I can remember back when film was our only option and you never knew whether the image you captured worked out until you received your film back from the developer. Sometimes this could be up to two weeks wait! Then if it didn’t work out you’d have to try and remember what settings you used.....frustrating huh!
So, while working full time, I completed my Certificate of Photography externally and partially because of this, it wasn’t long before I started carrying a notebook around, recording the film speed(ISO), date, exposure numbers and then the settings I used. This helped except for I would often get caught up in the moment taking the photos so much so, that I’d forget to write some of the settings down. So, when digital came along I was ecstatic!
With my Nikon D90, no longer did I need my notebook or to wait up to two weeks to see if an image turned out! Even after I went digital I still often found myself frustrated with my results. My confidence in my ability to take a good photo in manual setting was nonexistent. I knew what I wanted it to look like but was not achieving anywhere near what I wanted using the other settings like Aperture or Shutter Priority.
Then one day I took a leap & turned my setting to Manual and decided that there it would stay. It completely changed how I thought and went about taking a photo. Actually actively using the exposure triangle and applying it in different situations started to yield some good results. When I finally upgraded to a Nikon D750 I was almlost confident in using Manual but still occasionally was hit and miss.
So, I immersed myself in photography books, online photography courses, YouTube tutorials and Creative Live courses. Pretty much everything I could on whatever I was trying to photograph at the time and then going and putting it into practice. I also bought a second hand 50mm Prime Lens and found I loved it. Slowly I started to improve but I still wasn’t yet 100% satisfied with my results.
So, what did I do that made the most difference? I joined a Photography Group run by a local photographer who is also a Master Photographer. Going to his classes and photography days helped me improve in leaps and bounds.
While I know there’s still plenty of room for me to grow and learn as a photographer, I’m pretty happy with where I am now and very excited by the prospect of how much further I can potentially grow and learn as a Photographer.
Nothing, in my ow personal experience compares to getting good constructive feedback from someone who has years of professional experience.
Until next time!