, 2007 12:43 pm
Great list! Thank you for sharing!
October 10, 2007 11:50 am
So true to enjoy what you are shooting and love the possibility of what you might have taken.
October 10, 2007 11:31 am
So many things to photograph, so little time.
October 10, 2007 10:49 am
Thanks for translating and sharing this awesome list. Beginners like me can truly appreciate this list. I always have to remember #54 - "Everyone has to start little" and as my skills progress, I have to keep in mind #96. I guess sometimes, we are our own harshest critic.
October 10, 2007 09:40 am
October 10, 2007 09:35 am
Great Tips!! I definitely agree with getting a mentor. I'm 16 and I've been in photography for about 6 months, and have had 2 mentors (a friend who is a wedding photography and another friend who has his own business) since the very beginning. Learned soo much from them!
October 10, 2007 08:40 am
Looks like everyone can relate to the comparison game tips. I was actually pretty depressed this past weekend as I felt very 'less than avg' with my pics. I've only had a digital slr for a few months..but, of course, everyone wants to stand out. I'm learning to try to take my pics for me and not so much so others will go "Wow, you're so good!". Besides, I am just capturing what God has already created Himself.
How long have you been shooting? Any tips on finding a mentor?
October 10, 2007 08:15 am
@feli : Oh yes, I know that from my own experience. But knowing yourself in this is the first step out ;).
@ Adam : Oh, yes, that's true (and wonderful, isn't it?)! Thanks for sharing !
@Brian : Thanks for your support, buddy ;)
@ Kent : One thing I really like about asking your lady is that she know's you best. My wife always gives me a honest suggestion about what she likes and what not. That can lift you to heaven or bring you back to earth ;)
@ Rebecca : Absolutely ! I think a manual is always a good thing to have with - and it doesn't take too much place in your bag.
@ Andre : ;)
@ Jeremy : How long are you into photography now ?
October 10, 2007 07:49 am
Well I'm sure doing #30!
October 10, 2007 07:06 am
This is really great. Some of these are bang on!
October 10, 2007 06:53 am
I agree with #65 a lot. I find that often my better pictures come from photographing the 'wrong' thing.
One thing I have learned is to take some time every so often (a least few times a month) to go find things to shoot, instead of just waiting for an opportunity (such as a trip somewhere) to come.
October 10, 2007 06:48 am
Great list. Especially nr 53. No image is better than a bad one is one i definitely have to think about when going through my archives of thousands of photographs.
October 10, 2007 06:27 am
i will use your text as a mantra! thank you!
October 10, 2007 06:08 am
I like 97 also :) it makes so much sense!
October 10, 2007 05:36 am
wow big list :D and a good one too.
I like 97 :P
October 10, 2007 04:50 am
I need to do #92 as well. I'd add "Keep your camera's manual in the bag." You never know when you'll need to do one of the "I forgot what button" functions. (Like mirror lock?)
October 10, 2007 04:19 am
I think #25. Get feedback from your lady - is really helpful. I can always count on my wife to give me praise and give me a pickup when I am feeling uninspired.
Further, # 92. Search for a mentor. is a smart one. I need to do this.
October 10, 2007 03:58 am
Martin, you're a stud -- that list is HUGE! One of my favorites: "Donâ€™t think about what others may say about your image. If you like it, itâ€™s worth publishing." Definitely true. Art is subjective, don't ever let anybody tell you that your best isn't good enough -- because it is.
October 10, 2007 02:43 am
Great list. Really nice to read through with some little gems in there. I like the "eyes are drawn to contrast" - definitely a new tip to me.
I like lists like this, always remind me that others are also as interested in photography for more than just the images we ourselves take.
October 10, 2007 02:04 am
I really liked tip 96 about your first 10,000 images being the worst. It is so true, as a person who shoots 1,000+ photos a month, after the first year, my photos become a lot better.
I feel the overall message here is practice, practice, put time in, and practice some more.
Thank you for putting in the effort to write this list Darren.
October 10, 2007 01:32 am
I've learned that not every trip out, has to/will produce a masterpiece. Sometimes you can can spend hours shooting and produce nothing more than learning experiences.
October 10, 2007 12:59 am
Thank you for sharing.
As a beginner in photography I often compare myself to all the novice photographer in my Flickr group. That is one of my biggest downfall.
Again, Thank you for sharing your 100 list.
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE
GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed