Improving my Landscape Photography skills

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Mojave Desert

Ways to improve photography skills for a beginner landscape photographer

I have always been keen on taking photographs everywhere I go. Ever since I was a kid. I never claimed I took professional photos, and it was obvious most of the times since the majority of them were either blurry, out of focus, over/under exposed or poorly composed. Not to mention, all the pictures were usually shot on a handful of point-and-shoot cameras I’d borrowed from my older brothers.

With the rise of social media, it was just a matter of time until I discovered photography sharing websites such as Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and many more where I was exposed to great photography work by amazing professional photographers, amateurs and hobbyists.

My love for photography grew bigger and it goes hand in hand with my passion for camping. I find great joy in taking hundreds of photographs, handpicking them and only selecting a few, editing them in Adobe Lightroom and sharing them with people online.

I’ve recently decided to take this a step further and dedicate more time and effort to create better content worthy of sharing. Now, to be completely honest, I have started working on developing my Landscape Photography skills a handful of times before, but I’ve never followed through and stuck to my plans.

This time on the other hand, I am fully engaged and willing to invest time and effort in order to sharpen my landscape photography techniques and acquire new skills. More specifically, I am doing the following as a part of my plan to become the next Chris Burkard:

1 – Creating a website:

First and foremost, I have invested a little bit of money and a lot of time into creating my website http://mzraibphoto.com. I figured creating a website as a first step would count as a commitment and would put some responsibility on my shoulders. It will force me to put in work and aim to make my website its best version possible.

It has been almost a month since the launch of my website and I am glad to say that I have been putting in at least a couple of hours every day after my regular job towards the improving its quality. Whether I am adjusting its appearance, adding more content, working on photos to add to my gallery or improving SEO. I see progress already and I am learning so much along the way.

2 – Mastering DSLR settings:

Another tactic I am putting a lot of focus on is completely understanding my DSLR. About a year ago, I have purchased my first digital camera through Amazon.com. I have been using it on and off and I have captured quite a few photographs that I am very proud of. The thing is, I always find myself thinking about the proper the settings and what would work better in what situation. It all sounds good, except that I want that to become second nature. I want my camera to be an extension of my body instead of being a tool that I am trying to figure out how to use every time I am about to take a photograph. Therefore, every day, I dedicate some time to play with the settings of my Canon Rebel t6 and explore all of its options. Now, I know that it is an entry level camera and there is not much to it, but I feel like I have more control of this device than I have ever had before.

3 – Taking photography courses:

I have also been trying to take some online courses (Free) to learn more about photography in general and understand the more technical aspects of it. One course I am finding very helpful is Exposing Digital Photography, a free online course offered by Harvard. It includes Lectures in video format, Problems sets and Projects, which I find the most fun.

4 – Reading photography books:

Last but not least, I handpicked a handful of Landscape Photography related books after doing some research. One book I would like to mention is The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman. I am only almost halfway through the book and the amount of insights I have gotten from this book in regards to Composition and Design is unbelievable. I am really looking forward to continuing reading these books and going through as many as my time allows.

So, what one can get from what I have to say regarding this topic is that I acknowledge how much hard work and dedication is required to get consider seriously following a passion and potentially making a living off of it. As much as this might sound cliché and unoriginal, but one must love what they do for it to be enjoyable and not feel like a burden.

I have pretty good plans lined up for 2018 including going on more camping trips and visiting a few National Parks to get the material and hopefully capture better quality photographs that tell stories and have meanings behind them.