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Practice Makes Perfect in Digital Photography

Your camera does you absolutely no good if you keep it snug and secure in its case. The only way you gain your chops as a photographer is to take the advice of the Nike ads and “Just do it.” Take your camera with you wherever you go and take lots of pictures.

In an interview with master photographer Joe McNally at Photoshop World, he gave this advice to photographers: "Take lots of pictures." Also, photograph often to perfect your photography skills.

If you work a nine-to-five job, this may seem difficult. But with a bit of thought and planning, you can always find time to shoot. Leave for work a half-hour early and bring your camera with you. Shoot pictures on your way to work and shoot pictures on your way home. Set a specific time or times each week when you’ll take pictures.

Author Julia Cameron, in her book, The Artist’s Way, refers to this as an “artist’s date.” Schedule a couple of hours each week when you do nothing but take pictures. When you go on your artist’s date, go with a specific goal in mind.

Visit a place you’ve photographed many times before, but photograph it in a different way, at a different time of day, or under varying weather conditions. You can also visit a place you’ve never photographed before and capture its essence with your photographs.

Another great time to use this technique is when you see a photograph and want to emulate (not duplicate ) it. Put on your thinking cap and take your best guess at which equipment and settings the photographer used.

Then grab only the gear you need, travel to a location where you can photograph a similar subject, and then do your best to emulate the picture you like. After you emulate, spend more time at the scene and figure out how to put your own spin on it.

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