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Interviewing a number of photographers this year has made me realize that one of the best ways to actually become a better photographer isn’t to necessarily shoot more like many photographers will tell you to, but to instead shoot less and think more critically and carefully about every single photo that you take. Indeed, a photographer who thinks carefully about each photo that they shoot (in terms of exposure, composition, elements, and overall look) will overall shoot less than someone simply just spraying and praying machine gun style, hoping that each image will yield something better than the last one.

A model that we often shoot for the site recently told me that I’m unlike many other photographers. I know exactly what I want, I shoot it, and I’m done. Others tend to just shoot and shoot and shoot. Folks that have joined me me during my photo walks also say the same thing.

The photographer that sprays and prays will overall come away with more work, but chances are highly against them that they will want to display every single image in their portfolio. To be specific, I’m talking about a photographer presenting their portfolio in an attempt to actually gain better photography work–not someone simply just uploading to their Flickr or 500px.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (2 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

Your lenses are much more important than your camera is. They do a big job of helping to determine what kind of image quality comes out of the camera. And in the same way that you’d treat your camera with lots of care, you should be treating your lenses even better. You know some of the basics already–or at least you think you do.

To get the most from your lenses, you’ll need to understand how they work.

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Model: Asta Peredes

Model: Asta Peredes

When it comes to lighting, you should absolutely never skimp on it when it comes to your photos. Photography is all about the act of capturing light and recording it. But knowing how to work with both natural light and artificial light is a skill.

Lucky for you, we’ve got over 53 solid lighting tutorials for you right here.

This post builds on our original lighting index.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r review photos brooklyn bridge reddit walk (8 of 14)ISO 1001-60 sec at f - 4.5

We’ve talked before about getting better sharpness and about getting better colors in your images, but now we’re tackling the subject of dynamic range. We’re going to start off by saying that not every single image needs to be an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image in order for you to want to get better dynamic range. Sometimes it really just depends on what you want to accomplish creatively. But you should also know that this has everything to do with knowing how to meter with your camera to begin with.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Manual Camera and Triggertrap (5 of 5)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.2

Imagine our excitement when after years and years of mobile photography being so limited that we were able to shoot a photo using our phone and have an off-camera strobe go off to provide extra illumination. These capabilities have only recently become accessible. Sure, Nokia had manual camera control with their line of phones but what both Android and iOS both offer is comparably more mainstream.

When browsing the Android store of manual shutter control apps, I found the Manual Camera app that allows the user to set the ISO, shutter speed, focusing, white balance and many more parameters. But we had also recently got the Triggertrap Flash Adapter in for review.

And when using both of them together, we were able to shoot an image mostly illuminated by strobe.

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TheDarcys_MercuryLounge_

All images by Luis Ruiz. Used with permission

Photographer Luis Ruiz is a New York based creative that I met years ago when I first started the Phoblographer. As time goes on, we tend to evolve as photographers. But Luis and I used to inspire one another by heading out in the streets of Manhattan together and shooting street images. We learned from one another. We were also both concert photographers. But while I couldn’t find a way to make it profitable, Luis never gave up and through tenacity and perseverance Luis became a well known name amongst many magazines and music blogs in the New York area.

His story is one of humble beginnings that carry with him even to today.

Be sure to follow Luis on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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