It’s consistency. We’ve all fluked a great shot. You’re not totally sure how you managed it, but everything just magically fell into place and you snagged an image that makes you feel like you’re a total all-star.
But the trick is being able to repeat that awesomeness, time and time again. That’s what great photographers can do.
So what’s the secret sauce? Buckets of luck? Shooting a bazillion shots so they can get enough of those flukes?
Nope. It all boils down to a short list of fundamentals. These are the things that great photographers know inside and out, so that when the time comes, they can call this information into action to help them produce those winning images.
Would you believe there are professional photographers out there that don’t fully know how to control their camera? It’s true. How do I know?
I used to be one of them.
Yep, it’s a big ugly confession, but it’s true. We started off shooting in Aperture Priority mode, and let the camera do the thinking for us. We thought it was faster and easier than learning all that scary technical stuff. And you can fake it here for a while. Cameras are smarter than ever, and they can get pretty close for you. But not knowing this stuff will truly hold you back, and keep you firmly in the “fluking it” category.
What I’m talking about here is needing to understand the essential features of your camera and your lens, and knowing how that affects the look of your images.
You need to know how changing your aperture changes the look of your photo. You need to understand how to set your shutter speed to get the results you want. You need to be able to make decisions with your ISO that fit your situation. And then, based on what features your camera has, you’ll need to know about drive modes, white balance, focusing, stabilization modes and so on.
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