Secret to taking better photos

Blue Domed Churches - Santorini, Greece

Blue Domed Churches - Santorini, Greece


If there is a secret to taking better photos – This is it!

For nearly 30 years I have earned my living by taking pictures while travelling the world. I have also taught many photography workshops at home and abroad. This has put me in contact with quite a few people and as a result I have had many phone calls and emails asking for my advice on a range of photographic topics. These topics range from where to go in Namibia,  to which camera, lens, tripod or accessory to buy, to how to become a professional photographer. I can understand why people ask me, whether you are a beginner or have been taking pictures for years, the sheer volume of photography information that we need to know and process is quite intimidating.

Now with the information overload from the internet we have access to everyone else’s opinions, thoughts and endless debates about camera equipment, lens resolution, sensor sizes, Photoshop, RAW converters – the list goes on. It is so easy to get lost in all of this information and forget the reason you are taking photographs in the first place. Personally, even though I work with it every day, I find it all very daunting. I can certainly understand how “amateur” photographers feel.

I have one piece of advice which will definitely help in taking and creating better pictures, but it is going to take a major commitment from you. Ignore all of the talk about equipment; it really doesn’t matter what you use to take pictures, the important part is for you  to get out there and shoot. Just keep on shooting, practice in different situations and lighting conditions, review the images then go out and shoot some more. The more you practice the better and stronger your images will be, you will eventually become more observant which in turn improves your photographic vision.

So what does it take to make a strong compelling picture? There are a lot of factors, some of the most important ones are; exposure, composition, the light, the location, the subject, your vision and your imagination. Did you notice there was no mention of equipment or software?

2 Responses to “Secret to taking better photos”

  1. Richard Smith says:

    Garry is correct. His advice is right on the money. The beauty of today`s equipment is based on the fact that you won`t go bankrupt buying and processing slide film. The flash card has saved you a bundle of dough and taken away every excuse you might have had for not getting out there and taking pictures. As well, you do not have to go outside to make images. There are many household objects just screaming to be photographed and its an excellent way to learn composition and lighting.
    The spark of imagination and vision may be there but if you do not get out there and cultivate your talent Get at it.

  2. Garry said it best. There is absolutely NO substitute for practice, no amount of reading, lusting over gear, talking your head off will do it. Practice, Practice, Practice.