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insights into photography
7 daily exercises that will make you a better photographer
August 6, 2014Posted by on
This is an article on Digital Camera World that completely fits with my ethos of being a photographer and more importantly being a teacher of photography.
There is no better alternative than practise. That does not mean practising taking great pictures, it means practising with your camera so that when the moment comes you know how to get the result. I suggest in class this is like learning to drive. At some point a friend or parent took you to a supermarket car park at a quiet time and you practised doing a 3 point turn (this is now called Turning in the road by using forward and reverse gears apparently) Anyway the point is obvious. I think learning to use a camera is very much like learning to drive a car. For you to be able to drive competently you cannot think about brake, accelerator, clutch, gears etc, you have to be a part of the car and do those things without thinking about them. The reason being there is so much else to concentrate on when you are driving you couldn’t do both. If you have to think about how to use your camera you will never be a competent photographer because your brain will not have enough spare capacity to think about the creative side of the exercise.
I agree with the principle laid out here in DCW but I have to say I would have a different list of things to practise, or at least an additional list. I think focus point selection is really important, and given it’s location on the camera so do the manufacturers; I also think exposure compensation is really important; thinking hard about depth of field and practising with your lenses so that you know intuitively how much will be in focus at an given aperture for the related focal length of the lens; what shutter speeds do you need to freeze different types of action or what speeds to enable motion blur; I would also throw in the idea of practising with fill in flash. I haven’t got started on the use of compositional devices either yet. So Practise is hugely important, and so is what you practise.
The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is as valid for photography as any other activity, so in their latest guest blog post the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventureput together a collection of exercises that will help you become a better photographer.