Indeed, digital camera gives photographers a number of benefits. The LCD screen on it allows us to see the resulted photo right after the shutter button is pressed and if the result is not satisfactory you can simply delete it and take another shot.
Apart from that, the auto exposure feature also makes things even easier for us. Even people who are just beginners in using DSLR camera can actually capture images with good and exact exposure by setting the camera to auto exposure mode. Moreover, there are more features that indulge every photographer like the auto white balance, auto focus, auto exposure bracketing and etc.
However, there are side effects to these easy facilities offered in digital cameras which are quite negative. Photographers become reluctant to learn some basic techniques of photography since all have been set automatically. In order to solve such problem, there are some good habits for photographers which can help us sharpening our instincts on photography:
1. Apply manual mode
Using auto mode is no sin yet you can try to shoot in manual mode once in awhile. This will help you understand about the basic function of speed shutter and diaphragm. You will understand the proportion of diaphragm used to create bokeh effect and the shutter speed used when you shoot using panning technique. Furthermore, you will know more about stuff like tungsten, fluorescent, sunny or cloudy white-balance.
2. Ignore the LCD screen
Try not to depend on your LCD. Do not accustom yourself with checking images resulted on your LCD screen once you have done pressing the shutter button or what is usually called as “chimping”. This habit make your camera run out of battery quickly and it is quite time consuming and make your instinct on adjusting light meter becoming weaker.
3. Limit the number of your shutter
You can try to hunt some photos using your digital camera sometimes, yet you have to treat it like a manual camera. In one roll of analog camera, there are approximately 20 to 36 photo frames available. Try to hunt photos and think of your digital camera as an analog one with the capacity of 36 frames to shoot. By doing and thinking so, you will be more careful to press the shutter button and to adjust the shutter speed, diaphragm, white balance and composition. Moreover, before you are done with pressing the shutter 36 times, never ever take a peek at your LCD screen to check the results. Just try; it is a lot of fun.
4. Make use of one prime lens or fix focal length
In order to train your ability in managing composition of photo taking, shoot using one prime lens only. If you do not have it and own a 28-70mm lens only, use your lens on a certain fix focal length, for example in 28mm only. Using fix focal length, you are required to make a composition of an object by getting closer or further from its side. In the limitation of prime lens’ perspective, you need to be more creative in making the composition of the object.
5. Do not depend yourself on Photoshop
You are a photographer and not a digital artist. Make good photos by applying techniques in photography instead of using some effects in Photoshop. Your camera is your device to create some work pieces and not computer and digital imaging software.
6. Make a project
Practice all five points above by making a photo project like a 30-days project and stuff. You shoot at least one image in a day for 30 days respectively with a theme “reflection” using the techniques mentioned above. Post those photos in social media like Facebook, twitter, Flickr and etc. Watch the improvement of you skills in photography day to day or ask your friends’ opinions on images you take. If you are consistent, it is guaranteed that you will improve your skill significantly from day to day.
Keep spirit and have a good try.