In the beginning, you’re just out shooting and taking pictures of everything you can because it just looks, cool. But, once you’ve tailored your own eye or interests, your picture start to say something to viewers that they might not have before.
Yet, there is always room to improve. No matter if it’s in photography, painting or writing, there is always room to grow and I have asked Peter Lekousis, a photography professor at Loyola University Chicago, to lend a few tips on improving your photography.
Who is Peter Lekousis?
Professor Lekousis worked in commercial photography for over 30 years and has been teaching at various universities and colleges since 1978, and joined Loyola University’s staff in 2005.
Social urban landscapes impressed Mr. Lekousis the most. “Because it seemed familiar, yet foreign at the same time. There is a range of emotion in that work too… humor, pathos, poignancy… that’s hard to match.”
Finding your own niche in photography is improtant because it seperates you from the pack. Ansel Adams was known for his beautiful landscapes and they are identifiable anywhere because of their beauty and his preferred technique.
One technique that is rather appealing to me is when a photographer crams a frame to show great detail in its subject. “Always be aware of the entire frame and its contents, the light and its qualities, and use your camera controls creatively,” Lekousis said. A crammed frame lends a new perspective to a certain subject that we might not notice if the whole subject is photographed.
Here are five ways to improve you photography that Professor Lekousis has shared and feels are important for beginners.
5 ways beginner photographers can improve their photos:
SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT! – “Try everything photographically. Shoot a lot. Always have your camera with you.” Being able to capture everything that is going on around you helps you realize what you might enjoy more than other subjects as well as realize your strengths and weaknesses.
STUDY – “Study the work of great photographers.” Look into the work of other photographers, especially of ones interested in the same subjects as you. They may have different techniques or ideas that could help you grow too.
LIGHTING – “Lighting technique is important, study it.” This is important because lighting can make or break a picture you were really excited to take so study what lighting works in what situations and its advantages. This will drastically improve your photos.
SHARING – “Be open to criticism and use it to improve”. Don’t be afraid to share your images online and include room for comments. Most other photographers will share their opinion and criticism in a constructive way because they were once beginners too.
VISION – “If you have no vision, listen to your teachers. If you have a vision, follow it.” Everyone views the world differently, make sure people know how you see it.
After discussing these tips to improve our photography, I want to go out and explore! Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, going back to the basics is always a great motivator to try new ideas.
Feel free to share your photos here after you go out and shoot! I’d love to see the newly inspired ideas.
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Photos: From my trip home this past weekend.