How do you define a good photographer? Is someone taking pictures that you would never have thought or dared to take? Or one that already has an image in your mind before you put your eye on the viewfinder of your camera? Or one that the photographic equipment that you have is worth more than the car you drive? Well, in this article that appeared in Digital Camera World you are or you are becoming a good photographer when …
1. Eliminate fewer images due to technical problems
There is a big difference between being a good photographer and being a photographer who takes many technically correct shots. You can know the parameters of the cameras very well, but positioning yourself in the way you capture the best light and obtain the best composition is a very different thing.
Understood the above, good photographers usually have the technical part of photography dominated. For example, it is part of the nature of the photographer to take the camera and adjust the correct aperture for the desired depth of field, choose the correct speed to obtain clear images or make small exposure adjustments when required.
As you become a better photographer, you end up eliminating fewer and fewer images due to moving photos or over-exposed areas (too light disappearing the detail of your subject) or focusing errors.
Instead, you delete images for aesthetic reasons, either because the composition is too scattered or too tight, or the subject’s facial expression was not the best at that time.
2. You do not care about the camera you are using.
Well clarifying this, it is obvious that we should be interested in the camera we are using, you need the right tool for the job you are doing.
But no matter if you bought the best DSLR you could, you can be happy creating images with your phone or compact camera, depending on the situation, right?
It is cliche to say this, but it is true: If you give a professional DSLR camera to a bad photographer, he will continue to take bad photos, instead give a good camera to a cheap camera and continue taking interesting pictures.
3. It makes you angry when you do not have the camera with you.
It is not being suggested that you have anger control problems and that the only thing that can calm you down is if you can take some pictures.
No, rather the idea is that there are times when you may face an image worthy of a prize and do not bring your camera.
We’ve all been there, maybe back home from work and creation gives you a surprising image of light, with whimsical clouds, or a spectacular rainbow or … well I think you already have the idea.
4. You care about light
Good photographers care about light, basically all the time. How good it is, what is the temperature of the color, where it comes from and how much it is.
If the light is not of good quality (maybe too soft, or too strong for the effect you want to achieve) How can you improve the light conditions if there is not enough? What parameters of the camera can you use to get a better exposure?
These are the questions that good photographers ask themselves.
While novice photographers do not mind taking family photos at noon on a sunny day, good photographers look for shade or use fill flash or reflectors.
5. You enjoy and appreciate a photo before you see your EXIF
When you see the results of a photography competition or you are looking at an online gallery or a photo book, how long it takes you to turn the page to find the exhibition details and focal length?
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the technical details when you’re starting in photography. Aperture, Shutter Speed, Focal Distance – Tangible aspects like these are easier to digest than learning the real language of photography.
As you get more confidence as a photographer, it is more likely that when you look at the images of other photographers you will concentrate on the “Why” instead of the “How”.
Obviously there is an interest in the technical aspect – Photography is a combination of art, science and a little sport.
But more than asking what aperture and shutter speed was used, you will be more interested in why the photographer chose that place to place his camera and what he is trying to express.
6. You are more selective about what photos you share with people
Being able to self-criticize and choose the best photographs from a wide collection can be difficult.
As photographers, we are not the best observers to evaluate our work objectively and it is normally difficult to separate the emotions from the moment the photo was taken and the two-dimensional image that resulted.
Sharing photos of all your images when you start in photography can, without a doubt, help you develop as a photographer, as long as the criticism you receive is constructive and the right people.
But as you become a better photographer, the most likely thing is that you will not fill your site in, say, Flickr with a lot of similar photos from the same place.
You will select only the most creative photos, not all those that are sharper and better exposed. In fact, good photographers take more photos of the same subject than bad photographers, but probably will be happy with just a few.
To see more information like this, see the article Breaking bad habits in photography.
7. You wait for more time to take a picture
Patience and persistence are two qualities that many good photographers share. Either wait for the right light or the elements of the composition are in position – Or until you wait for the model to arrive – There is a lot of downtime when you are taking pictures.
Inexperienced photographers rarely wait for the best light, rather they pack and head home for dinner.
Good things come to those who wait. Well, those who can maintain their senses to adjust fine focus, exposure and composition when everything falls into place all that waiting is finally worth it.
8. You look first at the background before the subject
A bad background selection can ruin a photograph. Either there are too many things in the background or there is a distracting color or many details or bright spots that steal the subject’s attention.
Something like this happens: The novice photographer shows up at a wedding, detects a “good shot”, and shoots his camera several times and that’s it, finished work.
It turns out that he has 8 shots showing the bride with a branch of a tree coming out of her head.
The good photographer? Detect the branch of the tree and rearrange its camera to avoid it and have a better background.
For more information about eliminating checate distractions the article Elements of Composition
9. You know the difference between a spectacular view and a great photograph
A good photographer not only detects an opportunity to take a great photo, but also detects the signs of a bad one.
For example: When detecting a lonely tree in a rural landscape, the average photographer will take out his wide-angle lens, apply the rule of thirds and get a picture!
But the good photographer will detect the details that can prevent the achievement of a good photo. Maybe the light is too contrasting and there are horrible shadows everywhere. The tree does not have a good shape or profile. There is a path that guides the look out of the image.
Ultimately, a good photographer will know when there are no conditions to get a good photo and will look for another opportunity elsewhere or at a time.
Let me know what you think about this article and if you have already passed the rookie stage, I personally have problems with one or the other point but you have to keep learning to be a good photographer.