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Photography, alas, is not a cheap hobby. If you are in any way serious about becoming the best photographer you can be, it’s going to involve parting with some cash. But which investments should you make, and, more importantly, which investments are the most worthwhile?

There are many options out there at the moment, for snappers of all abilities. But I think the following five ideas should help you on your photography journey more than any other. Let’s take a closer look.

Take a course

By far and away the best thing you with your money is spend it on a great, practical photography course. The science behind taking great snaps can be pretty dry, and while some people can get by with textbooks and written lessons, the vast majority will improve much faster by the practical nature of tuition. Find a popular course in your local area and get involved – you will learn far more with an excellent teacher than you will from any book.

Go for a DSLR

While compact cameras are ideal for taking out and about, if you are serious about photography it’s worth buying a DSLR. Something like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera is a perfect starting point to this side of photography, and it will give you the chance to experiment with settings and get super creative with your shots. DSLRs are also a great starting point for investing in new lenses – which you will need to take different types of shot.

Buy a tripod

Don’t underestimate how much a tripod can improve your end results. Yes, they can be a pain to set up and cart around, but even the fact you have a tripod at your disposal means you start thinking a lot more about your snaps. You’ll notice smaller details than you did before, and it will give you the chance to use the manual focus settings on your new DSLR properly. And finally, if you ever want to take shots at night – of the moon, for example – then a steady tripod is vital for all those long exposures you need when working with low light levels.

Travel

Going to new places gives you new experiences, which will make you see the world a little differently. When you know somewhere too well, you often miss things, but when you are in a different environment, your senses tend to heighten. It doesn’t matter whether you travel to the Grand Canyon or just the next town down the road, the effect on your mind will make you think a lot more about your shots.

Time

Finally, all this – clearly – costs money, but it also costs you time. It’s vital that you put enough time into your regular schedule to learn, take photos, and discover new equipment. We all lead busy lives these days, but the truth is that progression will only come with practice – and practice takes time.

OK, so there you have it – some simple investments to make if you want to improve your photography. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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