Learn the one photographer skill that makes an awesome photographer and achieves excellence. What are the skills needed to be a photographer?
Like any art, photography is a complex and structured discipline of image-making. This visual gift to the world continues to endure as an art form. To understand what makes the photographer awesome, we’ll cover the basics. Overall, make it a point to immerse yourself in photography.
Mastery of photography requires time, effort, and discipline. Excellent photographers are those who endured a path of trial, error, education, and application. Hence, this article doesn’t just focus on the one skill that makes an incredible photographer. Instead, you will discover numerous skills that are essential to your growth as a photographer.
Which Is The Most Important Skill For A Photographer?
What unique talents and skills did a photographer possess that make them an artist? An essential skill for a photographer is the creative use of their eye and mind. As a photographer, these two parts of your body are where your artistic talent resides.
Whether the most outstanding photographer or a beginner, the eye and mind are what begins the shot. Additionally, many variations exist between the way each creative person sees and thinks. Hence, our world remains colorful due to the range of photos produced. Although we all have the same eye and brain, talent is a unique aspect of humanity. Therefore, use your skills and talent to portray your view of life rather than someone else’s. In turn, the remaining skills you will need as a photographer will follow.
What Makes An Amazing Photographer?
First of all, amazing photographers identify the art that exists in everyday life. What the average person ignores, the amazing photographer finds beautiful. As a result, they brighten our life by reenvisioning everyday things. Examples of amazing photographers are the renowned Annie Leibovitz and Steve McCurry. Each has led a successful career and accomplished milestones that inspire numerous photographers. Furthermore, both have a unique and instantly recognizable visual style.
Ms. Leibovitz is known for the drama and prestige of her celebrity portrait photographs. Based on her talent, American movie stars appear iconic and attractive in her photos.
Steve McCurry is one of the most outstanding photographers to portray global humanity. His ability to capture world culture through the lens makes him great in his own right.
What Are Skills Needed To Be A Photographer? The Technique
To begin, know the difference between the technical and artistic aspects of photography. Technical is about the function of your equipment, while art is about the use of your creativity. To explain further, the former is about the external while the latter is about your internal. With that said, let’s begin and go more in-depth into specific photography skills.
Knowledge Of A Camera & Its Functions: Photographic Technique #1
- First and foremost, know all of the functions of your camera back and forth extensively. Without this skill, you are like a cook without a recipe or a tourist without a map.
- Learn how to operate your camera’s shutter speed, zoom, and aperture. These are the settings that control exposure, depth of field, and focus. Furthermore, each setting is used to create desirable photographic effects.
- Know the difference between digital and film-based cameras. There is a big difference between these camera types and how they operate. With a film camera, you will load film instead of an SD card like a digital camera.
Notably, film cameras require more effort to set up the photographic exposure. The reason being, a film camera doesn’t offer a digital screen to preview your exposure. Generally speaking, digital cameras are easier to operate than film cameras. However, both types of cameras require considerable training in their function.
Use Of Light: Photographic Technique #2
Creative lighting is one of the most critical skills needed to be a photographer. Without illumination, you do not have a photograph and only a black field of vision. However, the gift of light and our imagination presents numerous photographic opportunities. To illustrate, the creative use of lighting transforms your subject in multiple ways.
Depending on the application, you can create various moods and appearances with light. A backlit portrait can feel mysterious, while a soft, diffuse sidelight can feel inviting. As a result, your choice and use of lighting open up many possibilities for creativity. Hence, creative lighting remains one of the most excellent tools a photographer can possess. If you compare some of the work of the most outstanding photographers, each makes use of creative lighting. In addition, great photographers use creative lighting to solidify a unique visual identity.
What Are Skills Needed To Be A Photographer? The Artistic
Consider the internal skills needed to be a photographer. For instance, a camera is powerful, but your inner ability is much more powerful. The inner soul is where great photography begins based on your creative thought. For that reason, take a look within to discover your artistic potential. Always bear in mind, your artistic potential will grow with hard work and time. Hence, patience is one of the skills you must learn to master.
Above all, the unique nuances and experiences of humanity are what support skills. In addition, humanity is the driving force behind the art. This is because art, in short, is ultimately an individual expression of life. As you live life and go through trial and error, critique yourself. As a result, both your skills and character will become stronger. With your humanity, art, and camera at hand, you have the makings of a photographer.
A Visual Imagination: Artistic Photographic Skill #1
Your imagination is a bank of visual wealth, the seed of endless ideas that grow into art. Therefore, nurture its individuality and express your imaginative power through the lens.
- Fortunately, many established photographers are available to help improve your artistic ability. Seek mentors and join photography workshops that offer instructional courses. Examples of coursework you may receive are documentary or portrait assignments.
- Additionally, a course places you in a setting to gain inspiration from other photographers. Exercise your imagination as you brainstorm new images regularly.
- As you exercise your brain, images will emerge, and you will realize your creative potential. For example, create rough sketches of shots you might like to shoot on paper. Next, grab your camera and execute those shot ideas as best as you can. Before you know it, you will have a bunch of new photos to admire.
Originality: Artistic Photographic Skill #2
As your photographic journey begins through practice and repetition, seek originality. In turn, you will achieve one of the essential skills to be a photographer. After all, what is the point of taking photos if they look like someone else’s and not yours?
- To start, be critical of your work and embrace your individuality. Self-critique is good. However, a photography class will provide a higher degree of critique. Like seeing a therapist, a photography class offers an objective opinion from another professional. Therefore, put yourself in situations for more experienced photographers to remark on your work.
- In addition, submit your photography to contests and galleries for display. This is another way to gauge your originality by placing your work next to others. With time, you will refine your photography and carve a unique identity.
A Unique Eye for Detail: Artistic Photographic Skill #3
With the basics of technical and artistic photography covered, focus upon detail. In other words, this part of photography is an advanced form of perception. Truthfully, it separates the beginner from the professional photographer.
- Discover the subject matter you enjoy the most and focus upon it. In general, many renowned photographers focus upon a unique detail. Whether the surface of a fruit or the architecture of a building, detail is attractive. It’s your job to present that detail uniquely.
- Practice the art of capturing detail with a series of shots. Critique your work to assess your ability to capture your favorite detail uniquely. With repetition, you will refine both your perception of detail and photographic identity.
- Enhance the detail of your photography by using your preferred editing application. Photo editing applications help to enhance the details you captured through the lens.
Photographer Skills And Qualities Continued: The Personality Of A Photographer
A Unique Vision: Consider a quote by renowned world photographer Steve McCurry. He believes “a picture can express a universal humanism, or simply reveal a delicate and poignant truth by exposing a slice of life that might otherwise pass unnoticed.” This is an example of a photographer who is confident in his vision.
a picture can express a universal humanism, or simply reveal a delicate and poignant truth by exposing a slice of life that might otherwise pass unnoticed.
Patience, Concentration, and Flexibility: Develop a schedule and work ethic that is consistent and rigorous. As a result, you will develop your personality to accommodate the challenges of photography.
Good People Skills: Photographer Annie Leibovitz shared an interesting thought about communication. She said, “There must be a reason why photographers are not very good at verbal communication. I think we get lazy.” However, you don’t have to become another statistic of poor communication. Instead, develop people skills and join at least one photography class or forum.
Passion and Dedication: keep working and work harder than before!
There must be a reason why photographers are not very good at verbal communication. I think we get lazy.
What Are The Elements Of A Good Photograph?
Artistically speaking, a good photograph contains attractive visual elements that resonate within our soul. The truth is, the definition of a good photograph is bound to vary between people. What one person determines is good, another may not, and vice versa. This is a fact of art. Generally, it’s subjective. However, there are fundamental aspects of picture-making that you can implement. Begin with formal training and study of photographic history. As a result, you will have the foundation to help you make a good photograph.
Below, we will discuss elements that make a good photograph. Use each as the foundation of your photographic approach. With time, each aspect will flow from you into your work naturally. In brief, the primary elements of a good photograph are the choice of subject and how it’s presented. You control the outcome of the photograph with light, exposure, color, and composition.
Choosing The Subject, An Essential Skill that Makes an Awesome Photographer
Your choice of subject matter is an element of photography that begins internally. After all, why would you choose to focus on something you’re not attracted to? Therefore, go with your gut and select a subject that is meaningful to you. With this mentality, you use your soul as the basis of a photograph. This is one reason why good photography resonates with others. People relate to the detail, subject matter, and beauty of similar things in our world. Instinctively, a person can feel when a subject is photographed with loving care.
Begin with an observation of things around you that are commonplace. With a little more time and study, you can turn something you see every day into a great photograph. That is the beauty of photography: the ability to display elements of life in a new perspective.
Lighting & Clarity
As we get more detailed in exploring photographic techniques, more artistic options emerge. Two of those options are lighting and clarity, which are both very important. Good lighting describes the subject’s detail and shapes while creating mood and atmosphere. While light reveals the subject, the photographer uses light to make the subject more interesting. This is accomplished through creative lighting techniques.
- Firstly, establish your subject and lighting setup. Ideally, your subject will be an object that you can position yourself.
- Next, experiment with the position of the light(s) in relation to the subject. Follow this step by placing a diffuser in front of your light source. A diffuser can be a translucent surface such as tracing paper or a sheet. This will soften the light source and therefore change how your subject appears.
Congratulations, you have learned a fundamental way to approach lighting and clarity. Now, continue onto the next skill that makes an incredible photographer.
Although many great black and white photographs exist, color is another visual dimension. With color, you have the opportunity to utilize the effects of hue, saturation, and chroma. Additionally, color can influence the eye and emotions of the viewer. Approach color like a scientist who mixes chemicals to achieve an effect. A great way to understand color is through experimentation. There is a lot to learn about color theory once you edit color photos using Adobe Photoshop.
Furthermore, study the effects of nature on the world around you. For instance, learn why the color in a skyline becomes less chromatic in the distance. Also, study color mixing using a color wheel or Photoshop’s color adjustment functions. In time, you will have enough experience to control the power of color.
The Importance Of Composition
Composition is the act of placing the subject within the frame. Applied correctly, it will help you to achieve a good photograph. In short, it is the technique of utilizing the space within the frame. How do you achieve an interesting frame?
- Use line, shape, form, texture, pattern, and space. This theoretical approach to composition has been used to create many great photographs.
- In addition, experimentation through trial and error is valuable. For example, create thumbnail sketches on paper of the ideal composition you envision. The more you create sketches, the better your composition skills will become.
- Study the work of your favorite photographers to learn effective composition techniques. Observe the subject placement, depth of field, shapes, angles, and space of their work. As a result, you will gain ideas about composition to use in your work.
A little perspective, like a little humor, goes a long way
With composition established, next, think about the forward and backward space between each object. Perspective provides the effect of space in photography, providing depth and angle. In the words of photographer Allen Klien “A little perspective, like a little humor, goes a long way.” Those words are truthful to the description of this visual effect. The reason being is that perspective brings the impact of distance to photographs.
You control perspective according to the angle you shoot from. For example, stand on a bridge and shoot horizontally toward either end. Each shape going backward in distance shares a visual relationship that forms perspective. To note, the effect of perspective is reliant upon the creativity of the photographer.
Use your eye and mind to develop the most interesting relationship between objects, angles, and distances.
As a result, you will create an effect of perspective that amazes your viewers.