RECENTLY, I asked my assistant to cover an event. It’s a pro bono for my neighbor. I thought this would add to her experience in handling different photographic challenges. I believe that no matter how I teach her, there is no better way of learning than to do a real and actual assignment. I went through it myself when I was starting up. I made some mistakes here and there but it’s the ability to convert those errors into assets that allow you to move on to the next level.
Well, she came back alright and made some decent shots. But this is not before she panicked in the indoor part of the event. She has good understanding of how to set up a six or eight studio lighting configuration. She helps me troubleshoot lighting problems during the shoot. But she cannot handle one TTL flash mounted on the camera.
When shooting professionally, you are faced with different challenges all the time. Even though the basics are just a matter of three factors – ISO, shutter and aperture – when your settings are not correct, you’ll get confused. Add the pressure of the client waiting for you to take the shot, then you’ll mostly end up lost.
To maximize your artistic creativity, one must take camera settings as second nature. You can never realize the picture in your imagination if you don’t even know how to get the right settings of your tool. Mastering your camera settings is essential. Practice is the best way to keep yourself in top shape every time.
In my case, when I have free time, I spend it simulating different challenges that I encounter during an assignment. I try to find not only one, but many alternative solutions to the problem. This allows me to focus on artistic creativity and not waste precious time finding out if your solution will work. You are paid by your work, not by your gear.
Not only with camera settings, you should also experiment with different techniques and styles. This is not only fun but a good investment to add to your knowledge. It cuts a lot of time when shooting actual projects because you have tried it before and know which one works and doesn’t.
Keep on shooting, everyone!