20 More Things I’ve Learned about Photography

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This guest post was submitted by Martin Gommel from the German Blog KWERFELDEIN (flickr). This post is a followup to his previously posted 100 things I’ve Learned About Photography.

Learning photograph is one of my all time favorite activities. Reading Photography Blogs, chatting with other photonuts and last but not least the active shooting of images has enriched my life amazingly. Today I’d like to share 20 of the things that I’ve learned about Photography. Enjoy!

1. Shoot, Shoot, Shoot. This one cannot be overemphasized.
2. Your camera interprets reality and shows only fragments of what you have seen.
3. Shooting gets more fun when you can control the settings. Then you will be creative.
4. There is no such thing as bad weather.
5. You can find your own style. Be brave enough to do something crazy!
6. Take photographs of your friends and give them prints. This is a very personal gift that no one else can give.
7. Show your work – even if you do not see it as worthy of being purchased. Print it out and show it to potential buyers. No risk – no fun.
8. Shoot what impresses you – then you will impress others.
9. Short Photo trips are good, too. You don’t always have to spend a whole day at it.
10.Try using just a single lens over a long time, then you will become a specialist in shooting with it.
11. Forget your LCD… just forget it. The image will always be more brilliant and sharper that the original really is.
12. Take a good friend on your photo safari – it will lead to great and deep conversations.
13. Digital Photography is a paradox. It seams to be much cheaper but a look into you last receipts might prove otherwise 😉
14. Strobist rocks.
15. If you are shooting in nature – never forget your hiking boots. There is always a chance for a rainy day.
16. Leave your camera in your bag if you are meeting other photographers in a coffee house. Try it.
17. The best photographers fail sometimes. So can you.
18. Convince with images, not with swollen-headed words.
19. But: A good story can give your photograph a very deep meaning.
20. Help others succeed on their photographic journey – that will help you to stay humble.

Not enough ? Read 100 things I’ve learned about photography for more!

Question : What did you learn about photography over the last few months?

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • I read the 100 things as well .. wow what a great post! — This one I can definitely relate to …

    94. Every community has it’s downsides. Don’t leave it out of an emotional response.

    Thanks for an inspiring post 🙂

  • Make photography a part of everyday life. The second week or so of taking a photo each day was difficult (still is some days) but it’s become so much more natural. It’s making me see photographs everywhere! 🙂

    My photo a day for a year project is on my blog.

  • And I thought my website would have it’s own little link at the bottom to make my last sentance work. So, here’s the address:
    http://missskarlett.blogspot.com

  • Vincent

    Discovered last week :

    When taking a portrait using the integrated flash, set a -0,7 or a -1 EV. It is enough to have something balanced.

  • Great post!! I’m still not brave enough to try a photo a day for 365. But the thing that I was reminded of in the past few months is something that I’ve known for a long time, but will always need reminding of: shoot at the magic hours – the light is truly wonderful then!!

  • You can’t impress everybody, but keep trying! 🙂

  • no matter how good you are someone is always better and always worse. Just because you dont like someones images, doesnt mean that they are bad photographers

    better gear doesnt mean better shots. It does however assist

  • bogart

    Its really worth to bring your camera everyday. It is true that you don’t when a good picture would come out. However if you have somone to drive it would be an advantage because I usually see good pics when I am driving. The roads with trees at the side is a wonderful scene.

  • One very important thing that I’ve learned is that Photography is much harder than it seems, and it takes lots of time to learn.

  • Kishan

    The 100 things post was inspiring and so is this…

    esp the lesson that one should try to stick to one lens..is so true…

  • Kishan

    continued…

    esp the lesson that one should try to stick to one lens.so as to try and become an expert in it..

  • “There is no such thing as bad weather” is so true and I never thought of it that way. Great article.

  • Great post – Im using your tips to learn photography so i can save money instead of paying fotolia and other image sites for stock photos!

  • Ben

    Your first 10,000 pictures are your worst – Henri Cartier-Bresson. (in 100 tips post)

    or….. “the more I practice the luckier I get”

    It is good to review your old shots every now and then to see how your style has progressed, It can be really encouraging to the improvment, even over a short period!

  • Michael

    Inspiring comments, many of which I have already adopted in my own approach to photography, especially the part about developing my own style. Thanks for this.

  • I like #2, #4 and #8 the best…

    I also want to give #7 a go

    Another great post

  • ccm

    This is a great post.

    It really help me to think much about my photographs.

    I love the first rule. Shoot, Shoot, Shoot.

  • Thank you for all the valuable information you given in this blog!

  • I want to add a tip: for me it’s been project photography. Starting with an article I read on this site, I’ve been inspired to get involved with three projects in the last month—all on Flickr. The first is Project 365 which is merely about taking one or more photos everyday. An article on this site got me started with the idea and then I found the Project 365 group on Flickr. My 365 project is not a personal diary of shots I take each day, it’s attempt to try to take meaningful shots using what I’m learning about good photography.

    My second project is similar to the first: it’s 365 Days, which focuses on taking a self-portrait photo everyday. Again, I try to do this creatively as well.

    And finally, the third project is 100 Strangers, which is the most difficult of the three. This projects calls for you to get out of your comfort zone and actually go out and ask complete strangers to take a photo of them. It’s indeed unsettling to do this, but I’m finding it very rewarding.

    Needless to say, these projects keep me totally busy, but they have challenged and enriched my photography skills greatly, even more than the occasional wedding event jobs I do.

  • Bruce

    “Great” photographers take “bad” photos too – they just don’t show them.

  • I would have to disagree with #13 (Digital Photography paradox). When I look at all of the pictures that I’ve taken over the past four years of owning a Olympus C-8080 (SLR-“Like”), that my abilities have flourished (#1) and my development costs compared to film would pay for the camera several times over. Every time I think about the cost of digital cameras, especially during the purchase of my new Canon Xsi, I’m reminded of the $300 worth of development costs of all my photo’s from Australia (of which only three quarters to half of the pictures were actually worth keeping).

  • KsK

    A really wonderful post, but I’m not sure I did understand the “11. Forget your LCD… just forget it. The image will always be more brilliant and sharper that the original really is.” Could someone please explain this more widely for a dunce, thanks

  • Kathy

    Look at things from someone elses view before you shoot.

    My 12 year old neighbor girl has been going with me on walks she wants to learn photography. While I’m still a newbie I did give her my old digital camera to use. She is a natural. Now I look at things from her level sometimes it tells a whole different story.

  • James York

    Well, here is another BIG tip concerning digital cameras. Because digital is NOT film, it is not concerned in any way with sunlight or flash or incandescent lights. In fact, shooting with incandescent lights works really, really well.

    This is super good news for shooting things like: inside rooms for, say, a Bed & Breakfast. You can take ZERO lights with you and just use the lights in the room. They will NOT wash out the shot which they would do using film. In fact, the incandescent lights work FAR, FAR better than any flash would. The room looks normal, just like what you were looking at yourself with your eyes, and colors are rich and pleasant.

    Now, this is true for all indoors shooting. No flash. Just use incandescent lights. Here is the hidden secret about this: this means that you can light a scene to suit your eye and what you shoot will look just like that. With indoor flash you have to shoot polaroids, check them out, and then try a flash/film shot and do it lots of times. And, you really never know if it worked until you process the film. Too late if you are being paid for this and have to go back and do it again.

    Something else that is really, really nice too: ever try shooting metal products? You cannot light them EVER properly using flash/film. But, you can with incandescent lights because what you see is what you get in digital-world. When the flash goes off, all metal shine disappears, reflections on the metal (which is what makes it look like metal) disappear, and the metal looks like a lump. But not with digital and incandescent lighting. You get what you are looking at… that is very nice.

    Ever try getting metal to shine? To look like brass, or bronze, or stainless steel using flash/film? Forget it. But, with digital it is a piece of cake using incandescent lights.

    I could tell you more if you ask.

  • “Convince with images, not with swollen-headed words.”

    I like this the most! Great list 🙂

  • # 16 why that?

    I don´t get it…

  • jo&jo

    shoot shoot shoot and shoot…

  • In this day and age of digital cameras and large memory cards you can shoot lots and weed out the crap in order to get the good photos, but it is always easier to try and get it tight first rather than having to weed out the bad photos and/or edit them.

  • saurabh

    practicing in manual modes really helps in improving photography

Some Older Comments

  • Landscape June 13, 2011 10:29 pm

    In this day and age of digital cameras and large memory cards you can shoot lots and weed out the crap in order to get the good photos, but it is always easier to try and get it tight first rather than having to weed out the bad photos and/or edit them.

  • jo&jo August 14, 2010 05:07 am

    shoot shoot shoot and shoot...

  • abbyll December 25, 2009 01:39 am

    # 16 why that?

    I don´t get it...

  • Mei Teng October 26, 2009 03:53 pm

    "Convince with images, not with swollen-headed words."

    I like this the most! Great list :)

  • James York August 6, 2008 11:27 am

    Well, here is another BIG tip concerning digital cameras. Because digital is NOT film, it is not concerned in any way with sunlight or flash or incandescent lights. In fact, shooting with incandescent lights works really, really well.

    This is super good news for shooting things like: inside rooms for, say, a Bed & Breakfast. You can take ZERO lights with you and just use the lights in the room. They will NOT wash out the shot which they would do using film. In fact, the incandescent lights work FAR, FAR better than any flash would. The room looks normal, just like what you were looking at yourself with your eyes, and colors are rich and pleasant.

    Now, this is true for all indoors shooting. No flash. Just use incandescent lights. Here is the hidden secret about this: this means that you can light a scene to suit your eye and what you shoot will look just like that. With indoor flash you have to shoot polaroids, check them out, and then try a flash/film shot and do it lots of times. And, you really never know if it worked until you process the film. Too late if you are being paid for this and have to go back and do it again.

    Something else that is really, really nice too: ever try shooting metal products? You cannot light them EVER properly using flash/film. But, you can with incandescent lights because what you see is what you get in digital-world. When the flash goes off, all metal shine disappears, reflections on the metal (which is what makes it look like metal) disappear, and the metal looks like a lump. But not with digital and incandescent lighting. You get what you are looking at... that is very nice.

    Ever try getting metal to shine? To look like brass, or bronze, or stainless steel using flash/film? Forget it. But, with digital it is a piece of cake using incandescent lights.

    I could tell you more if you ask.

  • Kathy July 26, 2008 12:52 am

    Look at things from someone elses view before you shoot.

    My 12 year old neighbor girl has been going with me on walks she wants to learn photography. While I'm still a newbie I did give her my old digital camera to use. She is a natural. Now I look at things from her level sometimes it tells a whole different story.

  • KsK July 15, 2008 08:23 am

    A really wonderful post, but I'm not sure I did understand the "11. Forget your LCD… just forget it. The image will always be more brilliant and sharper that the original really is." Could someone please explain this more widely for a dunce, thanks

  • Jason July 12, 2008 04:17 am

    I would have to disagree with #13 (Digital Photography paradox). When I look at all of the pictures that I've taken over the past four years of owning a Olympus C-8080 (SLR-"Like"), that my abilities have flourished (#1) and my development costs compared to film would pay for the camera several times over. Every time I think about the cost of digital cameras, especially during the purchase of my new Canon Xsi, I'm reminded of the $300 worth of development costs of all my photo's from Australia (of which only three quarters to half of the pictures were actually worth keeping).

  • Bruce July 11, 2008 06:52 am

    "Great" photographers take "bad" photos too - they just don't show them.

  • Bakari July 8, 2008 03:20 pm

    I want to add a tip: for me it's been project photography. Starting with an article I read on this site, I've been inspired to get involved with three projects in the last month—all on Flickr. The first is Project 365 which is merely about taking one or more photos everyday. An article on this site got me started with the idea and then I found the Project 365 group on Flickr. My 365 project is not a personal diary of shots I take each day, it's attempt to try to take meaningful shots using what I'm learning about good photography.

    My second project is similar to the first: it's 365 Days, which focuses on taking a self-portrait photo everyday. Again, I try to do this creatively as well.

    And finally, the third project is 100 Strangers, which is the most difficult of the three. This projects calls for you to get out of your comfort zone and actually go out and ask complete strangers to take a photo of them. It's indeed unsettling to do this, but I'm finding it very rewarding.

    Needless to say, these projects keep me totally busy, but they have challenged and enriched my photography skills greatly, even more than the occasional wedding event jobs I do.

  • German Romance July 8, 2008 11:51 am

    Thank you for all the valuable information you given in this blog!

  • ccm July 8, 2008 08:57 am

    This is a great post.

    It really help me to think much about my photographs.

    I love the first rule. Shoot, Shoot, Shoot.

  • Mandy July 8, 2008 06:00 am

    I like #2, #4 and #8 the best...

    I also want to give #7 a go

    Another great post

  • Michael July 7, 2008 11:16 pm

    Inspiring comments, many of which I have already adopted in my own approach to photography, especially the part about developing my own style. Thanks for this.

  • Ben July 7, 2008 10:41 pm

    Your first 10,000 pictures are your worst - Henri Cartier-Bresson. (in 100 tips post)

    or..... "the more I practice the luckier I get"

    It is good to review your old shots every now and then to see how your style has progressed, It can be really encouraging to the improvment, even over a short period!

  • Alex Wilson July 7, 2008 09:50 pm

    Great post - Im using your tips to learn photography so i can save money instead of paying fotolia and other image sites for stock photos!

  • Ed Maurer July 7, 2008 08:15 pm

    "There is no such thing as bad weather" is so true and I never thought of it that way. Great article.

  • Kishan July 7, 2008 03:09 pm

    continued...

    esp the lesson that one should try to stick to one lens.so as to try and become an expert in it..

  • Kishan July 7, 2008 03:07 pm

    The 100 things post was inspiring and so is this...

    esp the lesson that one should try to stick to one lens..is so true...

  • James Benson July 7, 2008 11:22 am

    One very important thing that I've learned is that Photography is much harder than it seems, and it takes lots of time to learn.

  • bogart July 7, 2008 10:25 am

    Its really worth to bring your camera everyday. It is true that you don't when a good picture would come out. However if you have somone to drive it would be an advantage because I usually see good pics when I am driving. The roads with trees at the side is a wonderful scene.

  • David Reid July 7, 2008 09:05 am

    no matter how good you are someone is always better and always worse. Just because you dont like someones images, doesnt mean that they are bad photographers

    better gear doesnt mean better shots. It does however assist

  • Raymond Chan July 7, 2008 03:01 am

    You can't impress everybody, but keep trying! :)

  • Lou Ann July 7, 2008 02:55 am

    Great post!! I'm still not brave enough to try a photo a day for 365. But the thing that I was reminded of in the past few months is something that I've known for a long time, but will always need reminding of: shoot at the magic hours - the light is truly wonderful then!!

  • Vincent July 7, 2008 01:58 am

    Discovered last week :

    When taking a portrait using the integrated flash, set a -0,7 or a -1 EV. It is enough to have something balanced.

  • Courtney July 7, 2008 01:54 am

    And I thought my website would have it's own little link at the bottom to make my last sentance work. So, here's the address:
    http://missskarlett.blogspot.com

  • Courtney July 7, 2008 01:52 am

    Make photography a part of everyday life. The second week or so of taking a photo each day was difficult (still is some days) but it's become so much more natural. It's making me see photographs everywhere! :)

    My photo a day for a year project is on my blog.

  • irene July 7, 2008 01:07 am

    I read the 100 things as well .. wow what a great post! -- This one I can definitely relate to ...

    94. Every community has it’s downsides. Don’t leave it out of an emotional response.

    Thanks for an inspiring post :)

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