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    8 micro habits that will completely change your photography within a year

    The post 8 Micro Habits that will completely change your photography within a year first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Jaymes Dempsey.

    Do you want to become a master photographer …

    … in just a year?

    That is what this article is about.


    Because I'm going to give you 8 micro habits in it That will completely change your photography within a year. These micro habits are small adjustments to how you take photos. They take very little effort.

    But if you really make an effort to follow them, you become a photography master within a year.

    Sounds good?

    Let's start.

    1. Check your settings every time you turn on your camera

    This is such a simple way to improve your photos.

    And yet photographers always forget it!

    All you have to do …

    … is to check your camera settings before you start recording. And make sure you have the settings you need for the current situation.

    Because here is the thing:

    Every photography outing is different. And you absolutely do that not want you to use the same settings from recording to recording. That is a recipe for disaster.

    But if you don't check your camera before you start shooting, that's exactly what will happen. Because you forget your previous settings and you do not realize that you have seriously messed up until halfway through a photo shoot.

    (How do I know? Because I always did this! Until I checked my settings, that is.)

    So this is what you do:

    Make it a habit to choose new settings every time you turn on your camera.

    First make sure that you are shooting in RAW or RAW + JPEG. This is Absolutely key. If you do not do this, you sacrifice a lot of post-processing potential in your images. Fortunately, this can set a feature ' and forget ' but it pays to be alert.

    Then think of your camera mode. Do you want to shoot in Aperture Priority mode? Do you want to shoot in full manual mode? This depends on your shooting situation, but Aperture Priority is a good choice.

    Third, think of your ISO setting. It should have a default value of around ISO 200, but feel free to raise it when the light is limited.

    Fourth, choose your measurement mode. I recommend that you leave your camera in evaluative measurement mode (also known as matrix or multi-segment measurement, depending on the brand). Evaluative measurement takes the entire scene into account and determines the best overall exposure.

    Finally, think of your focus mode. AF-S (One Shot) focusing is a good standard because it locks focus when you press the shutter button halfway.

    Checking your camera settings is easy. It takes 60 seconds, tops.

    So you just have to get in the habit of thinking about it!

    2. Check the environment before taking each photo

    You have framed your photo. Your finger is on the shutter button. You are eager to take a photo.

    But wait.


    Because if you want to know for sure that your photo is a blast, then you must check the environment.

    In other words, you have to look everywhere in the viewfinder so that you can be absolutely certain that there are no distractions.

    Notice how clean this photo is; it is a flower, a stem and nothing else. That is what you want.


    But if you don't get into the habit of checking the entire scene before taking a photo, you'll notice that all kinds of distractions creep into the picture.

    You get lost leaves, branches and other elements around the edges.

    And you get telephone poles, wires and street signs from the head of your subject.

    These things are so easy to miss if you are not looking for them. You become so enthusiastic about your subject, so fixed that you miss what is happening in the area.

    Now you do not have to perform a long check. It doesn't have to take more than a few seconds. But just look with your eyes over the scene. And make sure there are absolutely no distractions.

    Then you can take your photo.

    3. Only get out to take pictures in the best light

    One of the easiest mistakes to make in photography?

    Photographing in poor light.

    In fact, poor light is probably the biggest culprit of matte images. Because bad light can break a photo so easily. It can make a beautiful composition and turn it into a muddy mess.

    That is why you should have the habit of shooting only during recording best light.

    But what counts as the best light?

    It depends somewhat on your photography genre. But it's pretty hard to go wrong with golden hour lighting.

    You will find golden hour light early and late in the day when the sun is low in the sky. The low sun casts a golden glow over the entire scene, giving you light that is soft, warm and simply beautiful all around.

    This photo is made with classic golden hour lighting:

    Golden hour is usually seen as the two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset. But there is no set rule. Instead, just start shooting when the light turns golden, and you'll be fine.

    Now there are a few other types of light that are worth pursuing.

    First, just after sunset (and just before dawn), you get something known as the blue hour, as the sun moves lower and lower over the horizon. This can be great for landscape photos, as long as you think about taking your tripod!

    Secondly, cloudy light is good for bringing out colors. That is why macro and flower photographers love clouds; this allows them to capture deeper, richer colors in their subjects.

    Blurred light was needed to get these stunning red tones:

    Here is the bottom line:

    If you can stop yourself from photographing bad light and getting out in good light …

    … well, your photography goes to the next level, instantaneously.

    4. Record each scene from 5 different angles

    It is easy to get stuck in a creative routine.

    One where you approach a scene and photograph it frontally, without ever trying different angles.

    By doing this you miss so many potential shots. So many possibilities for creativity!

    That is where this micro habit comes.

    This is how it works:

    When you approach a scene, go ahead and take the standard, frontal shot. This can sometimes look good!

    But then come in unusual corners. Try to find a vantage point and photograph from the sky. Try to come down low and shoot up.

    Move around your subject and make sure you capture at least five unique angles every time you take a shot.

    And everywhere you will soon take unique photos ' s.

    5. Use the third-party rule to start any composition

    The third-party rule is a basic composition directive.

    It states that the best compositions place the most important elements one third of the frame, somewhere along these grid lines:

    In particular, you should try to place your main subject on the power points, which are the four intersections on the grid.

    Here is an example of a photo that uses the third-party rule:

    I was careful to place the two flowers along the grid lines and the overall shot came out balanced (which is exactly what you want!).

    Now the rule of third parties is not a hard and fast composition law. You can break the rule of third parties. And sometimes you can take truly unique photos by being willing to break the rule of third parties.

    But the rule of thirds is an excellent starting point for all your compositions.

    So this is what I recommend:

    Make it a habit to use the third-party rule to start your compositions. Think for yourself: how can I align elements of this photo with the line of third grid lines?

    If you don't use the third line for that photo in the end, that's fine. But at least if you consider the rule of third parties in front of break it, your compositions will improve quickly.

    6. Process all your good photos after

    Here's the thing about photography:

    If you take photos & do nothing with them, they will look reasonable.

    But if you even do a little post-processing …

    Well, you can have them watch astonishing. Because a little post-processing can go a long way.

    That is why I suggest that you post all your good photos ' s even if you prefer to photograph outside.


    Now you don't really have to do much about your photos. Take all photos ' s from your recent shoot and go through them quickly, taking the photos ' s ' reasonable to good ' from the mix.

    Then go through it and perform a quick processing.

    What would this mean?

    You should at least do two very basic things.

    You must first adjust the contrast. Most photos can benefit from a significant contrast boost, so test it on your photos to see what it looks like.

    Secondly, you must adjust the colors. Lightroom has a slider called Vibrance, and it's great. It simply increases the saturation of colors that are not yet saturated, so it is a kind of "smart saturation." And it will really make your colors stand out!

    After this you can make other changes, do noise reduction and sharpening, etc. But that is not necessary. A bit of contrast and a bit of liveliness can go a long way.

    7. Take one photo every day to enhance your photography skills

    Are you currently taking one photo every day?

    I didn't do that for a long time. I went out once a week, took a series of photos, and then went home.

    And then I decided to take pictures every day for a month.

    By the time the month was over, I had decided to keep taking pictures every day, no matter what happened – because it improved my photography so much.

    I started to see compositions that I didn't see before. I began to get a feeling of light that I had never had before.

    And this required no additional learning. It was just because I was … aware. Don't keep my brain awake.

    So I request you:

    Start taking photos every day. Even if you can only take one photo, even if you can only take it with a smartphone, you still have to do this.

    You will be surprised how quickly your photography improves.

    8. View beautiful photos every day

    This is the last micro habit that will dramatically improve your photography:

    View beautiful photos ' s.

    Every day.

    The more you look at good photos, the more you develop your sense of color, composition and lighting. You will notice how other photographers use the third-party rule. You will notice how photographers use contrasting colors for a great effect. You will notice how different angles give different looks.

    And then you will notice how you can use these techniques in your own photography.

    Moreover, today it is not difficult to view beautiful pictures. You can subscribe to the Instagram feeds of great photographers. You can subscribe to high-quality Facebook groups. Or you can participate in the email lists of top photography websites (such as this one!).

    The key is to ensure that you view great photos every day, no matter what.

    8 micro habits that will completely change your photography in a year: conclusion

    Now that you know about these game-changing micro habits …

    … the only thing left is to implement them in your daily life, so that you can completely change your photography within a year.

    None of them is difficult. They last a maximum of a few minutes.

    But look back in a year, and you'll be so happy that you started them.


    If you found these micro habits useful, you should also view our 31-day course to become a better photographer. Registrations close on July 31, so make sure you don't delay!

    The course is full of useful tips and suggestions as I have given here. And it is guaranteed to improve your photography quickly.

    So if you want to take your photography to a higher level, the course is exactly what you need.

    View it here:

    31 days to become a better photographer.


    The post 8 Micro Habits that will completely change your photography within a year first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Jaymes Dempsey.

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