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7 Essential Things Every Photographer Needs to Learn

What’s the difference between a great photo and a great photographer?

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Other than “grapher”, you cheeky monkey.

It’s consistency. We’ve all fluked a great shot. You’re not totally sure how you managed it, but everything just magically fell into place and you snagged an image that makes you feel like you’re a total all-star.

1. Know Your Camera

Would you believe there are professional photographers out there that don’t fully know how to control their camera? It’s true. How do I know?

I used to be one of them.

Yep, it’s a big ugly confession, but it’s true. We started off shooting in Aperture Priority mode, and let the camera do the thinking for us. We thought it was faster and easier than learning all that scary technical stuff. And you can fake it here for a while. Cameras are smarter than ever, and they can get pretty close for you. But not knowing this stuff will truly hold you back, and keep you firmly in the “fluking it” category.

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2. Understand Exposure

Once you have a solid grasp on aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and how they affect the look of your photos, you need to put them all together and learn how they balance to create a good exposure.

One of the trickiest things is first figuring out just what people mean by a “good exposure”. Some folks make it seem like there’s a right exposure and a wrong exposure and if you get it wrong you’re pretty much a doofus.

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And if you go online and try to get a clear definition? Ha, good luck! They are all super confusing, and don’t really get to the heart of how to actually create a good exposure. (My personal favourite is “The intensity of light falling on a photographic film multiplied by the time for which it is exposed”….Uh…so do I need a calculator for this?) So we made up our own definition of exposure: A good exposure is how bright you want the image to be.

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