posted Monday, November 14, 2022 at 11:30 AM EST
Successful photographers have a diverse range of styles and use many different types of cameras and lenses, but they all have certain skills in common. While learning some of these skills require time and effort, others are simple to integrate into your photography journey. In his latest video, photographer Nigel Danson highlights seven skills you can easily incorporate into your photography now.
The first skill is perseverance. Talented photographers certainly have high-level skills but are also dedicated and persistent. A common theme among many good photographers is that they shoot a lot and will often photograph the same subject or area repeatedly. If you have a tough day of shooting, you must get back out there and shoot more. If you capture a good shot at a location, go back and try for something even better.
To highlight the value of returning to the same area time and again, Danson shows off the work of photographer Jack Lodge. For each of the seven skills, Danson showcases a specific photographer’s work. While we won’t discuss each of the seven skills in this article, we’ll link each photographer Danson references in the video at the end. Lodge is highlighted in the perseverance section because Lodge has photographed Corfe Castle at sunrise about 25 times in the last few years. That perseverance results in a better understanding of an area, leading to better photos.
Another skill that good photographers have is more of a collection of skills, the ability to edit photos effectively. Personal style has been closely tied with post-processing images long before the digital age, making photo editing easier and more accessible. Importantly, developing editing skills also gives you a leg up in the field. Understanding how you like to edit your images can inform how you shoot the raw file. If you can envision how the final image will look, which requires a good understanding of your editing workflow, it’s a significant advantage when capturing the original photo.
Editing your images lets you tell the story you want to tell. Your camera captures a raw image that can look bland and flat but full of nearly limitless potential. To highlight how important editing is and how good photographers use photo editing to improve their images greatly, Danson showcases the work of Michael Shainblum and Daniel Kordan.
This screenshot from Danson’s video shows how he edited this image to tell a more compelling story. By performing global and localized edits to the raw image, Danson can emphasize certain parts of the photo and help lead the viewer through the scene. By editing your images, you can help viewers feel specific emotions and showcase the scene how you saw it at the time. Credit: Nigel Danson
The third skill is learning more about weather. This means going out into bad weather, like rain, snow and wind. These conditions can produce amazing light and result in unique, stunning landscape photos. Some scenes look best in specific weather conditions, which means that to give yourself the best odds, you must understand how the weather works in that area. Knowing what conditions might lead to fog or what type of cloud cover results in the best light at different times of day are important. Photographer Demi Oral’s portfolio is full of great photos with dramatic clouds, moody fog and even rainbows. You’ll also find photos taken in rain and snow.
To learn about the other four skills, watch Danson’s full video above. In the rest of the sections, he features the work of talented photographers Marc Robbins and Mark Dobson. They’re extremely talented, so be sure to click those links. To see more from Nigel Danson, visit his YouTube channel and follow him on Instagram.
(Via Nigel Danson)