Top Tips for Novice Nature & Travel Photographers (VIDEO)

The shooting and editing tutorials we post typically come from long-time pros, because the vast knowledge they share is a great way to up your game. But every so often it pays to listen to accomplished amateurs who are still in touch with their formative years and what they learned along the way to improve their skills.

Waseh Ahmad is an evolving landscape and street photographer who is quickly refining his work, and today he presents “the top four skills I learned in my first year of photography.” Following his straightforward advice is a great way to shorten your learning curve.

Ahmad begins with this important note: “The last thing you want to do is spend hundreds or thousand of dollars on a trip, and end with bad photos because you weren’t prepared, conditions weren’t right, or you chose a poor destination.” So listen up, because you’ll learn straightforward tips for avoiding these pitfalls in barely 11 minutes.

Skill #1 is pretty obvious for experienced photographers, but for beginners not so much. Put simply, once you get out in field it’s important to make a mental shift and start observing the surroundings like a photographer, rather that how you look at the world when you’re a “normal person” going about your daily life at home.

By doing the above you’ll begin to notice key factors like effective compositions, areas within the frame with the best light, and distracting elements that might spoil an otherwise great shot. In other words, you have to wear a different hat when there’s a camera in your hand.

Another important skill that's worth developing as soon as possible is what Ahmad calls “taking more keeper photos.” At first this sounds obvious until you understand what he means. In short, forgot about your camera’s burst mode, hoping that one shot in the sequence will be a winner. This involves slowing your roll, taking a more thoughtful approach, and shooting better rather than more images.

Tip #3 is one you may have heard before,. but it bears repeating, and that’s the simple fact that careful planning dramatically improves your odds of success. This involves more than choosing a picturesque destination and knowing the most favorite spots in the area.

You’ll also want to check weather conditions, what time of day offers optimum light, and understanding the type of subjects you’re likely to confront so you can bring the most appropriate gear. The fourth skill Ahmad describes is equally valuable if you want to make the most of your excursion.

After watching the video head over to Ahmad’s instructional YouTube channel where you’ll discover more helpful tips and tricks. And check out another basic tutorial we posted recently, with several helpful tips for beginning bird photographers.