Helen shares her tips for becoming a better photographer

(Ram Ya) #1

I am really glad to be sharing an article from a PhotoBlog veteran, Helen (@girafferacing).
She has been an inspiration to me since day one and has been a member of PhotoBlog way before I came along. In the article, she talks about very practical things everybody could easily do to improve their photography skills.

For example, she mentions the importance of not dismissing the familiar (where you live or your own backyard for example). One way to look creatively at a familiar place is to challenge yourself (weekly themes, or limiting yourself to certain techniques or equipment)

It is a really interesting read. Please have a look and let her know your thoughts in the comment section.

(Jay Boggess) #2

Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips, Helen!
So kind & generous of you to take the time & effort to help others who aspire to your level of expertise! As a beginner, myself, it’s so inspirational to know there are folks like you who want to share what you have learned. Bravo!

(Antonio Gil) #3

Jay expressed exactly what I was thinking about what you’ve done here Helen. Thank you

(Ben Mckechnie) #4

@girafferacing Hi Helen. It’s a great article and I like your writing voice. The photo of the red-headed lady is such an incredible portrait. Adding to your point about daily practice, I’ve heard a number floated around by one or two professionals. It goes something like: ‘To truly become a proficient photographer and find your own personal style, it requires taking upwards of 20,000 photographs’.

(Grant Lawrence) #5

For a beginner like myself having access to this sort of information.

Thanks you for sharing.

(Helen Hooker) #6

Thank you all for your kind comments. You’re so right Ben - it takes a lot of practice to get good at anything. I believe you’re thinking of Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that it takes 10,000 hours to hone one’s skills. I have no idea how many hours I’ve clocked up over the years but I must have taken well over 100,000 photos in the last decade - the last camera I sold had a shutter count of 91,000 alone!!

(Ram Ya) #7

I agree. It takes a lot of practice to even master the camera buttons and menus. Once the controls are second nature, our brains can utilize more of its power to creating better photos.

(Ben Mckechnie) #8

@girafferacing @canon6d
Yep, I’m familiar with Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory. It was Steve McCurry who said it takes at least 20,000 images to place yourself as a photographer. To find your photographic ‘voice’ (i.e. unique personal style). From an article: “He (McCurry) stated that he couldn’t place himself as a photographer for at least two years. This changed when he began the 365 Project, which involved taking pictures every single day for the rest of the year. It turned out to continue for the next 40 years of his life.”

(Helen Hooker) #9

I hadn’t heard Steve McCurry’s comments before - interesting stuff. It sounds like I’m just beginning with my 365 project after eight years if he’s been doing it for 40!