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{documentary} thinking like a photographer, part four: rule your tool

this is part four

of a seven part series on thinking like a photographer.

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4. Rule your tool. Become the boss of your camera. Know it inside and out, its limits, its sweet spot, its functions. Read the manual. Then read some stuff other photographers have said about it and look at pictures they’ve made. Handle it every day. Put it through its paces. Get used to it. Because once you can use it without thinking, you’re finally free to see the light, and the moment, and let your visual vocabulary kick in.

This is where taking a class to learn the tricks of using your camera smartly can really help. Let me repeat: read your manual! Then join a class that can help you feel more confident in the choices you are making, whether you’re selecting an ideal camera setting, or working in manual to really take control over every aspect of your photograph. Another benefit of a class: connecting with other people who are in the same place as you – find a friend you can share your work with and ask for feedback. The give and take can really help you pick out what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll learn faster, and have more fun sharing the process with others.

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Part five: think about details, will be published on Monday.

Click here to return to part three: build a visual vocabulary

If you’re feeling ready to jump into your photography more seriously, consider taking my upcoming workshop, Camera Boss. Click here to learn more!

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