5 Ways to Be A Better Photographer: Tips from Brandon Elijah Scott

Today’s Tuesday Tips are from Brandon Elijah Scott, founder of Eye and Pen, a travel and photography blog. He takes stunning photographs throughout his travels and is well-renowned for his artwork. In this post he shares his tips for taking beautiful, thought-provoking photographs during your travels. 

Brandon Elijah Scott is a travel writer; commercial, portrait & travel photographer; with over eight years of experience. He is a filmmaker, adventurer, designer, storyteller, and book zealot.

5 ways to be a better photographer
by Brandon Elijah Scott

Shoot during the golden hours

When you photograph during the hour following sunrise and the hour prior to sunset, you have a much softer and more beautiful light to work with. A forgiving light, that brings landscapes to life. Instead of having to work around the light, you’re able to have the light work for you.

Remove obstructions

Removing obstructions can be one of the major catalysts that take your photography from being simply amateur to strikingly professional. By removing the power lines, unnecessary people, cars and houses, you can control the naturalism, power and legitimacy of the scene.

Don’t be lazy

If photographers only shot from the safety of their cars, there would never be any exceptionally unique photographs. Take a shot and work with it, don’t settle for the quick snap. Play with it – by simply changing your exposure, you can make a photograph more interesting, powerful and moody. Don’t be afraid to hike to different vantage points. Chances are that you will be able to improve your final shots exponentially just by changing your position.

Draw the viewer’s eye

Draw the viewer’s eye into your work, make them focus on what you want them to see. By using focus, depth and composition, your photography can bring the scene alive for the viewer. Put the foreground versus the background to use, it can intensify the effect, power and evocation of your work. The eye naturally focuses first on the brightest, free-flowing and most in-focus areas in a photograph. You can alter these aspects in post-production if need-be, by implementing certain constructive techniques with Adobe Photoshop’s burn, dodge, sponge and blur tools – among countless others.

Don’t be a photographer

Be a storyteller. Great photographers transcended from being basic picture takers to great storytellers. Take a look at all of the greats, like Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson or Jim Brandenburg – they were storytellers first, photographers second. With each photo opportunity, pause and analyze the scene and let your creativity take over. You can sculpt the viewer’s perceptions and how the story has an effect on their reactions, feelings and connections.

To see more breathtaking photographs and hear more advice from Brandon, check out his blog, Eye and Pen.

(Photo by © Brandon Elijah Scott / www.eyeandpen.com)

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    • Kay says

      Thanks, Kent! Hope all is well with you too!

      (And btw, I’m at Rice! But we generally like UH, except when football is involved :P)

  1. susan says

    i love these tips! I just bought a new camera and I have been taking pictures as often as possible to improve, but I feel like much of the photographs need some Photoshop tweeking. I’m planning a trip to Buenos Aires so hopefully I will master the art before I go so my pictures look stunning! Thanks for sharing! Love your blog!

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