Four Things We All Need To Remind Ourselves
Written by: Tiffany Joyce
1. It doesn’t have to be a difficult picture to take, in order to be a worthy picture. I was talking to a photographer friend of mine the other day, and asked how he composed a particular shot we were looking at. He gave me chapter and verse on lighting, light modifiers, angles, the inverse square law, post-processing techniques, gear, and the hour that it took him to get everything set up exactly the way he wanted it. Then he asked me how I shot one of my photos, and I said, “I used aperture priority, pointed the camera, composed, and pressed the shutter button.” We had a good laugh, because both shots were very worthy shots – one took an hour to achieve, and one took 45 seconds. Sometimes we tend to be snobs to the amount of effort it takes to capture a photograph, and we need to let go of that concept.
2. Don’t fall out of love with your camera, just because a newer model has taken the world by storm. Oh, how I want a Canon 5D Mark III! And oh, how hard it will be to wait another year before I can buy it. But I must remind myself that in the 18 months that I have owned my 7D, I have utterly enjoyed this camera. I’m still learning new tricks, new ways of customizing, and new capabilities as I continue to push my own limits. I still have plenty of room to grow on this camera. So, though I really, REALLY want the full-frame 5DMIII, I still really, REALLY love my 7D.
3. Address photography with the goal of making mistakes. You may think that’s a strange concept, to actually want to make mistakes! Ask yourself this – when was the last time you REALLY learned something? Something that you will never forget, will never have to write down to remind yourself, will never have to “look up later”? It was probably based on a mistake that you made. I’m putting myself in an embarrassing light here, but I have a great example. A couple of weeks ago I took a series of photographs while my husband and I were “out Jeepin’” (that is, exploring the off-road trails in our state by Jeep). Though the day was overcast, the photos were coming out much darker than I could explain. I persevered, and ended up having to make extreme adjustments to their exposure in post-processing. In the middle of editing one of the photos, something incredibly DUMB occurred to me. I got up, grabbed my camera, turned it on, and looked at the settings. Lo and behold, I’d had my exposure compensation on -2 ALL DAY LONG. Suffice it to say, I won’t ever forget to check that setting again!
4. We ourselves are the only thing standing in the way of achieving our dreams. Remove the following from your vocabulary and your way of thinking:
- “I can’t.” (YES YOU CAN.)
- “I don’t know how.” (Then learn!)
- “I’m not good at this.” (Then practice!)
- “I’m afraid.” (That’s okay, bravery is being afraid but moving forward anyway.)
- “I’m embarrassed to ask.” (I bet you’re not the first person to ask.)
- “It’s a stupid question.” (I bet somebody else wants to know, too.)
- “They’re so much better than me, I’ll never be as good as they are.” (No, you’ll be as good as YOU are.)
- “I don’t have good enough gear.” (Find creative ways to expand your gear’s potential.)
- “That camera takes good pictures.” (AAAAH. It’s the photographer that takes the pictures, not the camera!)
- “Nobody ever rates my photos or leaves comments. I guess they’re not good.” (It’s quite possible that they haven’t been SEEN. Solicit feedback, don’t just wait for it to come to you!)
What things have you been reminding yourself of lately? Please share with us in the comments or on our Facebook page!
All photos copyright Tiffany Joyce.
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