If you think you have a good eye for photography and you want an easy way to improve your skills, award-winning photographer Simon Ellingsworth has a tip: sign up for competitions and participate in challenges. You'll learn a lot, meet other talented photographers and see amazing work.
Picture: chia ying yang/Wikimedia
It might seem counterintuitive to put your work out there in a contest when you're still trying to learn, but a number of competitions are aimed at amateurs or prosumer photographers and come with no entry fees, no risks and no barriers to entry. Simon, an award-winning photographer (and author of the photography education blog Lightism), explains:
Getting involved with a competition will give you a purpose to get out there and shoot.
Having a purpose or assignment is a great stimulus for getting creative and getting more use out of your camera.
Some competitions have a brief which is a simple set of rules defining what they are looking for, a bit like if you were shooting commercially for a client. This does make it easier for you to hit the mark.
Simon goes on to note that you don't even have to have lots of expensive gear to enter a contest or challenge either -- there are even challenges available for smartphone and compact camera shooters, and still others that don't care how you took the photo.
Even if you don't sign up or compete, you can still watch the competition happen, see which photos win, and learn from them and the winning photographers. Hit the link below for more tips, as well as a few sites with contests and challenges you can compete in.
Develop Your Photography the Easy Way [Lightism]