You need to look at your camera as a user interface that you can modify. Everything about it is yours to understand and control.
The older I get, the more sure I become that passion is the single most important ingredient found in the greatest of photographs. I have been writing about passion and photography for years but frankly, it’s not a sexy enough topic in today’s busy and loud world, to garner much attention.
I know that not everyone is as dedicated to photography as I am. But I am still convinced that even a modest amateur/beginner can benefit by keeping a practice log.
The way you get better at anything is to practice. This is well-known for things like playing a musical instrument or sports, or languages, etc. But I rarely heard it talked about in the photography realm and it should be.
(They want to know WHY you photograph…)
I’ve written about the WHY of things before. And most of my inspiration for those posts is from Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” (https://amzn.to/32pU0sr) It’s one of the most important books I’ve read in terms of moving both the financial and the creative side of my life.
Today I want to talk about the simplest application I can think of for Simon’s book.
An old-time, professional photographer once told me that we don’t get paid to take pictures. We get paid to see things that “normal” people do not.
I once led a photo workshop to the Green Mountains of Vermont. Our group was there to photograph fall color and we had a cornucopia of opportunity everywhere we looked.
I know what you are thinking. How can I work on my photography without a camera? Well eventually you will indeed need one. But these are all things you can do with just your mind. Give it a try.
(I should note that these habits have worked for me and countless people whom I have taught over the years. If you open your mind, I am sure at least some of them will work for you too.)
My pal Rick Sammon has a Facebook group where he offers education and inspiration on a regular basis. He asked me to contribute an image and some tips to his group. In case you’re not following that group, I wanted to provide the tips here on my blog as well. I hope you enjoy them.
I love making photographs. I try to make a picture (at least one) every day and for the most part, except for some instances when I was in the hospital or otherwise just unable, I have made a photograph every day since 1973. And no matter how good I become at photography, I have realized I cannot and will not ever really master it. And that is the truth. So I am very fulfilled by photography, but it also kicks my ass sometimes. That’s just the way it goes.
Throughout my photographic career, at every turn where I found a bit of success, there was one constant. One thing that set me apart. And I’ll let you know right now it wasn’t because I was talented.