"Favor will always favor the bold" applies to art. Try new things, take tons of shots, and keep a journal/notepad. Sometimes you'll have a great idea and nothing around to write it down, or you'll start taking shots and wish you remember how you got a certain effect (time of day, certain natural filter/shadow, etc). That website linked earlier about composition and fundamentals is good, bookmark that and read it over and over so you're in the field thinking about it. All-in-all, get really good at the basics, never stop shooting, and the truly artsy stuff will come with better understanding. Your gallery shows a good grasp so far, keep it up. And keep reading, tons of resources online and even youtube
just go out and the more you do it yourself the more ways you'll find how to do things on your own. it's how you will develop your own style.
But I'll give you one specific tip right now since I think this is more along the lines of what you're looking for. When you see a picture you want to take, don't just settle for the first angle or first thing you see. examine the subject and walk around and look around for different angles or different ways to capture the photo.
lol, yes I suppose that would be the theory! also maybe that the first picture you see is also the easiest one, a shot that might require a little more though could be the better photo. Either way, I end up shooting TONS of photos of the same thing anyways. lol
As a semi decent photographer myself (at least I'd like to think I am). I can say the composition is the number 1 thing to learn. The rules of thirds is the main thing to keep in mind. However there are other compositional rules you can use.
[link] This is a good article for the basic basics.
georgewjohnsonFeatured By OwnerDec 18, 2012Hobbyist Photographer
There are so many that apply to so many different situations and the best way is to spend time finding them out for yourself. The one thing I don't really like is people simply asking others for their "tips and tricks", you amass a huge collection of little ideas and none will get practiced properly as you flit from one to another never really getting to grips with any of them, the images never quite make the grade and people get disappointed. Hate to break it to you but good photography takes time, you're probably sick of hearing that but I'm afraid I can tell you from bitter experience that it's 100% true. When I first started taking it really seriously about 3 years ago I really thought I could crack it in 5 minutes, Jeez was I in for a shock! 3 years it's taken me to start producing the sort of images I wanted to shoot 3 years ago! It's far better to pick ideas and tips up from all sorts of places as and when you need them, that way you slowly build up your own cache of neat little ideas that help you get what you want. The best part of photography is not the images, it's the journey of learning the craft carefully.
Rather than be a misanthropic old git, here's a couple of pointers on your stuff rather then general tips.
Your trying a nice range of subjects so keep at it but do lay off the retro filters! Yes I know digital camera images are boring when you first get them back to your computer and it's very tempting to try to hit that Instagram filter style but trust me, it's simply a fad and every one goes through it and next year another fad will be chased by all the noobs. Every one of us sees exactly the same thing when we get our images into the computer, whether they're from a digital camera or via a scanner from a negative or printed photo. All images start off dull and learning to subtly adjust the colours and contrast is the first step for every single one of us.
You're making the classic beginner mistake of zooming in and trapping the interesting things in the image inside a box, ease back a little and try to consider how the interesting thing fits into the overall view that first caught your eye, then decide if you still need to isolate it or does it work better within the context of it's own surroundings. Basically don't just zoom, stop and think, "How will other people see this and understand what I'm trying to say with my picture without ramming up their nose?". That's the first step towards considering composition, which by the way is probably what 80% of what photography is. Studying and understanding the image you see in front of you, before you snap the shutter. As composition is such a huge thing in photography you will find that a huge number of the books on photography discuss it in great depth.
It very rarely comes down to the camera, hence the classic mantra, "Photographer's make images, not cameras.".
georgewjohnsonFeatured By OwnerDec 19, 2012Hobbyist Photographer
Like many will tell you, composition is real secret skill in photography. Most beginners think you just point the camera at something interesting and it just falls into place, they do not realise that stunning photographs are the culmination of years study, lots of failures and tons of practice.
Stick at it and I can promise you even though the ride is tough the journey is certainly worth it!
georgewjohnsonFeatured By OwnerDec 20, 2012Hobbyist Photographer
Like any subject where you have passionate people, if you have a very specific query about something that you don't understand people will be ten times more likely to chip than if you just ask very generic questions about the the sort of stuff you can easily pick up from somewhere like a Google search.
Hope you'll you'll stick around, there are some very knowledgeable and helpful people here in the DA forums.
For a tip, I would say to experiment with your photography so you can see your strong and weak points which will likely mean going out to explore a variety of places. This can also help with developing what you can call "personal style" when it comes to your photographs.
Well, looking at your gallery, here's one you could have used: If you are going to shoot spiderwebs, take a spray bottle along with you next time. Gently spray the web with a fine mist and it will show up better.
Here's another one: Looking at some of your outdoor photos, it has become pretty obvious that either you are shooting too near the middle of the day (bad lighting) or you need to get a polarizing lens filter.
In the middle of the day, when the sun is shining straight down, you are getting too much fill light, from ground reflections, and it makes everything look slightly milky. An amber filter or a polarizer will get rid of that milky cast, but of course an amber filter will then give it an amber cast, so the polarizer is usually best.
I live down in tasmania and only have a single camera store accessible to me, the time I went in to get some filters they cold not tell me what filter I needed so to find out that it is a 58mm thread means I can get them online Thank you for the info!