7 Essentials Every Ambitious Photographer Should Learn

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of finding a new passion—especially when that new passion is photography. But why keep that excitement in check when you can use it to your advantage? Plug in all that energy into learning the skills that will accelerate your photos from boring to astounding. Feeling ambitious? Grab your camera and explore these seven essentials every ambitious photographer should learn right now.

1. An ambitious photographer should know their own camera better than their best friend


You know how your best friend takes their coffee, how, if you get them laughing hard enough, they’ll snort. But how well do you know your own camera? Do you know how to adjust the focus area? Does your camera take double exposures or time lapse videos? Where is the back focus button?

The camera is simply a tool—like a painter’s paintbrush. But many new photographers, and sometimes even seasoned enthusiasts, aren’t getting the most out of that tool simply because they don’t realize everything it has to offer, or how to access the more advanced features. Along with knowing all the features and where everything is, an ambitious photographer should know his camera well enough to adjust settings quickly; she should be able to adjust the exposure without even taking her eye off the viewfinder.

Feeling ambitious? Here’s how your camera becomes your best friend.

  • Hang out—a lot. Take your camera out shooting often. Head out when you have nothing in particular that you have to shoot and just concentrate on exploring the camera and becoming more familiar with the controls. Practice until you can adjust the most frequently used settings without looking.
  • Read up. That instruction manual that came with your camera? Flip through it. Even just a glance through the table of contents might list a feature you’ve never used before—if that’s the case, head to that page and read up on it. You can also hang out in online message boards and talk to friends with the same camera.
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