New cameras, lenses and accessories open up the possibility of fresh adventures in photography. In reality though, most of us have to make do with what we’ve got, upgrading to new camera kit as and when we can afford it. With that in mind, the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventure offer 15 suggestions to help improve your photography without splashing out on new gear.
1. Concentrate on what you can photograph rather than what you can’t
It’s easy to walk away from a photo opportunity because you don’t feel your lens is long enough or wide enough, or you believe your camera’s continuous shooting speed is slow or its autofocus sluggish.
But learning to think around any potential barriers is how original photos are made. Instead of wishing for a 600mm lens for wildlife photography, see how you can frame an impactful shot with a wide-angle.
Rather than cursing your lack of an ultra-wide lens when photographing a sweeping coastal shot, take a series of frames and stitch them together later.
No fast f/1.2 portrait lens in your line-up?
Find a location where the foreground and background will be so far from your portrait-sitter that it’s easy to make them stand out, even at f/5.6.
2. Read the camera manual
Reading your DSLR’s manual won’t help you improve your photography per se, but a bit of technical camera knowledge will make a difference to the aesthetic quality of your pictures in the long term.
You’ll learn how to customise the controls of your camera so that you can react to situations faster.
You’ll understand which of the many autofocus options and AF point set-ups will suit different subjects. You’ll know how the camera will handle flash exposures in different shooting modes.
3. Use your gear every day
You don’t have to head out in pursuit of an award-winning shot seven days a week, but the more you use your camera, the more instinctively you’ll be able to use it.
Being able to press the correct button to adjust the aperture or ISO without taking your eye from the viewfinder, or to know which direction to rotate the camera’s dial to make the next shot brighter or darker can increase your chances of capturing spontaneous photographs.
10 camera settings you don’t use (but probably should)
55 reasons your photos aren’t working (and what you can do about it)
8 bad photography habits (and how to fix them)
6 ways professional photographers use their cameras