August 1, 2021

Photography Tips

Photography tips / thoughts

Over the years, I’ve compiled a few tips or wisdom I discovered that help me in my photography. 

Without digressing further, herewith are my top ‘personal’ photography tips. I write it down here to remind myself whenever I need them. This is a growing list, and I will update this page whenever I have new additional tips.

  1. It’s never about the gear. Photography is all about knowing where to point your camera to. But specific equipment is required to take a particular type of shot (i,e: macro, telephoto). Once you have the required gear, it’s your creativity that matters, not the gear anymore.
  2. Have someone to look up to, your favourite photographers of the past or current. Look at the photographs they took and try to understand the how and the why.
  3. Believe that there’s always someone out there that is better than you, and you could learn a thing or two from them. Dial down the ego. 
  4. Slanted horizon, yes! Weird placement of subject, yes! Learn the rules, and then break them. 
  5. For portraits, try to photograph the people instead of a concept or an idea. I treat everything as a portrait, from trees, statues in a museum to a cup of coffee.
  6. Editing or post-processing is crucial. It can make or break your photo.
  7. Be unique. Be you. The worst thing I have seen online is people buying a preset and coalesced themselves with thousands of other photographers who buy that same preset. If poisoned-brown looking grass or trees and jaundice-coloured skin remind you of some weddings photography, you know what I’m talking about. 
  8. Less is more. Use one or two lenses instead of 4 or 5. Strip down to essential and force yourself to work with less. Never let the gears impede your creativity.
  9. Beware of false acknowledgement, i.e., the number of pretentious likes or followers you have on Social Media could hinder your progress. Quality over quantity.
  10. Practice. The art of seeing doesn’t come easy. Talent helps, but it means nothing without practice.
  11. When you look at the viewfinder or your camera screen, the framing you have is like a blank canvas. And everyone will paint the canvas differently.
  12. Certifications certainly won’t help you take great photos. Great art and artistic vision are coming from within yourself. 
  13. Create a photograph that is visually pleasing and at the same time meaningful.
  14. Try not to take photographs just for the sake of capturing a moment, or you’ll end up with paparazzi-style snapshot. Good photographs were always the ones taken with artistic consideration before pressing the shutter button.
  15. Just because I buy a guitar doesn’t mean I can play the guitar straight away and call myself a guitarist. The same can be said when one buys a camera and labelling themselves as a photographer. It is not that easy.
  16. Trying to win a photography competition is like trying to win a lottery. If you like your works, you are already winning! 
  17. Be humble, and have fun (especially if you’re not putting food on the table with your photography). Less pressure means more freedom in creativity!
  18. A good photograph should have a point of interest (POI), the first prominent thing that will catch viewers’ eyes when they look at a photograph. But if there are too many POIs, it makes for a not so exciting photo as the POIs will become distracting elements.