Thursday, May 15, 2014

Practice, Practice, And Practice More

Photography is not much different from any other art form in that practice makes perfect. In order to practice, you not only need to always have your camera on you, but you need to be using it. The more complex the camera, the more that it should be on your person if a photographer wishes to master their craft and their equipment.
Path through cypress trees at Dawes Arboretum.
The path to perfection in photography is practice.

It may seem crazy to have an expensive camera capable of great photos laying on the shelf at home, but even during those times when a cell phone camera is all that you own, you're still practicing. The mere practice of framing the shot is still useful in terms of training your mind to think about photos in the world around you and even how you act when taking photos.

I'm not a fan of the 365 photo projects as I rarely see great photographs come from them. These projects are where a photographer posts at least one photograph a day for a year. Very few of these turn out well. Consider that many pros fail to produce 1 great photo per day. With that in mind, an amateur probably isn't going to either. It is easy to become discouraged with the project and it's a setup for failure. In my opinion, changing the project to taking photos everyday, editing photos once a week, and posting 1 good photo a month out(or something to that effect) is a better way to get into the practice of always practicing.

Consider how other arts are perfected. It's common to take a class, practice with the exercises given, and work up accordingly. Photography can be learned in the same way. Start with some simple basics like learning the settings, then move to applying to them to compositions that follow the rules(or styles if you will), etc. Keep improving and adding skills as they are perfected. Small projects that work towards perfecting a skill are good too.

Pick a project that sounds like something that's not  a setup for failure. It should sound like more of a pleasure to do rather than a chore. Whatever it is, make sure it's a project that is good enough to hold your interest.

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