Spending hours wandering through nature trying to catch as many birds as possible, I soon discovered that my camera was not really suitable for chasing birds.
Too slow in zoom and focus, I missed a lot of great shots. So just a month later I bought my first DSLR, a basic APS-C model Nikon D5300. Having that camera gave me the benefit of using multiple lenses for different types of photography. Not only did I get great bird shots using a 150-600 mm lens, I also discovered that the image quality was way better.
My pictures started to improve and at that time I started using a logo/signature when I posted pictures online on my social media. First with an ugly free font I found on the internet but after joining some photography groups on Facebook, I found out people were using professional looking logos as a signature. By asking other photographers I finally found Photologo and I knew that was going to be the next thing for me.
I ordered a logo and after a couple of days I had the file in my mail. What a difference with my self made logo! This sure looked much better and more professional. I decided to purchase the Photopolish software as well and that made it really easy for me to place my new logo on all of my photos. Having this logo makes it easy for people to recognize my photos and I think it is the finishing touch on every great pic.
After almost a year of doing photography, mainly shooting birds, I bought myself a wide angle lens and started doing landscapes as well. In the Netherlands, almost everything is flat. No mountains, waterfalls, wild rivers or rocky coastlines. What we do have is water and windmills. A lot! I found out using that in my photos could get some awesome results too.
After upgrading to a Nikon D7500 I got better results and I’m learning more and more every time I’m taking photos. Not only about the camera I am using but also about composition.
Alex, give us 5 tips to take better photos
Plan your shooting in advance: whenever I’m going out now there is some planning in advance. I usually go out before sunrise or at sunset so checking the weather hours before is a necessary step to decide if it’s worth or not going out. I also use a sun calculator app to see what will get me the best composition at a certain place and time.
Take your time: I’ve missed some great shots by being only a few minutes late and having to rush to get to my location and getting the right composition. Being on time makes it much easier to get better results. Looking around, finding the best spot, using leading lines if possible and waiting for the right conditions.
Experiment with filters: my landscape photos also include a lot of long exposures now, I like using filters to get the smooth effect it creates water and clouds. This gives my photos just that little bit extra in my opinion.
Share your photos and collect feedback: sharing my photos online in the Photologo Community, for example, is a great way to get in touch with other photographers, to fine tune my skills and get more ideas or to share information. After three years as a hobby photographer I’m still learning and I hope other people can learn from me.
Always enjoy what you do: just remember to have fun in doing what you do, no matter what style of photography you are into. If you are not enjoying it anymore, ask yourself if it’s time to change something in your approach to photography, in your gear or simply in the type of subjects you photograph.
If you want to find out more about Alex’s works:
Alex de Haan Fotografie, and on Instagram: alexdehaan.photography.