I love learning new things. One reason I fell into photography was learning Photoshop and I wanted more content to edit. So I started with point-and-shoot film cameras, bought my first digital camera in 2000, I bought my first DSLR around 2005, and I’ve been upgrading ever since.
But learning photography is more than just buying new and better gear. It is about learning technique and more importantly the “why.” Learning what makes a great photograph can take a lot of work. I call myself self taught because I never took photography or Photoshop in school, but I do read books, watch tutorials, and I attend workshops. If I can get to a workshop a year, cool. And I love the small workshops that pictureline in Salt Lake City hosts. In Spring they brought in commercial photographer Joel Grimes. He was the instructor who inspired my 300 Composite project a few years ago.
The workshop focused on how to light a subject with studio lighting. Several key takeaways were getting big lights close to your subject for a better quality of light. He also taught the importance of repetition. Sure you can photograph someone once with a certain technique, but if you do it a hundred times, it becomes second nature. The reason some people seem like prodigies, is they love what they do and they do it over and over again.
I’ve been photographing for a number of years and I am always learning but it only sticks if I do the new techniques over and over again. Using studio strobes has become second nature. Using Photoshop required years of actual projects. And now I am trying the same learning with videography.
And in today’s ever changing landscape, we have to be agile, able to adapt, eager to improve. People need multiple talents and multiple disciplines. What worked last year won’t be enough next year. So attend some workshops. Start some projects. Become a value to those around you.
The other thing I learned from the workshop? I have a longer and longer shopping list. There are some cool tools out there and photography and video are just getting more cool and more fun with wireless, lighting, cameras, lenses, computers, phones, and more. Yay!
And I have a few projects I’m working on in my own time. But I’ll be starting a few new projects in 2019 I’m sure. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I need to find some more workshops.