Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Monday, July 1, 2013

Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine is not Enough

I once heard Barry Switzer, the former University of Oklahoma head football coach, in an interview tell how he answered this question from one of his players....

"How come we have to do this over and over a thousand times coach?"

His answer was classic..."Because 999 is not enough."

Photography is a lot like that. It is a simple fact that you get better with practice...the more the better. But, practice must be of a high quality production before it contributes to getting better. Practicing the wrong things over and over will make you very good at doing the...well, wrong things.

Always doing the same old thing the same old way more often than not makes you very stale as a photographer and limits your ability to grow. That is why I challenge those who attend workshops that I have taught to break away from the ordinary. Only concentrating on one type of photography may make you reasonably proficient in that endeavor, but not unlike physical fitness where cross training  provides a better overall fitness level, cross training in photography will also make you a better photographer.

I tend to concentrate mostly on landscape and scenic photography, but I also do location portraits, nature/wildlife, occasionally some action/sports, night photography, astrophotography, events, floral, classic cars, video productions, Black and White, and a lot of just plain old fun snapshots. I actually enjoy all of them and as a result, I believe that kind of diversity has improved my ability to see photographically. I've learned a great deal from each of them.

From location portraits I've learned the importance of expression, light, and timing. Landscapes and scenics have taught me about how to identify what is really important. From nature and wildlife I've learned to be more patient and exacting. Night photography has helped me read drama and story into a composition. From astrophotography I've learned to anticipate the extraordinary and to look for what is not always seen. From working events I've learned how to operate at a fast pace and make quick instinctive adjustments. Black and white has shown me the importance of shape, form, and texture. Floral's have helped me discover subtle details and how to apply light to enhance those details. Video has taught me about angles, steadiness of hand, and continuity.

There is a great deal to gain by trying a diverse approach to your photography. To become accomplished at all of those types of photographic requirements, requires a lot of practice. If for no other reason, variety helps keep your interest level higher. You know, coach Switzer was right...999 is not enough...I'm not so sure 1000 is either...when it comes to photography.

1 comment:

Pedro Luis López Pérez (PL.LP) said...

As I said Paulo Coelho:
"A search always begins with beginners luck and ends with the proof of the conqueror."
Wonderful pictures.