10 Practical Tips to Boost Academic Photography Skills
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Use the rule of thirds to guide shot composition
  2. Learn how to adjust shutter speed
  3. Master the use of aperture
  4. Experiment with different angles and perspectives
  5. Use natural light to your advantage
  6. Pay attention to backgrounds
  7. Practice photographing in various conditions
  8. Learn basic photo editing skills
  9. Study the work of other photographers
  10. Always carry your camera with you

Ever wondered how to improve photography for academic achievement? Well, you're in the right place. Academic photography may sound daunting, but with the right tips and tricks, you can certainly boost your skills. Let's jump in and explore 10 practical tips that will elevate your photography game!

Use the rule of thirds to guide shot composition

You might have heard of the rule of thirds, but do you know how it can help you take better photos? This rule is a basic principle in photography that can guide you towards creating more balanced and engaging photos. Here's how to use it:

  • Imagine the grid: Picture your viewfinder or screen divided into a 3x3 grid. Instead of placing your subject right in the center, try to align it with the grid lines or their intersections. This often results in more eye-catching and interesting compositions.
  • Balance your elements: When you're capturing a scene with various elements, use the rule of thirds to balance them. Place the main object along one of the lines and the secondary object on the opposite side. This way, your photo doesn't feel too heavy on one side.
  • Use it for horizons: When photographing landscapes, align the horizon with one of the horizontal lines in your grid. This can help prevent your images from looking like they're split in half.

Like any rule, though, remember that it's okay to break it once you've got the hang of it. The rule of thirds is a great starting point, but don't be afraid to experiment, explore different compositions, and find your own style. After all, the end goal isn't just to learn how to improve photography for academic achievement—it's to develop a love and passion for capturing the world around you.

Learn how to adjust shutter speed

Shutter speed is like the blinking eye of your camera: it controls how long your camera's sensor is exposed to light. By learning how to adjust it, you can capture everything from crisp action shots to flowing waterfalls. Here are some pointers to get you started:

  • Fast shutter speeds: If you're trying to freeze movement in your photos — say, a bird in flight or a basketball player mid-jump — you'll want to use faster shutter speeds. These are typically represented as fractions of a second (like 1/500 or 1/1000) on your camera settings.
  • Slow shutter speeds: On the other hand, slower shutter speeds (such as 1 second or more) can be used to create a sense of motion in your photos. This is great for capturing things like streaks of car lights at night or smooth, flowing water.
  • Be mindful of camera shake: Keep in mind that slower shutter speeds can also make your photos prone to blur from camera shake. If you're going below 1/60 of a second, you might want to use a tripod to keep your camera steady.

Adjusting shutter speed is a powerful tool in your photography toolkit. It can help you express movement, time, and even mood in your photos. So, the next time you're out with your camera, play around with different shutter speeds and see the difference it makes. It's not just about learning how to improve photography for academic achievement, but also about discovering new ways to see and capture the world.

Master the use of aperture

Learning how to adjust aperture can feel like learning a secret language. But once you get the hang of it, it opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities. Here's why:

  • Control over depth of field: The aperture, measured in 'f-stops', controls the depth of field in your photos — that's how much of your shot is in sharp focus. A low f-stop number (like f/1.8) will give you a shallow depth of field, making your subject stand out against a blurry background. A high f-stop number (like f/16), on the other hand, will keep more of your scene in focus.
  • Light control: Aperture also affects how much light enters your camera. A wider aperture (low f-stop number) lets in more light, which is handy in darker situations. A narrower aperture (high f-stop number) lets in less light, which can help prevent overexposure in bright conditions.
  • Sharpness and detail: Finally, adjusting your aperture can also affect the overall sharpness and detail of your photos. Many lenses are sharpest at mid-range f-stop numbers, like f/8 or f/11.

As you can see, mastering the use of aperture is more than just a technical skill. It's about understanding how to control light and focus to bring your creative vision to life. And that's exactly what you need if you're figuring out how to improve photography for academic achievement. So grab your camera, and start experimenting with those f-stops!

Experiment with different angles and perspectives

Photography is like storytelling; it's all about perspective. And just like in a good story, different angles can add layers of depth and interest to your photos. So, let's get started on how to improve photography for academic achievement by exploring the world of angles and perspectives.

  • Eye Level: This is the most common perspective, as it's how we naturally see the world. But don't forget, you can change up your eye level by crouching down or climbing up high.
  • Bird's Eye View: This top-down angle can make for some interesting compositions. It's especially effective when photographing patterns or symmetry.
  • Worm's Eye View: This is the opposite of a bird's eye view. Shooting from a low angle can make your subjects look larger than life and add a dramatic touch to your photos.
  • Diagonal: Diagonal lines can add a sense of movement and dynamism to your photos. Try tilting your camera to introduce diagonal lines and see what happens.

Remember, these are just starting points. The real fun begins when you start to combine different angles and perspectives to create your own unique style. So why not make today the day to step out of your comfort zone and start experimenting with different angles? Your academic photography skills are sure to benefit from it.

Use natural light to your advantage

The right lighting can make or break a photo. And while studio lights have their place, there's something special about the beauty and versatility of natural light. So, to improve your photography for academic achievement, it's important to learn how to use natural light to your advantage.

  • Morning Light: Early morning light has a soft, warm hue that can add a gentle, dreamy quality to your photos. It's a great time to capture landscapes or portraits with a soft glow.
  • Midday Light: The light at midday is bright and harsh, producing strong shadows and high contrast. It can be challenging, but also exciting to work with. Try photographing architectural lines or objects with intricate details.
  • Golden Hour: The golden hour — that short period just after sunrise or just before sunset — is a photographer's dream. The light is warm and soft, and everything it touches seems to glow. Landscape and portrait photographers, in particular, love this time of day.
  • Overcast Light: Don't be disheartened by a cloudy day. Overcast light can actually be ideal for photography as it diffuses the light, reducing harsh shadows and contrast. It's perfect for capturing vibrant colors and skin tones.

So, when you're planning your next photo shoot, pay close attention to the time of day and the weather forecast. Remember, every type of natural light has its own unique qualities and can be used to create different moods and effects in your photos. So go out there and start using natural light to take your academic photography skills to the next level!

Pay attention to backgrounds

When snapping a photo, it's easy to focus solely on your main subject. But, if you're truly looking to improve your photography for academic achievement, you can't forget about the background. The backdrop of your image plays a crucial role in how your overall photo will turn out. Here are a few tips to help you nail the background in your shots:

  • Clear the Clutter: A busy or messy background can be distracting and take away from your main subject. Try to clear away any unnecessary objects or pick a background that is simple and uncluttered.
  • Use Depth of Field: By adjusting your camera's aperture (we'll cover this in more detail later), you can control the depth of field in your image. A shallow depth of field will keep your subject in focus while blurring the background, helping your subject stand out.
  • Consider Colors and Textures: The colors and textures in your background can contribute to the overall mood and feel of your photo. Consider how these elements will interact with your subject before you take your shot.
  • Look for Natural Frames: Natural elements like trees, archways, or windows can serve as frames within your photo, drawing attention to your main subject.

Remember, the background is part of the story you're telling with your photo. By paying close attention to it, you'll be able to create images with more depth and interest, and that's a big step towards boosting your academic photography skills.

Practice photographing in various conditions

It's a sunny day and you're outside with your camera — the perfect conditions for photography, right? Well, not always. If you're wondering how to improve photography for academic achievement, you should know that practicing in various conditions is key.

Photography isn't always about capturing images in the best light; it's about capturing the best images in any light. Here's why you should try shooting in different conditions and some tips to help you do it:

  • Challenging Lighting: Bright sunlight, low light, artificial light, or even mixed lighting conditions can be tough to deal with. But mastering these conditions can significantly improve your photography. Experiment with your camera's ISO settings, use a tripod for stability in low light, or try using a reflector to manipulate sunlight.
  • Weather Elements: Don't let a little rain or snow keep you indoors. These elements can add a unique touch to your photos. Plus, overcast skies often provide the most flattering, diffused light for portraits. Just make sure you protect your camera and equipment from the elements!
  • Different Environments: Try shooting in various locations, from bustling city streets to serene countryside. Each environment offers unique subjects and challenges. You'll learn how to handle distractions, manage moving subjects, and play with perspective.

So, don't wait for the perfect conditions. Instead, embrace the opportunity to practice in various environments and weather elements. The more you do, the better you'll get at handling whatever situation comes your way. And that's a sure way to boost your academic photography skills.

Learn basic photo editing skills

Let's face it, we all want our photos to look absolutely stunning, right? But not every photo comes out of the camera looking like it belongs on a magazine cover. That's where editing comes in. If the question "how to improve photography for academic achievement?" has been bothering you, learning basic photo editing skills is the answer.

Here's why photo editing is important and some basic skills you should learn:

  • Cropping and Straightening: Even the most careful photographers can end up with slanted horizons or unwanted elements in their photos. Cropping and straightening can fix these issues and help focus the viewer's attention on the main subject.
  • Adjusting Exposure and Contrast: Photos too dark or too light? Adjusting the exposure can fix that. Adding some contrast can make your photos pop and look more appealing.
  • Color Correction: Sometimes, colors in photos don't look the same as in real life. Color correction can help bring your photos closer to reality, or allow you to creatively alter the mood of your images.

Most editing tools like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop can seem intimidating at first, but don't worry, you don't need to learn all the features right away. Start with the basics, then gradually explore more advanced techniques as you get comfortable.

Remember, editing is not a way to fix bad photos, but a tool to enhance good ones. So, keep shooting, keep practicing, and don't forget to have fun along the way!

Study the work of other photographers

Want to know another secret on how to improve photography for academic achievement? Well, it's just like when you have a big test coming up: you study! But in this case, instead of hitting the books, you delve into the work of other photographers.

Looking at the work of others can provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. You can see different styles, techniques, and perspectives that you might not have thought of on your own. Here's are few effective ways to do this:

  • Visit Photography Exhibitions and Galleries: This can give you a chance to see high-quality prints and understand how photographers present their work.
  • Read Photography Books: Books not only showcase a photographer's work but also often provide insights into their thought process and techniques.
  • Follow Photographers Online: Websites and social media platforms like Instagram are great places to find and follow photographers whose work you admire.

When studying other photographers' work, don't just passively look at their photos. Instead, ask yourself what you like about the image, how the photographer might have taken it, and what you would do differently. This active engagement can help you learn more and apply these lessons to your own work.

But remember, while it's good to get inspiration from others, the goal is not to copy them but to develop your own unique style. So, go ahead, explore, learn, and let your creativity shine!

Always carry your camera with you

You're probably asking, "What does carrying a camera have to do with how to improve photography for academic achievement?" Well, the answer might be more important than you think. Carrying a camera with you at all times can help you seize every photo opportunity that comes your way.

Imagine this: You're walking home after school when you see the most spectacular sunset. The sky is ablaze with colors, and you think, "That would make an awesome photo!" But, alas! Your camera is at home, and the moment is lost forever. Sounds disappointing, right? That's why it's a good idea to always have your camera with you.

Of course, carrying a camera all the time doesn't mean you have to lug around a heavy DSLR. Even a compact point-and-shoot or your smartphone can do the job. The point is to have something with you to capture those unexpected moments.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more photos you take, the better you get. This is true with everything, not just photography. So, keep your camera within reach, and you'll be amazed at the progress you make!

And there's another upside: by always being ready to snap a photo, you'll start to see the world in a new light. You'll notice details you might have ignored before—a splash of color, an interesting shadow, a striking pattern. This is not just about how to improve photography for academic achievement—it's about fostering a deeper appreciation for the world around you.

If you're eager to further develop your academic photography skills, don't miss the workshop 'Tips To Compose More Compelling Photos' by Austin James Jackson. This workshop will teach you valuable tips and techniques to improve your composition, helping you create even more captivating and visually striking photographs.