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Improving Photography Skills

Recently I’ve had a number of people asking me a variety photography questions so I thought I would share some thoughts, photography sites and a question with you.  To keep improving your photography skills you need to do a few things.  You need to shot more (duh!), read more and look at great shots by other photographers.  Now, I read a large number of photo blogs weekly.  I had started putting them on my Pinterest site a while back, but didn’t keep up with it.  After this post, I’m going to try to start updating it.  That way, if you want to see what I’m reading, you will be able to access it from there.  I also maintain a number of boards there that concern photography that you might find useful to follow.  Check out some of the blogs I read and find someone that ‘speaks to you’ and start reading them as often as possible (because I guarantee that they write much better than I).  With that in mind, I just ran into a couple of new (to me) sites today that you should check out.  I love Scott Kelby’s photo books. He’s a great, easy to read, humorous photography writer.  He also has a number of great web sites.  I just found out about a brand new one of his.  It’s a weekly 15 minute video called Photography Tips & Tricks.  It’s loaded with quick and dirty ‘howtos’.  Now some of these may be a little advanced for you, but then you might get exposed to things you didn’t know your camera could do.  I also encourage you to have a look at his Digital Photography Book Series.  They’re full of great tips and tricks, and are easy to understand.  Kelby has many other video productions to check out, here’s a page that lists all of the free ones: KelbyTV.

Now, if you find you’re getting serious about taking your photography to the next level it might be time to come to grips with the second half of photography: Editing.  To get better pictures, you’ve spent $1000+ on your camera, but how about the editing?  What you use to organize, store and edit your pictures is at least as important (if not more) than your camera.  The good news is you don’t have to go out and spend $600 dollars on Photoshop.  You can buy the new Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 11 for under a $100 bucks.  For the photographer you will find that it does almost everything you want to do.  What it doesn’t do, most photographers either don’t use or very seldom need.  But, there’s a piece of software out there that was developed specifically for us Photographers!  It’s  Adobe’s Lightroom.  I and most all of my Photo buddies use it.  It’s a little more expensive ($115), that’s only $15 bucks more!  And, I believe, much easier to use.  Now for my question I promised at the beginning.  I’ve been thinking about teaching several workshops on setting up and using Lightroom, but I don’t know if there’s enough interest out there or not. I was thinking of running four, two hour workshops over a series of four weeks.   If you might be interested in such a workshop could you let me know?  If I get enough responses I certainly will be motivated to put them on!

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One Response

  1. Hi there, my name is Doug Snyder. I work with Jessi at the Dallas Zoo and she recommended I check out your site after my recent purchase of a new camera. I have no previous photography experience and my knowledge is very limited right now. I’m just wondering what items you would advise a newbie to invest in. I have a Sony A57 with an 18-55 lens and a 75-300 lens. My main interest is wildlife photography. I’ve been to a couple camera stores and have seen a ton of accessories like filters, flashes, etc. Should I hold off on all these things until I master the basics or would some of these things really be worth the investment for a novice? Any advice you could give would be much appreciated. I think I’m really going to enjoy this hobby and I don’t want to waste money on unhelpful purchases. Hope to hear from you soon.

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