Photography Guide

If you want to take better photos using less gear, and aren’t interested in too much technical stuff (which you won’t find here), then you’re in the right place. Welcome. :)

Union Square in New York during Christmas

Handheld shot of Union Square in New York City

I believe great photos are more a result of being present and developing your creative eye than buying the latest gear or focusing on making your shots technically perfect. And besides, a bunch of gear can just get in the way (and also be very expensive), and “technically perfect” shots aren’t guaranteed to be interesting, anyway (and often they’re not).

So while you’ll see some posts about gear, rest assured you definitely won’t see me recommending you get the latest and greatest camera/accessory/etc. It’s about simpler photography, and having a bunch of gear is certainly not simpler.

Instead, I want to make photography enjoyable. And I hope to simplify the process and art as much as possible.

I know photography can get overwhelming, especially if you’re new. But all it really comes down to is just a constant flow of tiny, fleeting moments. And as long as you’re doing your best to pay attention to what’s happening around you, and then capturing the moments that are meaningful to you, you’re well on your way. :)

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud

Top Tips

To give you a quick overview before diving in deeper, you can first check out a summary of some my best photography tips.

Gear

While I think the equipment you use doesn’t matter as much as some people may lead us to believe, since you obviously can’t take a photo without a camera, let’s get started with how to choose the right camera gear for you.

Composition

Figuring out the best ways to compose your images will be one of the best skills you can work on, so here are a few simple ways you can improve your photo composition.

Workflow

There are a gazillion different ways to take, ingest and process your images. But if you’re looking for a good starting point from which you can create your own customized workflow, here’s a simple photography workflow. It covers everything from creating, backing up, editing and saving your images, and uses just one program (Lightroom) to take care of most of the workflow.

Backups & Storage

Our photos are irreplaceable memories, so you’ll definitely want to be sure you never lose any of them by making sure you know how to – and actually do – back up your images.

Digitizing Your Photo Prints & Negatives

It’s much easier to ensure you have backups in place for digital files. But what about those boxes full of old photos or negatives you’ve been meaning to get scanned? Here are some ideas on how to digitize your old photo prints & negatives so those oldies but goodies are never lost forever.

Vision

I saved what I consider the best, and most important tip, for last.

And I know I said at the start that we’re not gonna get too technical or geeky here, but please permit me to stray for one brief moment into a mathematical equation. But don’t worry, this one’s really simple:

Vision > Gear

You see, I think too many people get all caught up in the mechanics of photography, so they end up focusing on the wrong thing.

Photography is not so much about the gear and how it works (though of course you need to know the basics and how to operate your camera), but more about learning how to create your own vision and hone your craft. If you really want to take your photography to the next level, I think learning how to see is the one of the best things you can do to get better at photography.

Resources

A list of software, tools & books for learning more, plus links to favorite photographers.