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In this post naturalist, photographer, and computer scientist Steve Berardi from PhotoNaturalist explains how Twitter can make you a better photographer.?
If you’re not on Twitter yet, then you might think it’s just a place for people to talk about what they had for dinner. Although there’s plenty of that going around on there, Twitter can also be a great tool for networking with other photographers and expanding your knowledge.
It’s always hard to explain exactly what Twitter is, but basically it allows you to create a never-ending conversation about the things you love.
For example, I love nature and photography, so I choose to follow anyone else who loves nature or photography. I’ve built a conversation of people who love to share their great stories, photographs, useful links, and their wonderful stores of knowledge.
So, here are at least five ways Twitter can make you a better photographer:
Twitter is all about networking with other people and creating a conversation with them (you choose to follow people, and others choose to follow you). Naturally, you’ll meet a lot of great people with a lot of great stuff to share.
Twitter is often explained as a real-time social network, and as a result it quickly covers news stories. For example, it can help make you one of the first people to know about the release of a new camera, or Canon’s release of the new 5D Mk II firmware.
One of the best ways to improve your photography is to continually seek honest feedback on your photos. Flickr is great for this, but Twitter is even better because you get instant results. Just post a link to one of your photos on Twitter, and ask your followers what they think (it works best when you ask a specific question, like “do you think this shot is underexposed?”).
Although there are plenty of great photography forums out there where you can ask your questions, Twitter helps you get instant answers (if you have enough followers). This usually works best with short questions that also have short answers, like “can anyone recommend a good tripod?”
As you might already know, each tweet (or message) you post on Twitter needs to be 140 characters or less. This forces you to be concise.
How does this make you a better photographer? Well, one of the most important lessons you’ll learn in photography is to reduce your subject or scene to its most essential elements. When you’re constantly forced to do this on Twitter, the habit will often overflow to other aspects of your life, like photography 🙂
Twitter isn’t just about receiving though. In fact, it’s much more about giving. No one will pay attention to you or follow you if you don’t engage with other tweeters (or tweeple – people who use Twitter), and help others out. So, share what you know or find, and join the conversation–don’t just sit and listen!
PS from Darren: Also check out the comments of this post where over 500 other DPS readers have left their Twitter usernames. Add as many of them as you can and you’ll be connecting with other DPS readers and photography enthusiasts on Twitter. Don’t forget to leave your own username in the comments on that post so others can find you too!
Also check out TwiTip Twitter Tips – another site that I run. It contains hundreds of twitter tips for those starting out with the medium.
About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, and computer scientist. You can usually find him hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains or the Mojave Desert, both located in the beautiful state of California.