Three Ways to Improve Your Mirrorless Photography

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

1955My friend Danny made the snapshot of a young Joe Farace (at left) in 1955 while we were climbing the steps of DC’s Washington monument. The camera bag on my shoulder contained a Brownie Hawkeye—with flash attachment no less—that I later used to make a similar photo of him.

Paul Simon once said that best way to tell if someone was a true artist is if they grew, changed and improved the quality of their work over the years. How much different does “Diamonds on the souls of her shoes” sound like “Sounds of Silence.”

What about you? How has your work changed over the last four years? Certainly a heckuva lot has changed in camera technology. Compare some of the images you made in 2007 with ones that you’re shooting today and what do you notice? I once met a photographer who told me he had “20 years’ experience” but when looking at his images it was clear that he had one year’s experience twenty times.

gazebo.night

Here are a few suggestions that can help you get out of that rut. But ultimately, it’s up to you.

  • Have a portfolio review by somebody who’s not a friend or relative. They already think you’re a genius so look elsewhere for critiques, not photo contests, that are offered by  experienced shooters.
  • Don’t be a CEV —Christmas-Easter-Vacation—photographer. (See Monday’s post on my other blog about avoiding CEV photography.) Take your camera with you when you go out on because you never know what photo ops you’ll encounter along the way. Mark writes about this all the time; take his advice.
  • Read a book about a photographer that you admire. Got to the library and see what photography (not just how-to) books they have. Look at work by pioneers whose names you might not be familiar with but can be a source of inspiration.

But most important of all, practice, practice, practice and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It’s only pixels! And always remember to have fun with your photography.