Thursday, May 24, 2018

Challenge Yourself to Take Better Photographs

fuchsia plant photo by mbgphoto
Fuchsia Plant

Review of Tips to Becoming a Better Photographer

In this article I will review tips I have passed on in the past and offer a new tip to challenge yourself to increase your skills. Whether you like taking photos for yourself and your friends or you want to take them professionally there are several things you can do to enhance your skills. Of course the first is practice, practice, practice. But besides using your camera regularly there are many things you can do to become a better photographer.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Take a class on photography or attend a photography seminar.   

 No matter how many times I take classes or seminars, I always come away with something useful.  I try to take at least one class or seminar each year.   There are many different places to find classes or seminars.  Just type "Local Photography classes" into your search engine and you will find lots of choices.  If you are short for time you might try some of the online classes that are listed, but I always try to take one in person at least every other year.  I think sharing with other people you meet at the seminars and classes is a great part of the learning experience.   

Study the work of Photographers you Admire.

A great way to become a better photographer is to study the photos that you enjoy.  There are photographs all around us.  Look in books, check out photos of your friends or look at the many sources online.  I'm sure you've looked before, but have you looked at the photographs critically.  Take the time to examine  a photograph.
  • What makes it appealing to you?
  • Is the lighting good for the subject?
  • What can you learn from the photo?
  • What would you do differently?
Here is a photo I took of a bird in my backyard.  Take your time and examine this photo and answer the four questions above.
Baltimore Oriole bird photo by mbgphoto
Baltimore  Oriole on Hummingbird Feeder
Now try the same four questions on this pot of flowers.
hanging potted flowers photo by mbgphoto
Backyard Flowers

Take a 52 week Photography Challenge.

This year I am taking a photography challenge.  The particular challenge I am taking is on Facebook in a group called 2 Lil Owls Photography Project.  You can find lots of similar challenges online or you and some friends could start your own.  Here is how the challenge works.  We have a list of words, one for each week in the year.  The challenge is to create a photograph using the word.  How you interpret the word is entirely up to you.  This challenge  has you getting out your camera each week and finding creative ways to use the weeks word.  Here are a few of the words we've had this year and some of my photos.
snow out the window photo by mbgphoto
dirt path photo by mbgphoto

lake photo by mbgphoto

In a Distance
deck with shadows photo by mbgphoto


A few of the other words for the challenge include: large, small, scattered, up close, looking out, red, flowers, fill the frame and daily habit.  Of course there are many  more but this gives you an idea of how it works.


Stop by my Zazzle stores to see my photos on products.Zazzle/mbgphoto

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Wonderful photography tips as always! I guess I have always looked at other photos and mentally asked those 4 questions, or very similar questions, without even realizing it. It definitely helps to have an idea of what looks good to you in a photo before you take that shot. Getting to know my own camera (a new camera) is always the most challenging for me. I tend to want to point and shoot without a lot of concentrated concern over the camera itself, but you have taught me a lot over the years. One of your best tips for me was to use your backyard as a practice site. It really helps a lot to be in a safe environment while learning about a new camera.

  2. I have always loved all your photography tips, Mary Beth, and appreciate you sharing what you have learned with us. I continually strive to be a better photographer and your articles are always helpful. The 52 week challenge you mentioned is an excellent way to 'focus' (pun intended) your photography and camera creativity.

  3. I greatly admire how you are always growing as a photographer (and how you share that learning for the benefit of others). I would enjoy the photography challenge that you spotlighted. Thank you for blessing others through your gifts. You have an eye for beauty, which tells me there is much beauty within you.

  4. Thank you Cynthia, Elf and Diane for your kind comments. My enjoyment of photography has really enriched my retirement days! I love being able to share my photos and thoughts on Review This.

  5. Okay, I need to get more organized so that I can devote some time to taking better pictures. I bought my husband a nice camera and he rarely uses it, so maybe this is my wake up call! I shall claim the camera and use it. That's a start and then I will take a course....there is one offered at my local library! Thanks for these suggestions.

    1. Best of luck to you Grammie I know you will e!enjoy the exciting world of photography!!

  6. I love photography and participate in challenges on various sites. I wish I had time to take classes like you do, but life keeps getting in the way. At least I can learn from your posts. I've also found some good video instruction on YouTube. I love looking at your beautiful photos.

  7. My son invested in an expensive camera (expensive to me) and he's been out taking photos. I'll have to point him towards your photo tips, they're helpful. You take excellent photos, you must have a large collection by now.

  8. I love your tips. I don't practice photography as much as I would like to. I think your tips are spot on.


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