June 4, 2012
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On the Lightstalking site an article written By Mike Panic caught my eye. I think all he says has validity but it is his last point that I would have flagged up as the most important.
“Don’t ever stop learning. One great thing the Internet has allowed us to do is continuously learn through blogs, news articles and video demonstrations. Don’t limit yourself just to the Internet though. One and two day photo workshops are becoming increasingly common in cities across the country, often hosted by a local photographer. Most are limited to only a half dozen people with the focus being on one specific niche, such as fine art nudes or macros. They are often very affordable and a great way to meet fellow photographers. Photo walks are also another way to learn and chat with other photographers, these too are becoming more popular in both urban and country settings.”
Now you may think I single this item out for special attention because I am a teacher as well as a photographer, because I run a school of photography but I have to tell you that if I had a mantra, if I knew what a mantra was, then it would be ‘always be interested, never stop learning, tell me about tomorrow’, that might be three but as I said I don’t really know what a mantra is. Some of my best friends, photographers like me, commercial, working photographers actively avoided digital for about 10 years because they didn’t want to have to learn new things. I guess they may have said, ‘when digital gets as good as film I might consider it’ but I suspect they just didn’t want to let go of the wealth of knowledge that was film photography that they had because basically it was redundant.
How do you continue to learn and be interested; finding places where your photography is fed a good dose of manure, that is not the same as bull shit, well I guess it is but there is a difference. Feed your interest, investigate photographers whose work you may not have seen before, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. If you mostly take pictures of places and flowers force yourself to take pictures of people. Learning the basic technical side of photography is pretty easy, if you don’t understand exposure then make efforts to do so after which you can take control of your images but the difficult things are about understanding images. Learn a visual language that has a vocabulary others understand. Always taking the same pictures the same way will lead to boredom.
If you want to read the rest of the article By Mike Panic go here
Alhambra © Keith Barnes
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