9 signs you're a good photographer
1. You know it's the photographer that makes the image, not the camera
You'll happily get the shot on your phone because you don't have your kit with you. You don't sulk because the shot would've been better with your big camera.
Related - how to annoy a photographer: look at one of their best photographs and ask them what camera they used.
2. You check the edge of the frame before you press the shutter
You might not consciously know what visual weight in composition is, but you know that you need to avoid telegraph poles coming out of people's heads, things crossing the frame behind your subject, and people in red coats in the distance spoiling your landscape shot.
3. You have your photos backed up in 2 places, one offsite
There's no excuses for this one. Your digital legacy can vanish overnight, with a burglar or a burnt out hard drive. Read this to get your photos backed this weekend: The Ultimate Guide to Backing Up Your Photos Without Crying.
4. You know what dust can do to your photos
Dust on your sensor and dirt on your lenses - you check regularly. If you don't, it's like shooting in a sandstorm.
5. You've achieved inner peace when it comes to compare and contrast
There will always be a photographer who is better than you. There will always be a better photograph you can take. The first thing you promise when you start A Year With My Camera is this: "The only photographer I will compare myself to is the one I used to be."
It's much, much harder than it sounds, but you'll make faster progress if you can stop comparing your journey to someone else's. Everyone starts in the same place. In A Year With My Camera we cherish complete beginners and celebrate every small breakthrough. But we also respect the progress people make, and we don't snipe at them just because they took a great photo. We can genuinely be happy that they've taken a photo they are proud of, even though we might not quite be there yet.
"I've never felt good enough to join a camera club but I've loved taking photos for the past 30 years. I am so pleased to have found AYWMC and the knowledge I have gained to enable me to go manual. Thank you." - Class of Sept 2017 student
6. You always have a personal project on the go
Collecting something (doors, flowers, shadows, stripes, clocks), taking a photo every day, 50 shots with your 50mm, doing the National Trust challenge every weekend - these are some of the personal projects I've done.
7. You know that it's light that makes your photograph
All light has a direction and a quality. It's your job to capture that as it falls on your subject.
8. You know that all digital images need editing
...and that if you shoot JPEGs it's your camera doing the editing, not you.
(If you don't know this, read this post: What Is RAW And Why Do You Need It?)
9. You know that all photography is a compromise
Unless you work in a studio, you'll never have exactly the right kit in exactly the right spot with exactly the right weather and exactly the right light - so dig deep and enjoy the moment.