OPINION: Improve your photography skills

Up your photo game with these simple tricks



Depth of field, lighting — all of these factors play into the ideal photo.


The semester is coming to a close, and winter break is upon us. Finally, multiple weeks of little-to-no schoolwork or exams. However, this winter break will be different compared to other years because we will be social distancing and not as many holiday events are planned.

Winter break is the perfect time to learn a new hobby, such as photography. You can do it easily by yourself or with others in your household, and all you need is a device that’s able to take pictures.

Andy Burk, a sophomore civil engineering major, said he originally started taking pictures with his phone. He began taking photography seriously when he purchased his first camera during high school.

Many of us enjoy taking sunset pictures, taking pictures of the snow falling with trees in the background or having photoshoots with our friends. Oftentimes we use our phones and post pictures to social media platforms to share with people. Sometimes the picture may not look the best, but there are different techniques and skills to be learned to help improve the images we take.

“[For] at least five years I was just doing it on my phone,” Burk said. “You can still practice the rules of framing without all the lighting difficulties. You can still make stuff happen.”

Nikolai Sublett, second-year neuroscience pre-med major, said students interested in photography should start with the basics and take photos with their phones.

It’s unnecessary to buy any extra, expensive items to improve your skills. Use what is easily available to you whether it be your smartphone or an old working digital camera from 10 years ago. There are a lot of ways to create a unique and great image.

Sublett said one of the most important things about photography is experimenting.

“You are going to take probably thousands and thousands and thousands of photos [that] you are going to look at that are just going to be awful,” Sublett said. “But at the end of the day, you might have 15 that you’ll look at and be like ‘That’s epic.’”

When trying to become better at any sort of hobby or skill, there is trial and error. The only way to improve is to learn from your failures and mistakes. When you experiment with photography, you learn more about lighting and the best angles for taking images. By taking a variety of different types of photographs, you will eventually have the perfect image.

“If you get the right angle and the right lighting and the right perspective, you could make it something beautiful,” Sublett said.

There is plenty of hobbies to learn and explore, but photography is one of the more exciting and interesting ones in today’s society. Whether it be a portrait, a picture of nature, or a background with the right amount of light, every image tells a story. Pick up a camera and share one of your own stories with the world.