My passion for expressing myself artistically began when I was six or seven years old after my parents put a Kodak Brownie and a few rolls of film under the Christmas Tree with my name on them. I still have those first photos stuffed in a box somewhere and even though its been many years since I’ve looked at them, I can see the images in my minds eye on demand. Those first photos weren’t the work of a child prodigy by any means but the do represent a determination that still drives me every day, to be a perpetual student of photography
2015 will be remembered by me as a year of great strides in my adventures in photography. I wanted to share five truths about being a good photographer that seem pretty basic but still worth putting down in writing.
1. A good photographer is always prepared to shoot. This means actually carrying gear just about everywhere. Yea it can be a real pain in the ass lugging around expensive and heavy equipment but in photography timing is everything. There is nothing worse than missing an opportunity to capture a great image because you don’t have your stuff.
2. A good photographer knows what is going on in the Celestial and Terrestrial realms. There are so many tools available to us now that give us accurate information about the Sun, Moon, Stars, Weather, Maps, etc.. that it would be crazy not to use that information to make better images.
3. A good photographer takes regular field trips. Intentionally setting out with a particular theme or subject matter in mind is the most effective way of accumulating experience. There is no substitute for experience in the pursuit of expertise in any given art form.
4. A good photographer takes a lot of lousy photographs. It’s the practice shots that help us experiment with different settings and techniques. It’s the poorly contrived images that help us recognize a great composition when we first see it in the view finder.
5. A good photographer dedicates far more time to processing than to shooting. As a young student of film photography, I literally spent thousands of hours mixing chemicals, printing contact sheets, exposing test strips and dodging and burning images. All of the behind the scenes efforts haven’t been eliminated with the advent of digital processing. On the contrary, the bar of expected results has risen dramatically and the time investment of finishing a photo is as pricey as ever.