Photography jobs

In photography, practice makes perfect

“A photo is one click away, a good photo a hundred clicks away and a better one a thousand clicks away. ” – Kowtham Kumar K

You can get photo advice online. You can read books on photographic techniques. You can ask questions of a more experienced friend or even a professional photographer, but the best way to improve your shooting skills is to practice them directly.

For example, sports photographers need impeccable timing to capture the peak actions of competitive athletes. This skill does not come overnight. Sometimes it can take years to capture a wide receiver doing a fingertip capture or a tennis player hitting a perfect forehand or timing a header between players in a football game.

Oscar Larios of Edison and Andrew Jones of St. Mary's leap to take the lead in a Sac-Joaquin men's soccer playoff game at St. Mary's in Stockton on November 9, 2010.

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Knowing how to control your camera settings is an essential skill that both advanced and professional photographers should know. There are often situations where the lighting can change quickly. Practice can help you adjust to capture those mercurial moments quickly.

I know we all live busy lives. There is work, school, and life in general that can keep you from going out to take pictures. But you should try to find time to get out on the court to practice. And the more you can, the more you will improve.

When I was in college, I was a member of the school newspaper staff. I might have one or two missions a week.

My first professional job was as a part-time photographer on a weekly newspaper and my workload doubled. The quality of my photography has improved as a result.

When I got my job at The Record I started touring every day and my improvement jumped exponentially.

Eric Weber of Roseville takes photos of daffodils on the opening day of Daffodil Hill near the Mother Lode town of Volcano in Amador County on March 17, 2017.

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Whether you want to become a professional photographer or just want to improve as a hobbyist, getting out and practicing is the best way to improve your skills. Now, most of the changes are gradual and you may not notice your improvement. But I guarantee you that if you constantly use your skills, over time you will see that the practice will improve.

Record-breaking photographer Clifford Oto has photographed Stockton and San Joaquin County for over 36 years. He can be contacted at [email protected] or on Instagram @Recordnet. Follow his blog at Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at