Taking photos all on your lonesome is not always fun. Although you may have progressed in the early stages, as time goes by, many amateur photographers tend to abandon their passion. To rekindle your love for photography, find ways to motivate yourself and set some time aside to indulge your passion.
Have a plan of attack
Do you find that your skills aren’t improving? You need to motivate yourself again and to practice so that you can take the best pictures—i.e. so that you can master the techniques that you haven’t gotten around to mastering until now. Start by assessing what you need to work on:
- Do you not have enough time to practice photography?
- Are there any particular techniques that you want to improve on (e.g. aperture, photo processing, etc.)?
- Do you want a seasoned photographer’s opinion of your pictures?
Find the time
Aim to take a set number of photos over a certain period of time. For example, plan to take so-many photos per week or per month. You’ll see, you’ll find plenty of inspiration by just going about your daily business.
- Pick a theme: it could be the city, birds, light reflections—devote a whole album or period of time it.
- Take off: you don’t necessarily have to go far, but setting aside some special ‘photo-taking’ time (the length of time needed for an outing) can be just as motivating as it can be educational.
With a digital camera, you can take as many shots as you want. Take as many pictures as you can—it’s through practicing, trying out different framing options and testing out various settings that your skills will improve. Take this opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and embrace techniques or styles that you haven’t tried yet, such as macro, backlit or sports photography. At best, you’ll find a new passion; at worst, you’ll learn a lot.
Train your eye
For inspiration, look at the work of other photographers. Flickr is an absolute gold mine that allows you to admire the works of major photographers and those of lesser-known artists. Search by entering keywords, such as “macro” or “sea”, to find what you need.
Get an expert opinion
Showing your photos to a knowledgeable audience is a mandatory step to take if you want to improve your skills. It helps you to become aware of mistakes you may have made, and to improve your photography skills. Thanks to the Internet, there are many specialty forums where you can upload your photos and get feedback from other photographers, most of whom are happy to oblige. Enter Forum Photo in google, to have a list.
Brush up on your touch-up skills
There are many tutorials out there that show you how to touch-up pictures using image-editing software. More great news: most of the major image-editing software makers offer free beta versions of their software! You can try on free version of Photoshop or download free softwares like GIMP or PhotoFiltre.