I remember back when I started getting into Photography, I was just in awe at the photographers whose work I followed.
A little bit envious too (ok a lot).
Not only of the beautiful scenery that these folks were shooting, but mainly of their skills.
It felt like they were so far ahead that I’d never get anywhere close.
But I’ve always been a “techie” (I remember when I was 8 years old, copying pages of code from the back of my dad’s computer magazines, typing it into our ZX Spectrum 48k (the one with the rubber keyboard!), creating silly little anagram games – and the classic PONG too if my memory serves)…
So I knew that it had to be possible to break things down into a formula, a process…
Putting aside the artistic vision, compositional skill etc for one moment (which is of course a big part of the puzzle), everything else is a set of steps and procedures, done in a particular order.
From selecting the lens, focal length, shutter speeds etc, to everything that happens in Photoshop.
It’s a process.
Because if you're not following a process, you’re guessing.
I think even the people who say they don’t follow a process actually do, just without realising it. Otherwise, their images would be all over the place with no consistency from one to the next.
If I didn’t have that analytical/technical mind and the hankering to deconstruct and figure out how stuff works, I might very well have given up trying, putting it on the “too hard” shelf.
Thing is, I didn’t have anyone else’s recipes or processes to work from… Only their end results – their photos – to look at.
So over the years, the amount of trial and error I’ve been through to get my images to look one way or another, well, I couldn’t begin to quantify it!
And while I’ll never stop learning, I’ve come to a point where I’ve figured out “my way” of doing things. Confident that I can achieve what I want from my post processing, freeing me up to work on the creative side.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, photography is a journey. One without end.
But it takes work. Hopefully it’s the kind of work you enjoy 🙂
There’s a quote I like, I don’t think the original source is known although it often gets mistakenly attributed to a number of people…
“I’m a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.”
When you’re at the start of a journey (not just photography), it’s tempting to look at successful people and think “how lucky they are” to be where they are in one way or another… Not seeing the amount of work that went into getting there…
When a band, a company, an athlete gets a “lucky break” and becomes an overnight success, nobody sees the 10 years work it took to becoming that overnight success.
This was all a REALLY long train of thought that started with me thinking about the fact that I got “lucky” with the little boat in the water in the shot I’m sharing at the top today!
Thing is, I didn’t even notice he was there at the time. I couldn’t tell because the sun was so bright.
So in that respect, I got lucky with a cool little compositional element.
But on the other hand, I only had that luck because I'd been waking up an hour before sunrise to come and shoot this location (and others along this stretch of coast), time after time.
It’s only a small thing, but it demonstrates the point I’m trying to make.
I got lucky because I put myself in the position to get lucky.
So the message I want to leave you with today is this:
Get up, get out there, take more shots, practice more, do what you love, get “lucky” and you’ll end up with more great photos to show for it.
If you want to leverage your time by learning my processes and techniques in Photoshop, bypassing much of the trial and error phase…