I’ve had a DSLR off/on since ~2008-ish. I’ve always dabbled…I’d watch a ton a youtube videos or buy several books about photography but I’d never go out and mindfully practice the skills I’d watched/read about. Or if I did practice them and they didn’t turn out as I’d seen in the book I’d get frustrated and move on to something else. What a ridiculous way of going about learning something new! I realize now that in order to get better I have to put in the time and get the shutter presses. Reading that now sounds ridiculous to me but that was my thought process at the time.
Since getting serious about photography back in May of this year I’ve taken over 3500 pictures and I feel like I’ve learned more 3 months that in the past decade. I can’t discount all those books I read and videos I watched because I did learn a lot, I just didn’t get the hands on practice that I’m getting now. The more pics I take the more I remember and the proverbial light bulbs are going off linking what I’m doing in practice to the theory. I’m still watching and reading a lot about photography because I don’t think this is something that can be learned in a vacuum. There are photographers whose work I look at and want to emulate. I don’t want to be them as I want to develop my own style but learning the mechanics behind their shots and their mental process helps me develop my own. One thing I need to get comfortable with is constructive criticism. I have a few friends who’s feedback I really trust but I’d like to find a group/few people in the street photography genre to engage with.
I push myself to take at least 10 pictures a day, every day. They don’t have to be good or mean anything but I really focus on looking at shadows, light and shapes and how those interact with each other. I didn’t include the several hundred photos I’ve taken with my phone of things I want to go back and study or places I want to go back at that same time and study how the light is. The type of photography I tend to look at the most is street and macro with street being my primary interest. My definition of street photography would definitely not be inline with other photographers and that’s fine. Something I’ve come to realize over the years is that I don’t need other people’s approval for what I like and think is beautiful or compelling. In fact I consider that a strength now.