I USED to be associated with graphics and prints. It seems like I’m the photographer guy this time around. I’ve been shooting since I was in high school and it was only six years ago when I decided to be a full-time photographer. It’s an interesting experience when people talk to me about photography. These are both new acquaintances and those I’ve known quite sometime who suddenly pop the topic of photography.
I’ve been with the masters and neophytes, both professionals and amateurs. Their ways to photography are all unique. What I know based on my experience is that some are gifted with the eye for photography, while some, including me, are slow in terms of creativity. Whether you’re gifted or not, the secret to learning photography is the level of interest.
You may have the God-given gift, but if you lack interest, you won’t get out of your way to practice shooting. And this leads us to the second secret, which is practice. There is no shortcut to learning photography but to practice. I’m more of a strobe guy, so every time I do a shoot, I have to mobilize around 30 kilograms of equipment, and if I don’t have enough level of dedication in my way of shooting, then an excuse is just a snap of a finger.
Like I always say in my workshops, camera equipment are tools. When you buy them, unfortunately, no matter how expensive the camera and equipment are, skills are not included in your purchase. Just like an expensive sports car, it will make you shine, but in terms of performance, it’s always the man behind the wheel, or in photography, the man behind the lens.
I have shared stories with a lot of photographers and my question is always, why photography? While their answers are all unique, it’s their appreciation to the art that always rises above all else. Some can’t even explain why they are doing it and can only justify with the satisfaction that they get. I’m not talking about DSLR or mirrorless users, but even those who only use their camera phones as well.
In one of my workshops, I asked the attendees that no matter what technology we are in right now and how much advancement in microchip we are currently in, there’s one element in photography that never changed. May it be the time when the photography was first discovered or right this very moment. It’s the reason there is photography in the first place. The element I’m talking about is light.
Without light, there’s no photography. The characteristic of light no matter if we are using the oldest camera or the top of the line today, it will always be the same. It creates the same intensity, shadows, highlights, midtone, soft, hard, warm, cold, etc. Light is all the same, and since photography is the art of capturing light, I think that how we and the environment interact with light and the characteristic of it should be understood more than anything else when in comes to photography.
Keep on shooting, everyone!