When you're making pictures with people, you need to have practiced your camera well enough that you can change the ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed (or Exposure Compensation) without taking your eye from the viewfinder. Muscle Memory Go ahead and practice right now. You should be 'dry firing' your camera daily. Take it with you to work and when you take a lunch break, put it to your eye and practice changing all the settings. You need to program your muscles to know exactly where all the settings are the same way you can find your way from … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Muscle Memory
Practicing with your tools on daily pictures will make you a better photographer when it counts. Having your camera with you isn't enough to make you a better photographer. You need to practice finishing your photographs just as much as making them in the camera. A well composed and exposed photo is only half done. As I photographed these coneflowers, today, I knew I'd need to use HDR techniques in order to reveal the details in the center and maintain rich color in the petals. However, it was windy so there was no way to shoot a bracket of … [Read more...] about The Best Photographers Practice Finishing
I love the Boy Scout motto of Be Prepared. As a photographer that often means carrying extra batteries, a spare camera, and an extra memory card. But also knowing the location, and what conditions you'll be working under. Practice Ahead of Time We just recently moved into a house with a pool, and I have been eager to shoot in it. I was asked if we could hold a baptism celebration in our pool. It is winter here in San Diego, and the pool temperature has been hovering around 55 degrees. Too cold for daily practice. Underwater photography has a … [Read more...] about Being Prepared Makes all the Difference
We all have times when were waiting for somethingmaybe the doctors office, or a meal at restaurant, or at the auto shopand many times we spend that time checking Instagram with our eyes glued to our phones. Id like to suggest a more productive use of your time that will exercise your mind and make you a better photographer. Light the Room When youre waiting around, engage your mind by lighting the room. Consider what it would take to make the room look good in a photograph, and then spice it up by adding the person youre waiting for to the … [Read more...] about Don’t Waste Your Time: Light the Room
Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. Shinichi Suzuki The idea of 10,000 repetitions as a path to mastery is not new. It has been a principle of Eastern thought for a very long time and has been made popular in business by Malcolm Gladwell and in photography by Steve Simon. It boils down to practice makes perfect. This principle is simple to understand. But, given our busy lives, it can be difficult to put into practice. And, too often, we tend to look for the perfect practice, particularly as … [Read more...] about Volunteering For Mastery
Have you ever watched a serious concert pianist practice? If not, I highly recommend you try to have that experience. If you want to be a serious photographer, then pay attention to what other serious artists go through to be successful. I happened to minor in music in college. I also went to a school with a great music program. So I was surrounded by great musicians. I knew many serious pianists. To a concert pianist, the music is an extension of the soul. The composers who created the scores are like religious deity and the the pianists are … [Read more...] about Practice Photography Like The Concert Pianist Practices Piano
You've heard the old saying: "Practice makes perfect." I actually disagree. Perfect practice makes perfect. But practicing the wrong things over and over merely instills bad habits. There's a more accurate saying. You always perform at the level you practice. The new Army Field Manual says it like this: "Train As You Fight - Fight As You Train." When you get your camera out of the bag, consider it more than just shooting. Think of this as practice - or training. Get yourself ready to work like your shoot counts. Don't second guess yourself. … [Read more...] about Practice Makes Perfect?
Post & Photo by I just returned from a golf lesson. At the end of the lesson, the instructor, Skip Marini, reminded me of all the things I need to think about to make a great shot off the tee: Set the club Grip the club properly and gently Position the ball Balance my weight Bend my knees Straighten my back Slowly take a full back swing Slowly swing the club Move your hips Hit the ball my tip Keep your head down Keep your eye on the ball Keep your head behind the ball Release your wrists Follow through Face the target … [Read more...] about Making a Good Golf Shot is a Lot Like Making a Good Photograph