Here are 8 easy steps to improve your DSLR photography this weekend.

Improving your photography skills can be as simple as just picking up your camera. But sometimes we need actionable tasks to help get us started. Below are 7 ways to improve your photography this weekend. Whether you choose one item a weekend or try to do all 8 in one weekend, I encourage you to just pick up your camera and do it. The only way we get better is to keep practicing.

8 Ways to Improve your Photography this Weekend

1. Change Your Location

Shooting in the same place can become boring and make you a complacent photographer.  You get used to the same lighting, finding the same shade and ultimately using the same settings on your camera.  This can make you forget how to change your settings based on the lighting conditions. Finding a new location to shoot at will challenge you to adapt to different lighting conditions and give you different subjects to focus on.  So have fun, explore, and get creative with your locations.

Stones at Meadowlark Gardens

2. Reduce the gear you carry

Challenge yourself to bring your camera and one lens only.  Doing this will force you to change your perspective, especially if you are using a fixed focal length lens.

3. Carry your camera everywhere you go for the weekend

Often times we are not capturing moments that we will cherish forever because we decide to leave our cameras behind.  This is especially true with the advent of camera phones. While camera phones are getting better, using your DSLR camera often will help you get better at changing your settings fast.  Plus wouldn’t it be great if you could document your whole weekend and tell a story with the photos for future generations?

Playing Carnival Games

4. Download and organize your photos

I have been guilty of this too often.  Only downloading the photos when I need them.  Then they sit on my camera and do nothing. Take an hour or so each weekend to download and organize your photos so that you can actually enjoy them.  You are taking the photos for a reason!

5. Choose one or two photos to edit

Whether you are using basic editing software such as Photos or advanced software like Lightroom, choose one or two photos to edit.  Not only will you end up with a couple of beautiful print quality photos, but it will generate ideas for photos you want to take in the future.

Beautifully Edited Flower Photo

6. Go out during Golden Hour

Choose a day this weekend to go out during golden hour and shoot some photos.  What is the golden hour you might ask? Golden hour occurs twice a day. It is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset.  During these times the sun is low on the horizon and can produce some great sun flares in addition to the light being softer. This is also a perfect time to get great silhouettes.  It doesn’t matter the subject. Doing this will show you just how beautiful this time of day can be to photograph and allow you to really get creative with your settings and ultimately your photography.

Girl at golden hour

7. Choose different exposure modes

Play and experiment with different modes on your camera.  Use aperture priority mode and play with your f-stop. Then switch over to shutter priority mode and fuss with different shutter speeds.  Doing this kind of experimentation and practice will make you more confident with your camera.

8. Take a photography class

This ties into number 7 above. If you are scared or just don’t understand the modes of your camera or how the settings affect your photos, I encourage you to take a class. It can be in person or online, but either way, taking a photography class will help you understand your camera and possibly even get you shooting in manual mode where you have the most control over your camera. I have created an online photography class just for that purpose. It is a great class for the beginner photographer who wants to learn how to stop using auto mode and take more control over the camera to get better photos. Check it out at The Ultimate Beginner Photography Course

With that get out there and take photos. Your photography can be improved one picture at a time or one weekend at a time! Leave a comment below with what you will shoot this weekend?

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