I’ve always considered one of the very best investments a photographer can make is not in camera gear, but in knowledge. All too often, I see fellow photogs buying more gear and never even considering investing in self-improvement.
As a background, I live in a rather small town or city of about ten thousand people. I know almost everyone owns a camera here, and a good number of those people have spent upwards of a thousand dollars or more on camera equipment. The strange thing that I’ve noticed is how many are willing to make a sizeable investment in a camera and then spend almost no time, energy or money learning how to be a better photographer. The message needs to be hammered home – a new camera is not going to make you a better photographer!
I have been rather blessed that all my life I have been one with a curious nature. I love to investigate things and am constantly solving problems and learning how to do things – even in my dreams. I have a background in education and know the importance of learning – the empowerment and freedom that an individual can acquire through knowledge and bettering themselves.
Fortunately, I am someone who rather enjoys figuring things out and have always been adept at teaching myself. However there are many people who either don’t have the time or simple don’t enjoy learning things on their own. Many people are better at learning by seeing and benefit greatly from the experience that a teacher can provide.
For those of you who are often frustrated with your photography or trying to understand your camera, I urge you to take advantage of many of the resources that are available so that you can become better at what it is you want to do.
Here are just a few of the things you can do to make yourself a better photographer:
1.) start collecting classic photo books
2.) look at the works of the masters
3.) study the history of photography
4.) enroll in workshops and webinars
5.) find a mentor
6.) try to use your camera every day
7.) write down your questions and figure them out
8.) study art
9.) watch the cinematography in movies
10.) go for a walk every day and begin to notice things
If there’s one thing that is for sure, it’s that you don’t become a better photographer by sitting around wishing you knew how to do something.
In an future blog, I will make a short list of some of my favourite books that are in my collection. In the meantime, I am offering a workshop for local people on November 13th, 2016 that teaches you all about understanding exposure and metering – not just for digital, but also if you shoot film. I have also just released a new book about some important concepts in photography and contains 111 photographs. Perhaps you or someone you know would love to be a better photographer. Here are the links: